President Park should resign, says Korea’s Bishop Kang

Bishop Peter Kang lives on the Korean island of Cheju, renowned as a sort of “home of the shamans” — predominantly female shamans, called mudang.

Nov 17, 2016

By Paolo Affatato
Bishop Peter Kang lives on the Korean island of Cheju, renowned as a sort of “home of the shamans” — predominantly female shamans, called mudang. They heal illnesses, perform exorcisms against evil spirits and communicate with the dead. In the third millennium, although they are considered a superstitious practice by most, shamanic rites are still widely practiced across the Korean peninsula as a religious undercurrent on an individual and family level, especially in villages.

Today, the South Korean people — who pride themselves in being the world’s leaders in terms of wealth, development and technology — have just discovered, to their horror, that the nation’s policies and decisions that are crucial in determining the nation’s future have, in fact, been influenced by shamanic rites. The country’s president, Park Geun-hye, who was elected in 2012, was at the centre of a scandal and a mass protest over her controversial relationship with Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a Shamanic cult leader.

It emerged that the president is controlled and manipulated by the shaman, known as the “Korean Rasputin.” Choi Soon-sil used this influence to control state affairs (gaining access to classified documents). She planned to line her pockets by diverting contributions from industrial colossuses (including Samsung) to foundations under her control. The woman is currently under arrest for fraud and abuse of power, while her “goddaughter” Park is not much better off.

After three weeks of nationwide demonstrations, the scandal, which is now in the hands of the judiciary, shows no signs of abating. Quite the opposite: the public, the mass media and the political opposition are calling for Park’s immediate resignation. On November 12, 800,000 South Koreans of all backgrounds, ages and social classes, staged a peaceful march through the streets of the capital Seoul. Meanwhile, despite President Park’s public apology, her position seems increasingly weak and unstable.

Not even the clumsy attempt at a cabinet reshuffle — replacing the prime minister, finance and interior ministers, with liberal figures — attained the desired effect. Saenuri, the conservative party Park belongs to, is divided and the political crisis in Seoul is sweeping through the presidency, the government and the governing party.

“The country is shaken and the people are furious. They feel deceived and taken for a ride. President Park Geun-hye let herself be treated like a puppet. This is why people are calling for her resignation,” Bishop Kang tells Vatican Insider, speaking of Cheju. -- La Stampa

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