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 sentences four Catholic students
Three receive more than three-year prison terms, while fourth gets suspended sentence for alleged anti-government activities
- ucanews.com reporter, Bangkok
- May 25, 2012
The Peopleâ€™s Court of Nghe An Province in Vinh city sentenced Anthony Dau Van Duong, Peter Tran Huu Duc and Anthony Chu Manh Son, all 23, to 42, 39, and 36 months in prison, respectively, followed by 1-1.5 years of house arrest.
The fourth defendant, John Baptist Hoang Phong, 24, who had no lawyer at the court, was given a suspended sentence of 24 months.
Some 1,000 local people including Catholics and two priests gathered outside the court with banners reading â€śOur children are innocentâ€ť and â€śProtest illegal arrests,â€ť while policemen and security officials stood by.
The defendants were accused of passing out 5,000 leaflets in May 2011 that demanded a multiparty system, criticized Communist Party policies and rejected the results of last year's national assembly election.
â€śYouâ€™re innocent. Be brave! All people stand by you,â€ť Chu Van Nghiem, Sonâ€™s father, said in court before he was removed by security officials, local Church sources reported.
Church sources also said the defendantsâ€™ relatives and lawyers plan to lodge an appeal to a higher court immediately.
Since 2011, as many as 27 bloggers, dissidents, and activists in the country have been detained and accused of anti-government propaganda.
Catholic students to stand trial