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
Girls are ready to marry aged 10, says top Saudi cleric
Saudi Arabia's most powerful cleric recently called for the demolition of all churches on the Arabian peninsula. Now he is courting controversy again with his comments on the marriageable age for females.
- Simon McCormack
- Saudi Arabia
- April 25, 2012
That's what Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh said when asked about marrying minor girls without their consent, according to The World Observer.
He also insisted that girls are ready for marriage by age 10 or 12.
"Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12," he said, according to the Observer. "Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age."
Omid Safi, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, told The Huffington Post that al-Sheikh's comments show he is out of touch with modern Islam.
"The Mufti's quote is disastrous on so many fronts, namely because it removes the element of consent from marriage, (no 10-year-old girl can reasonably be expected to give her consent to marriage to an adult)," Safi wrote in an email. "It is yet another indication of the way in which the Saudi religious authorities are out of touch with their own populations and the emerging consensus of Islamic norms worldwide."
Arabian Business reports that Saudi Arabia is facing international pressure to set a minimum age for marriage after "cases involving children forced into wedlock with older men."
The Christian Science Monitor notes that, in 2009, Saudi courts declined to nullify a marriage between a 6-year-old girl and a 58-year-old man.
Full Story: Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabian Mufti, Says Girls Ready For Marriage At 10 Years Old
Source: Huffington Post Religion