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False prophets … for fun and profit?

22 November 2017

(via El Diario, 22 November 2017):

Crime or not?  Just weird.

Social networks and signs outside Catholic churches are warning of false priests and bishops serving the Diocese of SanJuan Teotihuacán.

“Some people who practice some celebrations and rites of the Catholic Church, are not appointed ministers,” said Rafael Mendoza, a parish priest in Acuexcomac.

Photo: Excelsior

A parishioners named Joaquin Reyes said he heard about these false priests allegedly sacraments on behalf of the Catholic Church.

“We have already heard something, both through social networks and during Mass, and those of us in the community have been warned about these people. We need to be careful and not surprised by these false priests. They say there is even a false bishop working, giving the sacraments without any validity or support from the Church.”

Parishioners have begun to distribute photographs of the false priests to their neighbors and asked them to take precautions, fearing the fake clerics may be part of a criminal gang.

“As a Catholic-Christian community it affects us because we do not know if the documents they carry are false. Above all, there is a risk of, for example, having them officiate masses in private homes that will let them see how people live, so they can rob the house,” added parishioner Angel García Pichardo.

At the same time, the local Catholic community recognizes that these false priests take advantage of people’s haste and desperation to have a service performed.

“They are people who play with the faith of others, because sometimes we Catholics are a little impatient with our priests- We do not like to wait, and want the fast service to marry our daughter baptize our child, have a first communion service, and these false people take advantage of this situation, “said Joaquín.

The Catholic Church warned that the sacraments provided by false priests have no validity, so they urged the population to denounce these people before the authorities.

 

I wonder if there is any legal change that can be brought for impersonating a priest.  I suppose if they’ve charged for their services, it might be fraud, but a marriage service performed by a cleric has no legal validity anyway, so I assume the “crimes” are theological and out of the hands of the state.  I don’t know if a believer attends a false service in good faith, he or she is expected to have a “do-over” or not.  That is, do you need to make up the masses you missed, hold another funeral for granny, or go back to confession and do your penance again. 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. roberb7 permalink
    24 November 2017 9:05 am

    “the fake clerics may be part of a criminal gang.” So, what’s the difference between the fake ones and “real” ones?

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