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.

Just Posted

Nelson’s Maglio hired by Spokane Chiefs

Adam Maglio will serve as an assistant coach with the WHL team

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

COLUMN: 1919 – Forest fire threatens Rosemont

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

LETTER: A good news story

From reader Lonnie Snyder

School District 8 names new international principal

Jann Schmidt has been an educator for 26 years

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Most Read