An imposter dressed as a bishop tried to get into the meetings being held at the Vatican prior to the papal conclave. Using easily obtainable clothing such as a fedora hat and a purple winter scarf, he managed to look enough like a bishop to fool at least some people.
Wearing a makeshift bishop costume, he arrived at the Vatican with an entourage of fake clerics, even posing for photos with a real cardinal.
He then made it past at least one level of security before being stopped outside the Sistine Chapel.
The impostor was identified by Italian news agency ANSA as Ralph Napierski. He is a German who said he is part of a non-existent Catholic institution called Corpus Dei (a play on “Opus Dei,” a real Catholic group).
Napierski milled around the area outside the meetings for half an hour with no problems. He told onlookers his name was Basilius and that he was a bishop in the Italian Orthodox Church, which does not exist.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, would not comment on Napierski’s alleged attempt to enter the congregations. “All I can say is that everyone seated for the congregation is a real cardinal,” he said.
At least, that’s what Lombardi thinks, bwa-ha-ha!