Activist priests hit back Thursday accusing the ruling party and the government of insulting and hurting the Catholic Church over the controversial mass held in November.
On Nov. 22, members of the Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice, belonging to the Jeonju diocese, held a mass in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, calling for President Park Geun-hye to step down.
The mass became a sensitive political issue with the ruling Saenuri Party honing in on priest Park Chang-shin’s comments. It appeared that Park was defending North Korea for its attack on South Korea’s Yeongpyeong Island in the West Sea on November 23, 2010.
“The mass was an event calling for fundamental improvements, with (the participants) sensing a crisis as the foundations of democracy are being ripped out,” the Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice said in a statement on Thursday.
“The president, Cabinet members and the ruling party distorted the purpose of the sermon, and seriously insulted and hurt Korea’s Catholic church by branding it ideologically.”
During the controversy that ensued from the mass, the Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice distanced itself from the event, saying that it was organized independently by the priests of the Jeonju diocese.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org