False prophets come in sheep’s clothing — or in a cheap bishop costume.
An Australian man dressed as a bishop sneaked into the meeting of more than 100 cardinals at the Vatican Monday, managing to commiserate with the Catholic princes before being thrown out by Swiss Guards.
The man, identified as Ralph Napierski, donned a short cassock, “an unusual” cross necklace, and a purple Episcopal sash that was actually a scarf, according to Italy’s Gazzetta del Sud.
He told reporters his name was “Basilius,” and a member of the “Italian Orthodox Church,” which does not appear to exist.
Before being found out, the faux-bishop told reporters the church “made a mistake by moving priests” who were accused of pedophilia around to different parishes, according to Agence France-Presse.
It was not immediately clear if the police would forgive him his trespasses.
On Monday the cardinals convened for the first time for critical meetings in which they discuss the issues facing the church as they consider a new Pope. First on the agenda is announcing the date the Conclave will begin.
“All I can say is that everyone seated for the congregation is a real cardinal,” Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said after Napierski was busted, according to AFP.
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