Man named in attack on Bishop Monroe
By Anthony Nacinovic
Special to The B.C. Catholic
A 30-year-old mentally ill man named John Bandura appeared in Kamloops provincial court on Monday accused of attacking the Bishop David Monroe of Kamloops on Friday evening, Oct. 22.
Police notes on the incident indicate Bishop Monroe was stabbed in the throat with a pen and then beaten with several objects from the rectory. He is being charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and mischief.
Bandura suffers from bi-polar disorder, commonly known as manic depression, and had been in a deteriorating mental state when his family brought him to Kamloops’s Royal Inland Hospital for voluntary assessment. He refused treatment and left the hospital that evening by breaking through a glass door, thereupon injuring himself.
Making his way to Sacred Heart Cathedral, only a block away, Bandura approached parishioner Adele Huculak near the rectory asking for a priest. She informed Bishop Monroe, who was working with others in the basement, and he went to greet the man.
Bishop Monroe met Bandura and took him to the kitchen, and shortly afterwards he was attacked. The noise roused Father Vincent Asomugha, who unfortunately while running down from his room to help fell and dislocated his shoulder. However he was still able to obtain help from other parishioners who arrived on the scene when Bandura fled.
Msgr. Jerry Desmond, who administered the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to Bishop Monroe that same evening at RIH, said, “It was the most brutal beating I have ever seen.”
The priest, who is the vicar general of the diocese, will be taking care of church affairs while Bishop Monroe recovers from his injuries.
“We may never know what triggered the attack on Bishop Monroe. All we know is that our Chief Shepherd went to help someone, as is his duty as a priest, and now he needs all of our prayers,” Msgr. Desmond said. “We also need to pray for forgiveness for the man who did this to Bishop Monroe, and that he gets the help he so obviously needs.”
Bandura was remanded in custody for a 30-day psychiatric assessment, with his next court appearance scheduled for Nov. 25.