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
Oil search on despite China protest
Government says no need for permission to search in own waters
- Virgilio Robles, Manila
- March 1, 2012
A showdown with Beijing looms after the government today re-affirmed its intention to allow oil exploration in a disputed area of the South China Sea.
The Department of Energy announced on Monday it has invited foreign investors to take part in the search for oil around Reed Bank in the Spratly Islands, which China says is part of its territory.
The announcement drew an angry response from China on Tuesday who said it has â€śindisputable sovereigntyâ€ť over the Spratly Islands and its adjacent waters.
"It is unlawful for any country or company to explore for oil and gas in sea areas under Chinese jurisdiction without the permission of the Chinese government,â€ť Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quotes as saying by the Xinhua news agency.
This prompted Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin today to say that the Reed Bank is well within Philippines territory.
Responding to the Chinese foreign ministry statement he said: â€śThe oil exploration will be within our territorial waters. Why should we ask permission from anybody? If thatâ€™s ours, itâ€™s ours.â€ť
The defense chief also said he does not foresee any tension as a result of the oil exploration and that there is no need to step up maritime patrols.
â€śWe will continue to maintain our patrols in the area,â€ť he said.
A confrontation last year between two Chinese patrol vessels and a survey ship, the MV Veritas Voyager, which was forced to withdraw, has prompted President Benigno Aquino to take a harder line with China in the South China Sea.
It has also prompted Manila to beef up its military presence in the area.