Fake bishop tries to sneak into Vatican meeting

Ralph Napierski (left), a fake bishop, poses with cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana as the cardinal arrives for talks ahead of a conclave to elect a new pope on March 4 at the Vatican. (AFP)

An Italian man dressed up in fake ecclesiastical robes was escorted out of a meeting of Catholic cardinals by Swiss Guards on Monday after trying to sneak into the closed-door Vatican meeting.

The man had told reporters that his name was "Basilius" and that he was a member of the "Italian Orthodox Church", which does not exist.

Before he was discovered, the "bishop" told reporters that Catholic bishops had "made a mistake by moving priests" who were accused of paedophilia around different parishes.

He was wearing a purple scarf around his waist that was similar to the sashes warn by senior Catholic prelates and he shook hands and chatted with priests and cardinals arriving at the meeting.

 

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