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The Rev. William E. Flippin, Jr.

William Flippin Jr.: Counterfeit Clergy

Jeremiah 23:1-6

9th Sunday after Pentecost - Year B

July 22, 2018

The Rev. William Flippin, Jr. (ELCA)


Father Frederico B. Gomez de Esparza was a Catholic priest affectionately known throughout his parish in Yuma, Arizona as Father Fred. He was a priest that hailed from Mexico and who served bilingual parishes in Arizona. By all accounts, Father Fred did his job well. Everybody loved him. He was known for his sermon mastery and knowledge of the Roman Catholic Church. He also knew the Scriptures, administered the sacraments, comforted the sick, conducted wedding and funerals - everything that clergy are supposed to do. He was later found out of having no credentials and was counterfeit. The parishioners who trusted him were deceived, describing him as a "wolf in sheep clothing."

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