[EDITORIALS]Unfair attack on Cardinal KimStephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan has undergone public embarrassment lately. It is over a remark that he made when he was visited by Chairman Chung Dong-young of Our Open Party on Thursday. In the meeting, the cardinal expressed his concern that the country was shifting toward anti-American views and becoming pro-North Korean.
The cardinal asked Mr. Chung if the administration’s plan to relocate the administrative capital was a truly feasible plan or if it was intended to garner votes. The Internet press, OhmyNews, took issue with what the cardinal said, assailing him for being a “serious obstacle” to the future of the Korean people.
Of course, the cardinal should not be exempt from criticism by the press. Even a pope can be subject to criticism in the case of wrongdoing. There can be differing opinions from those held by the cardinal, but the content and the way they are delivered must be proper. OhmyNews, in the column, said that “Stephen Cardinal Kim’s remark not only glosses over reality but has grown into a serious obstacle for Koreans.” It then went on to say that the cardinal’s role in Korea’s democracy movement was “overrated,” a fact that many knew but did not speak about. It is hard to understand how the cardinal poses a hurdle to the future of Koreans or why his track record of speaking out during the harsh authoritarian days should be dispelled. Everyone is free to criticize, but to castigate someone and drive him into a corner for a difference in viewpoints is tyrannical.
A well-revered elder is not created in a day. Because of Korea’s volatile political history, it is hard to find more than a handful. Thus, we want to ask why the Internet press would want to diminish and castigate the cardinal.
Is it because those implementing society’s move toward anti-Americanism and pro-North Korean views feel threatened? Or is it out of the adventurism of left-leaning thinkers that society’s last authority should be dismantled thoroughly?
A person should not be personally attacked or branded as behind the times because of his different political views and orientation. Then, what difference is there from the violence of the Red Guards? When we can listen to the opinion of others, our society will become healthy.