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Fake priest known for good homilies excommunicated

A 'fake priest’ has been excommunicated after serving a Catholic diocese in Metro Manila for more than a year, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said Friday. The excommunication of Xavier Eubra de Borja was issued last May 30 but made public only this week, the CBCP said. "Being excommunicated, De Borja is banned from participating in Mass, Communion or other religious ceremonies even as a participant," the CBCP said in its news site. Cubao chancellor Fr. Fredrick Edward Simon said Cubao Diocese Bishop Honesto Ongtioco made the decision after discovering De Borja is not a real priest. De Borja grew up at St. Ignatius village and was a parishioner of Christ the King Parish at Greenmeadows, where he served as altar boy during his school days. He supposedly left the country and entered a seminary in Russia and returned in 2009 for a vacation. By then, he identified himself as an “ordained priest" and went around the parish in black cassock. De Borja even had clerical robes and showed documents that he is a member of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine based in France. "Sources said De Borja’s family being parishioners and upon the recommendation of several parishioners, he was accepted as 'guest priest' while on vacation prior to his 'return to his current assignment in Russia,'" the CBCP said. But a check with Vladivostok-based Mary Mother of God Mission Society website revealed no Filipino priest has ever been assigned there. Investigation showed De Borja even celebrated the Eucharist, heard confessions, and conducted retreats and recollections. He reportedly attracted parishioners with his celebration of the Mass described as “reminiscent of all the reverence and strict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated." The CBCP said De Borja was also reported to have delivered "good homily" during Mass and knows how to say the Holy Mass in Latin and Traditional (Tridentine) Latin Mass. He also heard confessions and accepted invitations to conduct retreats and recollections for various parish-based organizations. Warning vs. fake deacon Catholics were also warned against a certain Joseph Sorongon posing as a deacon, the Diocese of Parañaque said. Diocesan chancellor Fr. Benjamin Molina, Jr., in a circular dated June 16, said Joseph Sorongon introduces himself as a Deacon from the Order of St. Benedict of the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Fr. Molina said Sorongon is a fraud and an impostor. “The Chancery, after careful research and investigation, found out that Mr. Joseph Sorongon is not a deacon nor is he a member of the Order of St. Benedict, as confirmed by Fr. SAvio Ma. Siccuan, OSB, Prior of the Monastery of the Transfiguration," Molina wrote. He cautioned the faithful to ask for a celebret or certificate of ordination to the diaconate issued by their chancery of their diocese or religious congregation and duly signed by the bishop or religious superior. - LBG, RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV