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Warning out on ‘priests’ conning flock

/ 05:30 AM May 18, 2015

If the “Right Rev. Eduardo Roxas” comes calling, offering to say Mass in your home and soliciting funds for the Church, call the police.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, also president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), has warned the faithful in Pangasinan about the activities of the fake priest.

In a May 13 circular, Villegas said they had “sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police in Mangaldan (town) to apprehend a certain Right Rev. Eduardo Roxas.”

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The man “has been going around barangays (villages) in Mangaldan and Manaoag offering to say Mass in private homes,” he said.

“You are kindly requested to warn our Catholic faithful about this impostor priest and report to the Chancery in case he’s seen presenting himself as a Catholic priest,” Villegas said.

“Roxas” joins the growing roster of “phony priests and pastors” going around looking to scam believers.

Earlier, the Diocese of San Pablo in Laguna warned its flock about a “Fr. Michael Caadan” from Timor Leste.

Caadan claimed to be affiliated with Tahanan ni Maria Home for the Aged in Carmona, Cavite, according to CBCP News.

In a circular, San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico quoted a letter from the Diocese of Dil, the East Timor capital, stating that they did not have a priest named Michael Caadan.

Caadan had submitted a document to the San Pablo diocese identifying himself as a priest ordained by Dili Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo in 2000.

Caadan was last seen on May 8 presiding over a funeral Mass in an unnamed church in Cubao, Quezon City, CBCP News reported.

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In 2013, Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP) called the attention of the public to a “Crisanto Bantigue,” who had been posing as a military chaplain or monsignor and using the MOP to solicit money.

In the same year, then newly installed San Fernando Archbishop Florentino Lavarias issued a circular to say that a “Fr. Jose Mark Robinson Buñag” was not authorized to celebrate the sacraments in the Pampanga archdiocese.

Buñag, who claimed to be a priest belonging to the “Catholic Church of the East,” was not an ordained member of the Roman Catholic clergy, Lavarias said.

Reports reaching the archdiocese said Buñag also said Mass in Metro Manila and Cavite, among other places, without a celebret, a Church-issued document certifying the bearer is a priest.–Jerry E. Esplanada

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Crisanto Bantigue, Eduardo Roxas, fake priests, Fr. Jose Mark Robinson Buñag, Fr. Michael Caadan, Philippines, Socrates Villegas, warning
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