Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel is approached at the altar of the Wakeley church last night (YouTube)

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns held a meeting with faith leaders from multiple western Sydney religious communities late last night after an Assyrian bishop was stabbed during a church service in Wakeley. Source:

Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay and Melkite Bishop Robert Rabbat were among the faith leaders who attended the meeting at 10.30pm after Assyrian Church of the East Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed as he delivered a sermon at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley at about 7pm.

All leaders “endorsed and supported a unanimous condemnation of violence in any form, called for the community to follow first responder and police instructions, and called for calm in the community”, Mr Minns said.

“We’re calling on everyone to act with kindness and respect for each other. Now is the time to show that we are strong and united as a NSW community.”

Other faith and political leaders at the Minns meeting were Hafez Alameddine, Lebanese Muslim Association president; Sheikh Shadi Alsuleiman, Australian National Imans Council president; Archbishop Zaia Mar Malis, Assyrian Community; Kamalle Dabboussy, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils CEO; Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper; NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cook; Premier’s Department secretary Simon Draper; and Multicultural NSW chief executive Joseph La Posta.

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly stabbing the bishop and a priest, Fr Isaac Royel. Both Bishop Emmanuel and Fr Royel were taken to hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

As police responded to the attack a large group gathered outside the church, forcing police officers to keep the suspect inside the church for his own safety, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The angry crowd of hundreds of community members threw projectiles at police – one constable was hit with a metal object and sustained a twisted knee and a chipped tooth. Another constable was left with a broken jaw after he was hit with a brick and a fence paling.

No charges have been laid, and the alleged attacker is in police custody in an undisclosed location.


Leaders in crisis control after Sydney bishop stabbing sparks angry crowds (By Kieran Campbell,

What we know so far (By Jessica McSweeney, Sydney Morning Herald)


Premier Chris Minns and Sydney’s mayors call for calm after bishop attacked in city’s west (Daily Telegraph)