Pell mentions WYD Cross in Easter Message

In his 2006 Easter message, Cardinal George Pell said the World Youth Day Cross, officially passed to Australia last Sunday at a ceremony in Rome, is a sign of hope for Australia's youth.

He said remembering Christ's death on cross was the most important feast for Christians. The cross is "a symbol of the final victory of love over evil, life over death."

"Jesus, the man-God, died and rose from death," Cardinal Pell said. "The cross, an instrument of death, became the tree of life."

Meanwhile Archbishop Francis Carroll, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said that remembering the suffering and death of Jesus this Easter reminds us that love is costly.

"Love consoles us as we carry life's crosses and rejoices our hearts as we live the life of the risen Lord," he said.

He said he was "thrilled" when the pope released his first encyclical letter on the topic of "God is Love". The Archbishop, quoting the encyclical, said the message of love is relevant for a world that sometimes associates God's name with vengeance, hatred and violence.

Other Easter messages that have been made public so far include that of Bishop Michael Malone (pictured) of Maitland-Newcastle, who paid tribute to the much loved Sr Maureen Flood, who died last December, 40 minutes after Australia's richest man Kerry Packer.

"Maureen's obituary in The Sydney Morning Herald (13 January 2006) described how she 'died a pauper ... she had suffered from dementia, but was prepared for her death.'

"In her last essay, published in 2005, Maureen made a profound statement. In a few short words she acknowledged the darkness of death which precedes the light of resurrection," Bishop Malone said, quoting the essay.

Bishop Malone contrasted Sr Flood with Kerry Packer: "Where Kerry was strong, arrogant and forthright Maureen was incisive, humble and mystical. Where Kerry endured death, Maureen embraced it."

And Bishop Kevin Manning of Parramatta Diocese directed his message in part to those who will be received into the Church on Holy Saturday, urging them to share the faith with others.

"May your new life and your new vision in Christ bring hope and peace to others who are burdened with the cares of this world," he said.

The Australian Catholic Students Association (ACSA) has got together with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) to issue a joint Message for Passover and Easter.

It acknowledges that we all live in a world in which materialism and moral relativism pervade, and must move together towards a culture that is "concerned for all people and seeks to respond to their basic dignity to live in peace and freedom".

ACSA's President Daniel Hill Foster said: "Death and suffering is not the final story. All of us are called to seek life for all founded on peace and justice. Let this be our united prayer. I am excited about joining with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students to deliver such an important message."

Christians spread Easter message (Herald-Sun/Australian Associated Press 12/4/06)
Easter Messages from Australian Church Leaders (National Council of Churches in Australia)
An Easter message from Bishop Michael Malone: "Boxing Day 2005: an Easter message for 2006?" (Aurora April-May 2006)
Bishop Manning's Easter Message
Jewish and Catholic Students Unite in Passover and Easter message of Peace and Justice (Australian Catholic Students Association 13/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Pell's Easter Message 2006 (Archdiocese of Sydney 12/4/06)
Joint Message for Passover and Easter (Australian Catholic Students Association 13/4/06)

Cardinal Stafford presides at Vatican penance service (Catholic World News 12/4/06)
Cardiff prison chaplaincy in Easter podcast (Independent Catholic News 12/4/06)
Text for "Way of the Cross" at Colosseum (Zenit 11/4/06)
Holy Week Recovers Celebration of Penance (Zenit 11/4/06)
Easter message from Patriarch of Jerusalem (Independent Catholic News 12/4/06)
Holy Land's Christians caught in midst of conflict (Reuters 12/4/06)

13 Apr 2006