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
Tibetan leader says self-immolation is a 'sacred duty'
The number of self-immolations is rising steadily, with six in the past week alone.
- Vishal Arora
- November 12, 2012
In fact, exiled Tibetan political leader Lobsang Sangay said that while he highly discourages the drastic action, it is the "sacred duty" of the exiled community to support it.
"We have made so many appeals (to stop self-immolations), but they are still doing it," said Sangay, the political successor of the Dalai Lama, as the number of self-immolations by monks, nuns and others swelled to 68 since March 2011.
The day before Beijing opened its party conference on Thursday to choose new leaders, three monks, a man, a woman and a teenager drank gasoline and set themselves ablaze, according to tibet.net.
Sangay, a former scholar at Harvard Law School, said he has always maintained that Tibetans inside Tibet should not protest because of harsh consequences. Exiles, however, are a different story.
"But once a protest takes place, it becomes our sacred duty to support it," he recalled saying when he was sworn in as the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharmsala, India, on Aug. 8, 2011. "I take the same stand on self-immolations."
The Tibetan leader said the world needs to focus on the cause behind the act, not just the act itself.
"Self-immolators are telling the Chinese government that repression is unbearable. They are saying,'We grew up under under your system, we are supposedly the primary beneficiaries of whatever you are doing in Tibet, and it's not good; it's not worth living under the system.'"
Sangay added he does not try to "venture into Buddhist philosophy" to explain self-immolation, but views it as "a form of protest ... like the monks who self-immolated during the Vietnam war, and the self-immolation in Tunisia that was the catalyst for the Arab Spring."
However, there is a religious element, he agreed. "They have not harmed Chinese people, offices or shops because they are Buddhist and part of a non-violent movement."
Beijing, which has claimed Tibet as part of China since it overtook the country in 1959, has accused Tibetan exiles and the "Dalai clique" of encouraging self-immolations.
"These Tibetans have not met the Dalai Lama, they have never met me. To accuse us of promoting it is unimaginable," Sangay said, adding that self-immolations might continue "until the situation improves."
Full Story:Â Lobsang Sangay: Tibetans Have 'Sacred Duty' To Support Self-Immolations
Source: Huffington Post Religion