Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cardinal Cheong's Influencial Role in Korea

A news weekly has selected Cardinal Cheong Jin-Suk, the archbishop of Seoul, as the most influential Religious leader in Korea. The weekly had a well know public opinion polling organization make the study and the Cardinal came in first in the religious category. There were 10 different categories in the study. He received 38.8% of the vote to best the second who received 29.3% and the third received 18%. The deceased Cardinal Kim came in fourth with 12.9% of the vote.

The Catholic Times had a interesting comment on this recent poll. The second place was a Buddhist leader and the third was a Protestant . The editorial was quick to comment that the general public is 'fickle" . They can support you today and turn on you tomorrow. Consequently it should be taken in stride and not taken too seriously. The Catholic Church is young in Korea while Buddhism has a long history and has a valued place in the Korean heart. Buddhism has had some internal difficulties and some of the leaders have not lived up to their calling but the Koreans have been tolerant. This can be compared to the place of Catholicism in Europe.

Korean Society looks upon the clergy, religious and the organization of the Catholic Church with a rather strict yardstick . Korean Society is such that even a small fault when found within the Church can cause despair and turn society against the Church. This is a sign that the The Catholic Church has not found a place in the hearts of the Koreans.

The acknowledgement of the Cardinal's influence is a sign of the efforts of the Church. We should not overly rejoice or simply find satisfaction in seeing the positive place the Cardinal has in Korean Society but should accept this as a prod to do better.

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