On Friday morning, 77-year-old Father Claude Grou was offering mass to 50 attendees and live streaming for many more in St. Joseph Oratory when 26-year-old Vlad Cristian Eremia attacked the priest. In the video, Eremia is seen chasing Fr. Grou around the alter before he stabbed the him in the chest.
“I saw this man coming quickly and taking his knife out and going straight for Père Grou,” Adèle Plamondon said realizing what was happening and rushed to alert security.
The Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lepine, released a statement in regards to the attack asking for prayers and offering his support to family, the Congregation Sainte-Croix, and the volunteers and employees of Saint Joseph’s Oratory. “Father Grou suffered some injuries, however, thank God, he is not in danger,” Archbishop Lepine added.
Hours after the incident, Fr. Grou was discharged from the hospital after suffering minor injuries. The knife broke during the attack which prevented a worse tragedy for Fr. Grou.
Early Saturday, Vlad Cristian Eremia appeared before a Montreal courtroom and is facing charges of attempted murder and assault. Prosecutor Genevieve Belanger, who is working the case, requested a mental evaluation before the attacker is charged with any crimes related to this attack, regardless of his previous criminal records. The psychiatric evaluation was granted for the attacker before his bail hearing, which is scheduled for Monday the 25th.