Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canadian bishop recovering from head trauma after late-night assault

The Bishop of Kamloops, British Columbia, remains hospitalized after suffering severe head trauma in a beating at the rectory of Sacred Heart Cathedral on October 22. 

Police arrested a 30-year-old man, suspected of breaking out of a psychiatric ward and making his way to the nearby cathedral, where he is thought to have assaulted the bishop with a blunt object.

Monsignor Jerry Desmond, Vicar General of the Diocese of Kamloops, told CNA that Bishop David Monroe was “resting comfortably” and showing signs of “healing” from his head injuries.

The monsignor reported that he had administered the Anointing of the Sick to Bishop Monroe immediately after his hospitalization in an emergency ward, and noted that the bishop was regaining  “some recognition and some speech” after being released from emergency care to a “step-down” unit.

The vicar general confirmed earlier reports that the accused man did not know Bishop Monroe, and had “no distinct motive” for the attack he is suspected of committing. 

The local man was arrested three hours after police arrived at the cathedral. 

The suspect was found in a shed on his father's property, after he apparently swam across a freezing river.

The man's parents had committed him to a hospital during a “psychotic attack.” 

Police say he had escaped by breaking a hospital window during the night, before entering the rectory.

Commenting on Bishop Monroe's suspected assailant, Monsignor Desmond emphasized the man's clear mental instability, describing him as “obviously a very . . . disturbed individual,” and reflecting that there were “two people here who need healing, both the bishop and that person.”


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