Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Anti-death penalty advocates get boost
Architect behind end to executions in Philippines urges end to practice in Thailand
- ucanews.com reporter, Bangkok
- March 12, 2012
Pimentel was a key figure in a three-year campaign which saw the death penalty abolished in the Philippines in 206.
â€śWe find the death penalty an outmoded method of exacting justiceâ€¦. It is an ineffective method of deterring criminals â€¦ and itâ€™s cruel,â€ť Pimentel said at a discussion at the Foreign Correspondentsâ€™ Club of Thailand during his March 7-9 visit to Bangkok.
He was speaking several days before Thailand tells the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week why it still implements capital punishment.
â€śIt is biased against the poor, the unlettered, the unconnected,â€ť he said, pointing out that majority of death row convicts are poor and have had minimal education,â€ť he told Thai senators,Â government officers and reporters.
Pimentel was in Thailand at the invitation of Amnesty International Thailand to share his experience in campaigning against the death penalty in Philippines with Thai senators, government officials and civil society groups.
â€śPimentelâ€™s views were very useful particularly with regard to our senatorsâ€ť, said Parinya Boonridrerthaikul, director of Amnesty International Thailand.
â€śThey are more open these days to discuss this issue.â€ť
Most countries which have abolished the death penalty started with having the political will to changing the law, she said.
â€śWe hope Pimentel will inspire our senators and government to move forward and end the death penalty in our country,â€ť she added.
As of late last year, 140 out of 192 UN member states have either abolished the death penalty or introduced a moratorium on executions, according to the secretary-generalâ€™s office. In the Asia Pacific, 17 countries have abolished the death penalty, while 14 countries, including Thailand, retainÂ it.