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
Same-sex couple gets Buddhist blessing
Campaigners seek to legalize gay marriageYu Ya-ting and Huang Mei-yu with Venerable Shih Chao-hwei (middle, first row) and guests
- ucanews.com reporter, Taipei
- August 13, 2012
Yu Ya-ting and Huang Mei-yu, both 30 years old, tied the knot in a temple in northern Taoyuan county, drawing a great deal of media coverage. They exchanged Buddhist beads and stamped their seals on a document in front of more than 100 guests.
Before the ceremony, the couple wrote an open letter to President Ma Ying-jeou urging the government to legalize same-sex marriage as soon as possible. At the moment,Â Taiwan does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Buddhists in general do not oppose same-sex marriage, said Venerable Shih Chao-hwei, who presided over the ceremony. In marriage, a couple vows to be loyal to each other. This can â€śstabilize their minds and eliminate improper thoughts,â€ť she said.
She believed Saturdayâ€™s event would give hope and support to the gay community.Â However, she said was unsure if the general public wanted the law revised.
â€śHomosexual partners face inequality in this society,â€ť she said, pointing out that the newlyweds still have practical problems â€śsuch as the right to have children and protect their property.â€ť
Saturdayâ€™s wedding ceremony is part of an ongoing campaign in Taiwan to push for legalizing same-sex marriage, said Father Louis Aldrich, who directs the Human Life Ethics Research Center at Fu Jen Catholic University.
Noting that President Ma and the opposition party are sympathetic to the gay rights movement, Fr. Aldrich said he fears the government will push forward a hasty piece of legislation without adequate public discussion.
The result may go against the wish of the majority, who still support marriages between a man and a woman, according to the priest. â€śIt would be a serious attack on the freedom of the Catholic and Protestant Churches,â€ť he said.