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
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)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Mar 5, 2013 2:50 PM CST
He could have carried it off if he had a correct hat. The sash was the wrong color, but who knows what is the "right" color anymore! Even the Swiss Guards were fooled! Wow...what a great scam. He might have even gotten to vote, given that most of the Cardinals do not know each other very well, if at all! Although they are scanning for electronic bugs in the walls of the Sistene Chapel, you can count on one cell phone to escape detection! Entertainment Tonight might even be there for interviews.
Mar 5, 2013 2:11 PM CST
Hip Hip Hooray for the guards! Keep up the good work!
Mar 5, 2013 8:09 AM CST
If only he hadn't insisted on blowing that vuvuzela !