Kamloops' Bishop Monroe remains in intensive care after assault

By  Laureen McMahon, Canadian Catholic News
  • October 27, 2010

Bishop David MonroeKAMLOOPS - Kamloops Bishop David Monroe suffered severe head and body injuries when he was attacked Oct. 22 by a man he was comforting in the rectory of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

At press time, Monroe was in serious but stable condition at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

“It was the most brutal beating I have ever seen,” said Kamloops Vicar General Msgr. Jerry Desmond,  who administered the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to the bishop two hours after he was admitted to hospital.

Police were called to Sacred Heart Cathedral when the bishop was found bleeding profusely in the rectory after admitting a man apparently unknown to him. At around 10 p.m., the alleged assailant encountered a parishioner outside the cathedral next to the rectory and requested a priest. Monroe admitted the man to the rectory by the front door and led him into the kitchen.

“He let him in although it was late because that’s the way he always responds,” said Desmond. “The assault seemed to have happened quickly and came out of the blue. We are so grateful that help came in time to prevent the bishop bleeding to death. We are praying at all the Masses for him and his attacker whose mental state makes him the second victim in this situation.”

Fr. Vicent Asomugha, a Nigerian priest who was also living in the rectory, had heard sounds of the struggle. While rushing to the bishop’s aid, he fell and dislocated his shoulder. He was treated in hospital and released.

Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Garry Kerr labelled the scene of the attack on Monroe “horrific.”

Police took a 30-year-old man into custody at 1 a.m. the following morning after a search led them to the north side of Kamloops.

Sgt. Scott Wilson, who handles communications for Kamloops RCMP, said that the man had admitted himself to Royal Inland Hospital earlier on the Friday, accompanied by his family.

“This was a self admission, he was not committed,” said Sgt. Wilson, “so although he knew he had some issues, during the admission process something happened to change his mind and he left the hospital. Because he broke a window on the way out, the hospital staff called police at 8:50 p.m. At 10:15, we learned of the attack on the bishop.”

Realizing that it could be the same man, the RCMP serious crime team contacted his family who reported he had made some comments regarding religion.

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