03/09/2017, 10.02
SOUTH KOREA
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Religious leaders ask Seoul to avoid conflicts and divisions after court's decision on Park impeachment

President of the Episcopal Conference: Avoid Disaster. The nation's constitutional rules are still healthy. Council of Korean Protestant churches: mature citizens to shape a better Korea. Buddhist: The verdict an occasion for the "revival of the peace" after the divisions of the past months. The Constitutional Court decides tomorrow at 11.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Catholic, Protestant and Buddhist leaders are asking the Korean people to remain united and to respect the verdict of the Constitutional Court that will vote on the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye tomorrow.

Park was impeached by parliament last December, for allowing her friend, Choi Soon-sil,to meddle in the affairs of State, deciding policies and appointments, and allying with her to extort millions of dollars from Korean companies in exchange for favors at a legislative level.

The Court will issue the verdict tomorrow at 11 am. If the Court approves the impeachment,  Park will be removed permanently from the presidency and the nation will prepare for new elections within two months. But there is also the probability that the elections may take place in December.

In recent months there have been demonstrations of millions of people calling for the Park’s resignation, as well as gatherings of tens of thousands in support. It is real concern that the verdict will lead to clashes and harsh opposition that might severely curtail the country's development.

Precisely for this reason, today Msgr. Iginus Kim Hee-joong, president of the Korean Bishops' Conference issued a statement in which he states that "The verdict of the Constitutional Court cannot satisfy everyone. Conflicts, divisions and disobedience to the judgment will only lead to disaster. " The Archbishop of Gwangju also hopes that the Court will offer "an honest and balanced verdict, showing that the nation's constitutional rules are still healthy."

The Christian Council (Protestant) of Korea (CCK) has requested that all Koreans accept the result of the Court. The Rev. Lee Young-hoon, president of the CCK, expressed his hope that the Court would decide "according to its principles and sense of duty", with a "clean" expression, all the more necessary given the intense conflict experienced by the country. "I hope - said Rev. Kim - that our people are able to gain a social perfection, with mature citizens to shape a better Korea. "

The order of Jogye, the most popular Buddhist sect in Korea, called on all Koreans to make tomorrow's verdict an opportunity for the "revival of the peace", and asked people to express their opinion in the right and peaceful manner.

The venerable Dobeob, of Jogye temple in Seoul said the court verdict, whatever it is, "can serve as an opportunity to mature our society." But this requires people to respect each other and listen to each other, despite opposing opinions.

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