Montreal police say a suspect has been arrested after a priest was stabbed during morning mass at the city’s famed Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
Investigators said a call came in about a stabbing at the church at approximately 8:40 a.m. on Friday morning when the priest was in the process of celebrating mass.
The Diocese of Quebec identified the priest as Father Claude Grou.
The mass was being livestreamed by Sel+Lumiere TV, which airs the religious ceremony daily, when the stabbing occurred. The footage was quickly removed from the website following the attack.
In the video, a man wearing a dark winter coat and a light-coloured baseball cap pulled out a large knife and walked in front of the altar. The footage shows the suspect run up the steps towards the priest.
Grou attempted to run away as the attacker knocked over a candle. The video shows the man quickly catch up to the priest and push him to the ground before he appears to stab him once.
Following the stabbing, the suspect dropped the knife and stood up as members of the congregation ran towards him. Three men restrained the attacker while other people went to help Grou who appeared to stand up on his own.
The church’s security agents detained the man until police arrived. The suspect was arrested and taken to the station for questioning.
Paramedics treated the priest for minor injuries to his upper body at the scene. He was transported to hospital for further treatment.
The Diocese of Quebec told CTV Montreal that Grou’s injuries are not serious. In a tweet, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Montreal said the priest’s condition was “stable.”March 22, 2019
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