Cheju diocese has demanded an official apology after about 20 riot police disrupted a Mass yesterday on Jeju island. The police were clearing a path for a cement truck to enter the construction site of a controversial new naval base.
Father Bartholomew Mun Jung-hyun, who was presiding over the Mass at the gates of the site, was knocked to the ground while administering communion. It is claimed that a policeman also trod on the Eucharist.
Father John Ko Buyeong-soo, president of Cheju diocese’s Committee for Justice and Peace, visited the site shortly after the disturbance.
He told ucanews.com that he would demand an explanation and an apology from police.
“To step on or damage the Eucharist is an insult to Catholics,” he said.
The Jeju Provincial Police Agency yesterday issued a press statement in which it denied any wrongdoing.
“There was no violent force throwing Fr Mun to the ground or stepping on the Eucharist,” the statement said.
Woo Jeong-sik, chief inspector of Jeju police, later said it remained unclear whether Fr Mun was knocked down and added: “the policeman who allegedly stepped on the Eucharist said he did not do so.”