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British priest gets social media ban for 9/11 FB post

British priest gets social media ban for 9/11 FB post
A British priest who promoted conspiracy theories that Israel was behind the 9/11 terror attacks in the US on the internet has been banned from speaking, tweeting or blogging for six months, believed to be the first ban of its kind issued by the Church of England.

Stephen Sizer, vicar of Christ Church, in Virginia Water, Surrey, used Facebook to highlight an article that said the official narrative of the 9/11 atrocity was “absurd”. The Diocese of Guildford launched an investigation after the Church of England vicar posted a link to an article entitled “9/11 Israel did it”, and reportedly wrote: “It raises so many questions.”

Sizer later removed the link and apologised for sharing the material, which he said was “ill-considered and misguided”. His comments appeared in the same week as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Announcing the ban on Sizer, the new Bishop of Guildford Andrew Watson said the vicar’s “anti-Zionist agenda has become a liability”. He said Sizer also agreed to refrain from commenting on Middle East issues.

“Many who more moderately support the Palestinian cause and share his critique of a particular brand of Christian fundamentalism, themselves find Stephen’s actions to be increasingly unhelpful and counter-productive, a fact he himself now recognises.

“It is therefore my decision that Stephen’s work in this area is no longer compatible with his ministry as a parish priest,” Bishop Andrew was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“In order for Stephen to remain in parish ministry, I have therefore asked for and received from him a solemn undertaking, in writing, that he is to refrain entirely from writing or speaking on any themes that relate, either directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop,” he said. It is believed to be the first ban of its kind issued by the church, The Telegraph reported.

The ruling by Bishop Andrew, imposes one of the most sweeping restrictions ever placed on a serving Church of England cleric, it said. Nearly 3,000 people died in a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda on the US in New York City and Washington, on September 11, 2001.



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