Published: Sat, March 23, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Claude Grou, Catholic priest at St

Claude Grou, Catholic priest at St

A Catholic priest was stabbed while celebrating Mass in Montreal Friday morning as stunned parishioners looked on, according to officials and video footage.

On Friday, Grou was stabbed while offering morning Mass. Security guards arrested the perpetrator and Grou was immediately rushed to the hospital.

Video of the attack rebroadcast by CTV showed the assailant - a tall man in jeans, a parka and a white baseball cap - chase the priest around the altar and stab him.

"He [the suspect] was attending the mass, he was on the premises and he had a blade with him", said Oratory spokesperson Céline Barbeau, who could not confirm if this was the man's first time at mass.

Lurie reported that the assailant slashed Grou in his stomach and the knife broke during the attack.

Montreal police said a 911 call was placed at around 8:40 a.m.

Barrett said that he, like the rest of the roughly 60 people present, was shocked that an attack would happen in a place he has come to see as a haven. Meanwhile, a 26-year-old suspect is in custody, and police were questioning him.

Paramedics treated Grou at the scene and brought him to Montreal General Hospital to be treated for slash wounds to his belly.

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"I said, 'Saint Joseph protected you.' He said, 'I think he did.' He was in shock", she said.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Montreal said in a tweet Grou's condition was "stable", CTV said, adding that he's in his late 70s and has been at Saint Joseph's Oratory for more than 20 years.

"We apologize for the interruption of the live mass today", said the company that runs the livestream in a statement on its website. "I'm relieved to learn that the life of Rev. Claude Grou, rector of the [Oratory, ] is out of danger and that his condition is stable", she tweeted.

A number of politicians extended their prayers to Father Grou wishing for a quick recovery, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante called the incident "horrible and inexcusable" and said it had no place in Montreal.

The historic shrine is a famous Montreal landmark and the largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph in the world.

Montreal Archbishop Christian Lepine offered his support to Grou and those affected by the crime.

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