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Largest Buddhist order to undergo drastic reform measures
SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The Jogye Order, South Korea's largest Buddhist sect, announced a set of drastic reform measures Thursday for operating the order and temples under its wing.

   The focus of the reform plan is to entrust the financial management of the order and temples to professional managers and establish clean systems of managing revenues and expenditures of temples.


Announcing the plan, Ven. Jaseung, head of the Jogye Order, said the decades-old side effects, disputes and conflicts in the operation of the order and temples have been due chiefly to an unprofessional management system and that the recent series of scandals were closely related to it.

   The order has established a key principle of letting the monks exclusively engage in self-discipline practices and missionary work while letting ordinary faithfuls to serve for society via caring for the temples and monks.

   Under this guiding principle, the financial management will be entrusted to professional managers. The order also will legislate a law on accounting and budgeting for temples and let the lay believers participate in the management of temple budgets. Also temples will be obliged to issue receipts for any revenues and accept credit cards.

   The Buddhist order's move followed a recent series of scandals involving unbecoming and illegal conduct among monks, including all-night gambling and drinking parties.