Navarre resident Jackie Trebesh said she was flabbergasted and irritated when a Catholic priest denied her and her daughter Holy Communion, and then had a Santa Rosa County deputy pull her over.
She said she was so surprised by the actions of The Rev. John Kelly at St. Sylvester’s Catholic Church in Gulf Breeze she thought at first she was being “pranked.”
“He’s not God. He can’t do that to people,” she said.
Trebesh said she and her 19-year-old daughter Rachel attended a Friday morning service and were turned away when they approached the priest to take Holy Communion.
Trebesh said Kelly told them, as he denied them communion, that he would explain his actions after the mass had ended.
She said she decided not to wait around for the end of the service and had left the church parking lot when a deputy pulled her over.
Trebesh said the deputy informed her that Kelly had requested the traffic stop. She and her daughter were issued trespass warnings.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Catholic Church confirmed much of her story, but said there were justifiable reasons for their actions.
According to Trebesh, she learned the reason she was denied communion was because someone at the church had seen the daughter dispose of the host, as it is called, improperly in the church parking lot.
The Catholic Church believes the wafer provided during Holy Communion to have been transformed during the mass to the actual body of Christ.
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