A 72-year-old man has been charged over an attack on a priest at a Melbourne church.
The Fawkner man is accused of stabbing Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, 48, in the neck moments before the priest was due to give the 11am Italian-language mass on Sunday.
The older man was charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury and bailed to appear in the Broadmeadows magistrates’ court on 13 June.
The alleged offender has been taken to hospital for assessment, police say.
The the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne condemned the attack.
“This is appalling behaviour and people should never be treated like this,” its spokesman Shane Healy said on Sunday.
“This fellow is doing wonderful work for his parishioners and this is really a blight on the great work that many, many Catholic priests are doing.”
Mathew was taken to a nearby hospital in a stable condition.
The vicar general, Monsignor Greg Bennet, said the priest was doing well in hospital and wanted to get back to work soon. “His thoughts are only for his parishioners,” he said.