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Executive chief of Korea's largest Buddhist sect shows intent to resign

All Headlines 14:12 August 21, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- The executive head of South Korea's largest Buddhist order Tuesday showed his intention to resign over a series of corruption allegations.

"I came forward to this religious sect to bring changes to the wrong Korean Buddhism but will have to return to the mountain, failing to fulfill my will," Ven. Seoljeong said during a press conference in central Seoul.

After the conference, the 76-year-old monk plans to head to Sudeok Temple in Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, where he will spend the rest of his life.

Seoljeong has been facing a string of allegations that he forged his academic credentials, illegally owned vast real estate holdings and secretly fathered a daughter against the sect's celibacy rule.

He, however, has dismissed the allegations as "groundless" and refused to step down despite growing calls for resignation from rank-and-file order members and civic groups.

He took office in November last year as the CEO of the Jogye Order for a four-year term.

Tuesday's announcement came about a week after the Central Council of Jogye Order voted in favor of a proposed bill to oust him.

Executive chief of Korea's largest Buddhist sect shows intent to resign - 1

sshim@yna.co.kr
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