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Dublin: 15°C Wednesday 27 October 2021

Bad time for it... Archbishop calls in sick on Christmas Day

Archbishop Justin Welby has a severe cold.

All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the UK Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


You know that week in work – the biggest one of the year – and you feel the sniffles coming on. All the Berocca and Vitamin C in the world won’t fend it off.

Arguably the most important day in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s calendar is today. And he has fallen prey to the “severe cold”.

He had to call in sick, missing his annual Christmas sermon.

Lambeth Palace announced the bad news on Twitter, along with a contingency plan.

According to The Independent in London, his sermon was due to focus on the unreality of the Christmas fairytale, noting that Jesus did not arrive to sell a ‘happy ever after’.

He was also expected to comment on the truce on Christmas Day in 1914 during World War I, describing it as all too brief.

Last night, Welby tweeted: “#ChristmasMeans that in Jesus, God has given us the most precious gifts of all: forgiveness and hope.”

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin will talk about the progress being made in Stormont in his Christmas homily.

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“It is important to hope and to believe that peace is possible. We all have a part to play in supporting and affirming peace. We must work to ensure that cynicism or negativity do not cause the strands of agreement to unravel.

“So tonight I thank God for the progress that our politicians have made and I pray that in the New Year they will continue to show courage, leadership and commitment in bringing us further forward.”

And, in Dublin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin focused on the homelessness crisis, while Archbishop, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson lectured on the distant relationships that are being driven by market forces.

He said that we no touch, make direct contact with, know and engage with fewer and fewer people because of the chain of production, delivery and distribution of things we buy.

“The chasm has opened up between our getting something instantly and the range of people who get it to us in all the stages along the way,” he said.

“The gap between us and God in the modern world is not actually all that different. It is based on the fact that we have let the gap open up between us and our neighbour and thereby have failed to see God in our neighbour.”

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Related: Pope calls on ‘the arrogant and the proud’ to meet life with ‘goodness’

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