The rector at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal was stabbed as he said mass in the church on Friday morning.
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.
“There was a man, a young man, who stood up and, quickly, went to the front, into the sanctuary, behind the altar where Abbé Claude Grou was standing. No one was sure what exactly was happening and I saw the priest move a bit, further away from this person,” said Philip Barrett, who witnessed the scene. “He struck him. I didn’t see clearly how he struck him, but it was toward (Grou’s) body, then after that I think the priest fell. Then, suddenly, people reacted and went toward the front of the church.”
Barrett said the suspect did not resist when he was subdued by security guards.
Video of the shocking attack is below: