“Hell has Touched Us”, Archbishop of Sydney

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Photo: Catholic Herald

The recently appointed Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has told a memorial service for the victims of Monday’s siege that “hell has touched us”.

During the service on Tuesday at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral, the archbishop paid tribute to Tori Johnson, 34, and Katrina Dawson, 38, who died along with Man Haron Monis, the Iranian gunman who took over the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in the Australian city’s central business district.

Mr Johnson was reportedly killed after trying to snatch Monis’s gun. It has also been reported that it was the shooting of Mr Johnson that led to armed police entering the shop and ending the siege.

Speaking to more than 2,000 people at the memorial service, Archbishop Fisher described Mr Johnson as a hero, saying that while his bravery resulted in his own death, his actions led to “freedom for most of the hostages”.

Archbishop Fisher added: “There is an alternative to violence and its recriminations.”

According to ABC News, the archbishop also referred to reports that Ms Dawson, a successful barrister and mother of three, died while protecting a pregnant friend from gunfire.

He said: “These heroes were willing to lay down their lives so others might live, imitating the sacrifice of Christ, who said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for another.”

During the siege a number of the hostages were forced to to hold up a black Islamic banner at the cafe’s window. It has also been reported that during the siege the gunman Monis demanded delivery of an ISIS flag and a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Monis was granted political asylum by Australia in 1996 and was on bail facing a number of charges, including being an accessory to the murder of his former wife. He was also facing more than 40 sexual and indecent assault charges.

Source and Original Content by Catholic Herald

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