On Tuesday, left-winged Internet media Dandelion released the real names of 155 victims out of 158 that lost their lives to the Itaewon tragedy without the consent of the bereaved families. The list of names was reportedly received from an anonymous whistleblower along with the YouTube channel The Tamsa, which recently issued reports related to the President’s private gathering with close aides in Cheongdam-dong. Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice also received the list from this media outlet and released the names in a memorial mass.
If a heartfelt memorial mass had been the purpose of commemorating the victims, as claimed by the media outlet, they should have obtained consent from the bereaved families. Releasing the names of the deceased without the families’ consent are anti-human acts detrimental to the families and the victims. They may be hurt again by online slander. What can the bereaved families gain by having the names of their beloved and lost family members revealed? It is not as if the situation had been dire enough to release the names, such as to locate unidentified persons. The Tamsa even went so far as to do a ttoekbokki ad, laughing and eating with the names of the list in the background.
On the same day, Rev. Kim Gyu-don of the Anglican Church of Korea uploaded a social media posting wishing the presidential plane would crash during his trip to Southeast Asia. Rev. Park Ju-hwan of the Anglican Diocese of Daejeon also posted an image of President Yoon Suk-yeol and the First Lady falling from the plane along with the wording “praying (for fall)” and became disqualified. It is shocking how a priest can openly make such remarks full of hatred and curses. How low have we fallen?
Over 350 casualties in the Itaewon tragedy created great sadness and shock for survivors, bereaved families, and the public. Politic circles are taking advantage of the accident to blame each other instead of consoling the public, identifying the cause, and coming up with measures to prevent future accidents. Priests who should be planning seeds of love and reconciliation where people are divided are instead creating instability and conflict, hurting the wounds of the victims. This conflict and hatred should stop at once.