Father John J. Mejia-Muñoz
Be advised by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City of its concerns regarding Father John J. Mejia-Muñoz, a priest of the Diocese of Quibdo,Colombia. The Archdiocese reports that Fr. Mejia was serving in the Archdiocese until his faculties were revoked on September 29, 2022 after an archdiocesan investigation revealed ongoing issues involving a lack of financial accountability and a failure to comply with archdiocesan financial policies. In a meeting with officials of the Archdiocese on September
29, 2022, Fr. Mejia indicated a present intent to not return to his diocese. Fr. Mejia’s bishop in Quibdo, Colombia has been notified of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s action. Should he present himself to another diocese in the United States, the Archdiocese wishes to alert others that Fr. Mejia does not have faculties in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Reverend Stephen Akange
Be advised by the Diocese of Youngstown of its concerns regarding the Reverend Stephen Akange, a priest of the Diocese of Gboko, Nigeria. He was given faculties in the Diocese of Columbus in 2016 as an extern priest serving as a hospital chaplain. Rev. Akange’s contract in Columbus expired in 2021 and he moved to the Diocese of Youngstown. The Diocese of Youngstown reports that Rev. Akange was working at Mercy Hospital in Canton, Ohio but resigned after being confronted with accusations of workplace sexual harassment. Rev. Akange is believed to be living in Canton, Ohio and looking for work at another hospital.
The Diocese wishes to alert others that Rev. Akange does not have faculties in the Diocese of Youngstown or in any other diocese in Ohio.
Mr. Leandro Gerrando Magela Ferreira
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia advises its concerns regarding a former priest, Mr. Leandro Gerrando Magela Ferreira. Mr. Ferreira formerly served as a priest in the Diocese of São João del Rei in Brazil and belonged to the Priestly Fraternity of Jesus Luz dos Povos (formerly the Institute of Missio Christi). He has also claimed to be a member of the Society of Saint Patrick. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dismissed Mr. Ferreira from the clerical state on October 22, 2019, based on what it concluded was a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The Archdiocese reports that Mr. Ferreira recently presented himself to the Archdiocese as a priest in good standing and was initially accepted to serve their Brazilian and Portuguese communities. Within a week, the Archdiocese learned that Mr. Ferreira had forged the documents he submitted as part of the vetting process for ministry and that he had been laicized. The Archdiocese asked us to inform our members that Mr. Ferreira has been laicized, should he present himself to any diocese in the United States.
Fr. Uririoghene Melchizedek Okrokoto
Fr. Okrokoto is an incardinated priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and does not presently enjoy faculties of the Diocese and does not have permission to minister as a priest. Parishes in the Diocese have been directed to refuse him hospitality.
The Nunciature reports that Mr. Hygord purports to be a priest of the Old Catholic Church of Orlando, Florida. The Nunciature further relates that Mr. Hygord has made repeated attempts to establish the validity of his priestly ordination, and that he has done so by making use of forged letters and signatures from various Catholic Church officials, including Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., and Emeritus Archbishop Emery Kabongo of Luebo, Congo. The Nunciature relates that Mr. Hygord's fraudulent efforts have not abated.
Rev. Francis Muhanji
The Archdiocese of Omaha has advised of its concerns regarding Rev. Francis Muhanji, a priest of the Diocese of Kitale, Kenya. The Archdiocese reports that Fr Muhanji had been in this country in 2018-2019 preaching in the Archdiocese and raising money for various projects in his home diocese, but that it subsequently has come to light that Kenyan authorities were investigating this activity and that the majority of the funds raised were not properly accounted for. The Archdiocese relates that it further learned that Fr. Muhanji did not have his bishop's approval for such fundraising in the first place, that his bishop's apparent letter of approval for the project was forged, and that the funds had been diverted from their intended purposes through the misconduct of others in Kenya acting in concert with Fr. Muhanji. As a result, Fr. Muhaji's bishop has suspended him, and it appears Fr. Muhanji may be facing criminal charges in Kenya. The Archdiocese indicates it believes Fr. Muhanji may still be in the United States.
Fr. Armando Antonio Rodriguez Garcia
The Diocese of Los Teques, Venezuela, through the offices of the Archdiocese of Miami, has advised of its concerns regarding Fr. Armando Antonio Rodriguez Garcia, a priest of the Diocese of Los Teques. Accusations of his sexual abuse of a minor came to light in 2019, which appeared credible, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith then directed that a full investigation be conducted, which was recently completed. In the interim, the Bishop of Los Teques had imposed a series of restrictions on Fr. Rodriguez Garcia, prohibited him from exercising ministerial functions, and directed him to remain in the Diocese of Los Teques. The Diocese relates that Fr. Rodriguez Garcia then moved to Caracas and then left Venezuela, bound for the United States, providing no contact information. The Diocese suspects that Fr. Rodriguez Garcia may be in Miami where he has contacts with the Cuban and Venezuelan communities.
John Tokarick, Jr.
The Diocese of Scranton has advised of its concerns regarding John Tokarick, Jr. Tokarick is a former seminarian of the Diocese of Harrisburg who was dismissed from that diocese's program of priestly formation, and his name appears on the Diocese of Harrisburg's public list of clergy and seminarians accused of sexual abuse of a child, but it is the understanding of the Diocese of Scranton that he was later ordained as a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. On December 21, 2018, the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton were notified that Tokarick is not a Roman Catholic priest, is not permitted to function in the Roman Catholic Church and that the Catholic faithful should not receive the sacraments from him or attend his celebration of the sacraments, wherever held. However, the Diocese relates it has recently learned that Tokarick is falsely stating that he is a Catholic priest in good standing. The Diocese also relates that it is not aware of Tokarick's current whereabouts and that he has a history of frequent moves, and it is concerned that Tokarick may pursue ministry elsewhere based on his false representations that he is a Catholic priest in good standing.
FRAUDULENT REQUEST FOR MASS STIPEND
The Archdiocese of Miami has advised of its concerns regarding an apparent fraud scheme being perpetrated in the name of Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of the Diocese of Yei in South Sudan. The Archdiocese of Miami relates that it received a request for Mass stipends purporting to be from Bishop Tombe, asking that donations be made through the Diocese of Yei's mission office in Kampala, through its purported "procurator", Fr. Samuel Mukasa, using bank information provided with the request. On further investigation pursued by the Archdiocese of Miami the Diocese of Yei was contacted directly and it has stated that it made no such request to the Archdiocese, and that this solicitation is not legitimate.