Priest stabbed live on TV at Canada’s biggest church (WARNING: DISTRESSING VIDEO)

A Catholic priest was stabbed in front of his congregation live on TV during morning mass on Friday at Canada’s biggest church in what police described as an isolated incident.

Claude Grou speaks at a press conference on March 1, 2019, about the work to be done at Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. Picture: Sébastien St-Jean/AFP
Footage broadcast on a Catholic television station and picked up by the top-rated CTV network showed a man in jeans, parka and white baseball cap approach Claude Grou at St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, in front of 60 horrified parishioners.

He is seen chasing the priest around the altar and standing menacingly over the 77-year-old as he falls to the ground, scattering candles and a banner, before stabbing his victim.

Witness Adele Plamondon told public broadcaster Radio-Canada the priest — who escaped with minor injuries — was about to start reading the gospel, when “this man drew a knife and ran up to stab him.” “I’d thought he was just going to kneel in front of the altar to pray, like many people do,” she said.

The suspect remained silent during the assault but appeared “very determined,” Plamondon added.

Grou recovered enough to get to his feet and is seen backing away as security officers surround the assailant, who drops his knife. Three guards restrained him while others tended to Grou, who appeared to be in shock.
The priest was taken to hospital, where his condition was said to be stable, with police reporting to AFP that he had been “slightly wounded in the upper body.”

The church was cordoned off, but services resumed later in the day. The 26-year-old suspect, whose name was not released, was scheduled to appear in court on Saturday via videolink from a detention facility.

Police did not reveal a motive for the attack, but spokeswoman Caroline Chevrefils told AFP he is “known to police.” “This was an isolated attack, and there is nothing to link it to terrorism,” she added.

In 2017, a shooter also gunned down six worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City.

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