The strange, sad case of Erwin Mena

Fake priest is nabbed again

The following comes from a November 18 San Diego Union-Tribune article by Matt Hamilton: A man who was convicted of posing as a Roman Catholic priest and selling bogus trips to see Pope Francis returned to court on Friday after investigators discovered that once out of jail, he resumed trying to pass himself off as a man of the cloth. Erwin Mena, the judge said, was back … [Read more...]

Guilty as charged

Phony Catholic priest pleads guilty to grand theft and is sentenced to 1 year in jail

The following comes from a February 24 LA Times article by Matt Hamilton and Irfan Khan: The man who allegedly posed as a Roman Catholic priest at Los Angeles-area parishes and sold bogus trips to see Pope Francis pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of grand theft, prosecutors said. Erwin Mena, 59, entered his plea in a downtown courtroom and was sentenced by Los … [Read more...]

How can you tell a real priest from a fake?

What a pastor is expected to do when a man claiming to be a priest wants to use the church to say Mass

The following comes from a February 18 Canon Law Made Easy post: Erwin Mena was a layman who somehow managed repeatedly to convince both clergy and parishioners of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California, that he was a bona-fide Catholic priest. After engaging in faux priestly ministry for some time, including celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments, it was … [Read more...]