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
Italian priest's killing unsolved despite confession
Fr Tentorio's killers remains at large in Philippines
Father Peter Geremia (left) and lawyer Gregorio Andolana (photo by Keith Bacongco)
- Keith Bacongco, Kidapawan City
- October 17, 2013
Justice for murdered Italian missionary priest Fausto Tentorio remains elusive, two years after his assassination in the southern Philippine province of North Cotabato.
No case has been filed in court against the suspects and witnesses have retracted their testimonies.
Father Peter Geremia, Tentorio's colleague in the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, said it would be "like a miracle" if justice would be achieved in his lifetime.
“If that were to happen, I would be grateful. But if it doesn’t come out completely in my time, maybe it will come out eventually,” the 75-year old Italian missionary told ucanews.com.
The priest admitted his frustrations while trying to build the case against government militiamen who were suspected of involvement in the killing of the 59-year-old Tentorio on October 17, 2011, outside his parish church in Arakan town.
A member of the Bagani Special Force, a paramilitary force, admitted last November that his group was behind Tentorio’s killing.
The group was allegedly set up and armed by the military to pursue communist insurgents, a claim that has been repeatedly denied by the defense department.
The order to kill Fr Tentorio was "clear," the militiaman told the inquiry.
The priest had to die because "the military wants him killed because he is a supporter of the New People’s Army [NPA]," the militiaman told a congressional inquiry last year.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines that has been waging a four-decade guerrilla war in the country.
The militiaman’s admission was also contained in a signed confession submitted to the inquiry.
Geremia, who assumed the pastoral work of Tentorio in Arakan, has always believed that the military was behind the killing, an allegation that the military has denied.
He said that those who have been implicated in the crime, particularly the government militiamen, are "untouchables".
Unlike the case of another slain Italian missionary, Tulio Favali, in the 1980s, the progress of Tentorio’s case has been very slow.
Geremia said Favali's killers were sentenced in little more than two years after the killing on April 11, 1985. In the case of Tentorio, two years have passed and no case has been filed in court.
The priest said somebody is "blocking or manipulating" the investigation.
Lawyer Gregorio Andolana, counsel of the Kidapawan diocese, said the missionaries feel "like they are alone" in pursuing justice for Tentorio.
"In Favali's case, we could feel the eagerness of the people. Now, it seems that Father Peter [Geremia] is the only one who is actively fighting for justice," Andolana told ucanews.com.