Imposter Priest Confessor Nabbed at Vatican

'Strange behavior' tipped off authorities
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2008 8:00 AM CDT
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI stands in a confession booth during a penitential celebration.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A phony priest was stopped just as he was about to hear confessions in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, the BBC reports. The man had on the right clothes and produced valid-looking priestly documents and Vatican ID—"but the expert eye of our personnel didn't need much to sense something strange in his behavior," said a Vatican judge.

The pretender had previously tried to impersonate a priest in Italy, according to authorities. "It was a case of usurping an ecclesiastical title, and thus he was tried by our tribunal," said the judge, who did not reveal the verdict—or punishment.