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
Don't put ties on North aid, says Caritas
Placing extra demands on humanitarian supplies will backfire, say expertsMichel Roy (center), secretary general of Caritas International, releasing a statement about aid projects for the North
- ucanews.com reporter, Seoul
- December 6, 2011
Meeting in Seoul, Caritas organizations from Germany, Japan, the United States and South Korea met at the Korean bishopsâ conference building in Seoul to discuss the future of projects.
A statement issued after the meeting said the group should foster peace on the Korean Peninsula and continue humanitarian assistance to North Korea âwithout conditions.â
"It could produce a negative effect on unconditional aid projects if South Korea keeps demanding too much transparency in distribution systems such as monitoring food rations. We need to understand North Korea and wait patiently,â said Maryknoll Father Gerard Hammond, general manager of the North Korea program of Caritas Korea International, the Korean bishopsâ first official foreign relief agency .
He emphasized the need for continuous contact with the north.
South Korea banned all but humanitarian contact with the north after the sinking of a naval vessel in an attack by North Korea in May 2010. Seoul also wants stricter monitoring of aid, worrying that it could be misused to support the North Korean army.
Father Simeon Lee Jong-keon, executive director of Caritas Korea International, said: âWe sent 400 tons of flour and 130 million won (about US$120,000) worth of medicines to North Korea this year.â
Fr Lee stressed that with the help of other Caritas member organizations, Caritas Corea could send aid to North Korea indirectly via other countries, regardless of any South Korean government ban.
New aid to North hits delay
Aid to North well-distributed: Caritas
Churches demand more aid to North