Archbishop: This Xmas see the self-image of God in 'selfies'

STAND tall and proud as Christians, but do we really need all the selfies this Christmas?

These are the two key messages from Australia's top-ranking Catholic and Anglican archbishops, speaking on behalf of their churches in their Christmas addresses.

In the 2011 census, more than 60% of Australians identified themselves as Christian while 22% said they had no religion.

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell is asking for Christians of all denominations to be bold, despite "wide scepticism and occasional hostility".

The message comes after the Royal Commission heard a torrent of revelations of abuse by churches and other so-called caring organisations.

"The witness of good lives can be hidden and camouflaged by crimes and sins, but those sins cannot eliminate the good works of the spirit," he said.

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His Anglican counterpart Archbishop Glenn Davies chose to use the idea of selfies, or self-portraits, as a vessel for his message.

"Many of us cringe at the self-centredness of these self-portraits as much as the bad photography," Mr Davies said.

"But many selfies will be taken over the Christmas period and inflicted upon others along with the usual array of awkward family photos.

He said there was an "ultimate self-image", the image of God, which was stamped on all.

"As you look at the pictures you take this Christmas, some will be joyful and some scenes may be sad.

"But you will look at faces that have the self-image of God."

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