Fake Catholic Priest exposed after ‘practising’ for 18 years

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A Roman Catholic priest has been exposed as a fake after 18 years, a diocese in Spain has announced.

Miguel Angel Ibarra was found to have never been ordained after claims emerged he had faked the documents that admitted him to the priesthood.

The diocese of Cadiz and Ceuta said marriages and baptisms he had carried out after moving from his native Colombia would remain valid.

Confessions he had received from worshippers are no longer valid but the ‘grace of God’ still acted on the faithful, Church authorities said.

Ibarra moved to Spain from Colombia in October 2017 and had been in charge of the church in the village of Medina Sidonia.

The village in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia is home to some 11,000 people.

He had pretended to be a priest for the past 18 years, a spokeswoman for the diocese added.

Colombian church officials informed the diocese on December 13 that it had received a complaint that Ibarra had forged his ordination documents.

After carrying out a ‘thorough investigation’ they concluded that he had never been ordained.

He was ordered to go back to his archdiocese of origin in Colombia, Santa Fe de Antioquia.

The diocese of Cadiz and Ceuta said it regretted that ‘events like this could overshadow the work of parishioners and ordained priests, who serve the Church every day in an exemplary way.’

Like in other increasingly secular European countries, Spain is finding it difficult to attract new recruits to the priesthood in recent years and has had to resort to importing priests, often from its former colonies in Latin America.

Daily Mail

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