The Catholic community in the Spanish town of Rotova will hold an act of reparation this Friday for a sacrilege committed against the Eucharist during Mass last weekend.
The incident occurred at a parish in Rotova when a group of young people who had been participating in an annual festival came to noon Mass. One of them took the host out of his mouth during Communion and threw it on the floor.
Witnesses—including a local justice of the peace—informed the priest who was celebrating the Mass, Father Victor Jimeno. The priest then had one of the parish assistants retrieve the trampled host and give it to him.
Becoming angry, Fr. Jimeno approached the young man, slapped him, and threw him out of church, calling him sacrilegious.
“For me, my love for the Eucharist is greater than the love for my parents. I just was overwhelmed and I don’t know what happened.” The priest explained that he “went over to the group of young people who were taking pictures in front of the altar, and I asked if the boy had thrown the host on the ground.”
Fr. Jimeno continued saying that the boy just looked back at him “and smiled.”
The priest added that he was sorry for slapping the young man.
Hours later, Fr. Jimeno celebrated Mass again and apologized to the faithful, to the young man and his family for his conduct. The parents of the boy also apologized for the actions of their son.
Fr. Jesus Sanchez, episcopal vicar of Safor, told the newspaper Las Provincias that the incident was “sad” and that although Fr. Jimeno was wrong to lash out at the young man, “He reacted as a father would in response to an offense.”
Fr. Sanchez said “the priest, the mayor and the people deserve praise for their forgiveness and for restoring relations between all the parties.”
“All of this has affected me a lot, I am very said. I couldn’t sleep last night and I just prayed and cried,’ Fr. Jimeno admitted, noting that it is difficult for unbelievers to understand his reaction. What happened to the Eucharist “is the worst thing that can be done to a believer.”
The “act of reparation and atonement” will take place in accord with directives given by the Archdiocese of Valencia and will be celebrated by Fr. Sanchez. The faithful and priests from the surrounding areas are encouraged to attend.