Bishop John Gray stood down

John Gray

John Gray

An Anglican cleric who offended Jews and Muslims last month, has been demoted from some of his roles.

Controversial Anglican leader John Gray shocked visiting Jews in Christchurch last month when he told them the Holocaust "should have taught you a lesson".

Gray, who was head of the Maori Anglican diocese in the South Island, also attacked Muslim speakers, asking what they were doing about the "slaughter of innocent people" by Muslims "under the banner of Isis and al Qaeda".

The Anglican Church apologised and Gray was demoted from his role as vicar general to Maori Anglican Diocese in Aotearoa. He has also been stood down from his role as bishop of Anglican diocese of Te Waipounamu, though retains the general title of bishop.

"The archbishops of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia are aware of complaints made recently about Bishop John Gray," the Anglican Church said in a statement.

The archbishops, Brown Turei, Philip Richardson, and Winston Halapua, said Gray would not hold office as the bishop of the Anglican diocese of Te Waipounamu while the complaints were investigated. The diocese of Te Waipounamu covers the South Island.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said Gray's comments about Jews and Muslims were alarming.

"Intolerance and hatred starts small - whether shown by speech, violence, or cowardly grave attacks - but if it goes unchallenged, it grows," she said.

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 - The Press

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