Castries, St. Lucia, Apr 17, 2006 / 22:00 pm
Archbishop Kelvin Felix of St. Lucia has survived an assassination attempt, reported Caribbean Net News.
The archbishop was reportedly speaking to someone outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception after mass Wednesday when a man walked up behind him and attempted to slash his throat with a knife.
The 73-year-old archbishop fell and the attacker fled the scene. Police have arrested the attacker, a 28-year-old resident of Rock Hall, but are not releasing his identity until he is formally charged.
Church officials say the archbishop’s life was saved by his clerical collar which he was wearing at the time. “It’s a two-layered collar, so the knife cut the first layer and it could not get to the throat because of the second layer,” Msgr. Patrick Anthony told Caribbean Net News.
Internal Security Minister Calixte George denounced the attack as reprehensible and abhorrent.
On December 31, 2000 the cathedral was the scene of another brutal attack. Two machete-wielding men stormed the building during mass and doused the worshippers with gasoline before setting them ablaze. Others worshippers were hacked with cutlasses. The attack left two people dead and at least a dozen injured.
The perpetrators - Kim John and Francis Phillip - have since been convicted and are currently on death row.