Fake Catholic Priest Sentenced to Jail...Again
'You can't go into a church and pretend you're a priest'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2016 5:08 PM CST

(Newser) – Good thing Catholics have a fairly relaxed forgiveness policy. The Los Angeles Times reports a 60-year-old man convicted last February after posing as a priest was arrested earlier this month for slipping back into the vestments. When Erwin Mena was originally arrested, he had been acting as a priest at a Los Angeles church for five months or so. Authorities say he delivered sermons, baptized babies, held funerals, gave confession, and presided over Mass. However what eventually got Mena a year in jail for grand theft was selling fake trips to see the pope during his East Coast visit last fall. According to Fox 11, Mena made more than $15,000 selling nonexistent trips to parishioners for $500 to $1,000 a pop.

Mena was released from jail early last July. He was arrested at a different Los Angeles church Nov. 2 while going by the name Father Edwin Lima. On Friday, a judge sentenced Mena to another 265 days in jail, telling him, "You can't go into a church and pretend you're a priest." The judge also barred Mena from coming within 100 feet of any Catholic church in the city. Mena has allegedly been doing his faux priest routine since the 1990s.
 

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