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
Aquino rules out return of death penalty
Philippine president, bishops say capital punishment no solution to crime surgePresident Benigno Aquino III speaks with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma (Photo courtesy of MalacaĂ±ang)
- Julian Labores and ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- January 20, 2011
âI used to support the death penalty. But Iâve seen for myself that the implementation of justice is not perfect, so I have changed my position,â the president said.
Aquino said capital punishment can only be applied if a judicial system is perfect and flawless.
Capital punishment was abolished in the Philippines in 2006.
Kalookan Bishop Deogracias IĂ±iguez Jr. also spoke out against the reintroduction of capital punishment.
Authorities should focus on effective law enforcement to address rising crime instead of considering the re-imposition of capital punishment, he said.
âDeath is not the answer,â the bishop who heads the public affairs department of the Catholic bishopsâ conference emphasized.
Calls for the return of the death penalty have increased following the recent murders of two car dealers.
The Catholic Church in the Philippines is strongly opposed to the death penalty, saying criminals should have the chance to reform and repent.
âThe penal system should aim not just to punish but to correct. The guilty should have the chance to reform and repent. Executing them wonât give them that chance,â Bishop IĂ±iguez said.
The bishopsâ Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, meanwhile, said âonly poor people would be penalizedâ by death if the countryâs present justice system stays as it is.
âItâs time authorities look at the problem of enforcing the law instead of looking at the death penalty ... Those pushing for this want a quick-fix solution [to the problem],â said Rodolfo Diamante, executive director of the commission.
Death row inmate âneeds a second chanceâ
Top priest slams death penalty proposal