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Man Arrested for Dressing as Priest, Stealing from Parishioners for 20 Years

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Feb 03
  • Comments

A man has been arrested for dressing as a priest a stealing thousands of dollars from parishioners in multiple churches.

Christian Today reports Erwin Mena, 59, began posing as a priest in the mid-1990s. He avoided getting caught by police by moving around to different churches. He filled in at churches when they needed substitute priests to avoid presenting credentials. 


Mena peddled fake trip to visit Pope Francis, charging parishioners $500 to $1,000 for the trip. On another occasion, an organization loaned Mena $16,000 to produce CDs about Pope Francis. Instead, he pocketed the cash and pirated a video of Francis that was filmed in Madrid. 


Mena was arrested in Los Angeles after posing as a priest at St. Ignatius of Loyola parish in Highland Park for five months. He has been charged with 22 felonies and eight misdemeanors. 



Publication date: February 3, 2016