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
Armed intervention in Syria would be futile, says pope
Pope Francis writes 'heartfelt' letter to Putin and world leaders
Picture: L'Osservatore Romano
- Alessandro Speciale for Religion News Service
- Vatican City
- September 6, 2013
Pope Francis on Thursday (Sept. 5) told world leaders gathered in Russia for the G-20 summit that a military intervention in Syria would be “futile,” urging them to focus instead on dialogue and reconciliation to bring peace to the war-torn country.
The Argentine pontiff’s first major foray onto the global stage comes as the U.S. Congress prepares to vote on a military strike against Syria in response to a reported chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21.
For Francis, just six months on the job, the Syria question will test his ability to summon the power of his global bully pulpit and could play a major role in shaping the global image of a man who’s drawn more attention for his down-to-earth pastoral appeal.
Western nations blame the chemical attack on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect with links to Shiite Islam who is trying to suppress a two-year-long Sunni-led rebellion that has claimed more than 100,000 lives.
Francis took the unusual step of penning a letter to world leaders ahead of a global day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria that Catholics will observe on Saturday (Sept. 7).
Francis will preside a marathon five-hour vigil in St. Peter’s Square, and the Vatican has invited believers of all faiths and even nonbelievers to join in in whichever way they see fit.
To reinforce the pope’s peace effort, on Thursday the Vatican also briefed ambassadors from some 70 countries on its position on the Syrian conflict.
The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, explained that the church’s major concern is “stopping violence” and that any future peace plan must ensure that the rights of minorities, including Christians, are protected.
In his letter to world leaders gathered in St. Petersburg, Francis wrote that so far “one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution” to the Syrian conflict.
“To the (G-20) leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution,” he wrote.
Source: Religion News Service