Anthony Fisher, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Sydney, Australia, said in a videotaped messaged that people of faith could describe 2017 as an “annus horribilis” because of same-sex marriage.

Fisher said passage of a marriage equality bill, an euthanasia law in Victoria and allegations of child sexual abuse in the Catholic church made 2017 a horrible year.

“Like any year, this one has had its challenges for our world, our country and each of us individually,” Fisher told followers in his annual Christmas message.

“For people of faith you might say it's been an annus horribilis, as our Christian conceptions of life and love have been challenged in the marriage and euthanasia debates, freedom of religion in Australia put in doubt, and shameful crimes and cover-ups in our church uncovered by the royal commission.”

“But the Christmas story insists there is a star in the dark sky – light amidst the fears and failures. Christmas speaks of new hope,” he added.

Lawmakers approved the marriage bill just weeks after a majority of Australians surveyed said that they approve of such unions.

(Related: Two lesbian couples first to marry in Australia following passage of marriage equality.)