Two Church groups in the Philippines have issued warnings telling Catholics to beware of at least one fraudster seeking money by posing as the country’s apostolic nuncio. Source: UCA News.
The reports came as the bishops’ conference issued a warning about bogus email messages circulating that claim to be from the nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown.
The San Lorenzo de Manila group in Cagayan de Oro Archdiocese in Mindanao said a Caucasian male in his 50s had sought donations from its members by claiming he was Archbishop Brown.
He wore a white barong shirt with a pectoral cross, the normal attire of bishops in the Philippines, the group said.
One of the group’s members claimed the man even offered to officiate at their summer recollection.
“He claimed to be Archbishop Brown. It was quite believable because he really looked like him and he was with a secretary and driver who claimed to be from the nunciature in Manila,” Cagayan de Oro parishioner Ted Rabuyo said.
He said he met the bogus bishop during a blessing of a department store in the province.
“He blessed one of the stores in the city. He was in bishop’s clothes and introduced himself as the papal nuncio. The way he conducted himself, he must have fooled everybody present,” Mr Rabuyo added.
Another group called the Santa Rafaela women’s group in Iloilo province in the central part of the country said they also encountered a bogus Archbishop Brown on one of their summer excursions.
The group said they were approached and asked if they wanted the nuncio to celebrate Mass for them. Afterward, when money had changed hands, the man immediately made his excuses and left.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has released an advisory warning the public of an online scam involving fraudsters claiming to be the papal nuncio.
He advised people not to reply to suspicious messages because the apostolic nunciature would not communicate with people in such a manner.
Philippine Catholic groups issue fake nuncio warnings (By Joseph Peter Calleja, UCA News)