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Father fraud 

He wore a clerical collar and an earring and said his name was Father Bob Kelly, a Catholic priest and the new general manager of the Marian House Soup Kitchen.

After a sudden appearance at the soup kitchen on Bijou Street two Sundays ago, where he mingled with kitchen volunteers, staff and clients, one question still lingers: Who in holy heck is Bob Kelly?

James Dixon, Marian House's outreach coordinator said he spoke briefly with Kelly, who informed him he was his new boss. Flummoxed, Dixon said he deferred him to Marian House's interim director Clyde Coffman, who was not on duty at the time.

Kelly's unannounced visit came just two weeks after Marian House's general manager Frank Crosson was fired. Neither Crosson nor Catholic Charities representatives would comment on his dismissal.

According to Dixon, the mystery padre spent the duration of the morning milling about the kitchen, introducing himself to clients, informing them that he would be making big improvements.

Dixon said he never swallowed Kelly's story.

"He looked like a jackass," he said. According to Dixon, the priest returned later the following week, but when he offered to introduce him to his boss, Kelly quickly backtracked saying he had to return to his parish in Denver.

"If I ever see him again, I probably will show him some animosity," said Dixon, who thought Kelly instilled false hope in a vulnerable population that depends on the kitchen for its food.

Representatives for the archdioceses of Colorado Springs and Denver said they have no record of any priest named Bob Kelly.

"He's certainly not one of ours," said Peter Howard, assistant to Bishop Michael Sheridan of the Colorado Springs diocese. "I'm not even sure he's a priest."

-- John Dicker

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