Fake Priest Targets Church as Parishes in Texas Are on the Lookout for Imposter

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People heading to church in Houston Tuesday night were concerned about a man police are calling a fake priest who targeted St. Thomas More Church.

“I don’t have words for that, trying to impersonate someone,” a parishioner at the church said. “It’s sad. You would wish that that didn’t happen.”

Parishioners said they were just recently alerted to the crime, which happened on Oct. 27.

New details from Houston police are emerging about what happened. They said the man seen in these surveillance images claimed to be “Father Martin,” a visiting priest from Chicago.

He said he’d left his keys in the priests’ residence and bluffed his way past a church staffer.

Once inside, police said, he stole cash from the rooms of the rectory.

In all, they say he was on the church grounds for 30 minutes before leaving in a vehicle he’d left parked nearby.

This week the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston shared this memo with its parishes, a security alert, concerned this imposter priest could try to hit other churches.

They said he’s on the radar of Dallas police and has warrants out in California and Pennsylvania.

Parishioners at St. Thomas More said they’re on the lookout and are praying for the man who’s accused of victimizing their church.

“People don’t always make the best choices and certainly hope that they can turn around choices they’re making,” the parishioner said.

The memo from the archdiocese says the man posing as a priest actually does research on the church he plans to target, so he knows the names of the priests there in order to more easily gain access.