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
Killing sparks death penalty debate
Murder of 10-year-old reignites argumentA priest talks to an inmate during a prison outreach visit
- Francis Kuo, Taipei
- December 21, 2012
An online petition campaign has dran thousands of signatures and reignited debate over the death penalty, in the wake of the killing of a 10-year-old boy by a homeless man earlier this month.
Recent debate has focused on comments attributed to a 29-year-old homeless man, who allegedly cut the throat of a boy in a Tainan arcade and subsequently said, “You can kill one or two people in Taiwan these days and not be sentenced to death,” according to local media reports.
About 20,000 people signed the petition in favor of the death penalty, which the government says is still supported by about 80 percent of the populace.
Vice-Justice Minister Chen Shou-huang told lawmakers this week that a new round of executions may take place soon but declined to provide any further details.
“The ministry follows its own timetable in carrying out capital punishment, but respects the suggestions made by human rights experts,” he said.
Chen’s comments followed earlier calls by two international experts demanding Taiwan President Ma ing-jeou suspend all executions before they visit Taiwan in February next year to inspect the country's human rights development.
According to the Ministry of Justice, there are currently 61 inmates on death row in Taiwan. The last executions in the country were carried out in March 2011.
Lin Shin-I, head of a coalition for the abolishment of the death penalty, said capital punishment poses a threat to the innocent.
“Executing innocent people is highly probable because of deficiencies in the current judicial system.”
Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei said the government could only delay and not abolish the death penalty because the majority of the country continues to hold to the concept of “an eye for an eye.”