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
St Leo the Great
- November 10, 2012
The great doctrinal event of Leo‚Äôs pontificate was the Council of Chalcedon (near Constantinople) held in 461, the last of the four great ecumenical councils. It was here that 600 bishops in union with the Pope condemned the heresy of ‚ÄėMonophysitism‚Äô, which argued that Christ had just one nature, a human nature. Orthodox doctrine stated however that Christ was one person but with two natures, a human and a divine nature. This was Leo‚Äôs statement, and the Council echoed its approval, crying, ‚ÄúPeter has spoken through Leo.‚ÄĚ This is one of the earliest examples of an infallible papal statement.
The most important political event of Pope Leo‚Äôs time was the barbarian incursion under Attila the Hun ‚Äėthe scourge of God‚Äô in 452. Attila invaded Italy, and lay siege to the city of Rome. As the government could not defend the city, Leo went forth to meet Attila, and persuaded him not to sack Rome in return for an annual tribute. Leo was less successful with Genseric the Vandal, who plundered the city for two weeks in 455, until Leo begged him to desist. Still, the complete destruction of the city was averted.
Few popes there are who have left their mark on church teaching and practice, as well as on the politics of the age. Leo I is one of them, and rightly merits being called ‚ÄėLeo the Great‚Äô.