Friday, July 30, 2010

The Memoirs of Thomas More Kim Dae-jung


This report on today's publication, marking the anniversary of his death, of the autobiography of the Catholic convert, dissident, human rights leader, president, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, begins with a shocker — Kim Dae-jung: My Mother Was a Concubine. He wrote:
    My mother lived as a concubine her whole life. Throughout my political career, I kept silent about the secrets of my birth in honor of my mother. I have come to think, however, that concealing the facts is not the proper way to honor my mother. My mother went through the worst of conditions to raise me, and I loved her more than anything.
No less a shocker is this revelation about "former ruling Grand National Party leader Park Geun-hye [and fellow Catholic convert — this was a time when the heads of all four of South Korea's main parties, bitter ideological rivals, professed the same Catholic Faith], who is the daughter of Kim’s political opponent [and military dictator], the late President Park Chung-hee," about which we learn:
    In the book, he said Park Geun-hye came to him in August 2004 and said, “I apologize for the damage and suffering you had to endure under my father’s rule,” and expressed surprise over her comment. He said he was happy because it seemed like her father had come back to life to ask for reconciliation, adding, “Though his daughter apologized, I felt as if I was being rescued.”
Here is a collection of my posts from a year ago marking his passing — Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, Requiem æternam..., The Catholic Faith and Witness of Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, President Kim Dae-Jung's Legacy, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk on Thomas More Kim Dae-Jung, Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, a Man of Faith.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.