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
Prelates worry over 'sad' ordination
Illicit ceremony planned but bishops raise concerns over harm to unity
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- July 13, 2011
Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong urged all local Catholics to pray for ‚Äúbrothers and sisters in mainland China‚ÄĚ so that they maintain their faith.
He described previous illicit ordinations last November and last month, as well as the one scheduled for tomorrow in Shantou diocese, as ‚Äúsad and sorrowful situations.‚ÄĚ
The ordinations were illicit and totally manipulated by the Chinese government without papal approval, Bishop Tong wrote in a message published on the website of the diocesan Chinese weekly Kung Kao Po and distributed to all 51 parishes.
Bishop Tong‚Äôs predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, today published an advertisement in a popular newspaper here in his personal capacity to urge China‚Äôs state leaders to respect religious freedom.
The half-page advertisement in Apple Daily was addressed to China‚Äôs president Hu Jintao and premier Wen Jiabao.
The advertisement expresses concern over some government officials who violate the country‚Äôs constitution and help some ‚Äúscum in the Church‚ÄĚ to force bishops, priests and laypeople to act against their consciences.
‚ÄúThey are trapping you in an unjust act. Please halt them immediately!‚ÄĚ the 79-year-old cardinal wrote.
About 60,000 copies of the appeal letter will be printed with news reports about the recent illicit ordinations in Handan, Leshan and Shantou dioceses as well as persecutions of Catholic clergy in northern Hebei province.
Most of the copies will be distributed to street vendors and parishioners beginning tomorrow.
Members of St. Vincent de Paul Society in Hong Kong held a Mass this evening at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception to pray for the communion of the Church in China.
The International Catholic Association, which has worked with the four Guangdong bishops on charity services, said they would pray that the Holy Spirit would guide the bishops out of their present difficulties.
Shantou is a popular pilgrimage site for many Hong Kong Catholics. But not many of them know that the upcoming ordination will be held without a papal mandate and that bishops have been pressured to participate in the ceremony, Church sources said.