Vicar faces investigation after linking Israel with 9/11 attacks

Reverend Stephen Sizer is now under investigation by his Diocese Credit: Reverend Stephen Sizer

A Church of England Diocese has launched an investigation into a vicar who appeared to link Israel with the 9/11 attacks.

Reverend Stephen Sizer used social media to promote the article entitled "9/11 Israel did it" and reportedly wrote: "Is this anti-semitic? It raises so many questions."

His article provoked fury amongst Jewish groups and prompted the Church of England to issue a statement expressing its "deep sorrow and shame" over the incident.

According to the Jewish News, Rev Sizer of Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey, has since removed the Facebook post but appeared to stand by his actions. He told the newspaper: "I would welcome articles you can recommend refuting the allegations."

He added: "Encouraging research and debate on all aspects of (9/11) is not anti-semitic ... Suppressing discussion on such grounds will fuel suspicion, not remove it."

The Diocese of Guildford in Surrey, where Rev Sizer is licensed, has now taken "immediate steps to investigate", the Church of England said.

A spokesman said: "Our attention has been drawn to comments by the Rev Stephen Sizer made earlier today on social media. In those comments Rev Sizer linked to an article entitled '9/11 Israel did it'.

"These comments would rightly be seen as unacceptable whenever they were posted. It is a matter of deep sorrow and shame that they have been posted in this week of all weeks.

"The Diocese of Guildford, where the Rev Sizer is licensed, is taking immediate steps to investigate. The diocese is aware of the seriousness of the matter and are also in touch with the Board of Deputies of British Jews."

Jonathan Arkush, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the Jewish News: "Posting, and giving approval to, an article which in effect accuses Jews of responsibility for the 9/11 atrocity is unquestionably anti-semitic, just as it is beyond absurd."