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 Catholic nun in Kerala has run into legal trouble after the ghostwriter of her autobiography disowned the book, describing it as a pack of lies.
Mary Chandy, 68, who claims to be a former nun of the Daughters of the Presentation of Mary, had written in her book that abortions and sexual harassment were rife within religious congregations in India.
The book, Swasthy [Hail]: The Revelations of Sister Mary Chandy, was released in April and became a best seller in Malyalam, the south Indian state’s native language.
But Jose Pazhookkaran, who assisted Chandy in writing the book, has filed a criminal complaint against her. “I was forced to take such a move after I found that she was never a nun. I was misled by her,” the 46-year-old writer told ucanews.com.
Pazhookkaran said Chandy told him she left the Presentation convent 13 years ago, after a priest tried to sexually abuse her. She narrated several further stories of sexual abuses against nuns in the convent, he said.
“I found the stuff explosive and wrote her biography, but later several people told me that she was only a kitchen maid at the convent,” he added.
This accords with the congregation’s earlier insistence that Chandy was never a member.
The Syro-Malabar Church has also investigated the revelations in the book and said her claims were false.
However, Chandy has rejected Pazhookkaran’s claims and says he tried to blackmail her once the book became a success.
Chandy, who runs an orphanage for 17 destitute children, said: “When many people started sending money to help our children in the orphanage, he wanted donations to be routed through his bank account.” She added that it was Pazhookkaran who insisted on writing the biography.
Meanwhile, Pazhookkaran has also written to the publisher of the book, asking for it to be withdrawn from the market. But the publishers, Kairalee Books, have refused, saying they would publish another book by Chandy.
“We are not a party to the tussle between Chandy and the ghostwriter,” said Kairalee’s managing director O. Ashok Kumar.
India: Police say no charges filed yet, interrogation ongoing.