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Pope Francis: "Cannot be neutral" on Sewol-ho ferry victims Updated: 2014-08-19 22:07:40 KST

  Pope Francis: "Cannot be neutral" on Sewol-ho ferry victims
As promised, on his flight back to Rome from Korea, Pope Francis held one last press conference.
Wearing the yellow ribbon, a symbol of the Sewol-ho ferry sinking, the pope was asked if he was concerned that his meeting with the relatives of the victims would be misinterpreted politically.
To that, Pope Francis was clear, that in times like this, it's not about being "neutral."

"After half a day [of wearing it], someone came close to me and said, 'It is better to remove it, you should be neutral.' But listen, one cannot be neutral about human pain. I responded in that way. That’s how I felt."

He was also not neutral on the Korean victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery.
He said the women, whom he met at a Mass on his final day in Korea on Monday, retain their dignity to this day, even though they were exploited so cruelly.

On the two Koreas, the Pope is praying, and says he hopes the two countries will be reunited stating that a divided country causes suffering.

"There are many relatives that cannot come together-- that's suffering, but a suffering of a country divided."

The pope also spoke on other issues, outside Korea-- even commenting on the conflict in Iraq, saying the "unjust aggressor" against the minorities there, including Christians, "must be stopped."
He made clear though that he doesn't mean "to make war."

And with China the pope stated he's willing to go there, even tomorrow but only on one condition.

"We respect the Chinese people. The [Vatican] church only asks for liberty for its task, for its work [there]. There's no other condition."

While a trip to China is 'to be determined' the pope's next trip.. to Albania.. is set for next month.
Connie Lee, Arirang News.
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