Diocese warns Catholics against man posing as priest

The Diocese of Peoria has issued an advisory to Catholics in western and central Illinois not to attend mass or receive sacraments or counseling from a man who goes by the name Fr. Ryan St. Anne Scott.

This is not the first time such an advisory has been issued. Four other diocese have publicly warned that Scott is not a legitimate priest and that the baptisms, weddings, funerals and other ceremonies he conducts are not sanctioned by the Church, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Scott claims he is bishop of the independent Holy Rosary Abbey, currently housed in a converted home for the mentally ill in Galesburg, Ill.

For more than 15 years, Scott, who is divorced and convicted of felony, has moved his “abbey” around the Midwest. Most of those who attend his services are elderly Catholics who long for the Latin mass of their youth, reported the Tribune.

"We are not sure what he is, but we are sure what he is not: a priest," Fr. Ben Nguyen, chancellor of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., told the Tribune. "He appears out of nowhere, sets up and then disappears."

Scott, 51, says his calling now is to be a thorn in the side of the modern-day church by living out the embodiment of "the true Roman Catholic Church" of ancient days.

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