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Archbishop's Christmas support for Govt action on child protection

Archbishop Philip Wilson, in his first Christmas message as Archbishop of Adelaide, has supported government actions to protect children from sexual exploitation.

He suggested the Christmas is a time to honour the birth of Christ, but also to "think about the honor we pay every child who comes into the world".

"We may often feel disheartened about society's treatment of children," he said. "But we also need to recognise the positive steps being taken by our own federal government to protect and honor children."

The Federal Government announced recently it would sign the Optional Protocol to the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child that seeks to prevent the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Archbishop Wilson said: "I believe the Australian Government deserves praise for its role in drafting and supporting these fundamental and precious protections for children."

Meanwhile Sydney's Archbishop George Pell said Christmas is a time to give thanks and to celebrate the institution of the family, but also to remember "the forgotten people around us", those overseas "caught up in wars and violence", and "our soldiers and sailors on active service".

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane regretted in his Christmas message that "the world still believes it can live without a Saviour, and without the good news of Christmas".

Calling for conversion of heart in the context of the year's acts of terrorism, he said: "Filled with pride in its own achievements it attempts to save itself by technology, by armed force, by money, by power, by pleasure, completely overlooking the real power that lies hidden in the humility and simplicity of Bethlehem."

Christmas Message of the Archbishop of Adelaide
Christmas Message of the Archbishop of Brisbane
Christmas Message of the Archbishop of Sydney - also available in audio (requires Real Player)
Christmas Message of the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn and President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference