C of E vicar who shared claims of 9/11 Israel plot barred for antisemitism | Anglicanism

A vicar who shared an posting suggesting Israel was responsible for the 9/11 terror assaults has been barred from the ministry for 12 yrs for antisemitism.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews produced 11 allegations versus the Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, which claimed his perform in incidents amongst 2005-18 amounted to antisemitic activity.

Sizer, the previous vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey, admitted the “factual basis” of all allegations against him but disputed that his perform was antisemitic.

On the other hand, a church tribunal observed that he engaged in antisemitic conduct with regard to suggesting Israel’s responsibility for 9/11.

The listening to identified his perform was “unbecoming to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Order” and he had dedicated misconduct below the clergy disciplinary measure 2003. He was handed a “penalty judgment”, barring him from licensed ministry in the Church of England for 12 yrs.

Adhering to the penalty judgment from Sizer, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “It is clear that the behaviour of Stephen Sizer has undermined Christian-Jewish relations, offering encouragement to conspiracy theories and tropes that have no place in general public Christian ministry and the church.

“I renew my call for the maximum achievable criteria amid ordained ministers of the Church of England in combating antisemitism of all varieties.”

The tribunal listened to that in 2006, Sizer met Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, a senior commander of the Islamist militant group Hezbollah, in a magic formula location in or in close proximity to Tyre in Lebanon. In 2010, he posted a connection to an write-up entitled “The Mom of All Coincidences”, which pushed the conspiracy idea that 9/11 was an Israeli plot.

In 2015, he promoted the concept that Israel was at the rear of 9/11 by posting a url on Fb to an article entitled “9/11/Israel did it”. In an interview in March 2018 on Australian radio, Sizer defended the backlink he posted to the short article by indicating it experienced to be “considered”.

Amongst other allegations in opposition to Sizer were being that he spoke at a meeting in Indonesia in 2008 along with the Holocaust denier Fred Tobin that he promoted a further Holocaust denier and antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Michael Hoffman, in June 2008 and that he cited Holocaust deniers and significantly-proper figures, in distinct Dale Crowley, in January 2009.

The vicar told the tribunal he has been the concentrate on of a “10-year campaign of intimidation and harassment” and that his views experienced been “routinely misrepresented and distorted”.

He said he had “repeatedly and unequivocally repudiated racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial in his lectures, books and web site articles”.