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
Confusion surrounds the Vatican's questionnaire
Was it unprecedented? Was it even a questionnaire?
- Joshua J. McElwee for National Catholic Reporter
- November 7, 2013
Nearly a week after news that the Vatican has asked for the world's bishops to distribute among Catholics a questionnaire on issues like contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce "immediately" and "as widely as possible," there is no consensus on what that direction means.
Moreover, comparing notes from recent Vatican statements, it is hard to decipher whether the call for consultation is unprecedented or something that's happened for decades.
The Vatican's chief spokesman said in an interview over the weekend that the Vatican's request for the world's bishops to survey Catholics on how certain topics affect their lives was part of a habitual "praxis."
Yet the official who sent the questionnaire said Tuesday it is part of a wide-ranging project to reform how the Vatican reaches out to bishops and faithful around the world.
The questionnaire was sent Oct. 18 by the Vatican's Synod of Bishops, which is preparing a global meeting of prelates for next October. Called by Pope Francis last month, the Oct. 5-19, 2014, meeting is to focus on the theme "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization."
Francis and his Council of Cardinals, a group of eight cardinals who are advising Francis on reforms of the Vatican's central bureaucracy, discussed the synod on the family at their Oct. 1-3 meeting. Sources at the Vatican told NCR following that meeting that the synod on the family would not be business as usual.
The upcoming synod, those sources said, would provide for substantial consultation at the local level, involving dioceses and parishes. NCR was told in early October that Vatican officials had discussed using the Internet to allow rank-and-file Catholics to offer ideas and reactions along the way.
It would seem that the bishops of England and Wales had this idea; they put the Vatican's Oct. 18 questionnaire online.
But when Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri was asked at the Vatican press briefing Tuesday if that action was something other bishops' conferences should emulate, he said the "question answers itself" and was "not worth considering."
Source: National Catholic Reporter