Kozhikode: In a suspected case of racist attack, a priest from Thamarassery diocese in Kozhikode was stabbed by a white man at the altar at Fawkner North in Melbourne, Australia.
The priest was about to offer the Sunday Mass when the incident took place. The man asked Fr Tomy Kalathoor if he was an Indian Hindu priest before attacking him.
Fr Abraham Kavilpura-yidathil, Public Relations Officer of Thamarassery diocese, said Fr Tomy, a native of Karimbu near Anakkampoyil, Kozhikode, was serving as vicar of St Mathews Parish in Melbourne for the last four years.
The assailant, who approached the vicar just before the Holy Mass, said that he wanted to speak something in private with him. The vicar refused to oblige and told him that he could speak to him after the Mass.
The assailant then suddenly took out a knife hidden in this cloth and stabbed the priest on the neck. The impact of the attack was reduced due to the thick clothes worn by the priest to protect himself from the cold, apart from the cassock and additional dress for the Holy Mass. “The assailant escaped soon after the incident,” Fr Kavilpurayidathil said.
Meanwhile, Thamarassery diocese Bishop Remigius Inchananiyil spoke to Fr Tomy over phone. The priest was discharged from hospital after being administered first aid.
The attacker had approached the vicar last Sunday and enquired if he was an Indian. Fr Tomy was ordained in 1994. He had served the diocese as vicar in various parishes of Adakkakkundu, Kallurutti, Chundathumpoyyil and Vettilappara, earlier.
Bishop Inchananiyil and the Thamarassery diocese expressed extreme grief and protested against the attack on Fr Tomy. Reports from Melbourne said that police has taken one person in connection with the incident into custody. However, the police is yet to confirm whether it was a case of racist attack.