A German man disguised as a bishop snuck into the Vatican Monday as part of an attempt to infiltrate the secret pre-conclave meetings of the Church officials who will choose the next pope.
Fake bishop Ralph Napierski claimed to be a bishop of the (non-existent) German Catholic Order “Corpus Dei,” according to Italian news agency ANSA.
Security grew suspicious of Napierski’s strange garb, which included a “too-short cassock, a black fedora in place of a clergy’s skull cap and a bright purple-pink sash” that turned out to be a scarf and stopped him as he entered the meeting.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, would not comment on Napierski’s alleged attempt to enter the congregations. “All I can say is that everyone seated for the congregation is a real cardinal,” he said.
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