Bishop will most certainly forgive Sydney attacker

Assyrian Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel will “most certainly” forgive the teen who stabbed him several times during a church service in Sydney on Monday, says a neighbouring clergyman.

Emmanual and another priest injured while trying to defend him were rushed to hospital after the incident.

The 16-year old offender was arrested at the scene.

“I think Bishop Mari will forgive the person who did this and will also expect him to be judged under the law” Syriac Catholic priest Fr Lenard Ina says.

“I know him personally and am convinced he will forgive his attacker, just as Pope John Paul II forgave the man who tried to kill him.

“He would want people to stay calm and let the police and governments do their work.

“I know his personality and I think he will use what has happened to him to show the face of Jesus.”

Emergency service workers attacked

The knife attack was only the start of the problem for Sydney’s emergency workers.

Police and ambulance staff also became victims as crowds formed after the initial incident.

The scene was described to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, several Cabinet ministers and heads of the Australian Defence Force and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation when they met in Canberra on Tuesday.

They heard an “uncontrolled” crowd surge of between 50 and 500 people formed against “police officers … doing their job”.

Projectiles were thrown at officers, vehicles were damaged and property stolen during the “public order incident”.

NSW Ambulance said it attended to 30 patients in the crowd.

However ambulance staff “became directly under threat” and six were forced to retreat to safety in the church for three-and-a-half hours.

Faith leaders unite

NSW Premier Chris Minns says the attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

He and the Minister for Multiculturalism convened a meeting of faith leaders representing religious communities across Western Sydney.

They later issued the following statement which all NSW Faith Affairs Council endorsed:

“Places of worship are places of peace and prayer.

“The people who gather there should never feel threatened or unsafe, no matter what religion they follow.

“As faith leaders … we stand united against all forms of hate and violence.

“Our prayers are with the victims and we call on our communities to extend our message of care and compassion to all.

“We have trust in our police and first responders and full confidence in their work.

“Police should never be attacked for keeping our communities safe.

“The scenes we witnessed after the attack are unacceptable to anyone, and especially to people of faith.

“For people of faith, religion is never a justification for violence.

“It has been a very difficult week but we are a strong community in New South Wales. We call on everyone to act with kindness and respect for each other.

“Now is the time to show that we are a caring and united community.”




Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , ,