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.
By Louise Naudé