December 20, 2002
BY FAX: (011)(82 2) 460-7505
Most Reverend Andrew Choi Chang-mou
Archbishop of Kwangju
Catholic Bishops" Conference of Korea
C.P.O. Box 16
Prot. No. 244/2002
Greetings in the Lord!. Allow me to thank you, as did my predecessor Bishop Fiorenza in August of last year, for the trust the Catholic Bishops" Conference of Korea has once again placed in us in our common efforts to seek a more just and equitable Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between our two nations.
We are disappointed that the changes in the second revision of the SOFA, while a step in the right direction, have nevertheless fallen far short of what the Bishops" Conference of Korea and many other leaders in Korean society had called for. From coverage in the media, we are also aware of the intense feelings expressed by many in your country, weakening the good relations that should obtain between our two peoples.
I have asked the Chairman of our USCCB Committee on International Policy, Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ of Pensacola-Tallahassee, to communicate the concerns expressed in your letter and accompanying documentation to the Department of Defense. As soon as we receive a response from our government, I will see that it is communicated to Your Excellency.
With fervent wishes for all the blessings of this Season, and assurance of prayers, I remain
Fraternally in the Lord,
Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Bishop of Belleville