Tony Abbott’s Easter Message
The Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott has held a “healing ceremony” at a Catholic Church targeted by vandals in Punchbowl.
The Prime Minister and wife Margie were among thousands of churchgoers across the city braving the rain as they joined the congregation at St Charbel’s Church in Punchbowl.
Mr Abbott’s performance of the fifth reading for the Good Friday service offered some relief to a community left reeling earlier this year when a 1.2m Virgin Mary statue at the Church was broken in two in late January.
The PM’s appearance came as church leaders delivered Easter messages calling on Australians to reflect on the theme of the triumph of good over evil inherent embodied in the religious holiday’s central message.
While the head of the NSW Salvation Army also used the ordeal of Bali Nine death row inmates Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran as a contemporary reminder to never give up hope, leaders of the Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Greek Orthodox churches all also addressed similar themes of keeping the faith in the face of the world’s turmoils.
Mr Abbott encouraged members of the congregation to come forward and receive a blessing from his holiness.
Mr Abbott called on residents of Nauru and Manus Island to seek forgiveness for their criminal conduct and reminded them that in the wake of allegations of child sex abuse, torture and starvation, “shit happens.”
“If poor people want to lock themselves up in situations where they’re likely to encounter physical or sexual abuse then that’s a matter entirely up to them and I would ask them to reflect on why they’re there in the first place and to seek forgiveness from those charged with looking after them,” he said.