|Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism President Ven. Jaseung makes an acceptance speech at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul on Thursday after his reelection. (Yonhap News)|
Ven. Jaseung, the incumbent president of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, was on Thursday reelected the leader of the country’s largest Buddhist group.
He will begin his four-year term as the 34th chief of the order on Nov. 1 after receiving approval from the elders’ committee.
The Jogye Order announced that Ven. Jaseung won 179 votes from 311 electoral college members representing more than 14,000 Buddhist monks, beating four other candidates including the strongest contender, Ven. Boseon, who is the current chairman of the counsel of Jogye.
“I believe that my election reflects the members’ yearning for sustainable growth and harmony while cultivating a ‘clean and clear’ meditation environment,” Ven. Jaseung said in his acceptance speech.
“Just as piles of dust form a mountain, I will bear each person’s suggestions and wishes in mind throughout the term. This isn’t something that I can do alone. I will need all of your support... Now is the time for Korean Buddhism to get rid of old customs and stand in front of the society and people. We will reach out to our less privileged neighbors and look after them.”
However, Ven. Jaseung’s reelection will likely cause a stir among his opponents since he had pledged not to seek a second term after a scandal broke last year involving high-ranking Buddhist monks and illegal gambling.
In September, he said, “I will not make excuses about retracting my pledge.”
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org)