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Catholics call for unity after court upholds removal of Park Geun-hye


  • Fireworks explode in Seoul as South Koreans gather to celebrate March 11 after a court upheld the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Catholics in South Korea called for unity following the March 10 ruling. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis walks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye as he arrives for a 2014 visit in Seoul. Catholics in South Korea called for unity following a unanimous ruling March 10 by the Constitutional Court to uphold the impeachment of Park. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • South Koreans gather to celebrate March 11 after a court upheld the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Catholics in South Korea called for unity following the March 10 ruling. (CNS photo/Jeon Heon-Kyun, EPA)
  • South Korean President Park Geun-Hye salutes during Armed Forces Day in 2015 in Gyeryong. A South Korean court removed the president March 10, a first in the nation's history, rattling the delicate balance of relationships across Asia at a particularly tense time. (CNS photo/pool via Reuters)
  • Supporters of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye react in front of the Constitutional Court in Seoul March 10 after hearing that the president's impeachment was upheld. A South Korean court removed the president that day, a first in the nation's history, rattling the delicate balance of relationships across Asia at a particularly tense time. (CNS photo/Lim Se-young via Reuters)

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Catholics in South Korea called for unity following a unanimous ruling March 10 by the Constitutional Court to uphold the impeachment of now-former President Park Geun-hye.

On the day of the Constitutional Court ruling the bishops' conference head called for "rebuilding the country through harmony," and Seoul's Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung put out a message saying Koreans should accept the decision regardless of what side they were on.

Maryknoll Sister Jean Maloney, 86, has lived mostly in South Korea since 1953, when the Korean War ended. She told Catholic News Service: "What's important is ... the unity among (South Koreans) and accepting the court decision. ... But that's not so easy I think, for older people who are afraid of communism, and they revered (the president's) father, who was really a dictator, so there is really a conflict between you might say pro-Park and anti-Park."

Sister Maloney, a U.S. citizen, experienced the country's rebuilding following the war and lived through the rapid industrialization that took shape under Park's father, Park Chung-hee. She told CNS she did not actively protest but supported her Korean friends.

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