Man, 26, charged with attempted murder in Montreal priest stabbing

Vlad Cristian Eremia is also charged with assault with a weapon

A 26-year old man has been charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a Catholic priest during morning mass at Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory on Friday.

Vlad Cristian Eremia, who appeared in a Montreal courtroom via videoconference Saturday afternoon, is also charged with assault with a weapon for allegedly attacking the Oratory’s 77-year-old rector with a knife.

Eremia, who wore a blue-and-white checked shirt, did not speak during his brief appearance other to confirm he was represented by a legal aid lawyer.

The Crown objected to his release and requested he receive a psychosocial evaluation before his bail hearing, which is expected to take place Monday.

Crown prosecutor Genevieve Belanger said the evaluation was requested in order to assess the accused’s mental state.

Earlier Saturday, the priest who was stabbed expressed gratitude for the support he’s received from the public.

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

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

READ MORE: Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass

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 Grou in front of dozens of worshippers.

Witnesses said a man rose from a pew midway through the morning mass and rounded the altar to stab Grou as he prepared to proclaim the gospel. They said the suspect, who was quickly restrained by those present, did not speak during the attack and waited calmly for police to arrive.

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

The Oratory said on Saturday that it takes security seriously, and has a security team on duty at all times.

Spokeswoman Danielle Decelles said Montreal police would also provide an increased presence in the coming days to ensure worshippers feel safe.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read