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Pressure mounts on Priest gone wild

08 January

Kiwi Friends of Israel

Pressure mounts on Priest gone wild

Pressure is mounting on Catholic Priest Fr Gerard Burns to apologise for desecrating a memorial to murdered Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, says Kiwi Friends of Israel.

"We welcome the strong response from many sections of the community to Fr Burn's vandalism of the Yitzhak Rabin Peace Memorial in Wellington."

Fr Burns threw a mixture of paint and blood over the memorial to the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former Israeli Prime Minister. Australian Catholic News Service Cathnews reported the news under the headline "Kiwi priest defiles Rabin memorial", while the New Zealand Herald today published an editorial condemning his actions.

Wellington Archbishop John Dew has also spoken out, telling Radio New Zealand he "did not support the action at the Rabin memorial at all" and that Fr Burns was not representing the Catholic Church.

David Zwartz, a former honorary Israeli consul to New Zealand, also condemned the vandalism and is reported to have lodged a complaint with local police.

"Although the damage is already done, Fr Burns should do the decent thing and apologise for his disgraceful behaviour.

"He has embarassed his Chruch and the international attention this has recieved is damaging to New Zealand's reputation.

"The vandalism has already been reported by China's state news agency Xinhua, as well as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Australia's Catholic News. It's not a good look for New Zealand, or the Catholic Church.

"Fr Burns can only hope to prevent further embarassment by apologising for his vandalism."


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