Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sister, Don't Cry

For years we have had protests against the electrical tower project in Miryang in the South Gyeongsang Province. The residents recently were removed forcibly from their sit-in camps by the Korea Electric Power Corporation, police, and government officials. An official of a human rights organization expresses his opinion, in the Peace Weekly, seeing a picture of a religious sister crying at the forcible driving out of the protesters.

The human rights committee of the bishops has tried to get the two sides to dialogue, but the electric power corporation was not interested and using military tactics cleared the area of protesters, so they could continue the work of setting up the towers. All that was left for the protesters was to cry out their fears and displeasure.

Over 20 religious sisters who were sympathetic to residents were removed with force, some suffered violence, in the struggle some of the sisters' veils were stripped off, and  one sister's leg was broken. A picture of a  sister who was crying appeared in the paper. They were following the words of Pope Francis when he told the young people to go out into the streets and become a Church that is hurt, wounded and dirtied. The sisters were doing just that--  showing love for those who were hurting.

A  minister was quoted  as thanking the sisters in showing him how to love, and the writer concludes his article with thanks to the sisters for showing solidarity with the weak. The sisters without any power, being ousted, alerted us to what love means. On that day, the sisters showed us the beauty of failure.

In the hardhearted world where everyone is concerned with their own interests, it is refreshing to see some people who are concerned with wiping the tears and crying with others.

The editorial in the paper addresses the need to be with the people.  Some of the more 'progressive' members of four different religious groups had a press conference on the problems in society. They do not represent the religious groups, said the editorial, and the editorial does not agree with all their proposals,  but  they wholeheartedly agree that people should always come first. The Catholic social principles are very clear, says the editorial: human dignity of all persons, searching for the common good, subsidiarity, solidarity, being on the side of the poor etc..These principles are very clear but many of the problems  in society are handled with a different value system.

In conclusion, the clerics of the four religious groups suggested there is a need for the government to use more common sense, more dialogue, and to find ways to have a win-win situation. The editorial hopes the government will work to achieve some of the desires of the citizens where people come first.                                                                         

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