Letter from Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay to the Prime Minister of Australia and the Premier of NSW

Letter from Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, addressed to The Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, and The Honourable Mike Baird MP, Premier of NSW,

I write to you from Lebanon, where I am with my brother Bishops from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as well as the Conference of Bishops and Representatives of the Middle Eastern Apostolic Churches in Australia and New Zealand, as we travel through the Middle East to be with displaced Christians in Erbil, Iraq and refugees in Lebanon, offering spiritual support and humanitarian aid in this Christmas season. 

I was deeply saddened by the disturbing news out of Sydney on Monday 15 December 2014, and was moved by the unity demonstrated by the Australian community in reaction to this tragedy. 

I, together with the Maronite Community in Australia, denounce this criminal act that affected every Australian.

Our prayers are with the Australian and New South Wales Governments, the police, medical staff, the hostages, and the courageous men and women who reacted so promptly and responsibly to alleviate the situation.

We also pray for the souls of the victims of the siege, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, as well as those who were injured and their families. We continue our prayers asking the Lord to protect Australia and its people.

In Christ,
+Antoine-Charbel Tarabay
Maronite Bishop of Australia



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