Jogye Order to normalize relations with government
The Most Venerable Ja Seung, the head of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, announced Tuesday that it will normalize relations with the government, which soured over budget cutbacks to the temple stay programs.
“We will normalize the relation with the government and seek a solution for traditional culture through communication and dialogue. We will return to the basic principles of harmony to find a solution from a broader perspective,” he said.
The statement came six months after the government cut the budget for the temple stay programs in December. Angered by the move, the order refused talks with the ruling Grand National Party and the government by restricting their access to the temples.
Ven. Ja Seung explained that its early action was intended to raise the awareness for the government and the order for the preservation of the traditional culture.
He also said the order will accept other governmental support and carry out the campaigns to preserve the traditional culture while pushing ahead with the revisions of the laws related to the traditional temples and cultural heritage.
He emphasized the importance of the self-reflection and reform campaign the order has pursued from early this year.
“We will follow a lesson that the world will change by changing ourselves first. The order will launch the task force for the campaign soon,” he said.