Kerala priest stabbed in alleged racist attack in Melbourne church

Pablo Tucker
March 20, 2017

"While the ceremony was on, the accused came forward and shouted that since he (Mathew) is an Indian, he can not conduct the mass", Bhasi added.

According to the Herald Sun Rev Tomy Kalathoor Mathew (above), 48, needed urgent first aid from parishioners after an armed man entered the service at St Matthew's Church in Fawker North, Melbourne, and attacked him. "We understand what has happened today has been shocking to our parish community".

Father Tomy is recovering from nonlife-threatening injuries in hospital. "This fellow is doing wonderful work for his parishioners and this is really a blight on the great work that many, many Catholic priests are doing", he said. "I will kill you". "To all of you, thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts", a message on the parish's Facebook page said.

"I couldn't believe that anybody would come in here during a mass and stab a priest", she said.

Several people on the church premises tried to stop the attacker, but he broke free and fled from the scene.

A 72-year-old man from Fawkner was arrested and charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury. "There's nothing to suggest he's a danger to anyone else", Detective Senior Constable Rhiannon Norton told reporters.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the stabbing at St Matthew's, which has a nearby primary school.

Rev Mathew has been the parish priest of St Matthew's since late 2014 and was well-liked by congregation members, who were shocked by the attack.

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