Here’s a snippet from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’s wide-ranging, and even topical, Easter sermon:
Beyond all the history of confusion and betrayal that surrounds a lot of the Church’s history, beyond the power games that we still play in the churches, this one rocklike conviction remains, the conviction that drove the writing of every word of the New Testament. Nothing to do with conspiracies, with the agenda of the powerful; everything to do with how the powerless, praying , risking their lives for the sake of Christ and his peace, are the ones who understand the Word of God. And to accept that is not to sign up to the agenda of a troubled, fussy human society of worried prelates and squabbling factions. It is to choose life, to choose to belong to the life-giver.
Pope Benedict XVI also links his Easter message to contemporary, albeit graver, events:
May the Spirit of the Risen one, in particular, bring relief and security in Africa to the peoples of Darfur, who are living in a dramatic humanitarian situation that is no longer sustainable; to those of the Great Lakes region, where many wounds have yet to be healed; to the peoples of the Horn of Africa, of the Ivory Coast, Uganda, Zimbabwe and other nations which aspire to reconciliation, justice and progress. In Iraq, may peace finally prevail over the tragic violence that continues mercilessly to claim victims. I also pray sincerely that those caught up in the conflict in the Holy Land may find peace, and I invite all to patient and persevering dialogue, so as to remove both ancient and new obstacles. May the international community, which re-affirms Israel’s just right to exist in peace, assist the Palestinian people to overcome the precarious conditions in which they live and to build their future, moving towards the constitution of a state that is truly their own. May the Spirit of the Risen one enkindle a renewed enthusiastic commitment of the Countries of Latin America, so that the living conditions of millions of citizens may be improved, the deplorable scourge of kidnapping may be eradicated and democratic institutions may be consolidated in a spirit of harmony and effective solidarity. Concerning the international crises linked to nuclear power, may an honourable solution be found for all parties, through serious and honest negotiations, and may the leaders of nations and of International Organizations be strengthened in their will to achieve peaceful coexistence among different races, cultures and religions, in order to remove the threat of terrorism.