Had he researched much better and prepared enough, self-proclaimed Bishop Ralph Napierski may have been able to penetrate, witness and even mingle in this year's highly guarded and secluded papal conclave up to the very end. But the black fedora hat, when it should have been a red skullcap, and the glaring purple or magenta scarf, when it should have been a red sash, gave him away.
Mr Napierski already managed to get way past a checkpoint manned by the Swiss guards and in fact had taken pictures of himself with another cardinal, Italian Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiani, who even shook his hands. The 82-year-old Cardinal Sebiastiani was perhaps eager to meet and mingle with a fellow cardinal so much that even he himself didn't notice the discrepancy.
But Mr Napierski ultimately gave himself off as he freely roamed around the square of Vatican, as the eyes of the Swiss guards now saw more of his faulty charade.
Right before entering the Paul VI Hall, where the cardinals were gathering, the Swiss guards stopped Mr Napierski.
Presumably already well versed with the type of clothing legitimate cardinals wear, the Swiss Guards said they knew Mr Napierski was a fake Catholic bishop because his black cassock as well as the chain of the crucifix around his neck were both short.
In an interview with reporters in the Vatican square, Mr Napierski said his name was Basilius and that he was a member of the non-existent Italian Orthodox.
Mr Napierski claimed on his Web site that he is a founder of the Corpus Dei Catholic order. He described himself as "a slave and apostle like St. Paul."
As the Swiss guards whisked Mr Napierski away from Vatican Square and away from the College of Cardinals, it was still not clear if the Vatican will press charges over his falsified demeanor of a Catholic Church cardinal.
Papal Conclave 2013: Cardinals Get Ready to Work, Will Make New Pope Swear Under Oath To Serve Till Death
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