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
Excommunication for illicit Harbin bishop
Statement discourages further 'gestures' by China that could threaten future dialogueThe Vatican today announced the excommunication of illicitly ordained Fr Yue Fusheng of Harbin
- Alessandro Speciale, Vatican City
- Vatican City
- July 10, 2012
Fr Yue has ‚Äúautomatically incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law,‚ÄĚ the statement said, adding that ‚Äúon several occasions he had been asked not to accept episcopal ordination without the pontifical mandate.‚ÄĚ
The statement said as well the bishops who took part in the ordination ‚Äúhave exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúmust give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony.‚ÄĚ
The statement follows a heated exchange last week between Rome and Beijing in which the Holy See warned the fate of the Catholic Church in China would be imperiled by further illicit ordinations.
Chinese authorities quickly dismissed the warning as ‚Äúoutrageous‚ÄĚ and expressed their intention to continue self-election and self-ordination, and that outside interference threatened the healthy development of the Church in China.
Speaking to reporters today, Fr Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, characterized the current state of relations with China as ‚Äúnot wholly conducive to constructive and serene dialogue.‚ÄĚ
Fr Lombardi said the Vatican was sensitive to distinguishing the political and religious dimensions of the issue, a point on which there appeared to be a ‚Äúdifference of interpretation.‚ÄĚ He added that episcopal ordinations ‚Äúsolely pertain to the religious authority of the Church.‚ÄĚ
Today‚Äôs statement further noted that the Vatican trusted in ‚Äúthe concrete willingness of the Government Authorities of China to dialogue with the Holy See‚ÄĚ and discouraged any future actions that would jeopardize relations.
Fr Lombardi emphasized this point, saying: ‚ÄúIf gestures that go against dialogue continue, the government‚Äôs desire will not be apparent.‚ÄĚ
Meanwhile, the Vatican described the ordination of Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai with papal mandate as ‚Äúencouraging and is to be welcomed,‚ÄĚ while also noting that the presence of illicitly ordained clergy at the ceremony ‚Äúwas inappropriate‚ÄĚ and against ‚Äúlawful episcopal ordination.‚ÄĚ
Bishop Ma was ordained on Saturday, but local Church sources say that a group of unidentified persons took him away shortly after the ceremony, during which he announced he would step down as vice chair of the local government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) and as standing member in the national CPA.
Bishop Ma has since been prevented from assuming his official duties.
Vatican sources told ucanews.com today that any further comment on Bishop Ma‚Äôs whereabouts or status would only put him at greater risk.
New Shanghai bishop to leave CPA posts
Fr Yue illicitly ordained in Harbin
Vatican statement ‚Äėoutrageous‚Äô: govt