Video: The conclave crasher

posted at 2:01 pm on March 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

No, this isn’t one of the Salahis, but it’s not entirely dissimilar, either. An Italian man dressed up as a bishop and managed to bluff his way past the first security level of the Vatican, but his ruse didn’t go unnoticed for long. CBS News includes video of his entry at the end of a daily report on the progress of the College of Cardinals on the process to elect a new Pope:

The NY Post and Fox News reported on it earlier as well (via Jeff Dunetz):

“Bishop Ralph Napierski” got past a checkpoint of Swiss Guards and was photographed shaking hands with Sergio Cardinal Sebastiani in the cobblestone square to the left of St. Peter’s Basilica.

But Napierski never made it inside the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall, where more than 140 cardinals from around the world were having their first formal meeting since the resignation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

What gave the gatecrasher away?

Well, his cassock was several inches too short. His crucifix looked odd. His purple sash was obviously a scarf.

And instead of wearing a zucchetto — the familiar ecclesiastical skullcap of bishops — he had a black, brimmed fedora.

According to their report, though, “Bishop Napierski” may be no laughing matter:

Napierski, believed to be an Italian living in Germany, has a bizarre Web site in which he said he was “a slave and apostle like St. Paul” and came from “a tribe of the Roman Catholic Church” that is fighting “heresy and false movements” inside the church.

That doesn’t sound exactly like a harmless prank.

CBS also notes that the cardinals seem to be preparing for a longer conclave, as the range of candidates is broader now than any time in memory:

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet says the search for a new pontiff has already widened.

“There was a focus on Europe obviously for centuries and centuries, and that someday, I think, someday it is to be expected that a pope would come from Asia, would come from Africa, would come from America,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a surprise. Nowadays it wouldn’t be a surprise.”

The Sistine Chapel was formally closed to tourists Tuesday to prepare it for the secret vote. Special urns for the electoral cardinals’ ballots were put on display.

The cardinals may have to huddle there for longer than the 1.8 days they averaged over the last six conclaves.

“I think we are just feeling our way right now in trying to determine what is the best way for us to proceed,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., noting that, “there are many of us in this conclave who were not in the last one, so this is all uncharted water for many of us.”

I’ll be there by the end of the week to report on the process for Hot Air and Salem Radio.  And unlike “Bishop Napierski,” I have credentials to be at the Vatican.


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He could have pulled it off in a new TSA uniform.

hillsoftx on March 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM

A bling Crucifix, a fedora, and a scarf.

Unbelievable.

aquaviva on March 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM

At first glance, just for a moment, I thought the guy in the hat was Biden.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

The Italian father from SNL.. was his name Gerducci (sp)?

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Another “Reality” show for the American cattle!

Get a bunch of misfits together – preferably Ivy Leaguers, on Spring Break – and see if they can run amok inside of the Vatican City.

It’ll air on MTV, right after Snooki and that other piece of garbage’s show.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

In 1981 Novello made newspaper headlines when he visited Vatican City wearing the Father Guido Sarducci costume to do a photo shoot for Time magazine. After taking pictures in an area where photography was prohibited, he and his photographer, Paul Solomon, were arrested by the Swiss Guards and Novello was charged with “impersonating a priest”. Although the guards attempted to confiscate the film from the shoot, Solomon managed to hand them the wrong film.

aquaviva on March 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

The Italian father from SNL.. was his name Gerducci (sp)?.

Sarducci. Guido Sarducci.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

A bling Crucifix, a fedora, and a scarf.

Unbelievable.

aquaviva on March 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM

You just described Michael Jackson.

portlandon on March 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

O’Brian is accused of making some drunken passes 30 years ago. They complained now because he is not pro SSM and all the other touchy feely crap which is in direct contradiction of Church teachings.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Sarducci. Guido Sarducci. hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

“Finda da pope in da pizza.”

Akzed on March 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Sarducci. Guido Sarducci.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Thanks!!! I miss SNL back when it was funny.

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I’ll be there by the end of the week to report on the process for Hot Air and Salem Radio. And unlike “Bishop Napierski,” I have credentials to be at the Vatican.

Hah, his pants weren’t long enough. Make sure of it and good travels/travails.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Ed, where were you at the time in question?

