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
Rape of seven-year-old girl prompts outcry
Alarm over sharp rise in sex crimesPresident Lee apologizes to the nation about a recent wave of sex crimes (courtesy of the Presidential Office)
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- September 3, 2012
A girl was abducted from her home Wednesday night in the southern city of Naju and raped, allegedly by a 23-year-old man with the surname Ko who lived 300 meters away from the victimâs house and is known to the victim's family.
The girl was found Thursday on a riverside road with her intestines ruptured.
Lee visited the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) in Seoul as public outrage mounted. âOn behalf of the government, I offer words of apology to the people,â Lee said on Friday.
The girl was reported missing Thursday morning, police said, andÂ found that same afternoon about 200 meters away from her house. She was transferred to a hospital and received emergency treatment for a ruptured colon and damage to her sexual organs. She remains in hospital.
According to the police, there was child pornography in Ko's house.
The case came only days after a 42-year-old convicted sex offender wearing an electronic anklet attempted to rape and then killed a 37-year-old woman in Seoul.
In July, a 45-year-old man under police surveillance kidnapped, sexually molested and killed a 10-year-old girl in southern city of Tongyeong.
These brutal crimes have horrified the nation and raised calls for harsher punishment for sex offenders.
Yesterday the KNPA ordered police nationwide to restart random checks on people, which it stopped two years ago after public criticism that it infringes human rights.
According to the KNPA, the number of sex crimes was 19,489 last year, a 6.7 percent increase from 2010. Of them, the number of sex crimes against child under the age of 12 was 949.
Most sex crime offenders are âoutsiders who do not actively participate in community activities and have low self-esteem,â said psychiatrist Chung Won-yong.
They usually commit sex crimes against minors whom they can easily control as âthey are afraid of rejection in adult relationships,â Chung said.
Kwack Dae-gyung, a professor of police administration at Dongguk University, said these sex crimes always raise calls for tougher punishment but âlocal societyâs generous attitudes to sex crimes is a major obstacle to reducing sex crimes.â
The Naju incident is reminiscent of a 2008 case in which a man brutally raped an 8-year-old girl, leaving permanent deformities in her colon and sexual organs.
The court commuted the criminal's sentence from life imprisonment to 12 years in jail, saying the man was drunk.
Choi Young-ji, an activist at the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, said that 80 percent of sex crimes are committed by relatives or neighbors and only 10 percent of victims go to the police.
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