Attacker in a white baseball cap stabbed a priest after chasing him around the altar during televised mass at the Montreal Catholic Basilica
The man was arrested not long after the incident at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
suspect stabbed the celebrant Father Clause Grou, in the upper body, before being held down by security
They kept him there until police arrived to take the man into custody
Father Grou was ‘lightly’ injured and was taken to the hospital
The attack was captured on cameras as the service was being filmed and broadcast live on a Catholic TV channel it was also livestreamed on the church’s website
Man stabs priest during morning mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory on Friday. The service was being televised. The attacker is shown in black clothes and a white hat approaching Father Grou as he conducted mass at the altar
A priest has been stabbed during morning mass at a church in Montreal that was being broadcast live online and on television.
At around 8.40am, Father Claude Grou was conducting the service at Saint Joseph’s Oratory when the attacker, who has not been named, suddenly rushed at him from one of the pews.
He ran towards the priest, stabbing him in the upper body, as members of the congregation watched on in horror.
Father Grou fell to the ground but got back up immediately as worshipers stood between him and the attacker to put distance between them until police arrived.
Father Claude Grou [photo], was stabbed in the upper body. He was taken to the hospital where he is being treated for ‘light’ injuries
Footage from the 8:30 a.m. mass, broadcast on a Catholic television network, showed a man dressed in dark clothing and wearing a white baseball cap walking toward the altar. The man knocked over a candle as he rushed toward Father Claude Grou, striking him at least twice with an object in his right hand.
Grou moved away, falling as the man attacked him and knocking over a banner at the right of the altar.
Several other people rushed to the altar, blocking the man from getting close to Grou. The priest then stood up and was helped by people in the church.
By the time he got back up, others had run towards the altar to keep the attacker away from him.
The scene was remarkably calm in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
The footage shows the attacker standing almost still near to where Grou was being comforted by a member of the congregation before police arrived.
The priest, Father Claude Grou who was was stabbed in the upper body, was lightly injured and has been taken to hospital where he is expected to recover.
The man in the white hat is shown [left] attacking Father Grou, knocking him to the ground, while another priest [right], watches from the side Members of the congregation rush forward to protect the priest from the the assailant. The suspect [in the white hat], stood calmly at the back before being held down
No one else was injured and the assailant’s motive is not clear.
The assailant has not yet been charged.
Police say they will interview him this afternoon.
A woman who was in the congregation spoke afterwards to describe seeing the man rush at the altar and suddenly produce a knife.
She said the priest yelled for security as the man came towards him.
The suspect reportedly, did not resist when he was subdued by security guards. “The assailant was on the ground, calm, and had two men on top of him keeping him there,” said one witness.
Scene outside Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada after Father Claude Grou was stabbed during morning mass on Friday
It remains unclear what his motive was.
Barbeau said about 50 people were attending the mass when the attack occurred, including the attacker, who was at the back of the church.
Barbeau said people were shaken and saddened by what happened.