A fake Roman Catholic priest has been excommunicated in the Philippines more than a year after he began celebrating masses at a Manila parish, the local church revealed last week.
Xavier Eubra de Borja began making the rounds of the parish in a black cassock last year, claiming he was back in Manila on vacation after being ordained into the priesthood in Russia, the church said on its Web site.
“Upon the recommendation of several parishioners, he was accepted as guest priest while on vacation prior to his return to his current assignment in Russia,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Web site said.
Borja’s family is from the area and he had served as an altar boy at a nearby parish in his youth, it added, without providing any further details such as his age.
He began celebrating mass, hearing confessions and hosting religious retreats at the Cubao parish, where he impressed with his command of the Latin language, according to the church’s statement.
The Web site said the impostor impressed with masses that were “reminiscent of all the reverence and strict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated.”
The fake priest was exposed when his parishioners checked the Web site of the Vladivostok-based Mary Mother of God Mission Society, which convinced them that no Filipino priest had ever been assigned there.
De Borja was excommunicated on May 30, more than a year after he began serving at the Cubao diocese, the statement said. He is now banned from attending masses, communions, or religious ceremonies of the Catholic Church.