Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Church Kicks Out Popular Fake Priest
By Roy Lagarde, Manila
Xavier Eubra de Borja
A fake priest who reportedly built up quite a following through his “Latin Masses,” has had his priestly career cut short by a Philippines diocese.
Cubao diocese in Quezon City announced this week it had excommunicated former seminarian Xavier Eubra de Borja on June 2.
Father Fredrick Edward Simon said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao issued the excommunication order.
De Borja, a resident of St. Ignatius Village in Quezon City, served as an altar boy at Christ the King Parish during his student days.
After leaving the country and entering a seminary in Russia, he returned to the parish in 2009 saying he was an “ordained priest” on vacation.
He even presented documents proclaiming himself a member of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine in France.
Taken in by the elaborate ruse, the parish accepted De Borja as a “guest priest” while on vacation, supposedly before returning to his “assignment in Russia.”
However, a check with the Vladivostok-based Mary Mother of God Mission Society, revealed that no Filipino priest was assigned there.
In the meantime, Church authorities also learned De Borja had celebrated Mass, heard confessions and conducted retreats and recollections while “on holiday”.
He reportedly attracted parishioners with his celebration of the Mass, which was described as “reminiscent of all the reverence and strict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated.”
The fake priest is also reported to have delivered good homilies and even said Mass in Latin.
De Borja is now barred from attending Mass, receiving communion and participating in religious ceremonies.