Indian-origin priest stabbed in apparent ‘hate crime’ in Melbourne

In an apparent racist attack, a Catholic priest of Indian origin was stabbed in the neck at a church in Melbourne by a man who called him unqualified to say mass as he was an Indian.

A man armed with a knife approached Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, 48, in the church foyer moments before the Italian- language mass at St Matthew’s Parish in Fawkner on Sunday.

It’s believed that the offender told the priest that because he was Indian, he must be a Hindu or a Muslim and therefore unqualified to say mass, local media reported.

“There was some shouting and a lot of movement at the back of the church and then I saw Father Tommy coming to approach me. He waved me over and asked me if I could look at his neck because he said ‘I’ve just been stabbed’,” said Melina, one of the parishioners.

A 72-year-old man from Fawkner was arrested and charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury.

He was bailed to appear in Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on June 13.

(Agencies)

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