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Hate crime in Australia? Indian Catholic priest stabbed in Melbourne church

In an apparent case of hate crime, an Indian Catholic priest was stabbed by a 72-year-old man while leading the Sunday mass in a Melbourne church, media reports said.

Racism may be the reason the priest was stabbed in the neck moments before he was about to say mass at a Melbourne church, reports News.com.au.

According to the report, it is believed that the offender told the priest that because he was Indian, he must be a Hindu or a Muslim and therefore can't be saying mass.

The man has been charged for stabbing Rev Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, 48, in the neck moments before the priest was due to give the 11 am Italian-language mass on Sunday.

He has been charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury and bailed to appear in the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court on June 13.

Father Tomy is recovering from non life-threatening injuries in hospital.

The attack was described as "appalling" by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.