Vatican Boots Fake Priest Who Got Past Security

Phony in black fedora showed up with fake entourage

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2013 5:00 PM CST

(Newser) – The Vatican today kicked out a phony bishop who got past security and nearly entered a meeting of cardinals who will pick the next pope, USA Today reports. Identified as Ralph Napierski, a German, the man showed up with an entourage of fake assistants and posed for photographs with an actual cardinal. But there were giveaways: His short cassock, black fedora in lieu of skull cap, and an ordinary purple-pink scarf instead of a sash.

Still, Napierski fooled people for about an hour, calling himself Basilius and claiming membership in a Catholic order he invented called Corpus Dei (a riff on the real Opus Dei). His motive is unknown, but Napierski runs a blog about Corpus Dei and another blog called Jesus Yoga, which purports to teach the "hidden techniques of Christian meditation," the International Business Times reports. Now the Vatican is holding talks on how to boost security before the next pope is chosen.

Priests arrive in procession at St. Peter Basilica on their way to an audience held by Pope Benedict XVI in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Thursday Feb. 14, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI is continuing his farewell tour with an off-the-cuff meeting with Roman priests, an annual encounter...
Priests arrive in procession at St. Peter Basilica on their way to an audience held by Pope Benedict XVI in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Thursday Feb. 14, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI is continuing...   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Benedict XVI, center, visits in an open van the earthquake struck town of Rovereto di Novi, northern Italy, Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI, center, visits in an open van the earthquake struck town of Rovereto di Novi, northern Italy, Tuesday, June 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)
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