Pope says could not stay neutral on Sewol victims
August 23, 2014
Edited by Ms. Eun-Ji Shin
Pope Francis said on Monday he was unable to maintain neutrality before the victims of a South Korean ferry tragedy because their suffering was “human.”
“Someone came up to me to suggest that I take off the yellow ribbon (I received from the bereaved families) to maintain neutrality,” he told reporters aboard his flight back to the Vatican, when asked about the risk of his concern for the victims being used to further political agendas in South Korea. “But I told the person that I couldn’t in front of human suffering.”
The pontiff had just wrapped up his visit to South Korea, during which he sought multiple chances to speak to the victims and baptized one of them with his own papal name, Francis.
He was still wearing the yellow ribbon, which has become the symbol of the April tragedy, on his chest during the news conference.
The ferry Sewol capsized off South Korea’s southwest coast on April 16, killing more than 300 people, mostly high school students. Survivors and families of the deceased have been demanding an independent probe into the disaster and that the government give a related committee special authority to indict those responsible.
“I believe the fathers, mothers and siblings of the (Sewol) victims are going through immeasurable pain,” the pope said. “My words of comfort cannot give new life to the dead but can allow us to unite through consolation.”
On a separate note, the pontiff said he was impressed by Korean women who had been forced into sexual slavery during World War II.
“When I met them (on Monday), I realized they hadn’t lost their human integrity,” he said. Francis had invited seven of the “comfort women” to his final Mass in Seoul. “They were exploited and enslaved, but I wonder what would have allowed them keep their integrity after such pain.”
Historians say an estimated 200,000 young women, mostly from Korea and China, were coerced into sexual servitude by the Japanese imperial army during the war.
● pontiff [|pɑ:ntɪf] : [NOUN] the Pope
● consolation [kɒnsəleɪʃən] : [NOUN] something that makes you feel better when you are sad or disappointed
● servitude [sɜ:rvɪtu:d] : [NOUN] the condition of being a slave or being forced to obey someone else [=slavery]
1. What is the main idea of the article?
2. How do you think the pontiff wore the yellow ribbon during his visit in Korea?
3. Do you think he should keep neutrality all the time? Furthermore, do you think his these action ruined neutrality?
|206||[14-09-13] No end in sight for Sewol bill dispute|
|»||[14-08-30] Pope says could not stay neutral on Sewol victims|
|204||[14-08-23] Nigerian students denied visit to Korea|
|203||[14-08-09]Officials Focus on E-Cigarette Ads Aimed at Youths|
|202||[14-07-26] Second Lotte World to face review over environmental issues|
|201||[14-07-19] Park, Xi raise concerns over Abe’s defense policy shift|
|200||[14-07-12] Joy and sadness about raising tobacco tax|
|199||[14-06-28] Controversy rises over teachers’ right to political freedom|
|198||[14-06-21] Children's mental risks rise with father's age, study says|
|197||[14-06-07] Daum, Kakao announce merger|
|196||[14-05-31] U.N. Panel Finds Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea|
|195||[14-05-17] Ferry disaster leaves three dead, 292 missing|
|194||[14-05-10] Doctors call off second strike plan|
|193||[14-05-03] 황금연휴로 인하여 레귤러를 하지 않았습니다.|
|192||[14-04-26] 일렉션 관계로 한 주 쉬었습니다.|
|191||[14-04-19] 중간고사로 인하여 레귤러를 쉬었습니다.|
|190||[14-04-12] More Korean universities offer English-only lectures|
|189||[14-04-05] 웰커밍데이로 인하여 레귤러를 쉬었습니다.|
|188||[14-03-29] Gravitational waves: have US scientists heard echoes of the big bang?|
|187||[14-03-22] For some college students, ‘F’ is better than ‘B’|