D-fusit on March 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I miss SNL back when it was funny

Me too. Although the original cast was left leaning, it was by far funnier than all of its successors, in my opinion.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Well, his cassock was several inches too short.

I bet he was discovered by a Nun.

Oil Can on March 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

“I think we are just feeling our way right now in trying to determine what is the best way for us to proceed,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., noting that, “there are many of us in this conclave who were not in the last one, so this is all uncharted water for many of us.”

If only there were some higher being that could help these men discern the best way to proceed. /

Seriously, I sometimes think the reports spend more time on the pomp, ceremony, and rituals than they do on what is really significant about the event.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Seriously, I sometimes think the reports spend more time on the pomp, ceremony, and rituals than they do on what is really significant about the event.

Probably goes over better with the attention deficit, insufficiently educated, low info viewers.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

What, no Cardinal O’Brien?

libfreeordie on March 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

If only there were some higher being that could help these men discern the best way to proceed. /

Seriously, I sometimes think the reports spend more time on the pomp, ceremony, and rituals than they do on what is really significant about the event.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Did you seriously think that anyone from the LSM would care about the actual nature of the conclave? Seriously, they are the biggest bunch of heretics on the face of the planet.

D-fusit on March 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

the reports spend more time on the pomp, ceremony, and rituals than they do on what is really significant about the event.
Happy Nomad on March 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I’ll take the pomp, ceremony and rituals over the usual church-bashing topics any day. The lsm does poorly in describing what it doesn’t understand or appreciate-faith and freedom both come to mind. Blessings on the Conclave.

indypat on March 5, 2013 at 2:40 PM

The Swiss Guard are bummed.

TSA?

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I still think it was Ed.

D-fusit on March 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

And unlike “Bishop Napierski,” I have credentials to be at the Vatican.

Careful they don’t elect you!

Blaise on March 5, 2013 at 3:09 PM

And unlike “Bishop Napierski,” I have credentials to be at the Vatican.

The perfect alibi…

Ed doesn’t need to sneak in. And he’s scoped out the place during his first trip to the Vatican. Hmmm…

JetBoy on March 5, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Sarducci. Guido Sarducci.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Time for some bocci ball.

Ward Cleaver on March 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I’m less interested in knowing the identity/race of the next Pope than knowing whether or not Benedict actually resigned as a way of clearing out some of the homosexual/pedophile/money-laundering criminal “filth” in the curia, as has been reported.

AZCoyote on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

I saw Cardinal Arinze in the video; I’ve met him before – he’s a great guy. He would have made a great pope, but he’s 80 now. I think they’ll elect someone younger (relatively speaking).

Ward Cleaver on March 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I’m less interested in knowing the identity/race of the next Pope than knowing whether or not Benedict actually resigned as a way of clearing out some of the homosexual/pedophile/money-laundering criminal “filth” in the curia, as has been reported.

AZCoyote on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

No, that’s another one of the secular media’s angles. He had been very effective at removing bishops that needed to be removed, at the rate of one or two a month. The media hasn’t been talking about that.

Ward Cleaver on March 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Nah… Ed is pretending to “report” from the Vatican. He is really going for the pizza and gelato.

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Saw pics of the new urns used for the conclave ballots…

New Urns = Fail

workingclass artist on March 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

The Italian father from SNL.. was his name Gerducci (sp)?

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Father Guido Sarducci…

With the memorable (and now relavent) skit of “Find the Pope in the pizza” contest…

Khun Joe on March 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Saw pics of the new urns used for the conclave ballots…

New Urns = Fail

workingclass artist on March 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

.
Were the gate keepers wearing purple ?

Who counts the mail-in ballots………

FlaMurph on March 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I concur with those of you who are interested in the ceremony. It is fascinating.

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Nah… Ed is pretending to “report” from the Vatican. He is really going for the pizza and gelato.
Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Yes, but he has “credentials”.

Rusty Allen on March 5, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Apparently the Americans are the main attraction over there because they give funny press conferences.

Illinidiva on March 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

very cool tribute to Benedict XVI for those interested…

link:
http://www.vatican.va/bxvi/omaggio/index_en.html

workingclass artist on March 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM