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Archbishop's Easter hope for happy ending to our own 'culture of death'

Alluding to the modern "culture of death" that Pope John Paul II has often spoken about, Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart has said that "the fact that Easter Day is on the horizon means that we do not give up hope".

Archbishop Hart (pictured) said in his Easter message that the culture of death is a 21st century phenomenon in our community. But, he added, it is a "continuation of the Passion of the One Man who willingly gave Himself into our violent hands".

"The last hundred years has seen the abuse of human life - in everything from warfare to abortion, from failure to feed the hungry to euthanasia - reach a scale previously unimaginable," he said.

He said that the story we hear this week "simply ends with the silence of death and a tomb". While we know that the happy ending will come, the timing of Holy Week "forces us to confront the death of Jesus and, in His death, the death of every human person".

"We are reminded to continue our struggle against the Culture of Death and in our constant witness to the Lord and Giver of Life we become aware that the awful necessity that that struggle begins within us," he said.

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane also says Easter gives up hope that we might get over death.

"Often now I long for a moment, even if only an hour, when I might see my mother and father again, as well as my grandparents and extended family, to ask those questions that had not arisen when they were alive," he said. "Easter each year is a ringing declaration that I will see all these people again in the company of God and the saints."

Meanwhile Cardinal George Pell of Sydney said in his message that Easter is a time to get to know the Christian God through the drama of Jesus' passion.

"Through Jesus' teachings and actions we obtain insight into what God is like," he said. "That is why Christians love to tell and retell the Easter story."

Archbishop Denis J. Hart: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Archdiocese of Melbourne)
Archbishop John Bathersby: Easter meanings (Catholic Leader 27/3/05)
Cardinal Pell's Easter Message 2005 (Archdiocese of Sydney 21/3/05)

Pell says Gibson film will heighten Good Friday observance (CathNews 8/4/04)

The joy of the Risen in the midst of the trials of the Mideast, says Patriarch of Jerusalem ( 23/3/05)
St Vincent de Paul: Jesus our role model (Catholic Weekly 27/3/05)
An Easter Message to the Anglican Communion from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams (Anglican Communion News Service 22/3/05)
Fr Anthony Kelly CSsR: Holy Saturday - the longest day (Catholic Leader 27/3/05)
Opinions vary about Christian celebration of Jewish Seder meal (Catholic News Service 22/3/05)
Carmel Pilcher RSJ: Easter: the solemnity of solemnities (Catholic Weekly 27/3/05)
Where and when to go to church: information on Easter services via the Internet. Ecumenical initiative involving 12,000 different Catholic and Lutheran parishes (Fides 22/3/05)
Carmel Pilcher RSJ: Sunday is a celebration of the living presence of the Risen Lord (Kairos 20/3/05)
From darkness to light (Kairos 20/3/05)
The Duality of Holy Week, or Purple Meets the Passion (New York Times 23/3/05)
Recut Passion still hard to stomach (The Australian 24/3/05)
More Pilgrims Going to Jerusalem for Holy Week (Zenit 22/3/05)
Editorial: Avoiding Easter Amnesia (Southern Cross March 2005)
Easter Mass Times (Archdiocese of Hobart)
Easter at St Mary's Cathedral (Archdiocese of Sydney)
Cardinal George Pell: Cherishing the story of Jesus (Catholic Weekly 27/3/05)
"Don't be frightened": A Reflection for Easter from Bishop Malone (Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle 18/3/05)
Archbishop Francis Carroll: Lord we place our trust in you (Catholic Voice March 2005)
Easter 2005 Mass Times (Archdiocese of Sydney)
Holy Week and Easter Service Times 2005 (Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle)
Prayer to the crucified - A prayer by a seamstress in India (Madonna Mar-Apr 03)

24 Mar 2005