Police say Central Florida priest bites woman after refusing to give her communion – WFTV

ST CLOUD, Fla. – Communion at a Central Florida church took an unexpected turn – an argument that ended with a priest biting a church member, according to police.

It happened on Sunday at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Cloud.

Police have recommended charging the priest, Father Fidel, with assault.

The incident occurred during Mass when parishioners were receiving communion.

The unidentified woman told St. Cloud police that the altercation began when she attempted to receive communion but was denied.

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“He didn’t want to give me the cookie. “I don’t know if it was the way I was dressed or if it’s what I like,” the woman is heard saying on the body camera video obtained by police.

A witness told police that the woman was singled out because of her sexuality and clothing.

“He tried to force it into her mouth and she backed away,” the witness told police. “She said, no, don’t do that, and she tried to get it, and that’s when he went crazy.”

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The priest told police a different story, telling officers that the woman had come to the 10 a.m. mass first, but apparently didn’t know the process of receiving communion, so he refused to give her the bread wafer.

Fidel told officers that the woman had returned to another service and tried again. This time, however, the argument broke out when she tried to snatch the wafer out of his hand.

He admitted to biting the woman and told police that he was protecting the wafer because it was considered the body of Christ.

“I am not judging you; I am asking you: did you confess after Mass? If you did not confess, I cannot give you Communion,” Fidel told the officials. “I bit her, I do not deny that. I am defending myself and the sacrament.”

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The priest also told the officers that he did not know the woman or what her sexual orientation was, and that he did not care.

“I don’t judge anyone,” Fidel added.

Shannon Butler of 9 Investigates spoke to Father Fidel, who refused to answer questions and hung up.

9 Investigations has also reached out to the Catholic Diocese of Orlando for comment but has not received a response.

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