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
Birth control rift 'could hurt country'
Political analyst says everyone will lose in any war between Church and stateCatholics carry banners against the government's proposed birth control program (photo by Noli Yamsuan)
- Abe Cerojano, Manila
- July 21, 2011
"Nobody will win," Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said yesterday.
Church influence is considerable, Casiple said, pointing to its role in bringing down former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the late 1980s, when the Church withdrew its support for the regime.
While the government can take away tax-exemption privileges from the Church, the Church can retaliate from the pulpit, he added.
But heÂ said it is difficult to determine whether the Church could succeed if it opts for all out opposition against President Benigno Aquino right now.
He said Aquino still has the backing of the people.
Aquino has indicated he will press for the enactment of the Reproductive Health Bill, which is being opposed by the Catholic Church.
In May, the bishops demonstrated their disapproval of the bill and their disenchantment with the government by walking out of talks initiated by the presidential palace.
Church, government relations are so strained that some bishops have even called Aquino "a bad Catholic" and government officials supporting the bill "terrorists."
"The Church and the government must make their positions clear. I believe that if they conduct fresh dialogue they can establish a modus vivendi," Casiple said.
Casiple said a true test of the Churchâ€™s power could come tomorrow when the bishops' conference will lead a protest rally to demand the distribution of land on a disputed estate owned by Aquinoâ€™s family.