In an apparent hate crime, an Indian Catholic priest from Kerala was attacked by a 72-year-old man while leading the Sunday mass in a Melbourne church, according to media reports.
Father Tomy Kalathomor Mathew, a native from Kozhikode was stabbed at around 11 am at St.Matthew’s church in the northern suburb of Australia.
Racism may be the reason the 48-year-old priest was stabbed in the neck moments before he was about to say mass at a Melbourne church, reports News.com.au.
According to the report, it is believed that the offender told the priest that because he was Indian, he must be a Hindu or a Muslim and therefore can't be saying mass.
The man has been charged for stabbing Mathew in the neck moments before the priest was due to give the 11 a.m. Italian-language mass on Sunday.
According to Australian media, the assailant yelled: “you are Indian, a ‘HIndu or Muslim you can't say Mass I will kill you.”
He has been charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury and bailed to appear in the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court on June 13.
Father Tomy is recovering from non life-threatening injuries in hospital.
The attack was described as “appalling” by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.