Religious leaders call for respect of court ruling, unity
Religious leaders call for respect of court ruling, unity
  • Park So-yeon
  • 승인 2017.03.10 17:39
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South Korea's major religious groups on Friday urged the nation to humbly respect the Constitutional Court's decision to unseat disgraced President Park Geun-hye and stand united regardless of their positions on the impeachment.

The court unanimously upheld the parliamentary impeachment of Park, removing her from office after more than three months of leadership crisis.

"The political circle and the people should humbly accept the Constitutional Court ruling regardless of whether they supported the impeachment or not. I think this is the most important element for national unity," Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung said in a statement.

He asked the people to have the patience and wisdom needed to overcome the national confusion, giving the common good of the state and integration of the public opinion as top priority.

South Korea's religious leaders call for normalization of state affairs in a meeting in January 2017. (Yonhap file photo)

Archbishop Kim Hee-joong of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea also issued a statement, saying "Today's ruling proved that even a president elected by the people cannot be an exception to the duty of defending democracy and the Constitution."
The decision left a task to all South Koreans to restore democracy and make it be deeply rooted on their soil, the archbishop added.

The National Council of Churches in Korea (KCCK) said the court decision proved justice will prevail.

"This provided a chance to help the country's democracy get back to where it was," Kim Young-joo, secretary general of the KCCK, which represents progressive Protestant churches.

He urged the people not to stop their efforts to open "the era of people's sovereignty."

The Christian Council of Korea (CCK), another Protestant group, also urged Koreans to respect the court decision and humbly accept the outcome.

"This proved once again that everyone is equal before the law in law-abiding countries," Rev. Lee Young-hoon, chairman of the CCK, said in a statement. "Everyone should make efforts to end political, ideological, regional and inter-generation conflicts, and achieve grand national unity."

The Buddhist circle also called for national unity and a mature civic awareness in unison.

"Both conservative and progressive camps should respect the Constitutional Court ruling out of a big mind for patriotism, unite with each other and stabilize the state," Ven. Jaseung of the Jogye Order, South Korea's largest Buddhist sect, said in a statement.

Won Buddhism, a modernized form of Buddhism indigenous to South Korea, agreed that the court ruling once again proved the unchanging truth that "untruth cannot beat truth and darkness cannot beat light."

This composite photo shows (clockwise order from top left) Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung; Rev. Kim Young-joo, secretary-general of the National Council of Churches in Korea; Han Eun-sook, a senior leader of Won Buddhism; and Ven. Jaseung of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. (Yonhap)

"Although not all of the people can agree with the decision, they should humbly accept it and combine forces to unify the country with the spirit of reconciliation and co-existence," Han Eun-suk, a senior leader, said in a statement.

Since late October, South Korea's national psyche has remained extremely torn regarding the presidential impeachment. Naysayers and supporters of Park have held regular mass rallies side by side in the nation's capital, pressuring the court to rule in favor of their respective opinions.

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