THE ARCHBISHOP of York used his Easter Day sermon to highlight human trafficking, child sex abuse, gender-based violence and tax avoidance.

In his Easter message, Dr John Sentamu described many inequalities and tragedies of modern society as the result of “wilful senility”.

He told the congregation at York Minster on Easter Sunday: “Sadly, we have forgotten our memory as people who have been rescued, and we have become senile.

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“Human trafficking, child sexual abuse, citizen indiscriminatingly killing citizen in the Central African Republic, Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo; gender-based violence, tax avoidance, embezzlement of government funds in many parts of the world, hunger, poverty, lack of drinking water, and preventable diseases in our global village; and the use of stereotypical language that diminishes people we happen to disagree with, are all the fruit of our wilful senility.

“We were all rescued, redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us recover our memory and become who we are. A people rescued.”

Using the film Saving Private Ryan as a metaphor, he drew comparisons to God’s rescue mission with Jesus to end everything that divided the human race, saying: “God’s rescue mission in Jesus of Nazareth ended all that divided the human race: sin, idolatry (the worship of God wrongly conceived), shame, pollution, transience, religiosity, gender, colour, ethnicity, economic status.

“Name it, he nailed it to the Cross. All dividing walls of hostility were broken down by the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Any ounce of superiority was submerged in the new fact that men and women everywhere were and are rescued.”