Louisa Priest In Court

January 18, 2007

A court hearing for the catholic priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars was continued Thursday.

That was not the news the many parishioners who showed up at the Louisa County Circuit courthouse were hoping to hear.

“I thought he was one of the greatest people I ever met in my life,” said one parishioner. He went on to say, “It’s a shame that we trusted someone like this who was obviously or appears to be a con man.”

He and about a dozen other members of the St. Jude and Immaculate Conception churches expressed their feelings of anger and disbelief outside the courthouse.

“We want answers. I think that it is sad. I think that that he has an illness and I feel sorry for him in that respect. But no one suspected this,” said Parishioner Cindy Honchar.

Rev. Rodney Rodis waked into the court using a cane. He is accused of embezzling more than $600,000 from two Louisa County churches where he served as pastor.

Today the court hearing was continued after Rodis told the court that he had not retained an attorney. His hearing was rescheduled for February 26, 2007.

“I'm supporting him until he is proven guilty that is our legal system,” said parishioner Issac Newark.

Newark also said he won't believe reports that the priest he loved was living a double life as a father and husband in neighboring county.

“That doesn't mean he can't stay with someone, that doesn't mean they shared the same bed,” said Newark.

Rodis made no comment outside the courthouse. But he reportedly sent e-mails to several parishioners Wednesday apologizing for the trouble that he's caused and asking parishioners to pray for him.

If convicted Rodis could face up to 20 years in prison. The Catholic Diocese in Richmond has said Rodis can not practice as a priest. He could also face excommunication from the Pope if it is found that he is married.

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