Ralph Napierski (L) managed to pass at least one level of security and even posed for a photo with Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president emeritus of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs. VINCENZO PINTO / Getty Images
Fake bishop Ralph Napierski claimed to be a bishop of the (non-existent) German Catholic Order “Corpus Dei,” according to Italian news agency ANSA.
According to the “Corpus Dei” website, it is an order “after episcopal [sic] law” that is “defending the catholic [sic] faith inside the church against heretics that are inside the church” and working to “unite all christians [sic] under the cross.”
This does not appear to be the first time that Napierski has snuck into high-profile meetings of the Catholic Church. He posted a picture on his Facebook page of him and leading papal contender Cardinal Peter Turkson.
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.