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
Fr Yue illicitly ordained in Harbin
Five Vatican-approved bishops take part in ceremonyFr Joseph Yue Fusheng (middle) received episcopal ordination without papal mandate today
- ucanews.com reporter, Harbin
- July 6, 2012
Five Vatican-approved bishops took part in the rite, held at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Harbin city, capital of Heilongjiang province.
Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyi, chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Assocation (CCPA), served as the main celebrant. Co-ordainers included Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu of Hohhot, Bishop Paul Pei Junmin of Shenyang (Liaoning), Bishop John Wang Renlei of Xuzhou and Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Yang Yonggiang of Zhouchun.
Bishop Wang, who was illicitly ordained in 2006, was approved by the Holy See earlier this year but has not yet been officially appointed by Rome.
Some 40 priests from in and outside Heilongjiang province concelebrated the ordination Mass attended by about 400 people.
âI know the road ahead is tortuous, but I have no regrets. I am willing to conform to Godâs call and take up the heavy cross,â Fr Yue told the congregation following his ordination.
Authorities maintained tight security at the ordination, according to local Church sources. Attendees were prohibited from moving freely within the Church or take photographs.
A main road outside the Church was sealed off and access granted only to those with entry permits.
The sources added that two âundergroundâ priests â Fr Joseph Zhao Hongchun, the Vatican-appointed Apostolic Administrator of Harbin, and his assistant Fr Zhang Xisheng â were released from detention following the ordination.
They had been detained earlier this week to prevent them from creating problems ahead of the ordination ceremony, the sources said.
Two Vatican-approved prelates who were invited to the ceremony â Bishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing and Bishop Methodius Qu Ailin of Changsha â did not attend, citing illnesses, but sent messages of apology and congratulation.
On Tuesday the Vatican issued a strongly worded statement warning Chinese authorities the ordination of Fr Yue violated Church law, jeopardized the future of the Catholic Church in China and would incur the automatic excommunication of any prelates taking part in the rite.
The State Administration for Religious Affairs responded on Wednesday in a statement calling the warnings âoutrageous and shockingâ and saying self-election and self-ordination would continue despite the Vaticanâs position on the matter.
A source close to the Vatican who asked not to be named said the prelates participating in todayâs ordination would need to communicate with Rome.
âThey need to write to the Holy See and provide an explanation.â
Fr Yue, a vice chairman of the CCPA, was born in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1988. He was elected as a bishop candidate in 1999 and reconfirmed during a meeting on May 16 this year.
Vatican statement âoutrageousâ: govt
Illicit ordinations risk future of China Church