A fake bishop sneaked into a real Vatican meeting on Monday, rubbing elbows with some 100 real cardinals.
This wasn’t some conspiratorial Dan Brown super spy infiltrating a uber-secretive Pope meeting or anything. Rather, this fake bishop is a simple Australian prankster by the name of Ralph Napierski, reports MSN.
Disguised as a bishop and going by the name “Basilius” from the “Italian Orthodox Church,” Napierski attended an official Vatican meeting with over 100 cardinals, spoke with reporters, and managed to “commiserate” with other Catholic priests before he was finally found out and bounced (bell, book and candle, we presume) by Swiss Guards.
His fake bishop costume consisted of a short cassock, “an unusual” cross necklace, and a purple Episcopal sash (that was actually just a scarf) according to New York Daily News.
Before he was found out, Napierski managed to tell reporters that the Catholic church had “made a mistake by moving priests” who were accused of pedophilia to difference parishes.
Outside of his fake bishop-ing, Napierski runs two blogs. One is called Corpus Dei, which is named for a religious order that he claims to have founded. It is described as a “Catholic Order after episcopal law.”
“Bishop Ralph Napierski is a Catholic bishop under the primacy of Pope Benedict XVI, and he is in union with the Roman Catholic Church,” says the blog. “Bishop Ralph is a slave and apostle like St. Paul.”
On his other blog, Jesus Yoga, Napierski claims to educate his followers about “hidden techniques of Christian meditation.”
The fake bishop writes: “meditation in the presence and aura of relics is very powerfull [sic] and effective since relics radiate a special energy” and that the practice can lead “into Christ consciousness.”
So maybe Napierski thinks he’s for real. My sarcasm radar is broken at the moment.
Monday’s Vatican meeting saw cardinals convening for the first time for a series of critical meetings in which they will discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the church. The cherry on top of those meetings will be the consideration, and ultimate selection, of a new Pope.
First on the agenda is announcing when the Conclave will begin.
What do you think of fake bishop Ralph Napierski’s story? Does he think he’s for real? Is he just messing with us? Sound off!