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A statement from AMEC concerning the events at Wakeley, Sydney 19 April 2024.

Certain events in Sydney whilst geographically at a distance from each other have none the less united all Australians in a common sorrow and distress. The tragic loss of life at Bondi, and injuries sustained by the several survivors, have left a city, a State and a nation in disbelief. Likewise, the incident at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wakeley has left many astonished at what is for Australia an almost surreal happening.

Whilst the events at Bondi have been assimilated by the general population in a peaceful and ordered manner, not the same can be said for the aftermath of the attack on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. The scenes of mayhem that followed the attempt on the bishop's life can only be described as alarming.

According to Divine Providence, Bishop Mar Mari and Father Isaac Royel, survived the attack and have received the appropriate medical treatment. However, we renew our concern for the sanctity and security of any House of Prayer of whatever faith community. Be it church, synagogue, mosque or temple, the sacred character of places of worship must be recognised. The safety of holy places is often an indicator of the actual freedom enjoyed by citizens, or the lack of it.

It is particularly distressing that the events at Wakeley unfolded but a few weeks after the Western Easter, a short time before the Orthodox Easter, and within days of Eid al-Fitr. There was no respect for the sacred character of the place or calendar.

We strongly condemn the incident at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wakeley. And, we unequivocally urge the members of our communities, Catholic and Orthodox, to cooperate at all times with police and emergency services.

It is now a time for prayer.

We prayerfully remember those who were murdered at Bondi, and we commend them to the love and mercy of the Good Lord; we keep in our prayers all those who were injured.

We also pray that peace will guide the hearts and minds of all who are hurt or angry, confused or uncertain, by the unfortunate events at Wakeley.

With kindest regards,

Robert Rabbat, DD

President of AMEC

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