Bogus Priest Duped Church for Months
VIENNA, Austria – A Roman Catholic diocese in Austria is trying to determine how a German man passed himself off as a priest for three months before being exposed as a fraud.
Austrian media say the bogus priest presided over a funeral, celebrated Sunday Mass and performed other duties as an assistant.
Officials at the Diocese of Linz say the German man claimed to have had 20 years of experience in the priesthood when he arrived in September and offered to help pastors in two towns, including one who was on a leave of absence. They say he initially was accepted because he had a firm grasp of church liturgy and the Bible. He since has returned to Germany.
Church officials say the fake priest doesn't appear to have committed any crime.