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Another Catholic priest, 'Jerry from Philly,' removed from ministry in Philadelphia

Geraldo Pinero stepped down after the FBI raided his rectory for allegedly endorsing pyramid scams in 2010 and has been officially found unfit for ministry.

Yet another Catholic priest has been found unsuitable for ministry, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today.

Archbishop Charles Chaput found that Rev. Geraldo Pinero, 47, violated the church's Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, according to a statement released today.

Pinero stepped down as pastor of Incarnation of Our Lord Parish in Olney in November 2010 after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the parish rectory and seized his computer.

The Associated Press at the time reported that the raid revolved around allegations that Pinero endorsed multilevel marketing companies, also known as "pyramid schemes."

Pinero referred to himself as "Jerry from Philly" and posed in tuxedos, sweaters and velvet blazers – sans priest collar – on various websites, including a still-accessible Myspace, discussing how to earn extra cash by selling candles, life coaching and performing other services.

The Archdiocese said Pinero has been on restricted ministry since 2010 and has not been allowed to serve publicly, wear clerical garb or publicly represent himself as a priest since the federal bust.

Before the investigation, Pinero spent time serving at Incarnation of Our Lord, Philadephia, Saint Bridget and Saint Charles Borromeo.

His dismissal is not related to the priests on leave as a result of the November 2011 Grand Jury report, the Archdiocese said.

 
 
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