Monks Brutally Attacked during Robbery

Country: Austria

Date of incident: December 27, 2018

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Private

Six monks were attacked, gagged, and bound during the course of a robbery at the monastery of Maria Immaculata in Vienna on December 27th. Several of the victims were seriously injured and police began a large-scale investigation.

According to police, two men entered the monastery church around 1:30 pm and confronted a 68-year-old priest with a gun. He was then hit in the head with a blunt object and forced to the ground. Shortly thereafter, another monk came in and discovered the severely injured priest. The perpetrators attacked him as well, and tied him up. Three other monks were attacked, as well as a sixth man in an office, who was tied up but not injured.

45 minutes after the suspects left the scene, one of the priests was able to free himself and contacted the authorities. A large-scale manhunt began. 

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said he was "deeply saddened" by the attack: "Churches are places of peace and devotion."

Sources: Kurier, Heute, Die Presse, and Catholic Herald