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
Girl in blasphemy case deemed a minor
Defense lawyer says ruling raises hopes she may be freed on bailChristians who fled a slum in Islamabad after the arrest of a young girl on charges of blasphemy
- ucanews.com reporter, Islamabad
- August 29, 2012
Medical tests determined Rimsha Masih was about 14 years old.
She will face a juvenile court hearing tomorrow, said the Islamabad district court judge, Rana Jawad Hasan.
â€śShe is underage and a minor, therefore the case should proceed under the juvenile law system,â€ť he said.
Under Pakistani law, children under 15 must be tried in a juvenile court while those under 12 are deemed to be incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions and cannot be found guilty.
Although medical examinations presented to the court dismissed claims by Masihâ€™s parents that she is only 11 years old, her lawyer Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said he was confident the court would release her on bail following tomorrowâ€™s hearing.
â€śThe proof of her illiteracy, being underage and mental illness increase the prospects for her freedom,â€ť he said. â€śAll facts and figures support her.â€ť
Masih was arrested earlier this month after she was found in possession of burned pages of the Quâ€™ran in a Christian slum on the outskirts of Islamabad.
The case has sparked international condemnation of a country whose blasphemy laws remain among the strictest in the world. Those found guilty can be sentenced to death.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Catholic Churchâ€™s National Commission for Justice and Peace, said cases such as Masihâ€™s were rarely clear-cut as authorities were often afraid to take a stand.
Last year, two officials were killed for expressing opposition to Pakistanâ€™s blasphemy laws.
â€śA change in the blasphemy laws is only possible with pressure from the international community,â€ť he said.
Protesters urge rethink of blasphemy laws
US calls blasphemy arrest 'disturbing'