News

Church in Christmas apology to those who have suffered

Local residents are being encouraged to rediscover the reason for the season.
Local residents are being encouraged to rediscover the reason for the season.

THE head of Australia's Catholic Church has used his Christmas message to apologise to those who "have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians".

While he stopped short of directly addressing the child sex abuse allegations which have engulfed the NSW Catholic clergy, Sydney Archbishop George Pell said he understood the "shock and shame felt across the community at these revelations of wrongdoing and crime".

"Where there is evil, there is less peace and sometimes no peace," Cardinal Pell said.

"My heart and the heart of all believers, of all people of good will to all those who can't find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests and religious teachers.

"I'm deeply sorry this has happened - it's completely contrary to Christ's teachings".

The comments came at the end of year where a seemingly endless stream of arrests over the abuse or cover-up of abuse in the NSW Catholic Clergy prompted the Federal Government to announce a royal commission.

The turning point came when senior NSW police officer Detective Inspector Peter Fox went public with claims senior clergy members and police had repeatedly covered up reports of child abuse in the NSW Hunter Valley.

At least 50 clergy members have since been arrested.

Cardinal Pell has repeatedly defended the Catholic Church's handling of allegations of widespread paedophilia.

He was publicly challenged in NSW Parliament by Catholic premier Barry O'Farrell for comments he made about admissions of child sex abuse remaining within the binds of the confessional.

Following the announcement of a royal commission last month Cardinal Pell said he was hopeful the process would separate real offences from "significantly exaggerated claims".

In Queensland, the Archbishop of Brisbane, the Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, said the story of Christmas was that God was not some distant deity but came in the flesh to live among us.

"If we want to know what God looks like, we look to Jesus. It's as simple as that. If we want to know what God wants us to be, we look to Jesus.''

"God didn't send a representative, an envoy or a go-between.  God sent his own Son; in that sense, God came himself. And that's more than anyone was prepared for or expected.''

"These days, life is lived at such a fast pace that we do more and more, and yet are often left with the feeling that we achieve less and less.

"Our lives are full, but we can feel empty. Perhaps the question is not why are we on the run, but what are we running from? Are we parched because we thirst for meaning but can find little that is meaningful?

"Our existence is not some mere chance by-product of the Big Bang and the Dark Silence.

"Our existence, our conscious mind, our way of seeing, and hearing and reflecting, our way of making sense of the world, and our inherited wisdom reveal the reality of life.

"And the reality is this: We are made to hear the voice of our first and greatest love - our Creator, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is that Word of love - not in any abstract or fanciful way.

So let's look with fresh eyes at this mystery, this Christmas event. Let's  unwrap the gift and contemplate the Giver.  Jesus Christ reveals to you and to me and to every human being who we really are. There is no greater gift than that.''

A Christmas message from the Anglican Church

  THE story of Christ's birth powerfully engages our imaginations.  Wise men make a long journey by the leading of a star.  

Shepherds praise God, angels sing, and the glory of the Lord shines around.  In a manger and in great humility lies the Christ child, born of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

We are reminded that, then as now, God enters into history to bring new life and hope.  Even on the margins of the world and in obscurity-as in Bethlehem-God's future is always coming to birth by the power of the Spirit.

  As King Herod found, this is a power that the rulers of the world can neither master nor resist.  

It is easy to lose heart when we look upon our world.  It seems society has become habitually cynical and mistrustful, our public discourse thin and impoverished. 

So often we feel exhausted by endless marketing and material consumption.  We are thirsting for a new spirit-new ideas, new generosity and a new gratitude for all we have and are. 

Christmas is the time for new imagination. 

Can we imagine that, even now-perhaps in obscurity-God's future is coming to birth by the power of the Spirit? 

The renewal of our society and our own lives may be nearer than we thought.  Let us discern its coming and greet it with great joy and gladness.

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall, Primate

Anglican Church of Australia    

Topics:  anglican catholic christmas



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

People power gets Ipswich-Rosewood line back up and running

FEEDBACK: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk found out how important the railway line was to Rosewood residents on a recent visit.

Premier intervenes to end a month of pain for commuters

Vote for the best chips in Ipswich

Stephanie Sewell and Cheryl Pfeffer from The Chambers Cafe

Its the $64,000 question that needs to be answered

VIDEO: Mum's panic to save daughter trapped under car

THEIR STORY: Delwynn Meloury and her daughter Katie - Annette Korczak were involved in a car crash in Raceview and are asking that drivers be careful over the Christmas break.

Ipswich family want their story to remind others about road safety

Local Partners

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!