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Catholic Leaders in Cape Verde Denounce Man Claiming to be “bishop” as Imposter

Bishop Ildo Lopes Fortes of Cape Verde’s Mindelo Diocese (right) and Filipe Teixeira (left) who is claiming to be a bishop and heading a delegation that is lobbying for the release of Venezuelan businessman, Álex Saab. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Church leaders in Cape Verde have denounced as an impostor a man claiming to be a bishop and heading a delegation that is lobbying for the release of Venezuelan businessman, Álex Saab.

Last week, an international delegation arrived in Cape Verde seeking to meet authorities in the country in view securing the release of Mr. Saab, Telesurenglish reported.

“The delegation headed by Filipe Teixeira, a citizen of Cape Verde, claiming to be a (Catholic) ‘bishop’ has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic Church,” Bishop Ildo Lopes Fortes of Cape Verde’s Mindelo Diocese in Monday, June 7 statement.

Making reference to Mr. Teixeira leading the delegation that arrived on June 3, Bishop Fortes adds, “Neither I nor Cardinal Arlindo have any knowledge of this strange mission.”

“This so-called religious leader is a citizen who usurps the title of bishop and the vestments he wears,” Bishop Fortes further says in reference to Mr. Teixeira, and reveals, “This individual attended the Capuchin seminary in Luanda and Boston and was always expelled. He did not receive any Holy Order, he was not ordained Deacon, Priest or Bishop.”

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According to VOA news, Mr. Saab was arrested on the island of Sal last year when his private plane stopped for refueling en route to Iran from Venezuela. The United States requested Saab’s extradition within days of his arrest.

Mr. Saab and another Colombian businessman were indicted in July 2019 in U.S. federal court in Miami for their alleged participation in an illegal bribery scheme from late 2011 through at least September 2015.  

The men allegedly laundered money from bank accounts in Venezuela to and through bank accounts located in the U.S.

Making reference to Mr. Teixeira-led delegation seeking to lobby for the release of Mr. Saab, Bishop Fortes, “The ‘false bishop’ is interfering in a matter that is not within his competence.”

The Catholic Bishop urges the faithful to remain vigilant emphasizing, “Filipe Teixeira is not any religious leader linked to the Roman Catholic Church.”

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