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
|Sister Mary Chandy at her orphanage|
A former nun in Kerala state has claimed that abortion and sexual harassment are rife within religious congregations in a memoir slated for release this week.
“Abortions are commonplace in convents,” wrote the author in Swasthy [Hail]: The Revelations of Sister Mary Chandy.
Sister Chandy claims to have witnessed an attempt by a priest and nun to euthanize a newborn baby, which she says she subsequently rescued and delivered to an orphanage.
The 67-year-old former nun said she left the Daughters of Presentation of Mary in the Temple (DPM) convent 12 years ago after the Church had branded her a “misfit” for filing a complaint against a priest she said had tried to rape her.
She says she now runs an orphanage in Pulpally in Kerala’s Wayanad district.
However, the convent has dismissed the accusations and said Sr Mary was never a member of the congregation.
Sr Regina John, provincial of St Mary’s Region of the DPM, said today that Sr Mary had been employed as a kitchen helper for one year, from 1971-72.
She had made repeated requests to join, and had been given a one-year observation period for candidature, but that ultimately the superiors had rejected her because she did not meet the educational requirements and she had left the convent after a year, Sr John said.
Sr Mary said the denial was not surprising.
“Surely they would disown me, since it is not good news for the congregation.”
The allegations in her memoir have generated widespread attention for the author in the local media.
“My intention is not to gain publicity or mint money but to speak out against the atrocities of priests against nuns,” she said.
The memoir claims to chronicle the “derailed” lives of priests and nuns during her tenure in the convent, though she insists that not all priests are bad.
“The problem arises due to pride and prayerlessness of nuns and priests that make them lead a worldly life.”
The sexagenarian added that convents should be “far removed from parish houses to avoid close interaction between priests and nuns.”
The former nun, who says she still follows her vows and lives an austere life, said she plans to publish additional memoirs based on notes she kept during her convent life.
India: Kerala government sources said some 600 keralites were awaiting a relief flight..