Pope Conclave Update: Swiss Guards Snuff Out Cardinal Imposter
The Swiss Guards – the ensemble charged with protecting the Holy See and the Curia – was doing their job on Monday, when they prevented an imposter from entering the pre-conclave events at the Vatican.
Ralph Napierski, a German man, donned fake ecclesiastical robes and was pictured with high-level cardinals who came for the College of Cardinals meeting, reported Sky News.
But a picture outside of Paul VI Hall is all that Napierski will take home with him.
Swiss Guards ran him out after they noticed that he had on a short cassock and an odd crucifix, reported The Sun. He was able to avoid the Vatican’s security measures and got into the conference for a time.
He also wore a black fedora hat, whereas the other cardinals wore red caps.
The Papal Conclave is always held confidentially – without outside observers. The Cardinal attendees face immediate excommunication for discussing the events that transcribe within the Basilica. In past conclaves, the Vatican has even gone so far as to install a false floor in the cathedral to mask the anti-bugging technology that is in use.
As of today, no word yet on what date the actual conclave would start. Officials were still waiting for all 115 cardinals to arrive; Only 103 of the cardinals are under the age of 80 and will be allowed to vote.