[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 8 April 2007, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Archbishop's reconciliation plea
Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Williams gave his fourth Easter sermon as Archbishop
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has used his Easter sermon to call for reconciliation in the world.

He told the congregation at Canterbury Cathedral that the Easter story of Jesus's death and resurrection shows how conflict can be overcome.

In York, Archbishop Dr John Sentamu carried out open-air baptisms of Christians from many denominations.

In his Easter address, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor criticised modern Britain's "now generation" culture.

Too often people expected everything "almost instantaneously", he told an Easter vigil at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.


Dr Williams said Christianity's most important festival - marking the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion - shows how reconciliation can be achieved in the present day.

He added that its account of devastation followed by joy shows how - if those engaged in conflict can admit their own faults - they can escape the deadlock of mutual hatred and suspicion.

The sermon included a description of a visit to the Solomon Islands in 2004 when a leader caught up in the recent civil war took public responsibility for failure.

"Here was a politician representing a community that had suffered greatly and inflicted great suffering as well, saying 'We were all wrong. We needed healing and forgiveness,'" the Archbishop said.

"And it was as if for the first time you could see the bare bones of what reconciliation means."

'Comfort and encouragement'

The lesson can be applied to other conflicts "when people learn to listen to stories other than their own". Progress in Northern Ireland has allowed people to start hearing about each other's histories, according to the archbishop.

"Give up the struggle to be innocent and the hope that God will proclaim that you were right and everyone else wrong," said Dr Williams.

"Simply ask for whatever healing it is that you need, whatever grace and hope you need to be free, then step towards your neighbour.

"Easter reveals a God who is ready to give you that grace and to walk with you."

In York, Dr Sentamu stood in a pool of water set up in the city centre to baptise new members of the Church. They included Christians from a range of different denominations.

Twenty people were welcomed into the Christian faith at the baptisms held in St Sampson's Square and Parliament Street.

The event was organised by One Voice York, a network of Christian churches and leaders of different denominations working together across the city.

Dr Sentamu baptised men and women from different Christian traditions, including the Anglican, Elim and Free Churches.

Easter pleas for missing BBC man
08 Apr 07 |  Middle East

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific