» 02/25/2015, 00.00
Baptized by the Pope in Korea: 500 kilometers of rosaries and prostration to demand justice for Sewol
Francis Lee Ho-jin lost his son in the sinking of the ferry in April 2014. Almost a year after the massacre, the government has yet to clarify those responsible for the disaster. Together with his daughter, he is marching on foot from the south of the country to the capital: every three steps, he prostrates himself to ask the population to remember the more than 300 victims. The continuous recitation of the Marian prayer for the repose of the souls.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - A march 520 kilometers long, stopping every three steps to
bow down to the ground, to shake the social conscience of South Korea and push
the government to launch a real investigation into the truth about the Sinking
of the MV Sewol. This is the journey of Francis Lee Ho-jin, baptized by the
Pope during his apostolic journey to the country, and his daughter Ah-reum: in
the disaster they lost their son and brother Seung-hyeon.
The two set out
yesterday afternoon from Jindo County, in the southern province of South
Jeolla. The destination is Gwanghwamun Square, the "beating heart" of
the capital Seoul, where Francis beatified 134 Korean martyrs and where the
memorial of the victims of Sewol stands.
April 16, 2014, a ferry carrying more than 300 passengers sunk on its way to
the island of Cheju. Most of the victims were high school students on a school
trip. After the incident, the government
adopted a law to find out what happened and who was responsible, but for
victims' families it was inadequate and thin. In fact, the law fails to lay out
charges, look at the responsibilities of the Coast Guard or government
officials, and finds extenuating circumstances for the crew. After more than 10
months, it is still unclear why the ship sank.
According to relatives, who set
up a committee in May, politicians want to protect themselves and the shipping
industry. For this reason, they want a new law and began to protest downtown
Seoul. Their tents spread over Gwanghwamun Square, and during
Pope Francis' visit to Korea, demonstrators were able to meet the Holy Father.
march, Francis Lee plans to continually recite the rosary for the repose of the
soul of his son and his companions. Together with his daughter, also, the two
are walking with the traditional method of Buddhism known as "sambo
ilbae": it is a Tibetan Buddhist practice that involves every three steps,
bowing down to the ground. To remember the tragedy even more, the two bring are
pulling along a paper mache model of the ferry (see photo).
Francis says: "I want to bow down 300 thousand times before the people of
South Korea. They will accept my bow, and I hope they will also remember those
who have died." The first project involved five kilometers a day, but it
was quickly changed and to four: "The idea was to get to the square for
the first anniversary of the massacre, but we must avoid overdoing it. I think
we'll get there by June."
23/08/2014 SOUTH KOREA
Sewol activist hospitalized after 40 days of hunger strike
In the April 16 disaster, Kim Young-oh lost his 17 year old daughter. Since then together with other families of victims he has campaigned for a new law to punish those responsible for the massacre. The man met Pope Francis before the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, and gave him the yellow badge that is their symbol of protest. The pontiff wore it throughout the journey.
11/11/2014 SOUTH KOREA
Korea, Sewol captain sentenced to 36 years in prison
The courts have found him guilty of "gross negligence" but rejected the charge of murder. All other crew members on trial also condemned. The chief engineer of the ferry that sank last April, gets 30 years in jail. 304 people died in the tragedy, one of the worst accidents in the history of South Korea.
13/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
Seoul, families of the Sewol victims to remain in Square: "Overjoyed for Pope, but we want justice"
Standoff between the group together holding a sit-in in Seoul’s central square, and the government that wants to evict them before the beatification ceremony for 124 Korean martyrs. The spokesman for the families tells AsiaNews: "We have nothing against the Pope, the Church, or martyrs. Indeed, we are certain that Francis will bring great comfort to our grief. But we can not abandon our sit-in."
Hurting over S Korean ferry sinking, Christians and Buddhists hold vigils and prayer to comfort each other
Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists have set up a camp near the port on Jindo Island not far from where the Sewol ferry sunk with 476 people on board. As families continue to wait for news about those still missing, they find comfort in prayer and listening. The government charges the captain and three officers, whilst the head of the ferry company is holed up at home, surrounded by members of his 'Salvation Sect'.
22/07/2014 SOUTH KOREA
Korea: lifeless body of the Sewol ferry owner found
The authorities have confirmed this morning that the body of a man, found on June 12, but ignored by the police, belongs to Yoo Byung-eun. The man, the owner of the ship that sank in April, was being sought throughout the country. Indignation of the population at investigators failure to identify the corpse because it was considered "a homeless man".
The tears of Chinese bishops. A portrait of Msgr. Zhuang, bishop of Shantou
A priest of the official Church, recalls the 88 year old bishop that the Vatican wants to replace with an illegitimate bishop, to please the regime. Mons. Zhuang Jianjian became an underground bishop at the behest of the Vatican in 2006. Card. Zen and Msgr. Zhuang, image of the faithful Church, "which provokes an immense sadness and a sense of impotence". The hopes of card. Parolin to console "the past and present sufferings of Chinese Catholics".
CHINA - VATICAN - HONG KONG
Card. Zen on the bishops of Shantou and Mindong
Card. Joseph Zen
The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong confirms the information published in recent days by AsiaNews and reveals details of his conversation with Pope Francis on these topics: "Do not create another Mindszenty case", the primate of Hungary whom the Vatican forced to leave the country, appointing a successor in Budapest, at the will of the communist government of the time.
14/02/2018 SINGAPORE - VATICAN
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