Written by 4:44 pm In the News

Bishop blesses attacker

The bishop who was attacked at an Australian church earlier this week shared that he is “doing fine” and told his attacker: “You’re my son, and you’ll always be in my prayers.”

In what Australian police are calling a terrorist attack, a young male entered Christ the Good Shepherd Church on Monday evening, April 15, and stabbed Assyrian Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. The bishop is a leader in the Assyrian Church, a branch of Eastern Christianity.

New South Wales police have the suspect in custody — a 16-year-old boy whose identity has not been released due to laws protecting minor offenders.

The attack on Bishop Emmanuel was inadvertently lives-streamed on his YouTube channel and came in the wake of a mass stabbing at an Australian shopping mall in the Bondi area on Saturday.

Father Isaac Royel and other church members were also injured during the attack in their attempts to protect the bishop.

In a video announcement from Christ the Good Shepherd Church, Father Daniel Kochou confirmed that Bishop Emmanuel endured “non-life-threatening injuries” and is “stable.”

Bishop Emmanuel said in the parish announcement, posted to YouTube, that “we need to be always thankful to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth for whatever trials and tribulations we go through.”

“We are carrying the cross,” he said. “Let us not forget that at all.”

Speaking from his hospital bed, the bishop confirmed that he is “recovering very quickly” and said that “there is no need to be worried or concerned.”

“For this young man, I say to you, you’re my son, and you’ll always be in my prayers,” Bishop Emmanuel said to his attacker. “May the Lord Jesus forgive you, may the Lord Jesus bless you and show you the way, my dear son.”

“I forgive whoever has done this act, and I say to him you are my son, I love you, and I will always pray for you,” he continued. “And whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well.”

Bishop Emmanuel emphasised that he has “nothing in my heart but love for everyone,” noting that Jesus taught that Christians should love their neighbours as themselves.

Shortly after the stabbing, protesters began rioting outside of Christ the Good Shepherd Church, leading to some property damage and blockage of the emergency responders.

(Catholic News Agency) 

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