Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel delivers first mass since alleged stabbing at Sydney church

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel delivers first mass since alleged stabbing at Sydney church

Monday 29/04/2024
Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly stabbed on Monday, April 15, while delivering a mass at a church in Wakeley.(ABC News)

A bishop who was stabbed during a mass in Sydney's south-west has returned to the same church and given his first sermon since the alleged terror incident.

A fortnight ago, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly attacked with a knife by a 16-year-old boy during the Monday service being live streamed from the Christ The Good Shepherd Church at Wakeley.

Following the incident hundreds of people rioted outside the church which saw dozens of police officers injured and vehicles damaged.

The teenager has since been charged with a terrorism offence and remains in custody.

On Sunday night, Bishop Emmanuel addressed those who attended the Assyrian Orthodox Palm Sunday mass wearing an eye-patch, after recovering in hospital from several stab wounds.

In the sermon, which was also live streamed, Bishop Emmanuel spent several minutes thanking worshippers, mayors, church leaders and even a Croatian opera singer who sent him letters and flowers saying he was "absolutely humbled".

He also said he was praying for his alleged attacker.

"This young man who did this act almost two weeks ago, I say to you my dear, 'You are my son, and you will always be my son'," the bishop said.

Later in the 52-minute sermon, he addressed the Australian government and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

He went on to speak about the importance of free speech.

"Every human being has the right to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion," he said.

"For us to say that free speech is dangerous, that free speech cannot be possible in a democratic country, I'm yet to fathom this."

Last week the Federal Court heard a dispute between the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant and social media platform X over an order for X to take down a few dozen instances of the footage.

Lawyers for the social media platform argued the order was an overreach and told the court they had an affidavit from Bishop Emmanuel saying he wanted the footage to remain online.

The ABC has not seen the affidavit.

"For us to say that because of this freedom of speech it is causing dramas and dilemmas therefore everything should be censored then where is democracy, where is humanity, where is integrity?," Bishop Emmanuel said.

Iraq-born Assyrian Bishop Emmanuel said he migrated to Australia in 1985 and that while he may not look it he is a "proud Aussie".

"I will put the prawns on the barbie with Mr Albanese and with Mr Peter Dutton anytime of the day and I'll say to them 'G-day mate'," he said in closing.

"This is home".

To date, 10 men have been charged over the riot and six teenagers have been charged in raids after a counter terrorism investigation was launched after the stabbing.

Original Story :
Story by :
 Xanthe Gregory

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