Con man, fake priest, sinner

If there are any screenwriters out there who want a bizarre real-life story about original sin, look no further than this amazing (and oh so depressing) Los Angeles Times feature story by Tonya Alanez about the life and times of con man Federiqkoe DiBritto III. Where to begin? He just wants to do good, even if he can't straighten out his own life. And the money was just there for the taking.

And what about the times he managed to convince people that he was a priest?

"Emotionally and spiritually, he did real damage to people here in Phoenix," said Father David Sanfilippo, vicar general of the Phoenix diocese. "To find out that it was an impostor celebrating these sacraments was very hurtful."

Brito said he regrets fooling the Arizona parishioners, but he sees things differently.

"When I worked in the parish, I gave my heart," he said. "When I spoke at the Masses, they applauded."

Brito describes himself as "very" religious and dedicated to fulfilling the needs of others. "I probably would have made a great priest, a great elected official, a great human being," Brito said. "But I screwed it up."

He said he prays for forgiveness.

"God came to heal sinners, not perfect people, and I am one of them," he said.

So who plays this guy in the DreamWorks movie? This guy gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "born again." Wow. My only knock on this story is that it really cries out for theological insights. No, I mean it. DiBritto is messed up -- in a very specific way. The spiritual element of this story cannot be denied. What do Catholic authorities have to say about his angels and demons?

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