Maronite bishop denounces Sydney violence

The Bishop of Sydney's Maronite Catholic community, Bishop Ad Abikaram, issued a statement saying that he is appalled by the race violence of the past week, and that he fully supports the Government and Police in their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators.

"As Bishop of the Maronite Catholic Church of Australia, I am compelled to speak out on the tragic events of the past few days," he said in the statement. "With my fellow-Australians, I am appalled at the violence perpetrated. We support the Government and the Police in their efforts to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice."

Bishop Ad Abikaram administers 11 Maronite parishes in Australia, including six in Sydney.

"It is my belief that it is necessary to address the root causes that lead young people to commit wanton acts of vandalism and violence. I believe that it is critical to the resolution of this problem that we as a community foster in all young people a sense of self-esteem and belonging to Australia."

"As Australian Christians of Lebanese background, we offer our unqualified support to the Government in its quest to preserve law and order in our society. Insofar as it need be said, we offer a hand of friendship to Australian Muslims of Lebanese background, as well as to Australians of all backgrounds, when the need is apparent to work as one community to resolve problems, whatever their cause. We must do this for the sake of the future of Australia."

Bishop Abikaram added, "We Maronite Christians reaffirm our loyalty to Australia and are proud to put Australia first."

Press Release on the recent Sydney riots - issued by Bishop Ad Abikaram Maronite Catholic Bishop of Australia (13/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of St Maroun
Bishop Ad Abikaram (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)

14 Dec 2005