Tuesday the 3rd of August

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

South Korean Catholics seek president’s resignation over scandal

South Korean Catholics have demanded that President Park Geun-hye step down over a scandal that has been coined ‘Choi Soon-sil gate’.

Ucanews.com reported that from a diocesan level to even seminarians, the Church in South Korea has been vocal in its calls for Park to resign after news broke that her friend, Choi Soon-sil, allegedly manipulated the president to gain access to secret documents and purportedly embezzle funds through nonprofit foundations.

At least 10 dioceses have called for Park’s resignation and held Masses praying for the country.

On 7th November, the Auxiliary Bishop of Gwangju, Simon Ok Hyun-jin, presided over the Mass with archdiocesan priests and called upon Park to resign. Following the Mass, Bishop Ok led some 1,000 Catholics to the May 18 Democracy Plaza in downtown Gwangju. Along the way, they shouted for Park’s resignation because of the scandal, which has already seen Choi arrested and charged.

The same day, the Cheju Diocesan Committee for Justice and Peace held a Mass in memory of Baek Nam-ki, a farm activist who died recently, and criticised Park for failing the state administration.

Picture: South Korean university students carry candles and placards that read ‘Park Geun-Hye Step Down’ in Seoul on 15th November. The South Korean president is embroiled in scandal involving a longtime friend. (CNS photo/Yang Ji-Woong, EPA).