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

WATCH: Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock pedals into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Volunteer LeMoine doesn’t get locks shaved but still finds a way to raise funds

Oceanside Folk/Roots Club to hold first show Oct. 2 in Qualicum Beach

Community hall to serve as venue for performances

Committee endorses $4.5M Qualicum Beach all-season turf project

Letter of support sought from regional district for grant application

B.C. Greens hurrying to get candidates in place for provincial election

No candidates announced yet in Nanaimo, Nanaimo-North Cowichan or Parksville-Qualicum

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Most Read