Senior Parish Priest Isaac Royel and Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel
A stabbing at a Sydney church that hospitalised two clergymen is being treated as a terrorist act. Image by HANDOUT/CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPHERD CHURCH

Fake news site links stabbing to debunked conspiracy

Blair Simpson-Wise April 24, 2024

A Sydney bishop was stabbed in his church after exposing an elite pedophile ring.


False. The bishop did not expose a pedophile ring.

A fake news website is using the attack on a Sydney clergyman to peddle baseless conspiracies.

US-based The People’s Voice claims Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel had angered “elites” by “exposing” a “VIP pedophile ring”. The website suggests this was the motivation for the attack.

This is false. The bishop did not expose any such pedophile ring. This claim was debunked by AAP FactCheck last year. 

Additionally, authorities declared the attack an act of terror, due to the accused teenager’s suspected religious motivation.

Bishop Emmanuel was stabbed up to six times at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley on April 15, Parramatta Children’s Court heard last week.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
 The posts link back to the US-based website. 

The bishop sustained serious cuts to his head in the attack which was live-streamed on social media.

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with committing a terrorist act. He remains before the courts.

The People’s Voice, which AAP FactCheck has debunked numerous times, has sought to take advantage of the incident to spread baseless conspiracy theories. 

Its article (archived here), titled “Australian Bishop Who Exposed Elite Pedophile Ring Stabbed In Brutal Attack on Livestream” has been shared on Facebook (here, here, here, here, here, here) and X.

“An Australian bishop who exposed an elite pedophile ring including high level politicians and former prime ministers was brutally attacked by a knife-wielding thug while delivering a sermon at a Sydney church,” the article states.

The article also makes it sound as if the attack followed shortly after the bishop’s supposed “pedophile ring” revelations.

“Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel exposed the VIP elite pedophile ring in a powerful speech before the attack, warning his adversaries that he did not care if they killed him for exposing their crimes,” the article reads.

But the bishop’s false claims date back to at least October last year – nearly seven months before the April 15 attack.

A screenshot of the TikTok clip.
 The bishop’s claims were debunked in 2023. 

“Did the VIP elite send a message to Bishop Mari and any other influential figures who are thinking about exposing their crimes against children? Watch,” the article adds before linking to a graphic video of the attack.

The bishop’s pedophile ring allegations centre around a claim 40,000 children disappear every year in Australia.

However, AAP FactCheck found that not only is the figure exaggerated but 99 per cent of Australians who go missing are found soon after.

The teen charged with terrorism faced court on April 19.

His lawyer said he had a long history of behaviour consistent with a mental illness or intellectual disability. He had also received intermittent psychological treatment from the age of five up until shortly before the alleged offence.

Authorities previously said the stabbing was declared an act of terror because of the teenager’s suspected religious motivation. He returns to court on June 14.

The People’s Voice is run by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, a former TV producer who writes many of the fake news articles on the website, which specialises in clickbait content.

The Verdict

The claim that a Sydney bishop was stabbed in his church during a sermon after exposing an elite pedophile ring is false.

The bishop did not expose a pedophile ring. This claim was debunked by AAP FactCheck last year.

A court heard that a teenager charged with a terrorism offence has a history of behaviour consistent with a mental illness or intellectual disability.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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