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
Court issues warrant for Orissa priest
Social worker ignored summons in protest at 'failure of justice' from fast-track courtsFather Ajay Kumar Singh in a church in the Kandhamal area of Orissa, destroyed in the 2008 violence Photograph Â©Michael Coyne
- ucanews.com reporter, Bhubaneswar
- February 25, 2011
The warrant was issued on February 22 after Father Ajay Kumar Singh ignored two earlier summonses. The priest, whoseÂ office was destroyed during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in the state,Â has now been given until March 4 to appear.
Father Singh said today that he had refused to appear before the court because he questioned its ability to deliver justice. He said he had named 117 people as accused but the court split the case into two, proceeding to hear the case of those accused who came for a hearing. The court acquitted them in November 2010 despite several witnesses testifying against them. Father Singh said he stayed away after the same judge began hearing the second part of the action.
â€śI am aggrieved for not getting justice,â€ť said Father Singh, who then approached a higher court seeking a transfer of the case. â€śThe District Sessions Judge sat on the case for nearly three months,â€ť he said.
The fast-track courts set up to speed up cases related to anti-Christian violence has become too fast for the comfort of the victims, Father Singh says. â€śIt is bent on completing the trial, but in the process I am afraid the victims are not getting justice,â€ť Father Singh said.
The courts dispose off cases without proper investigation, he says. â€śThe prosecution bias and state complicity have rendered the victims hapless. It is gross injustice,â€ť he said.
â€śIf such things are to happen to us, priests, what is the fate of poor and ignorant villagers?â€ť he asked. â€śIt is quite scary.â€ť
Father Singh wants a special investigation team from the federal government to monitor the cases. â€śOtherwise, the seeker of justice has to be on the run,â€ť he added.
Father Singh directs the Jan Vikas (peopleâ€™s advancement), the social service center of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese, near Balliguda in Kandhamal district. A Catholic nun was raped at the center during the violence.
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