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
Authorities tell Catholics to toe the line
Civil disobedience over birth control bill will attract legal sanctionsPresident Benigno Aquino III presides over a meeting with senators this week. (Photo courtesy of Malacanang Photo Bureau)
- ucanews.com reporters and staff, Manila
- May 12, 2011
Authorities also urged groups opposed to the controversial bill to dissociate themselves from civil disobedience.
"If they don't want to pay their taxes, they better talk to [Internal Revenue] Commissioner [Kim] Henares," said Abigail Valte, spokesman of President Benigno Aquino.
Bishop Deogracias IĂ±iguez Jr. of Kalookan said that while the Church is not advocating civil disobedience â€śfor now,â€ť Catholics are obliged not to follow any law that violates their faith.
â€śEventually if the measure becomes law, Catholics will not obey it. If the state orders something contrary to your faith, you are obliged not to follow it,â€ť said Bishop IĂ±iguez, head the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippinesâ€™ (CBCP) public affairs commission.
Another Catholic Church official, meanwhile, called for an â€śall-out warâ€ť against the measure after the CBCP pulled out from talks with government officials on Tuesday.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa said the talks were "doomed to fail" because Aquino has long been a supporter of the bill.
â€śItâ€™s normal that we are going to have a total war now against the RH bill... I said it before that the dialogue is useless... I know the president was not really open for a dialogue because of his fixed decision to push the RH bill,â€ť said Archbishop Arguelles.
He also warned that a move to amend the Constitution in Congress could lead to the abolition of its "pro-life provisions."
Rep. Loreto Ocampos of Misamis Occidental earlier said the House of Representatives is reviving the public debate on Charter change.
â€śWe will sell Charter change. We will go around the country and listen to the people first, then we'll give the positive points of Charter change,â€ť Ocampos said.
Meanwhile, two Catholic bishops asked the Senate to investigate the alleged misuse of government funds for family planning by the previous administration.
Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran and Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon urged senators to call for an inquiry into the exposĂ© of Sen. Vicente Sotto about corruption in the family planning program of the Department of Health (DOH).
Bishop Bastes praised Sotto, who admitted yesterday that his exposĂ© on the alleged corruption of family planning funds was a â€śveiledâ€ť attack on the RH bill, which he opposes.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona has denied Sottoâ€™s allegations that there were anomalies in the release of the funds for the family health programs of local government units.