Australia: Indian priest stabbed in Melbourne

Unqualified to recite Mass, the accused said

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 21, 2017 5:01 am
indian priest stabbed, catholic priest stabbed, catholic priest attack, australia catholic priest attack, australia priest attack, indian priest attack, hate crimes australia, australia hate crimes, world news Father Tomy Mathew. (The Australian)

An Indian-origin Catholic priest was stabbed in the neck at a church in Melbourne by a man who said that he is unqualified to recite Mass as he is Indian, prompting the Indian consulate to take up the matter with the police. A man with a knife approached Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, 48, in the church foyer moments before the Italian-language Mass at St Matthew’s Parish in Fawkner on Sunday. Reacting to the incident, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Indian Consulate officials met Father Mathew in the hospital and are in touch with the police.

“The Police have arrested the attacker and charged him with attempt to murder. Our Consulate is in touch with the police and will keep us informed of the progress of the case,” she added. It is believed that the accused told the priest that because he is Indian, he must be a Hindu or a Muslim and is therefore not qualified to say Mass, local media reported.

“There was some shouting and a lot of movement at the back of the church and then I saw Father Tommy approaching me. He waved and asked me if I could look at his neck because he said, ‘I’ve just been stabbed’,” said Melina, one of the parishioners. A 72-year-old man from Fawkner was arrested and charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury. He was granted bail to appear in Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on June 13.

“At this stage, we believe the incident is isolated. There’s nothing to suggest he’s a danger to anyone else,” Detective Senior Constable Rhiannon Norton told reporters. Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne spokesman Shane Healy described the incident as “appalling”.

“People should never be treated like this. This fellow is doing wonderful work for his parishioners and this is really a blight on the great work that many Catholic priests are doing,” he said. Father Mathew suffered minor upper-body injuries and is stable at The Northern Hospital. Swaraj said, “Father Mathew was immediately taken to the hospital. The accused had a problem with Father Mathew presiding over the church.”

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  1. I
    Mar 21, 2017 at 1:36 am
    Nice, this is the punishment duplicate xerox copy converted Indian xchians should get, then they will know how their little brown azz is kicked by racist white supremacists xchians. Even Jesus can not save you( he died himself)
  2. K
    Kamal Pasha
    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:06 am
    Asians will never be accepted by the Whites in their country, w heartedly, never.
  3. S
    Mar 21, 2017 at 7:27 am
    It should be an eye opener to the religious community. In ancient India , it was told ( Gita too repeats ) - To follow ones own Dharma is better , than following others, because it takes you to no place socially , intellectually and spiritually . Not only that , the most intolerant faiths are the Abrahamic faiths. These employ all sort of dubious methods for expansion.
  4. S
    Mar 21, 2017 at 2:36 am
    Islamforfools, you have just shown your own ignorance about Christians. Please educate yourself about the differences between Christianity (which originated in the land now called Israel) and Western civilization (which reflects the ancient Greek culture).
  5. C
    Mar 21, 2017 at 1:09 am
    So is it a religion that believes only some colors???? Very unfortunate!!! After all what does he mean by he is not qualified??? Nothing but ignorance at its height!!!!! If there is a supreme being he should enlighten all these dark ages guys and convert them to live in peace with all the living creatures. Jaihind
  6. A
    Akshar Bhan
    Mar 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm
    To all my Australian cricket mates. This is sick
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