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
Kerala results surprise poll analyst
Catholic voters 'ignored religious leadersâ€™ political preferences '
- ucanews.com, Kochi
- May 17, 2011
Christian voters ignored their religious leadersâ€™ political preferences, said political analyst A. Jayashankar.
He said Catholic Church leaders did not meddle with the elections directly, but did not hide their anti-Left Democratic Front (LDF) stance. The Church had sponsored many candidates and even threatened to field its own candidates, but the pressure tactics fizzled out.
Pre-poll surveys had indicated the ruling LDF would get fewer than 40 seats in the 140-member state legislative assembly with rival United Democratic Front (UDF) winning around 100 seats.
The LDF, headed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), eventually lost the election but managed to win 68 seats. The UDF, led by the Congress party, won 72 seats.
Marxist leaders including Thomas Isaac, M. A. Baby and Jose Thettayil won with huge margins in Catholic-dominated areas.
Archbishop Andrew Thazhathu of Trichur had given Congress president Sonia Gandhi six names of his preference but the party ignored his list and won six of 13 seats in Trichur district, four more than it got five years ago.
Father Paul Thelakat, spokesman of the Syro-Malabar Church, denied there was Christian consolidation in the election.
He noted a general perception that his Church had supported the UDF, while other Churches leaned toward the LDF, but said no bishop issued election guidelines as in the past.
He said many Church leaders do not follow the late Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, who was â€śagainst Church leaders indulging in partisan politics.â€ť
Cardinal Vithyathil died 11 days before Kerala went to the polls on April 13.
â€śIt is always better to keep away from partisan politics because in the long run it will not be good for the Church,â€ť Father Thelakat said.
Father Stephen Alathara, spokesman of the Kerala Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Council, says the poll verdict is not a Church concern.
â€śWe told the faithful to exercise their votes without fear or favor,â€ť he explained. He agreed that in many Catholic-dominated constituencies the UDF winning margins were rather narrow.
â€śIt seems some Churches took a pro-left stand,â€ť Father Alathara added.
Church not to meddle in Kerala polls
Kerala Marxists say Church defeated them