Priest attacked in Scottish church, man arrested

Scottish priest attacked

A Scottish Catholic priest was attacked by a man wielding a glass bottle as he prayed at a cathedral in Edinburgh. The priest escaped without injury and a man has since been arrested.

Father Jamie McMorrin, 35, was praying alone at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral when he was targeted on Monday morning.

The archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh said that the “violent and unprovoked assault” took place after the man asked the victim if he was a priest.

“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. He then chased the priest to the back of the cathedral.”

“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.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a 31-year-old man has been arrested in Cumbria in connection with an assault at a church on York Place in Edinburgh and a further assault at Princes Street Gardens.

In 2018, there were four assaults on priests in Scotland, the Catholic Parliamentary Office said.

The Scottish government report “Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2017-2018” found that Catholicism was “the religion that was most often the subject of reported abuse, with 319 charges for 2017-18,” out of a total of 642 charges.

Another report, “Hate Crime in Scotland 2019-20,” said there were 660 religiously aggravated charges in 2019-20, 24% higher than in 2018-19.

Pope Francis is expected to visit Scotland in November, a spokesperson for the country’s bishops’ conference confirmed earlier this month.

The pope is likely to attend the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, on Nov. 1-12.


Catholic News Agency

Edinburgh News


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