Stabbed Sydney Bishop Returns to Pulpit with Message of Forgiveness

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, a Sydney priest stabbed in an alleged terrorist attack, returned to the pulpit on Palm Sunday, delivering a powerful message of forgiveness to his attacker and the community, demonstrating remarkable resilience and compassion.

Mazhar Abbas
New Update
Bishop Forgives Teenage Assailant in Palm Sunday Sermon After Stabbing Attack

Bishop Forgives Teenage Assailant in Palm Sunday Sermon After Stabbing Attack

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, a prominent Sydney priest who was stabbed in an alleged terrorist attack at a church in Wakeley, Western Sydney, just two weeks after the alleged terrorist attack, returned to the pulpit on Palm Sunday to deliver a powerful message of forgiveness. Despite the attack that hospitalized him, the bishop stood before his parishioners wearing a white medical eye patch and welcomed the congregation with cheers and a standing ovation.

During his nearly hour-long sermon, Bishop Emmanuel directly addressed his 16-year-old alleged attacker, saying, "You are my son, and you will always be my son. I love you. And I will always pray for you." The bishop extended his forgiveness to "whoever was in this act" in the name of Jesus, demonstrating remarkable resilience and compassion in the face of the alleged terrorist incident.

The attack, which was livestreamed and injured four people, was described by authorities as a religiously motivated terror act. Seven teenage boys were arrested in a counter-terrorism investigation following the incident, with the suspected beliefs of the 16-year-old boy not disclosed. The bishop urged his supporters to act "Christ-like" and not retaliate, as tensions ran high in the multi-faith community.

Why this matters: Bishop Emmanuel's message of forgiveness and unity in the aftermath of a traumatic attack serves as a powerful example of leadership and compassion. His response to the attack shows why forgiveness is so important.

Faith and Freedom: In his sermon, Bishop Emmanuel also defended freedom of speech and religion, stating that every human being has the right to express their beliefs, regardless of their faith. He criticized the Australian government and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for suggesting that free speech could be dangerous in a democratic country. The bishop's sermon comes amid a debate in Australia about the proper limits of free expression following the alleged attack.

Unity Sermon: The bishop thanked the congregation for their well wishes and delivered a message of unity, stating, "In Christ, we are one, in Christ we are always united regardless of what our differences are." The attack had sparked riots outside the church, with Australian police injured and some officers and paramedics forced to shelter inside. As part of the counter-terrorism investigation, five boys aged 14 to 17 were among seven arrested in a major operation by the joint counter-terrorism team.

Interfaith Harmony: Bishop Emmanuel's strong moral leadership and message of forgiveness have helped reduce tensions in the community. Christian and Muslim groups condemned the attack and called for calm and no retribution. The bishop's actions exemplified the central Christian principle of forgiveness, which he demonstrated not for personal gain but because it is fundamental to the fabric of his faith.

Key Takeaways

  • Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed in alleged terrorist attack in Sydney.
  • Despite attack, Bishop returned to pulpit on Palm Sunday, preaching forgiveness.
  • Bishop defended freedom of speech and religion, criticized govt's stance on free speech.
  • Attack sparked riots, 7 teenage boys arrested in counter-terrorism investigation.
  • Bishop's message of forgiveness helped reduce tensions in the multi-faith community.