‘My son’: Bishop’s message to attacker

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was saying mass when he was stabbed multiple times. Picture: Facebook.
Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was saying mass when he was stabbed multiple times. Picture: Facebook.

The bishop who was stabbed multiple times during a livestreamed Sydney church service has shared a message for his attacker.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was delivering a service at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley on Monday when a figure was seen on video approaching and attacking the 55-year-old preacher.

Speaking from his hospital bed on Thursday morning, the bishop delivered a message to the attacker.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was delivering a sermon when he was stabbed. Picture: Facebook
Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was delivering a sermon when he was stabbed. Picture: Facebook

“I say to him, you’re my son, I love you. And I will always pray for you,” he said in an audio message shared to the church’s social media.

“And whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well. In Jesus mighty name. I have nothing in my heart but love for everyone.

“Whether that person is a Christian or not, it’s totally beside the point. The Lord Jesus always taught us to love one another …

“And for this young man, I say to you, you’re my son, and you will always be, my praise my the Lord Jesus.”

Church members meet emergency crews. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
Flowers left outside a house across from the church. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

A 16-year-old boy has been under police guard since Monday night’s stabbing attack. No charges have been laid.

NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley told Sky News that while police remained at the hospital with the 16-year-old, “conversations had not yet taken place”.

Counter-terrorism police were at the hospital ready to interview the teen once he is released by medical staff, with the lengthy process expected to lead to charges being laid.

The boy has undergone surgery in relation to the severed finger and could require further operations, according to Ms Catley.

Minns reflects on nightmare week for NSW

Premier Chris Minns said it had been a “very difficult week” for NSW residents, but he wanted to remind people not to lose hope.

“There are millions of good people in NSW, there are far more good people than there are bad influences in our community, and we can’t lose faith,” he said.

He said “more arrests” were expected to come this week as Strike Force Dribbs continued to investigate the riots that took place after the stabbing.

The Premier also added that social media platforms “need to be held to account” after graphic videos and posts encouraging the riots were ignored by content monitors and left online for hours.

Premier Chris Minns declared the incident a ‘terrorist act’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“I’m encouraged that some of the pages that were spreading this terrible misinformation were taken down in the last day, but there is still some very graphic material that I understand is up on several social media sites,” he told ABC Breakfast on Thursday.

“It needs to come down.”

Mr Minns said if the Commonwealth government wanted to pursue tougher penalties and increased fines for the social media platforms, he would welcome it.

Riots lead to arrests

Chaos erupted after the church attack, with an estimated 2000 people swarming the church and the surrounding streets in the hours after the incident.

Police cars were smashed and police officers injured.

Footage from the night shows a giant crowd surrounding the church chanting “bring him out”.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said people who rioted could expect a ‘knock on the door’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Paramedics rushing to help the injured also confronted a hostile crowd and faced direct threats.

At one point, paramedics were unable to leave the church for 3½ hours, with paramedics describing the scenes as terrifying and extremely violent.

Police Commissioner Karen Webb vowed to find and arrest the persons responsible for the riot, launching Strike Force Dribbs.

“It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but we’ll find you and we’ll come and arrest you,” she said.

The first arrest of a 19-year-old man happened on Wednesday at 5.40pm at a home on Powers Rd in Doonside.