23 Dec 2016
Christmas message 2016
Media Release – Friday, December 23 2016
Christmas a time for solidarity
The plight of families fleeing war-torn Syria and other troubled parts of the world has been highlighted by the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide in his Christmas message this year.
Archbishop Philip Wilson said never before had there been such a massive displacement of people around the globe, with Europe experiencing the biggest cross-border movement of people since World War II and globally a record number of people being forced to leave their homes (nearly 34,000 a day).
He urged Australians to resist the temptation to “batten down the hatches” out of fear and ignorance and instead follow the way of “hope and compassion which is at the very heart of the Christmas message”.
“Just as no door was opened to Mary and Joseph when they went looking for a room in Bethlehem, so today there are 65 million refugees who have no place to call home,” he said in his annual Christmas message.
“It is easy to feel overwhelmed by this human disaster and to be indifferent to people’s suffering. But if we truly heed the message of Christmas we will never forget or lose sight of the fact that every person matters to God. Jesus was born for us – and that means all of us.”
Archbishop Wilson said the message of Christmas was one of fraternity, solidarity and welcome. “Rather than closing our eyes to the pain and misery of others, we need to open our hearts and minds to their plight,” he said.
His message can be viewed in full at www.adelaide.catholic.org.au.
Archbishop Wilson will be available for interview at 10.30am on Christmas Day at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wakefield St, Adelaide.