US NewsFlorida priest accused of biting woman during communion

Florida priest accused of biting woman during communion

A parishioner from St. Cloud testifies to the police after a priest's attack
A parishioner from St. Cloud testifies to the police after a priest's attack
Images source: © NBC, Police

1:03 PM EDT, May 27, 2024

A priest from Florida is accused of biting a woman, reports CNN. The incident allegedly occurred in a Catholic Church during the administration of communion. The clergyman claims that the woman wanted to destroy the host. The priest then decided to bite her. Now he is in trouble.

The incident is said to have taken place in St. Cloud, Florida, USA. According to the police, it involved St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

As CNN reports, Father Fidel Rodriguez refused to give the woman communion during the 10 AM Mass because she had not received the Sacrament of Penance. Additionally, she ignored the line and appeared unprepared to receive the Eucharist. The clergyman gave her a blessing and advised her to return when she was ready to receive communion.

The woman returned for the 12 PM Mass stating that she had taken the necessary steps. She said that she was now "is now accepted by God, thus, granting her the ability to participate in communion."

The priest asked if she had gone to confession, but she clearly replied that it was "it was not his business."

The priest's version differs from the parishioner's

Father Rodriguez offered the woman Holy Communion on the tongue. At that point, the woman forcefully placed her hand in the vessel and grabbed some sacred Communion hosts, crushing them, reports CNN citing a statement from the Diocese of Orlando.

The clergyman tried to restrain the woman but only had one hand free. The woman suddenly pushed him, and in reaction to this act of aggression, the priest bit her, claims the diocese.

According to CNN, during police questioning, the priest told investigators that the woman pushed him and did not want to let go of the ciborium with communion, which is why he decided to bite her on the arm.

Priest accused of assault

The diocese's statement indicates that the woman refused medical assistance, and the police photographed the bite mark. The State Attorney's Office told CNN that the case is being reviewed to determine the appropriate course of action.

A witness who was with the woman in the church told officers that she believed Rodriguez chose the woman because of her sexuality and attire - reports NBC24. However, the diocese firmly denies these claims, asserting that the priest did not want to allow profanation.

Father Rodriguez has been accused of assault, but the police have not made any arrests.

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