Catholic Church warns of 'imposter' priest

QMI Agency

QMI Agency

Randy Richmond, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:48 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- A man accused by the Catholic Diocese of London of impersonating a priest insists he is one.

"I am shocked, flabbergasted," Terry Mertick said Thursday. "I am not a priest of theirs, but I am a priest.

"This the modern version of a stoning."

Mertick said he's a priest of the Old Roman Catholic Church of Canada and has never claimed to be a priest of the London diocese.

The diocese issued a news release Thursday, saying Mertick has been offering service as a priest in funeral and nursing homes.

"Mr. Mertick is not, and never has been, a priest of the Roman Catholic Church," Mark Adkinson, a diocese spokesperson, said in a statement.

Adkinson said the diocese is sending a warning letter to all funeral homes in London and will do the same to health care facilities as well.

"We are very concerned that a person would choose to impersonate a priest, counsel grieving families and falsely celebrate a Roman Catholic liturgy," the warning stated.

Adkinson said the diocese was contacted by a parishioner who attended a funeral and recognized Mertick's name.

Mertick pointed to a charity listing on the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency website. The Old Roman Catholic Church in Canada is a registered charity in good standing that lists Mertick as a bishop.


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