Catholic school parent stabbed outside Mass celebrated by San Francisco archbishop — By: Catholic News Agency

An aerial view of Washington Square in San Francisco on May 22, 2020. / Credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

CNA Staff, Apr 25, 2024 / 16:45 pm (CNA).

San Francisco police arrested a homeless man last Sunday for allegedly stabbing a parent from a nearby Catholic school after an altercation involving the two outside a historic Catholic church in the city. 

Twenty-five-year-old Marko Asaulyuk of San Francisco was charged with attempted murder and eight counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The Catholic school father, who was released from the hospital Sunday, only suffered a minor injury to his leg, Father Tho Bui, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, told CNA Thursday in an email.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was conferring the sacrament of confirmation on the parish school’s students and students from a nearby parish during a noon Mass when a “disruptive man” entered the church, as Bui described him.

The man was walking up and down the main aisle of the church holding a bottle of wine, ABC7 reported

Bui said a group of parishioners and parents told the disruptive man to leave the church and escorted him out. ABC7 reported that the man was speaking with someone outside the church and said “Jesus is not real.”

A “scuffle” then occurred on the sidewalk and that’s when the man stabbed the parent in the leg, according to the priest.

The suspect, who was reported to be homeless, was arrested the same day, Bui said. Police said when they arrived at the scene, aid was given to the victim, who was brought to the hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries.”

Witnesses helped the police locate the suspect, police said. 

Bui called the incident “sad” and “extremely disturbing” but noted “the good news is that the criminal is behind bars, charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and is being held without bail.”

“Very likely, by getting him off the streets, our parishioners and dads prevented something even worse from happening,” he said. “But this is just the latest in an unending series of incidents caused by our city government’s tolerance of crime and mentally ill people on the streets.”

“It’s not specific to Sts. Peter and Paul. We saw in the news just this past week that the nurses at SF General [Hospital] and the librarians at our public libraries are demanding more protection from exactly the kind of incidents we had on Sunday,” he said. 

“Like SF General and the public libraries, we are open every single day. The mission of Jesus Christ requires it! While both our school and club can, and do, fulfill their missions while having gates and doors locked, the Church cannot,” Bui said.

CNA reached out to the archdiocese for comment but did not receive a response. 

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