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Habemus fraudatorem

A reason to get the conclave started already? La Stampa and other news organizations reported today that a man dressed as a bishop was able to sneak into the Vatican and mingle with the 100 or so cardinals meeting to determine schedules and logistics. He gave his name as Basilius and said he belonged to the (nonexistent) order of Corpus Dei of the (nonexistent) Italian Orthodox Church. Neither those details nor the purple scarf used as sash, fake necklace, or black sneakers were enough to warrant suspicion; it was when he apologized for the churchs handling of pedophile priests that he gave himself away. He is, according to early reports, an Australian. More photos here.

About the Author

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s digital editor.



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Thanks for the humor. I've got to get a biretta (the hat, not the gun) to go with my bluejeans.

Glad he wasn't a terrorist.

It's called "insania in mense Martii."

I just finished John Thavis' "The Vatican Diaries." Apparently this kind of thing happens all the time and the ushers at the General Audiences have, as part of their responsibilities, spotting fake bishops who are trying to get close to the front. According the Thavis, many have become very proficient, down to recognizing what kind of socks a real bishop would wear.

"it was when he apologized for the churchs handling of pedophile priests that he gave himself away."Of course.

The first reports seemed to indicated that this "bishop" is an Australian. Now he's a German. What's next .... Mexico?

I smell a movie in the offing with a new Fr. Brown as detective. Let's say he is the original Fr. Brown's radical nephew who had been mistreated by his bishop/cardinal, and, for the sake of the Church, he decides to discover just what the official Church is *really* up to in the general congregations. Unfortunately, his bishop-cardinal is still a member of the college of cardinals, so he has to be a master of disguise. Oh, the plot twists are endless! He could arrive at the meeting claiming to be one of the German bishops who have not yet arrived. (They are staying away because they have decided to prolong the Congregations by staying away in order to have more time for their allies in the meetings to ruin the reputations of their "enemies" who are papabile.) Etc., etc., etc.

If anyone is still reading this, here is the latest ... last?: Germans are NOT amused!

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