DAGUPAN City, Pangasinan, May 16, 2015—The chief shepherd of the Lingayen-Dagupan see has alerted the Pangasinan faithful on the presence of a “fake priest” in the archdiocese, requesting all to inform the authorities to stop the impostor from deceiving more people.
“Please be informed that we have sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police in Mangaldan to apprehend a certain Right Reverend Eduardo Roxas who has been going around the barangays of Mangaldan and Manaoag offering to celebrate Masses in private homes,” notes Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a May 13 circular.
Cooperation of faithful
“You are kindly requested to warn our Catholic faithful about this impostor priest and report to the Chancery in case he is seen presenting himself as a Catholic priest,” he adds.
Roxas has become the latest addition to what seems to be a growing number of “phony pastors” who hop from one Philippine diocese to another, offering to administer the sacraments in exchange for cash.
In 2013, Bishop Leopoldo S. Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP) called the attention of the public to Crisanto Bantigue.
According to the prelate, Bantigue had reportedly been roaming around the country, pretending to be a military chaplain or monsignor, and using the diocese’s name to solicit money.
Also in 2013, the then newly installed San Fernando Archbishop Florentino G. Lavarias issued an advisory confirming that a certain “Fr. Jose Mark Robinson Bunag” had no right to celebrate the sacraments in the archdiocese.
While Bunag claims to be a priest of the “Catholic Church of the East,” the prelate explained he is not a validly ordained member of the Roman Catholic clergy.
Besides Pampanga, Bunag was also spotted in Pasig City, Cavite, and Parañaque City allegedly offering to say Mass in private homes without a valid “celebret,” a document certifying the bearer is a priest and may be allowed to practice as such in the particular diocese he is in.
More recently, the Diocese of San Pablo in Laguna banned a certain “Fr. Michael P. Caadan” after it was revealed that he is also a “fake.”
Caadan was last seen on May 8 presiding over a funeral Mass in the Diocese of Cubao. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCPNews)