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Priests blinded by self-righteousness vows to continue political influence

Priests blinded by self-righteousness vows to continue political influence

Posted December. 06, 2013 06:17,   


The Catholic Priests’ Association of Justice announced an official statement Thursday that it would support its members who called for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye with regard to the alleged election meddling by the nation’s spying agency. Regarding criticisms over the comments of Rev. Park Chang-shin who justified North Korea’s shelling on Yeonpyeong Island, the priests’ group argued that “priests’ voice following their conscience is stigmatized as communists’ instigation” and “the blind following by newspapers and broadcasters also played a role in it.” It also added, “We will never step back.”

The Catholic Priests’ Association of Justice is neither an official organization of the Catholic Church nor significant in scale. Its members have expressed opinions biased toward certain political powers. Given these, there is no need to place emphasis on their arguments. Some members of the association asked for understanding by saying, “Please consider Rev. Park’s comments as considerate advice from an old priest who has worked for the underprivileged for his lifetime.” However, Thursday’s support statement clearly shows the priests group’s fallacious recognition of reality.

What priests say within the church is not subject to the interest of secular media. Nevertheless, if they make explicit comments supporting or criticizing a specific political faction, they cannot but be the target of criticism. Besides, it would be strange if we do not criticize comments justifying North Korea’s provocations like the shelling on Yeonpyeong Island that claimed lives of our soldiers and innocent citizens. Blaming such criticisms as religious suppression is the expression of selfishness, based on the mindset that I can criticize you but you cannot criticize me.

Pope Francis I said in his sermon about Catholic’s political participation in September, “Good Catholics participate in politics, but that is not about condemning politicians but about offering prayers that their politicians may serve the common good even if they were wicked.” The remarks are in line with what Seoul Archbishop Yeom Su-jeong recently said, “Catholics should not be reluctant to change irrationality and inequality in the world, but only in an evangelical way.”

Regardless of the religious creeds, religious people should leave secular affairs to secular people. Korea is matured enough to refuse the instigation by certain priests. The ruling and opposition parties compete with each other and civil society is monitoring politics. In addition, public opinions are important ever before due to the development of the Internet. The Korean people will make their own judgment on how the National Intelligence Service’s meddling in the presidential election damaged its fairness.