Don't bank on 'hero leaders', says Welby as he reminds his Easter congregation of human fallibility
- Archbishop of Canterbury uses first Easter Sunday sermon to warn against 'pinning hopes on individuals'
- Head of church tells worshippers new leaders or systems will 'to some degree fail'
- Pope Francis also celebrates his first Easter Sunday Mass today at packed St Peter's Square
- Vatican said 250,000 turned out to hear Pope's first Easter speech and blessing
- Pope uses Easter Sunday address to call for peace in the world
The Archbishop of Canterbury warned yesterday against ‘pinning hopes on individuals’ at the top to solve our problems.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said that ignoring complexity and human weaknesses left us ‘unreasonably disappointed’ with everyone ‘from politicians to NHS, education to environment’.
Ten days after being enthroned as head of the Church of England, he warned against what he called the ‘hero leader culture’.
‘An economy suffers the worst blow in generations with a debt crisis and economic downturn, and the fact that not everything is perfect within five years is seen as total failure.’
Turning to reports on Friday that only 40 per cent of churchgoers are convinced the new archbishop can resolve the problems of the Church of England, he said: ‘I do hope that means the other 60 per cent thought the idea so barking mad that they did not answer the question.’
Mr Welby said: ‘Put not your trust in new leaders, better systems, new organisations or regulatory reorganisation.
‘They may well be good and necessary, but will to some degree fail.
He added: ‘Human fallibility recognised, God’s sovereignty trusted – these are also the only stable foundation for human beings in society.
‘Setting people or institutions up to heights where they cannot but fail is mere cruelty.’
The 57-year-old former oil executive added: ‘Holy Week and Easter show us the reality of God and of human beings.
‘It is a reality that equips us for action in the world, action that is based on hope and realism, not on cynicism or fear.’
His unwillingness to embrace Vatican pomp has already earned him a reputation as an ‘austerity’ Pope and the new pontiff used his address to preach what he practises – with an attack on greed and selfishness.
Pope Francis’s greeting from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica reflected his push for social justice.
He lamented the ‘world still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness that threatens human life and the family’.
The Pope also decried terrorism and what he called the 21st century’s most extensive form of slavery – human trafficking.
Since the start of his Papacy a fortnight ago Francis has eschewed Vatican grandeur.
He has refused to move into the luxurious Papal apartments, which he claimed were ‘big enough for 300 people’, and continues to wear a plastic wristwatch, plain iron crucifix and scruffy black shoes.
As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis lived in a simple one-bedroom flat and travelled by public transport.
VIDEO Pope Francis calls for World peace during his first Easter address
But, like previous Popes, he urged Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks and expressed regret for a series of conflicts including Syria, the Congo and North Korea.
The address followed a mass celebrated on the steps of the great basilica, where around 250,000 pilgrims were gathered.
Afterwards, flanked by heavy security, Francis asked to tour the square by popemobile, so he could embrace children and the sick.
In a typically down-to-earth gesture, he even gave a thumbs-up to someone in the crowd.
He also greeted around 30 cardinals who attended.
Most of the cardinals who voted in the conclave had returned to administer Easter mass to their own congregations.
The Pope Emeritus had planned to move into a cloistered convent inside the Vatican.
However, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica said that with his homeland‘still in his heart and in his mind’ he is thinking of retiring to a monastery in Bavaria.
Benedict, may apparently choose to live at a Bavarian shrine Altötting, to which he dedicated a page of his memoirs. This would allow him to be near his brother Georg.
STREETS OF FLORENCE PACKED FOR THE 'EXPLOSION OF THE CART' FOLK TRADITION
Locals and tourists packed the streets of Florence today, for the 'Explosion of the Cart' folk tradition.
A cart packed with pyrotechnics provides a spectacle on Easter Sunday in the city as part of a tradition.
The show is supposed to guarantee a good harvest and business, according to the tradition.
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