Sunday, October 27, 2013

Welcome to Korea

Well here I am in Korea!
  The flight was direct from Rome to Incheon International Airport which is on an island.  It is one of the most modern and beautifully conceived airports in the world.  The flight KE 928 Korean Airlines was a 747 with not an empty seat.  Most of the Vatican delegation was on this flight.  We departed Rome at 23.00 and the flight took just over 11 hours and was conducted with oriental elegance even though we were in coach.  I was in the row with four along with Bishop Brian Farrell from the Pontifical Council.  I was able to sleep but poor Brian didn't close his eyes.
  After arriving at 1700, we went through imigration formality very radiply and as we picked up our luggage we were greated by the nuncio in Korea, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla and by Archbishop Yeom Soon-jung of Seoul.  We had a quick meal in the airport and then went by bus to the Korean Bishops' Conference where we are staying until going to Busan for the Assembly.  What a bus ride! I said before that the airport is on an Island so we had to cross a long bridge into the city of Seoul.  It was now 2200 and it was as if it were day-time with bumper to bumper traffic.  We didn't arrive at the residence until 2300.
  Tomorrow it is off to the cathedral for the Eucharist and then visit to the Emeritus Archbishop, Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk.  Our day will end with a visit to the Catholic University of Seoul and meal with the seminarians.
Peace and all good!

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