Florida Priest Bites Woman's Hand While Giving Out Holy Communion

By Bill Galluccio

May 24, 2024

Communion at Church in Paris
Photo: Pascal Deloche / The Image Bank Unreleased / Getty Images

woman got into a wild altercation with a priest during Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Cloud, Florida. The Diocese of Orlando said that the woman went to receive Holy Communion but "appeared unaware of the proper procedure."

Father Fidel Rodriguez briefly spoke to the woman before blessing her and telling her to go to confession before returning to receive Communion.

The woman left and returned for the 12 p.m. Mass. When she went to receive Communion, Father Rodriguez asked if she had received the Sacrament of the Penance, and she replied that it was none of his business.

The woman then reached into the Communion tray, grabbed the Communion hosts, and started crushing them. Father Rodriguez attempted to restrain the woman, but she refused to let go of the Communion hosts. During the struggle, the woman pushed Rodriguez. In response, he bit her on the hand.

The woman was then asked to leave the church.

Following the incident, the diocese defended Father Rodriguez's actions.

"Further, while the Diocese of Orlando does not 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 dioceses said in a statement.

When speaking to police, Father Rodriguez admitted what happened and said he was acting in self-defense.

"I bit her. I am not denying that. I was defending myself and the sacrament," Father Rodriguez told the officers.

No charges have been filed, but officials said that the incident remains under investigation.

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