79-year-old Sogang University professor Father Paul Eui-chae Chung, one of Korea's representative Catholic intellectuals, poured forth bitter council for the president and ruling party Tuesday as part of a lecture series being hosted by the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Korea.He
said, "Now is a time we must unite the people, not divide them, and totally mobilize our international connections." Chung
directed strong criticism toward the 386-generation politicians who make up the core of the current government and ruling party.He
slammed them for their closed nature, claiming 386-generation politicians were the real "arch-conservatives among arch-conservatives" and human trends were decades ahead of what they were thinking.The priest expressed concern about the current administration's foreign policy, too."We created a security crisis as we clamored about intra-Korean cooperation and independent defense, while our neighbor Japan has started to talk of becoming a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with the help of the United States," he said.
"When we cultivate our national power internationally, intra-Korean cooperation will happen." Chung
also said, "Since the current government and ruling party have ignored a large part of public sentiment as they moved toward abolishing the National Security Law and amending the private school law, historical fact finding law, and media law, those bills are certain to fail."About the private school law reform bill, he
said, "Because religion has a spirit of martyrdom, it will resist to the end."About the historical fact finding law, he
said, "Since the government is ignoring the people's economic plight while causing a storm over an issue that could just as well be left to historians, one feels a mix of emotions."
The priest said about the media reform bill, "For the National Assembly to make a law to control newspaper circulations is intolerantly socialistic...The Chosun Ilbo
and Dong-A Ilbo have a lot of readers, so are you going to make a law to tell people not to read them?"He
said, "One cannot tolerate double standards where two newspapers critical of the government are regulated while government-friendly TV or newspapers are treated well."
Who is Father Paul Eui-chae Chung? After being ordained a priest in 1953, Father Chung obtained his doctorate in medieval theology from the University of Urbino in Italy.He
has served as Sogang University
president and rector of Myeongdong Cathedral