Being an American living in Korea is life giving for it opens many more windows that I did not know existed. Life is the same in many ways from the West but often seen in a different way. The recent death of Cardinal Stephen Kim the Ordinary Emeritus of the Seoul Diocese who died at the age of 87 on March February 16th is a case in point.
He was a very popular Leader of the Church in the Seoul Diocese and had a great influence on the whole of Korea. Over 400,000 thousand people viewed his body and not all Catholics. The media for a number of days gave coverage both from the right and left that would have been difficult to imagine. He was a man for all seasons and one who heard the cry of the weak and was respected for it.
The Cardinal studied in Germany, at the University of Munster in Sociology and was very familiar with some of the weaknesses of the Church in Germany during the Hitler years. He did not want that to be the story of the Korea Church during our own years of totalitarianism. He made this very clear during those difficult years and become a hero to many. He will be missed and continued to be loved for the great humble leader that he was.