June 25, 2007 / 1:46 PM / 12 years ago

Fake priest arrested baptizing baby

A baby is baptized in a file photo. A man pretending to be a priest was arrested by police as he prepared to baptize a baby in a small town in the north of Portugal. REUTERS/File

LISBON (Reuters) - A man pretending to be a priest was arrested by police as he prepared to baptize a baby in a small town in the north of Portugal.

“When the man said ‘in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit’ police came in and grabbed him,” a member of the church was quoted by local daily Jornal de Noticias as saying.

A spokeswoman for the Portuguese police said the 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a priest and had several similar arrest warrants to his name.

“We had to interrupt the religious ceremony to identify the suspect,” said spokeswoman Amelia Moutinho, adding that the public prosecutor would now investigate the case.

The baby was later baptized by a real priest, the local daily said. The man was arrested on June 16.

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