Assailant arrested after witnesses intervene
A priest about to offer Mass in the Polish city of Wrocław was stabbed in the chest Monday. The 48-year-old priest is reportedly in serious but stable condition.
The attack took place before the 7 o’clock Mass Monday in front of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wrocław.
A 57-year-old man approached Fr. Ireneusz Bakalarczyk before the Mass. The two men exchanged a few words, and then the man struck him with a knife.
The priest was transported to the hospital, where surgery was carried out successfully.
Fr. Bakalarczyk celebrates Masses in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the pre-Vatican II liturgy.
The person suspected of the robbery was arrested shortly after witnesses intervened, according to a local news outlet. His motives are not known at this time.
Rafal Kowalski, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Wrocław, told Polish news agency PAP that the alleged stabbing did not seem to be motivated by a personal grievance against the clergyman, and that the attacker seemed to have been willing to attack any “man in a cassock.”
There have been several high profile attacks against priests in recent years, notably the jihadist murder of Fr. Jacquel Hamel in northern France.
In May, a priest and five others were killed in an attack on a Catholic Church in Burkina Faso.