Media and Communications (Images: St Matthew's Facebook page)
An incident that occurred this week in the North Fawkner parish has left many parishioners shocked. Fr Tomy Kalathoor Mathew was stabbed in the neck, just as he was about to commence the 11am Italian-language Mass at St Matthew’s parish.
A 72-year old Fawkner man has been arrested over the incident, a person it is believed had previously voiced displeasure with the priest’s Indian heritage. Prior to stabbing Fr Mathew, the man allegedly accused him of being Hindu or Muslim, and therefore unqualified to say Mass.
‘This is appalling behaviour and people should never be treated like this,’ said Shane Healy, Media and Communications director at the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. ‘This man is doing wonderful work for his parishioners and this is really a blight on the great work that many, many Catholic priests are doing.’
Fr Mathew was taken in a stable condition to a nearby hospital. Vicar General Monsignor Greg Bennet said the priest was doing well in hospital and wanted to get back to work soon.
‘His thoughts are only for his parishioners,’ he said.
The offender was arrested and charged late last night, with intentionally causing serious injury.