The attack happened as the priest of St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal led Mass on Friday morning at the church in Montreal, police said.
Father Claude Grou, 77, was taken to a hospital and is recovering, Constable Caroline Chevrefils said.
Grou has “no resentment” toward the suspect and “hopes he gets all the support he needs and find peace,” said Céline Barbeau, a spokeswoman for St Joseph’s Oratory.
She said Grou was “in a very good place in his mind” and was standing, walking and talking.
“He is doing well,” Barbeau said. “He needs to rest but he is very well surrounded by his people. He needs to get away for a little while. We hope he will be away for a few days or a week.”
The suspect, Vlad Cristian Eremia, made his court appearance by video feed Saturday.
Church security staff stopped the attack
Grou was celebrating Mass for about 60 people in the church and the service was being livestreamed when the suspect went toward the priest and stabbed him several times with a sharp object, Chevrefils said.
Police were called to the church at 8:40 a.m. Video showed Grou moving away as the man approached, then falling and getting up after the attack. Parishioners separated the attacker from the priest.