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
Clerics in debate over taxation
Religious have mixed views over whether they should have to pay taxes
- ucanews.com staff, Seoul
- March 23, 2012
However, if they do so it should be on a voluntary basis and not imposed on them, said Reverend Kim Chang-hyun, who is the executive- secretary of the council which represents South Koreaâ€™s Protestant denominations.
He was speaking yesterday in response to comments from the minister of strategy and finance who said in a TV interview early this week that the government hopes to amend laws and collect tax from religious people.
Currently members of the clergy and Religious are exempt from paying income tax in South Korea but Catholic priests have paid it voluntarily since 1994 when the bishops' conference decided they should do so.
â€œWe as clergy should set an example byÂ paying tax voluntarily," Rev Kim said.
But he warned of a possible backlash if the government becomes heavy-handed in forcing payments.
The subject of paying tax is a sensitive one in religious circles, with some supporting it and others still opposed.
The Korean Association of Church Communication, another Protestant group, issued a statement yesterday saying "now is the time to discuss the matter rationally."
It said some people are against taxing religious people, seeing it as subjugation to the state.
Some members of the clergy say they would feel insulted being looked upon as an ordinary "worker," the association added.
Many though finally recognize that paying tax is a citizen's duty and something that helps the nation.
An official of the Buddhist Jogye Order said his order doesn't have an official position on the issue yet. But he said most monks have a positive outlook and are discussing it.
PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WILL PAY INCOME TAX, KOREAN BISHOPS DECIDE