Monday, April 13, 2015

First Year Anniversary of the Sewol Tragedy

April 16th is the first anniversary of the sinking of the Sewol;  both Catholic papers continue to write about the tragedy and the problems that are appearing as they begin the investigation of the tragedy.         

When the bishops of Korea were on their ad limina visit to the Vatican, Pope Francis asked them how were the problems associated with the sinking of the ferry working out. One of the columnist mentions  that he doesn't know how the bishops answered, but they were no doubt confused. 

Families want the government to raise the ship, find the bodies of the missing, and get to the truth of the sinking. A year has passed and Lee Suk-tae who was nominated by the families wants to start the investigation but obstacles are put in their way,  preventing an objective search for the truth. Politics continue to enter the picture. The families do not want the  government to influence the outcome by appointing officials to committee posts.

Confucianism is strong in Korean society and not finding the bodies of the dead is a difficult situation for the families to face--without closure that comes with a funeral.

The Catholic Church continues to be a strong voice siding with the families and keeping the issue before the public with Masses and meetings throughout the country. Society has felt the pain of the families and has shown respect and sympathy for them, and those involved in the tragedy. Even those who did not die in the tragedy have suffered trauma that will be with them for life.

Chairman Lee Suk-tae payed a visit to Cardinal Yeom of Seoul asking for help to give the committee the strength to do its work. The investigation will uncover a great deal of corruption, laxity, ignoring of safety standards, all in a desire for economic growth. Cardinal expressed the opinion that the very essence of the investigation is to find the truth behind the tragedy.

The special committee has to be given freedom to begin the investigation, and  politics should have no place in the workings of the committee was the strong statement made in one of the editorials.                    

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