Those watching the livestream of morning mass at Canada's largest church on Friday saw a jarring scene: Police say an assailant went to the altar of Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal and stabbed the 77-year-old Catholic priest, Father Claude Grou, reports NBC News. Churchgoers then interrupted the assault, reports the Montreal Gazette. The church says Grou suffered only superficial wounds to his upper body and will be OK. Meanwhile, a 26-year-old suspect is in custody, and police were questioning him. They have not speculated about a motive.
A witness tells the Gazette that a man stood up during the service and went behind the altar to where Grou was standing. "No one was sure what exactly was happening and I saw the priest move a bit, farther away from this person,” says Philip Barrett. The man struck the priest, causing him to fall. "Then, suddenly, people reacted and went toward the front of the church.” The church is a major tourist attraction in Canada, drawing about 2 million visitors per year, per NBC. (Read more Catholic priest stories.)