PopeWatch: North Korea

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCEWe will not buy an armistice by turning over human beings for slaughter or slavery.

Harry S Truman, 1952, in explaining his refusal to force the return of North Korean and Chinese POWs who wished to stay in the West.

An uncle of PopeWatch fought in the Korean War.  A Protestant, he was given a rosary by a Catholic family out in California just before he shipped out for Korea, the father of the family, a World War I vet, saying he carried it with him in France.  He carried it through bloody hill battles in Korea and it was with him every day after he got back to the States.  He used to tell PopeWatch that  the  best thing he had ever done in his life, outside of his family, was to fight to make certain that South Korea did not fall under Communism.

North Korea has apparently declined an invitation to send Catholic believers to a mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Seoul later this month, a South Korean Church official said.

In a letter, the North’s state-run Korean Catholics Association (KCA) cited Seoul’s refusal to cancel an upcoming joint military drill with US forces as the main reason for its decision.

Pope Francis is to conduct a special Korean reconciliation mass in Seoul on the last day of his visit to South Korea between 14-18 August, and church officials in the South had sent several requests to Pyongyang to send a group of Catholics to attend.

But the day of the mass coincides with the launch of the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military drill, which the North has condemned as a rehearsal for nuclear war.

Go here to read the rest.  Uncle Ralph, how right you were.  A thousand Hail Marys for the

33, 686 Americans who, unlike Uncle Ralph, never came home from the Korean War.

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  1. Pardon me if I’m repeating myself. I don’t know if I’ve posted this here before.

    When I grew up, M*A*S*H was on the air. To the extent that I understood any of its geopolitics, I knew that it was about Korea, but it was really about Vietnam. The US was hapless, the Korean soldiers on either side were just as likely to be decent or cruel, heroes or cowards. The villagers were caught in the middle. They were victims, not of either side or any side, but of War. The opposite of War was peace, humanity, freedom, life.

    Take a moment and stop thinking about M*A*S*H as a Vietnam analogy. Think about Korea. Think about whether it was really so trivial if you ended up on the north or south side of a line. Think about the show’s whole “war doesn’t solve anything” attitude. Half of those villagers live in a country with the 10th highest average wages in the world. Half live in a country where an estimated 1/4 of the population can’t serve in the military because of malnutrition-related developmental problems.

    If you listen to a progressive for a while, he’ll inevitably mention Ozzy and Harriet or Leave It to Beaver, and how Republicans want to send the world back to the 1950’s, but the 1950’s wasn’t really like that. It’s a pivotal moment when you realize that TV is lying to you. The boomers grew up with an idealized world on the screen. I grew up with Maude extolling the benefits of abortion.

  2. Take a moment and stop thinking about M*A*S*H as a Vietnam analogy. Think about Korea.

    When exhibitionistic peace-and-justice types start enlarging on ‘just war’, see if you can get a straight answer out of them about whether or not the Korean War counts as ‘just’.

  3. Exodus 8:27 “We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us.”

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