Sun, Mar 26, 2017 | updated 07:05 AM IST

Indian Catholic priest stabbed in Melbourne church in apparent hate crime

Updated: Mar 20, 2017 05:21 IST

Melbourne [Australia], Mar. 20 (ANI): In an apparent hate crime, an Indian Catholic priest was attacked by a 72-year-old man while leading the Sunday mass in a Melbourne church, according to media reports.

Racism may be the reason the 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 Rev Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, 48, in the neck moments before the priest was due to give the 11a.m. Italian-language mass on Sunday.

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. (ANI)

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