Focal point of the Christmas messages of Austrian President Van der Bellen and Cardinal Schönborn: Unity in times of crisis

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In view of the division in society that has become visible above all as a result of the Corona crisis, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and Vienna Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schönborn emphasized “what we have in common” at Christmas. In the ORF program “Licht ins Dunkel,” both appealed to focus on togetherness.
“It’s Christmas, that’s when you make an effort to leave what divides you at the door,” Van der Bellen said. He said he envied no politician, especially in the pandemic, having to make decisions every day without knowing exactly what the consequences will be. “But you have to live with that.” And although Corona and the new Omicron variant now dominate politics and the media, all the other issues, such as care, refugees or the climate crisis “will not disappear because of that,” the president said.

Schönborn reported that in his talks with top politicians in recent days, “togetherness” had been the focus. The cardinal lamented that tensions and conflicts also increase as the crisis grows. “But that is not the Austrian way,” Schönborn stressed. “Our country must stick together.” Everyone must take steps toward one another, the cardinal formulated as a Christmas message. As a means to this end, Schönborn also suggested three words propagated by Pope Francis: please, thank you, forgive. These three words say what it is all about to be able to live well together, Schönborn said.

The president of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Ümit Vural, also appealed to stick together more, to talk to each other and to focus on what unites us. For the president of the Buddhist religious society, Gerhard Weißgrab, the common ground, the togetherness, the dialogue is also the most important thing. “Without that, it won’t work.”

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) also expressed the wish that everyone pulls together and lives togetherness.

  • source: k.at/picture:
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