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
Pakistan security fears grow as US evacuates staff
Lahore consulate targeted with 'specific threat'
A man injured by a bomb attack in Quetta is loaded into a truck (AFP photo/Banras Khan)
- ucanews.com reporter, Bangkok
- August 9, 2013
The US has withdrawn all non-emergency staff from its consulate in Lahore, citing a “specific threat” days after Washington announced similar measures for 19 embassies across the Middle East and North Africa.
So far it is unclear whether the threat against the Lahore consulate is related to that in the Middle East, which US officials say was picked up via nonspecific “terrorist chatter”.
Lahore staff have been moved to Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, while US citizens have been urged to refrain from travelling to the country.
Terrorist groups in Pakistan have used lethal drone attacks by the US military as a battle cry for militants, particularly in the restive tribal areas close to the Afghanistan border.
Pakistan has been rocked by a spate of bombings, the most recent occurring yesterday in the southwestern city of Quetta at the funeral of a police officer who had been shot dead hours before. The attack, carried out by a suicide bomber, claimed up to 38 lives, mostly policemen.
"The death toll may rise because the condition of most of the injured is critical," Baluchistan province police chief Mushtaq Sukhera told a news conference.
The Pakistan's umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban faction, which rarely attacks in the southwest, has claimed responsibility.
"We did it and soon you see another big attack in the next coming days," spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said, according to the AFP news agency.
He added that the attack was to avenge victims of US drone strikes, which target Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, on the Afghan border north of Baluchistan.
"We are at war with police and other security agencies,” he said. “They are attacking us and we are targeting them."
The incident came a day after 28 people, including senior police and military officials, were killed and dozens of people were wounded in separate bomb and gun attacks across Pakistan at the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan.