Busted at mass: Ischia's fake priest

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10:00 CEST+02:00
A 60-year-old man has been charged with identity theft after allegedly parading around the Italian island of Ischia as a priest and hosting mass in private homes.

The man, from Salerno, called himself Father Flavio, and was trusted by the faithful of the community of Forio, a town in the Bay of Naples island, Tele Ischia reported.

His faithful flock regularly invited him to perform religious ceremonies in their homes, the news website said.

But after a tip-off from priests in the area, who suspected him to be a fake, the police surprised him as he celebrated mass in a private home in Forio.

The man was reportedly a "serial" fake priest, having also posed as one in Benevento, Campania and L'Aquila, in Abruzzo.

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By Louise Naudé 

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