Cardinal Jozef De Kesel has called on Catholics not to give up hope in a world of poverty and violence. Speaking during an Easter vigil in the cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula in Brussels, Cardinal De Kesel, the senior member of the Catholic clergy in Belgium, also took the opportunity to hit out at the scourge of sexual abuse in the Church.
“We cannot deny that reality is often hard and cruel, whether it is the poverty and the ceaseless suffering of so many people, including those on the road to exile, so much violence and injustice to which so many are subjected. That includes within the Church, where children and women have been the victims of abuse that severely diminishes out credibility. How much evil can be done to other humans, and how how far can people go in bringing death to their fellow man. But this is the message of Easter: the power of evil and of death has been broken.”
Cardinal De Kesel is due to officiate at the traditional Easter Sunday service this morning in the cathedral in Mechelen.
Meanwhile Pope Francis also told the faithful not to lose hope, in his traditional Easter vigil message in Rome on Saturday. “You could begin to think the loss of hope is simply a law of life,” he said.
But in fact it is mistrust that stands in the way of hope. “When you allow yourself to think that everything is going wrong and the suffering has no end, then you are believing that death is stronger than life, then we become cynical and scornful, overcome by the sickness of discouragement. Stone by stone we erect in ourselves a monument to unhappiness, a tomb for hope.”