04/03/2013 11:14 GMT | Updated 04/03/2013 11:28 GMT

Fake Cardinal Crashes Secret Vatican Meeting Ahead Of Conclave To Elect New Pope

Fakery can now be added to the list of untoward and inappropriate things that cardinals have been accused of lately.

A man, reported to be an Italian, attempted to sneak into a highly secret meeting at the Vatican on Monday, dressed in what appeared to be ecclesiastical robes, reports AFP.

He told reporters he was called "Basilius" and that he was a member of the (non-existent) "Italian Orthodox Church", mingling with the other (real) cardinals.

The fake cardinal, left, passed himself off as real for some time

According to the Gazzettadelsud, he was rumbled as his "cassock was shorter than standard", "his crucifix unusual", and most blatant of all, his sash turned out to be a purple scarf.

The general congregation of cardinals was meeting ahead of the Conclave to elect a new Pope next month.

Fr. Federico Lombardy, the Vatican spokesman said: "All I can say is that everyone seated for the congregation is a real cardinal."

Photo gallery Cardinals Arrive For Pre Conclave Meeting See Gallery