Religion

Ralph Napierski, Fake Bishop, Sneaks Into College Of Cardinals, Caught By Swiss Guard

Ralph Napierski (L) 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, 2013 at the Vatican. The Vatican meetings will set the date for the start of the conclave this month and help identify candidates among the cardinals to be the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Ralph Napierski (L) 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, 2013 at the Vatican. The Vatican meetings will set the date for the start of the conclave this month and help identify candidates among the cardinals to be the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Catholic Church's College of Cardinals meets to begin the process of selecting a new pope, a so-called "fake bishop" has been caught seeking out a true insider's look at the normally secretive process.

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.

Agence France-Presse reports Napierski told members of the media that his name is "Basilius," and that he took particular issue with the Catholic church moving priests accused of pedophilia to different churches.

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