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
Rebels free Protestant church worker
Communist group attacks van carrying 'victim of miscarriage of justice'Human rights groups outside the gates of the national police headquarters
- Kerima Bulan Navales
- July 22, 2011
The rebels attacked the vehicle transporting Dennis Rodenas near Kitaotao, in Bukidnon province, freeing the church worker and capturing four guards.
He was being transported from Ozamiz in Misamis Occidental province to a penal farm in the southern city of Davao.
Isabel Santiago, a spokesperson of the New People's Army (NPA), said Rodenas was falsely accused.
"Like many, he is a victim of an unjust judicial system," she said.
"He was arbitrarily convicted by a government court based on false and fabricated charges which relied on evidence planted by the military," she added.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which has been waging a Maoist-style insurgency against the government for more than 40 years.
Rodenas was a lay worker for the United Church of Christ of the Philippines.
Bishop Constante Claro of the churchâ€™s Southern Mindanao Jurisdiciton said Rodenas is not a rebel and was only involved in church ecological and environmental projects.
Rodenas was arrested in Tangub City in July 2009 for allegedly being in possession of bomb components, and was later turned over to the military.