Priest attacked inside Scottish Cathedral

Priest attacked inside Scottish Cathedral

A priest quietly praying in the pews of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, was assaulted by an unidentified man with a glass bottle Monday morning.

The priest, who remains unnamed, defended himself against the attack using a chair, successfully resisting his assailant who then fled the premises, seemingly evading arrest. The attacker was said to have asked the priest to confirm that he was indeed a clergyman before launching his vicious assault. The priest was left unharmed by the incident.

The Archdiocese of St. Andrew’s and Edinburgh, in which St. Mary’s Cathedral is the central church, released a statement Tuesday, announcing the events of the morning prior. “Yesterday morning (Monday 26 July) a priest sitting alone praying in a pew at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh was subject to a violent and unprovoked assault by a man carrying a glass bottle.”

“Just prior to the attack the man had asked him if he was a priest. When the priest replied that he was, the man attempted to hit him on the head with the bottle, before chasing him to the back of the Cathedral,” the statement continued.

“The bottle broke on the ground and the man continued using it in his assault. The priest managed to fend him off with a chair before the attacker ran out of the Cathedral. The priest escaped without injury.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that a “35-year-old man” had been assaulted “within a church in York Place, Edinburgh,” at roughly 9:25 a.m. on Monday morning.

“Officers attended and the victim did not require hospital treatment,” the spokesman said, adding that although the identity of the attacker is yet unknown, “[e]nquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident and anyone with information is urged to contact Police Scotland.”