March 23, 2019 12:59 pm
Updated: March 23, 2019 6:43 pm

Priest stabbed during mass at Montreal oratory leaves hospital, suspect charged

WARNING: Video contains disturbing images which are not suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised. A priest was stabbed during Friday morning mass at Saint-Joseph's Oratory. The alleged assault was broadcast live online. As Global's Dan Spector explains, the motive behind the attack is still unclear.

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A 26-year-old man was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a stabbing at Montreal’s Saint-Joseph’s Oratory on Friday.

Vlad Christian Eremia appeared briefly via videoconference at the Montreal courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

He is accused of stabbing a Catholic priest during morning mass on Friday.

The incident shocked parishioners, as well as those watching the service via a live stream.

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Father Claude Grou was released from hospital Friday night after suffering minor injuries in the attack.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Grou expressed his gratitude for the support he’s received.

“My health is good and I’m recovering from my emotions,” he said in a statement released by the church.

READ MORE: Priest transported to hospital after stabbing at Saint Joseph’s Oratory

WATCH: WARNING: Video contains disturbing images which are not suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised. Father Grou, who was stabbed while saying mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory on Friday has been released from hospital. As Gloria Henriquez reports, a 26-year-old Montreal man has been charged in connection with the attack.

He thanked the public for their many messages of support, and said he would resume his duties after a few days of rest.

“I pray that St. Joseph’s Oratory will remain a place of welcome, prayer, calm and peace as it has been for over 100 years and I look forward to returning to work,” he said.

The incident began shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Friday when a man with a knife rushed the sanctuary of the landmark church and stabbed 77-year-old Grou, the Oratory’s rector.

READ MORE: Major facelift for St-Joseph’s Oratory will allow public access to previously forbidden areas

Police have not suggested a motive for the attack, but say there’s no evidence to suggest the suspect was linked to any group.

Oratory spokeswoman Danielle Decelles said Saturday morning that the church’s usual security will be in place for Sunday mass, and police will provide an increased presence in the coming days to ensure worshippers feel safe.

The accused is expected back in court on Monday. The prosecution has ordered he undergo a psycho-social evaluation before then.

— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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