Prince Praises Tolerance

Prince Charles addresses the 2015 United Nation Climate Change Conference in Paris • Arnaud Bouissou/Flickr

By John Martin

U.K. politicians tweet multiple times during Sunday lunch, and some clergy do not lag far behind. Because the royal family’s voices are rarely heard, people listen when they speak.

In a rare broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, the monarch-in-waiting expressed concern about the state of the world.

“My parents’ generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism, and inhuman attempts to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe,” said Charles, Prince of Wales.

The suffering does not end when refugees seek refuge in a foreign land, he added.

“We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith,” Prince Charles said. “All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s.”

He urged listeners to remember “how the story of the Nativity unfolds with the fleeing of the holy family to escape violent persecution.”

Melbourne Christians Undeterred

Undeterred by a foiled bomb plot, more than 1,500 Christmas Eve worshippers packed St. Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne and latecomers stood in the forecourt. Australian security services said a “substantial attack” with explosives and other weapons was planned for Christmas Day, targeting Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, and the iconic cathedral.

“There was a steady stream of people coming in and out of the cathedral, and in the end I had to come out and give the final blessing to people on the forecourt,” said the Very Rev. Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne.

The Most Rev. Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne and Primate of Australia, said he was grateful that the combined work of local police and national agencies had disrupted the planned attack.

“I thank God that the message of hope, peace, and reconciliation, which is God’s message in Christ, will be proclaimed clearly and publicly at St. Paul’s, as well as all our parish churches and authorized Anglican congregations.”

Seven arrests followed raids across Melbourne, and at least four people are due to appear in court. Police sources said “quite a number” of people could have been killed or injured by the plot, which they believe was inspired by ISIS propaganda.

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