Florida Priest Bites Woman During Communion

(HorizonPost.com) – A priest from the Orlando diocese was accused of biting a woman in an altercation during Communion Mass.

According to a charging affidavit, Father Fidel Rodriguez of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud, Florida allegedly refused to administer the Communion bread to a parishioner during a May 19 mass because “she did not do the prior steps necessary” to participate in Communion when he met with her earlier that day.

The Diocese of Orlando confirmed that Fr. Rodriguez blessed the woman at the 10:00 a.m. mass but advised her to go to confession before she received communion. Fr. Rodriguez asked the woman if she had gone to confession and she allegedly told him that it “was not his business,” the diocese said.

The woman told St. Cloud Police that when she returned for the Communion Mass at noon, she told Fr. Rodriguez that she had gone to confession and was “now accepted by God” and could participate in communion, according to the charging affidavit.

The woman claimed that the priest got upset and attempted “to ram the ‘cookie’ in her mouth,” the affidavit said. When she attempted to grab the communion wafer Fr. Rodriguez was holding, he allegedly grabbed her arm and bit it.

However, the diocese disputed the woman’s claim, saying in a statement that the woman “forcefully” took hold of the communion plate and “grabbed” some of the communion wafers.

The diocese said the father only had one hand free, so he “struggled to restrain the woman” who was refusing to let go of the communion wafers she grabbed. The woman then shoved Fr. Rodriguez, prompting him to bite her hand to get her to “let go of the hosts she grabbed,” the diocese said.

Father Rodriguez, who never met the woman before that day, asked her to leave the church.

Rodriguez told an investigating officer that the woman refused to let go of the communion vessel and after she shoved him, he thought that the only way to get her to let go was to bite her, according to the affidavit.

Police photographed the woman’s injury but she refused medical treatment.

The St. Cloud Police forwarded the affidavit to the State Attorney’s Office which confirmed that it was reviewing the case to determine whether charges should be filed.

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