Horror: Priest stabbed during Friday morning mass in Montreal

A priest was stabbed during Friday’s morning mass at Montreal’s Saint Joseph’s Oratory, according to emerging reports.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports Father Claude Grou, who serves as rector of the oratory, was rushed to a hospital while one man has been arrested,  according to a statement from Céline Barbeau, a spokesperson for the oratory.

“We are waiting to hear more details about what happened and how he is,” she added.

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Priest stabbed at St-Joseph’s Oratory this morning during mass – suspect under arrest and Father Claude Grou taken to hospital with what police say are light wounds to the upper body6

Montreal police spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils told reporters that the priest suffered light injuries to his upper body.

Montreal’s famed Saint Joseph’s Oratory says a priest who was stabbed during morning mass is expected to survive the attack.

In a tweet just before noon on Friday, the oratory said Father Claude Grou’s life is “not in danger” following the stabbing.

Montreal police say a suspect has been arrested and he was taken to the station for questioning.


Saint Joseph's Oratory, stabbing

A man armed with a knife runs toward the altar at Saint Joseph’s Oratory during mass on Friday March 22, 2019.

Father Claude Grou

Father Claude Grou is seen in this undated photo taken from the Saint Joseph’s Oratory’s Facebook page. (L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal / Facebook)

Stabbing at Saint Joseph's Oratory

Police in Montreal have arrested a man after a stabbing at 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 before approximately 50 worshippers.

Shortly after the attack, the Diocese of Montreal identified the priest as Father Claude Grou, the rector of the church.

The mass was being livestreamed by the Catholic television network 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.

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.

One woman who was attending the mass told CTV Montreal that she saw the attacker run towards the altar and said she thought he was going to kneel and pray before she saw him pull out a large knife.

Witness Philip Barrett told The Canadian Press that he was sitting near the front of the church when he saw the suspect, who appeared to be a Caucasian man in his 30s, rise from a pew and approach the sanctuary during the mass.

“I do remember the priest was moving away from the man but it happened so quickly there was almost no time to react,” he recalled.

Barrett said the suspect didn’t speak or call out during the attack and he didn’t struggle once he was subdued.

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. CTV News’ Vanessa Lee said onlookers told her that Grou was sitting up and talking before he was transported to hospital for further treatment.

Nick Monroe@nickmon1112 · 2hReplying to @nickmon1112

Photo of Montreal priest stabbing suspect getting arrested https://twitter.com/rluriectv/status/1109098554604298241?s=21 …

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Nick Monroe@nickmon1112

VIDEO of the Montreal priest stabbing https://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2019/03/22/un-pretre-poignarde-en-pleine-messe-a-loratoire-st-joseph … pic.twi