Stephen Sizer
Rev Stephen Sizer said the article 'raised many questions' about the 9/11 attacksRev Stephen Sizer

A vicar who used his Facebook account to link Israel to the 9/11 attacks has been banned from using social media for six months, but has managed to keep his job with the Church of England.

Reverend Stephen Sizer, from Virginia Water, Surrey, took to his Facebook to post a story which claimed that the widely accepted plot of the tragedy was "absurd" in an article entitled "9/11 Israel did it".

He later removed the link from his account, apologising and saying that it had been "ill-considered and misjudged".

The Diocese of Guildford immediately launched an investigation into the post – which came in the same week as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Right Reverend Andrew Watson said: "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.

"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."