The fact that a Virginia couple managed to infiltrate a state dinner at the White House recently raises a question: Does the Vatican sometimes have to deal with gate-crashers? The answer is yes -- but rarely.
Every week the Pope meets and greets hundreds of people in VIP lines in public and private audiences, and he frequently distributes Communion to a selection of individuals at papal liturgies, according to the Catholic News Service (CNS) website.
Participants usually go through ID checks before they are allowed near the pontiff, but if a group is large enough, it is possible for outsiders to slip in. In these bigger groups, the Vatican relies on the expert and watchful eyes of the papal gentlemen -- a corps of experienced ushers who quietly and discreetly bounce anyone who should not be there.
Vatican gate-crashers have sometimes included imposters who dress up in ecclesiastical garb -- usually as a priest or a nun -- so they can be closer to the Pope.