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
Pope Benedict lays down law for Catholic charities
New directive seeks to restrain activities that violate Church doctrine
- John-Henry Weston, Washington
- United States
- December 4, 2012
“I’m elated beyond words.” “An early Christmas present.” “Deo gratsias!” “It is a welcome and huge move…” “One of the most important papal directives in the last half-century”. These were some of the reactions of pro-life leaders to Pope Benedict XVI’s directive called ‘On the service of charity’ released Saturday which mandated that charitable activities undertaken by the Catholic Church never offend Catholic teaching.
In the directive, the Pope stated: “I order that everything I have laid down in this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio be fully observed, notwithstanding anything to the contrary.” Nevertheless, pro-life leaders are warning that the directives from the Pope must be followed and not ignored as has happened in the past.
American Life League President Judie Brown told LifeSiteNews, “We are going to issue a release demanding that each bishop comply with what the Holy Father has instructed.” She said that she’s watched for forty years as such heroic efforts by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict were frustrated. “Will the bishops pay attention? The track record is very dim.”
Fr. Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International commented: “We must redouble our prayer for conversion within the Church. This will not be well received in some circles, and is likely to further expose existing crevasses that can no longer be hidden.”
Fr. Boquet explained the evolution of charity into what is today often an abusive practice. “Over the past few decades, the developing world has sadly seen a dramatic increase in the essential efforts of service to the poor being integrated with completely destructive and counterproductive anti-life assaults on those being served, and on their cultures,” he said.
“Emergency shelter somehow requires legalized abortion, food comes with condoms and incredible pressure to reduce birth rates, economic assistance requires adoption of a radical sexual and political agenda. More and more the message to the poor and suffering from the secular development industry is ‘we’ll help you, but you need to stop having children now and leave your traditions behind.’”
Stressing the need for the Pope’s new document, Fr. Boquet explained, “And sadly, too often the Church’s own agencies have not only not spoken up against this new normal in development, but they have at times even funded the groups who lead the trend. This Motu Proprio is an effort to rid this essential work of the Church of its ideological confusion, and to make it both more effective and more Catholic.”