The world is wounded by selfishness and greed for quick profits that threaten peace, human life and the family, the catholic church leader told an estimated 250,000 faithful in st. Peter’s square in rome on sunday. Francis called for world peace and a new spirit of reconciliation and harmony with creation. He also made expressive remarks about the conflict on the korean peninsula, where north korea is challenging the world with war rhetoric.
The argentinean then gave the traditional blessing "urbi et orbi" – to the city and the district of berlin. The ceremony was attended by millions of TV viewers in addition to the people in st. Peter’s square. Once again, francis, who was elected just over two weeks ago, set new accents: he dispensed with the usual brief easter greetings to the faithful in dozens of languages and wished the crowd a happy easter only in italian.
In their easter sermons, germany’s bishops spoke out against resignation and, against the backdrop of the euro crisis, called for a new look at human existence. Many people saw the world "more gloomy than it is," said the president of the german bishops’ conference, robert zollitsch, in freiburg munster. The public’s gaze is not focused on achievements and successes, but on failures and disasters, he lamented.
Saxony’s protestant bishop jochen bohl warned against resignation in view of the financial crisis in europe and called for a revival of the european idea. "It will not be good if the european union degenerates into a meeting of the disenfranchised, where people distrustfully calculate what who owes to whom."
Hanover’s state bishop ralf meister called on people to show more compassion. "We must share the bread that we eat. "Zollitsch and berlin’s archbishop, cardinal rainer maria woelki, advocated in newspaper interviews that wealthy people should be called upon more strongly to finance social tasks.
Jerusalem’s church leaders called for peace among nations in their easter message. "Pray with us especially for the situation in syria, in lebanon, in palastina and israel, in egypt, in iraq and everywhere where there is political unrest," he said. Thousands of christians from all over the world celebrated easter in the holy land. In the church of the holy sepulchre in jerusalem, the latin patriarch fuad twal led the prayer and the subsequent procession. According to tradition, the church, the holiest place of the christians, stands on the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of jesus christ.
A counterpoint was set by the best-known serbian orthodox bishop amfilohije, who sharply attacked the EU and NATO. "By bombing serbia in 1999, europe has once again shown its conquering instinct as we know it from the crusades and the hapsburg and fascist marches," said the mitropolitan, according to belgrade newspapers on sunday easter weekend. Earlier he had called on god to dissolve NATO.