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 makes landmark abortion ruling
Ruling allows prosecution of medical staff and mothers
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- August 24, 2012
The midwife was appealing against a clause in the Criminal Act, which stipulates that doctors, midwives, or pharmacists performing abortions upon request will be punished by imprisonment or fine. The clause also states that a woman who affects her own miscarriage may be prosecuted.
In making the ruling, the Court said that â€śthe right to life is the most fundamental of human rights,â€ť and that a womenâ€™s right of self-determination â€śis never more important than a fetusâ€™ right to life.â€ť
It added that if the reasons for allowing an abortion were extended to include social or economic factors, it â€śwould only make abortion more rampant and a trend to take life lightly more prevalent in society.â€ť
Currently, abortion is permissible in cases of pregnancy by rape or incest, certain kinds of genetic, mental or physical conditions of the parents, or if the motherâ€™s health is in danger.
Critics have said in the past that the government is lax in applying these criteria and allows abortion in a laissez faire manner.
Church people welcomed the ruling while womenâ€™s groups have denounced it.
Father Casimir Song Yul-sup, secretary of the Pro-Life Activities of the Korean bishopsâ€™ conference, told ucanews.com today: â€śAs human dignity is based on life, the ruling is natural.â€ť
But Father Song regretted the Courtâ€™s comment that life begins from implantation, as he fears it could be employed â€śto justify the use of human embryos and in vitro fertilization.â€ť
He cited the Churchâ€™s teaching that human life begins from the moment of fertilization, and claimed that many biologists support that view.
However Jung Seul-ah, a worker at Korean Womenlink, told ucanews.com the ruling deprived women of "the right to self-determination and to pursue their happiness.â€ť
She said the ruling â€śwould not help reduce abortions, nor prevent the spread of the trend to take life lightly.â€ť
According to government statistics, 342,000 abortions were performed in 2005, a figure which dropped to 169,000 in 2010.
Thousands protest against abortion
Bishop calls for health act revision