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
Environmentalist ambushed and shot
Victim is passionate anti-mining campaigner
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- October 30, 2012
Unidentified gunmen wounded Dr. Isidro Olan, executive director of the Lovers of Nature Foundation Inc., while he was driving home, reports from non-government groups in the area said.
Police said they found one empty shell each from a .45-caliber pistol and a .22 caliber pistol, and three empty shotgun shells.
Olan is known to be a passionate environment defender who opposes large-scale mining and illegal logging activities in the province.
"We ask for everyoneâ€™s prayers for Dr. Olanâ€™s immediate recovery and for justice to be swiftly exacted upon the assassins and their clients," said Fr. Oliver Castor, spokesperson of Task Force Justice for Environment Defenders.
Olan and his group were set to launch a voter education campaign next month to promote an environmental agenda in next year's mid-term elections.
"This latest attack... produces a chilling effect to environmental advocates," Castor said.
Clemente Bautista of the Defend Patrimony Alliance, an anti-mining network, blamed the "militarization" of Surigao del Sur province for the attempt to kill Olan.
He said the deployment of government troops in the area to protect mining investments "have brought a spate of not only human rights violations but also the violation of the economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous peoples."
Bautista called for the immediate pullout of troops in the province as "an important step to the quelling of human rights violations."
Castor, meanwhile, noted that 61 environmental activists have already been killed in the country since 2001.
"There could be no other motivation to assassinate Olan than his staunch opposition to ecologically destructive projects in their areas," said Castor.
Mining firm under fire after killings
Donâ€™t vote for pro-mine candidates, Catholics told