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The BBC's Emily Buchanan
"Dr Carey wants to steer clear of the political minefield of asylum seekers"
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Sunday, 23 April, 2000, 07:19 GMT 08:19 UK
Bishops focus on faith
Archbishop Carey and the Most Rev Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Archbishop Carey (r) and Catholic leader the Most Rev Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
The Archbishop of Canterbury will avoid the controversial issue of asylum seekers and focus his Easter sermon on a message about the symbolism of the cross.

Dr George Carey wants to steer clear of the political minefield of asylum seekers, even though many churches round the country are deeply involved in helping refugees.

Instead he will say that the Christian symbol of the cross serves to remind us that such things as power, success, fame and money are transitory when compared to the ultimate life of the Spirit.

The new Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Most Rev Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will also give his first Easter sermon since succeeding the late Cardinal Basil Hume as leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

'Africa fatigue'

Dr Carey will say that the image of the cross, while representing weakness and suffering, is also "a huge field of energy" giving inspiration and hope to those in need.

The archbishop will praise the current exhibition of Christian art and symbolism at the National Gallery in London - an exhibition which has so far attracted 200,000 visitors.

Dr Carey will also raise concerns that 'Africa fatigue' is beginning to affect everyone, after all the disasters in Mozambique, Sudan, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Christian hope

Preaching at Westminster Cathedral, the Most Rev Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will tell the congregation that Easter is a time for Christians to affirm their beliefs.

He will say: "We live in a society that is full of bustle and business, in contrast to the faith, the silence, and the prayer we have participated in these past few days.

"Somehow, in the midst of the world in which all of you live - with all its temptations and distractions - you have to defend the citadel of your heart."

He will stress that the world can be an enemy of Christian hope but that people should focus on heavenly thoughts.

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26 Dec 99 | UK
Carey's tabloid message
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