Ralph Napierski, a self-appointed bishop from an apparently fictional order called Corpus Dei, managed to get through a checkpoint manned by Swiss Guards but was stopped before entering the Paul VI Hall, where the cardinals were gathering.
Dressed in fake bishop’s vestments, complete with a purple sash, Mr Napierski smiled to photographers as he mixed with more than 140 cardinals from around the world as they filed into the hall to discuss the challenges facing the Church and possible “papabili” or papal candidates.
On closer inspection the sash turned out to be a scarf.
Unlike the elderly cardinals, who wore their distinctive red skull caps, the impostor wore a black fedora-style hat with a rim.
At one point he posed for photographs, shaking hands with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana, an Italian who is president emeritus of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See and a member of the Sovereign Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta, a charitable Catholic organisation.
Related links: Fake bishop tries to sneak into Vatican meeting ~ The Telegraph