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Archbishop's Easter Sermon

Sunday 12th April 2009

"We Will Continue the Search for Claudia and Madeleine"



The Archbishop of York has spoken of God's preference "for the poor and the lost" during his Easter Day sermon at York Minster.

Preaching on his chosen theme: "Sorrow Turned into Joy and Fear into Hope" the Archbishop said that the sadness, pain and suffering were an unavoidable part of life, but that part of the answer to such problems was to be found in prayer.

Referring to the comments of a local Labour councillor for the Laurence family who had criticised and ridiculed those who had been praying for Claudia's family and her safe return, Dr. Sentamu said:

"Councillor Paul Blanchard's remarked that 'of all the pointless things to do concerning Claudia Lawrence's disappearance, praying wins the prize'. For us, we will continue to pray: Lord, please keep Claudia and Madeleine safe; take away their fear and anxiety; guard and protect them. Hear our cry, Lord. Amen. We will also continue to search for them."


The Archbishop also stressed the need for Governments to show their commitment to the poor at a time when billions were being spent shoring up financial institutions:

"In our global village a child dies every three seconds due to extreme poverty. That is: 9.7 million children. Re-capitalising the banks was absolutely vital for our global economy. But if trillions of dollars have been raised by world governments to bail out the banks, as well as injecting cash stimuli into their economies, why haven't they been willing to take action for the poorest on the planet, when five billion dollars would have saved six million children?"

"The rhetoric in the past was that it is too expensive. Cash was not readily available. The same argument was used against developing low carbon energy. Hullo ?"

Dr. Sentamu also stressed that the mission of the Church should be like that of the Risen Christ who had a preference for those who often found themselves on the edge of modern day society:

"The poor were given the first place in Christ's earthly Kingdom. Widows, orphans, mourners, the sick, the hungry, the prisoners, became the embodiment of the ascended Christ whom the Church nourished and consoled; little children were among its most important care. If we believe in the Resurrection, that's what we, as the body of Christ, must become."

"The Death and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, brought into being the Church, which became a treasury of the poor, the physician of souls, the solace of the afflicted. It offered to everyone peace, forgiveness, restoration, purity, and gladness of heart."

ENDS

Please note that the full text of the sermon is unavailable.

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