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
Dictator's daughter sorry for rights abuses
Presidential candidate admits father's regime was oppressive
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- September 24, 2012
Park, 60, who is the ruling partyâ€™s candidate, could become South Koreaâ€™s first female leader if she wins the election in December. She currently leads the other candidates in opinion polls.
However since winning the party nomination last month, Park has been forced on the defensive over her interpretation of human rights abuses committed during her fatherâ€™s regime of almost 20 years before his assassination in 1979 by his spy chief.
Earlier this month Park sparked controversy by defending her father, saying that the 1961 coup in which he seized power and subsequent events that followed during his rule were inevitable at the time and should be judged "by history."
Her father is credited with helping developing industrialization and the countryâ€™s economy, but is also remembered for crushing dissent and suppressing moves toward democracy.
At a news conference today Park admitted that her fatherâ€™s focus on national security and economic issues had resulted in human rights violations.
Workers suffered â€œunder a repressive labor environment," she acknowledged.
"Behind the efforts for national security to protect [ourselves] from North Korea were human rights abuses committed by stateÂ power," she said.
She also admitted to being wrong over one controversial incident where activists from a left-wing political party were executed.
In 1974, eight members of the Inhyeokdang (Peopleâ€™s Revolutionary Party) were charged with inciting civil war and violating anti-communism laws. The Supreme Court sentenced them to death on April 8, 1975 and all were hanged the next day.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled in 2007 that the eight were innocent and were victims of charges fabricated by Park Chung-heeâ€™s regime.
Park condemned the ruling when it was handed down, but today she backtracked by apologizing to the families of the executed activists.
â€œIt is an unswerving value of democracy that ends cannot justify the means in politics," she said, calling for national unity.