Say What Now? Priest Bites Churchgoer During Communion Dispute: 'He Wouldn't Give Me a Cookie' |

Say What Now? Priest Bites Churchgoer During Communion Dispute: ‘He Wouldn’t Give Me a Cookie’

In bodycam footage, the priest confessed to biting the woman; the diocese asserts that he was “trying to prevent the desecration of the Holy Communion,” while she suspects she may have been targeted due to her sexuality.

A Florida priest has admitted to biting a churchgoer during a dispute over communion.

The incident went down last Sunday at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud, where a woman who has chosen to keep her identity private attempted to receive the sacrament of communion.

Speaking with police in body camera footage viewed by TooFab, she claimed, “I just got assaulted by a father, by a priest.” She continued, “At church, he bit me, over a cookie.”

“I don’t know if it’s because of how I’m dressed, what it is that I like,” the woman, who was dressed in pants and a button-down shirt, told officers. When asked later if she felt she was refused communion “because of sexual orientation,” she replied, “I think I was.”

Another woman with her also said she believes she was able to receive communion first because she was dressed “feminine-wise.

The woman reporting the bite claimed the priest — later identified by the Diocese of Orlando as Father Fidel Rodriguez — first told her at the 10 a.m. mass she “needed to do confession, go to mass every Sunday.”

“I said it doesn’t matter, I did everything I needed to do as a kid, I want the bread. He wouldn’t give it to me,” she claimed, before saying she then tried again during the noon mass. She said he again questioned her about confession and when she last went to mass, before she told him, “It doesn’t matter, I’m here just to accept the bread.” It’s then, according to the woman, he “tucked” the communion wafer into her mouth.

“I was like, ‘No, you’re not gonna do that,'” she continued, saying, “He’s like, ‘You want the bread, right?’ I’m like, ‘Not this way.'” She then admitted to grabbing “another cookie” from the tray, before she said he “literally grabbed my hand and he just bit me.”

In a statement, the Diocese of Orlando said Rodriguez “determined [the woman] was neither prepared nor disposed to participate in Communion,” leading to her denial. They claimed he did offer her the wafer when she returned by placing it on her tongue, before she, “forcefully placed her hand in the vessel and grabbed some sacred Communion hosts, crushing them.”

“Having only one hand free, Father Rodriguez struggled to restrain the woman as she refused to let go of the hosts. When the woman pushed him and reacting to a perceived act of aggression, Father Rodriguez bit her hand so she would let go of the hosts she grabbed. The woman was immediately asked to leave,” the statement continued.

The Diocese said the priest had “no prior knowledge of the woman’s background” — and while they don’t condone physical altercations such as this, “in good faith, Father Rodriguez was simply attempting to prevent an act of desecration of the Holy Communion, which, as a priest, Father Rodriguez is bound by duty to protect.”

“The priest was trying to protect the Holy Communion from this sacrilegious act,” they concluded, before adding that communion is “not something a person can arbitrarily demand and is certainly not a mere ‘cookie’ as the complainant called it.”

via: TooFab

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