• Germany edition
 
German fake bishop infiltrates Vatican
Photo:DPA

German fake bishop infiltrates Vatican

Published: 05 Mar 2013 16:11 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Mar 2013 16:11 GMT+01:00

The imposter, who specializes in ecclesiastical disguises, introduced himself as "Basilius," and mingled with priests and cardinals gathered in the Holy City.

Before he was discovered, the man reportedly proclaimed that Catholic bishops had not dealt adequately with priests accused of child abuse.

"Basilius," whose real name is Ralph Napierski, managed to fool many, including cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana with whom he posed for a photograph. But keener observers noticed that he was wearing an unusually short cassock and a purple shawl rather than the trademark sash, as well as sporting a ring on the wrong finger.

Matthias Kopp, spokesman of the German Bishops' Conference told the Bild newspaper that the man was not listed in the Annuario Pontificio, the Pontifical Yearbook.

"The man only made himself a laughing stock worldwide," Stefan Förner, spokesman for the Berlin archdiocese said on Tuesday. The Church will not however be pursuing legal action against him as the title of bishop is not a legally protected term.

Napierski has a history of dressing up as church personalities. He claims to be part of an order in Berlin known as "Corpus Dei," as well as the "Independent Catholic Mission."

DPA/The Local/kkf

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:20 March 5, 2013 by simski
That guy is my new hero. Obviously Stefan Förner, spokesman for the Berlin archdiocese, failed to recognize who was made a laughing stock here.
18:37 March 5, 2013 by Bigfoot76
"The man only made himself a laughing stock worldwide, Stefan Förner," Actually I think he made the Vatican even more of a laughing stock than it already is. They are having a rough decade in Rome.
18:42 March 5, 2013 by lucksi
"Before he was discovered, the man reportedly proclaimed that Catholic bishops had not dealt adequately with priests accused of child abuse."

Well, if you say stuff like that, it's no wonder you were discovered.
20:12 March 5, 2013 by raandy
yes fure sure , that was a red flag, why would he ask that?
20:28 March 5, 2013 by Bulldawg82
This dude rocks!!!!!
02:38 March 6, 2013 by Eric1
Silly man.
07:54 March 6, 2013 by ranjith54
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:16 March 6, 2013 by Zubair Khan
Dude should have studied more deeply how Bishops dress up properly.
14:58 March 6, 2013 by bwjijsdtd
So much for the Vatican security ... wonder who will lose their job over this little foul up ...
10:06 March 8, 2013 by TallGuy
Aren't bishops generally in a state of undress?
14:49 March 8, 2013 by Darra
"The man only made himself a laughing stock worldwide," Stefan Förner, spokesman for the Berlin archdiocese said on Tuesday.

Actually, no. We are not laughing AT him, we are laughing WITH him.

And may we see the photofraphs, please?
Today's headlines
Merkel & Obama fire warning to Russia
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama during a meeting at the G7 Summit in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel & Obama fire warning to Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama warned Friday that Russia was triggering a "dangerous escalation" of the conflict in Ukraine due to its military presence and shelling there. READ  

Bayern kick off title defence with win
Bayern's galaxy of stars celebrate after scoring against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. Photo: DPA

Bayern kick off title defence with win

Reigning German champions Bayern Munich got the new Bundesliga season off to a perfect start with a dramatic 2-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. READ  

Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo:Shutterstock

Size does matter in this case, rules judge

A judge has ordered a deliveryman's manhood to be measured after he claimed in court that it was too small for him to be guilty of exhibitionism. READ  

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll
Ukrainian soldiers near Luhansk, Ukraine. Photo: DPA

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll

Almost two thirds of Germans fear Russia plans further land grabs in Ukraine, according to an opinion poll released on the eve of Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the conflict-torn country. READ  

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany
Actress Natascha Ochsenknecht gets doused. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany

German football players, German tennis players, German TV characters and Germany's latest Topmodel winner are on it, but is it actually making a difference? READ  

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen tries on military body armour. Photo: DPA

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip

Amid heated debates over arms for Iraq, the Ukraine crisis, and Germany's foreign military involvement despite its WWII legacy, defence chief Ursula von der Leyen stirred a debate of her own on Friday after a dud World Cup gag. READ  

Expat Dispatches
He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!
He says "I will!" Photo: DPA

He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!

A quick and uncomplicated conversation between a recently engaged couple concluded that the husband-to-be would take on his fiancee's surname. However, no one was more surprised by people's reactions than Australian expat Liv Hambrett. READ  

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus
Photo:DPA

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus

Four white lions born into the Krone Circus during its stop in Magdeburg yesterday find themselves in a Germany reliving a decades-old fight over exotic animals displayed for profit. READ  

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list
A donor heart gets delivered to the DHZB. Photo: DPA

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list

UPDATE: The German Heart Institute of Berlin (DHZB) is under investigation for attempted manslaughter after evidence showed a doctor manipulated patient data to get them a new heart faster. READ  

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks
Julius Bär bank. Photo:DPA

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks

Berlin is suing one of Switzerland's largest banks in its bid to recuperate hundreds of million euros that went missing during the reunification of East and West Germany, the bank said Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,365
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd