Rev Mathew, 48, was stabbed in front of several churchgoers when he was set to deliver mass at the St Matthew’s church in Fawkner North on Sunday. A 72-year-old man, of Italian descent, was arrested and charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury.

 

The priest, who is currently recuperating at a relative’s house in Melbourne, said that the attacker was mentally ill and revealed that the man had earlier confronted him on March 12.

 

“He came to me and said ‘how can an Indian be a Christain? As far as I know, all Indian are either Muslims or Hindus. How can you celebrate a mass? I will not let you celebrate a mass here’. Then a fellow parisher, who was also of Italian descent, pacified him and took him away me,” a Manorama News video quoted Rev Mathew as saying.

 

“On Sunday he came to me again and said he wants to talk. I told him we can talk after the mass. That’s when he pulled out the knife and tried to stab me in the neck. I tried to move out of the way and the knife struck my shoulder,” the priest added.

 

Rev Mathew also stressed that he has never had and issue with racism in Australia, and thanked everyone for their support.