Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fake Bishop Nearly Infiltrates Papal Conclave

The Roman Catholic Church has lately had more than its share of problems. The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has prompted accusations of everything from financial mismanagement at the Vatican Bank to a secret network of gay priests reported by the Italian news media. The extend to which these allegations are true remains unclear, but they have certainly stirred up a lot of bad press. And now, the conclave charged with electing the next Pope was nearly infiltrated by a man claiming to be a bishop of a non-existent Italian church.

The impostor, identified as Ralph Napierski, was reportedly caught sneaking into a gathering of cardinals. Before his ruse was discovered, Napierski had already passed by a security station manned by Swiss Guards and had even posed for photos with at least one high-profile (and real) cardinal.

According to USA Today, security became suspicious of Napierski when they realized his cassock seemed shorter than appropriate. Also tip-offs: Napierski wore a black fedora instead of a skull-cap, and his bright purple sash was actually a common scarf.

According to The Telegraph, Napierski told reporters he belonged to the reportedly non-existent Italian Orthodox Church. A blog that appears to be associated with Napierski claims he is a bishop of a Catholic order called the Corpus Dei, also said to be fabricated. Napierski's contact information on the blog points to an address in Germany.

Napierski was stopped before making it all the way into the conclave, but it's pretty impressive that he got as far as he did with his scarf and fedora. It seems that in addition to the other scandals threatening the Roman Catholic Church, heightened security also needs to be taken into account. As for Napierski, had he made it in this would truly constitute an epic prank on one of the world's oldest and most powerful organizations. It also would have been quite interesting to find out more about what really goes on within the sealed doors of the Papal Conclave.

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Anonymous said...

Posing as a Bishop with a Fedora hat on?!!? lol. Wow! The guy's got balls but obviously he didn't do enough research on the dress code! Maybe you could've given him some tips about invisibily techniques... And while you're at it, some common sense too! ;)

-Aghor Pir

List with Laszlo said...

Funny as hell!