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
Christians oppose internet guidelines
Regulations over what can be posted online 'could be used to persecute religious and ethnic minorities'
- Rita Joseph, New Delhi
- May 16, 2011
Under the new rules websites must tell users not to publish any posts that are blasphemous, incite hatred, are ethnically objectionable, infringe patents, threaten India's unity or public order.
The government will be able to block any website or remove any āobjectionableā content within 36 hours without explanation, said Nikhil Pahwa, editor of MediaNama, an electronic media website.
Department of Information Technology officials say that, with internet usage growing, there needs to be monitoring and regulation.
But both the Church and the internet industry are opposed to the new regime, albeit for different reasons. The industry says it will add to its financial burden while the Church is concerned the guidelines might be misused.
Father Jude Botelho, director of the National Institute of Social Communications Research and Training says the guidelines areĀ too generic and open to interpretation.
It could be a tool to ātargetā minorities or anyone who does not toe the government line, he said.
āThe medicine should not worsen the sickness,ā said Father George Plathottam, the Catholic bishopsā social communications secretary.
Hindu fundamentalists can easily claim Christian literature is meant for conversion and have it removed, the priest said.
Father Botelho agrees the guidelinesĀ can easily be manipulated to suit vested interests.
āWe have examples of this in some countries where minorities are harassed and threatened with imprisonment for so-called blasphemy.ā
The new rules definitely have potential for abuse, said Pushkar Raj, general secretary of the Peopleās Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
He cites a recent biography by American author, Joseph Lelyveld, on Mahatma Gandhi which was banned in Gujarat because of passages describing the Father of the Nationās relationship with another man.
Sure some Gandhians might be upset, but does it call for a ban on the book. Where is freedom of expression? Raj asked.
āThe PUCL is exploring the possibility of challenging the constitutionality of the new rules.ā
Ban on book āgags freedom of speechā