Priest Stabbed During Mass After Man Rushes Altar

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A Catholic priest was stabbed Friday morning during a Mass at Canada's renowned St. Joseph’s Oratory that was livestreamed on a Catholic television station.

A man wearing a baseball cap stood from the pew as 77-year-old the Rev. Claude Grou was preparing to read the Gospel, witnesses told CBC News. The man then walked forward and rushed the altar of Canada's largest church.

"He walked past the barrier leading into the sanctuary near the altar, and everyone was just initially wondering what was going on, and some people were starting to react a little bit," congregant Philip Barrett told CBC News.

"It was obvious what his intentions were. So, I left screaming to alert the security," said Adele Plamondon, who was attending the Mass with 60 other people.

The man and priest tussled as he slashed Grou twice in the chest, witnesses said. Some congregants cornered the man before security guards then wrestled the attacker to the ground and restrained him.

Grou was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, thankfully with only minor injuries, according to the BBC. Grou said the knife broke during the attack, according to witnesses.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent well wishes to the priest on Twitter, writing, “What a horrible attack at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal this morning. Father Claude Grou, Canadians are thinking of you and wishing you a swift recovery.”

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear, but authorities say the suspect is known to police.

Grou said the incident will not stop him from conducting Mass.

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