Scam artist, Chancer, Publicity Seeker, Fake or Real Bishop? Would the real Ralph Napierski please stand up?

In May we asked the questions about Michael Caulfield and Ralph Napierski. We had received calls by people were concerned about the presence of  The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge in Roscommon.

We have received no new information about either and neither have given an interview to the Irish media since then and other than a report in a local newspaper no one has an idea what they are about.

This is what we wrote at the time:

DI is not concerned about the beliefs of this group, but rather the undue influence exercised over individuals through the group. In other words our remit is the abuse of the human rights of vulnerable adults, not whether this is an Orthodox Catholic community or not. We invite comments to get more background on this group.

Our position has not changed since then. We however did write to the Archbishop of Berlin seeking to understand what the German Catholic Church thought of Bischof Ralph?

On his web site:

On his web site he claims to be in union with the Catholic Church.

Bischof Ralph Napierski – katholischer Bischof in Union mit der römisch-katholischen Kirche


But is he?


Here is the reply we got?

Berlin AB

Dear Mike Garde,

Thank you for calling and for your question.

Bishop Ralph Napierski is not in communion with the Roman-Catholic archdiocese of Berlin.(1)

Whether he really is a bishop or not is not the question for us.(2)

As far as I can see it, Bishop Napierski is re-inventing himself every month, he is interested in official contact with “real” churches. So he asks everybody to be photographed with him, in his collection you can find for example protestant bishops, orthodox priests etc. (3)

He also tries to get official letters from bishops of all kind. We don’t do him the favour!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

 Stefan Förner


 Erzbischöfliches Ordinariat Berlin

 Pressestelle und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

 Niederwallstr. 8-9

 10117 Berlin


Tel: (030) 32684-118

Mobil: 0179/5912332

Fax: (030) 32684-7136

1. He claims he is in union with the bishops of the Catholic Church, the response from them is that he is not. All that baloney about what happened in Rome is a complete side show. No union no communion.

2. He claims to be have Apostolic succession going back to Peter. The German Bishops do not get hooked into that side show as we had Bishop Pat Buckley claiming the same like of apostolic succession and what really matters is not your pedigree but your relationship to legitimate authority!

3. ecurnece2

In May Ralph Napierski had this document outlining his apostolic succession on his web site and it was saved then for research purposes:

Now it is not accessible?

We did note that in it he offered as one of the sources for his succession one of the  Bishops of the Palmarians in Palma de Troya, Spain. They claim to be the Catholic Church and regard the Roman Church as the Anti Christ. Strange bed fellows for someone claiming to be in union with Rome?

In our earlier post which published in full the Bishop’s view, we heard him say he had priests and a monastery called  The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge in Ireland. etc. It was quite detailed and you would have thought on hearing this that it was a thriving community in Ireland. It appears to be made up from Filipinos from London, a married man with children dressed up as a priest and only one person under 50 by looking at the photograph?


First the guy who built this chapel on his land in Ballaghadreen is Michael Caulfield who is married with a wife and children. Who ordained him and by what authority does Ralph Napierski operate the The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge in the Diocese of Achonry? If he was a widower under current Catholic Canon law he could be ordained but he is currently either irregularly ordained or is part of a schismatic group masquerading as Catholic. If he wished to be ordained he would have to approach Bishop Kelly or Archbishop Diarmuid Martin? However, he does not fulfill the conditions to be ordained and has received no training towards that end.

1. I am not totally clear but perhaps those more versed in Canon law could assist us here? Bishop Brendan Kelly is the Bishop and he knows nothing about this guy Michael Caulfield. Consequently neither Ralph Napierski or Michael Caulfield has permission to operate in the Diocese.

2. First of all if Michael Caulfield wishes to register The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge it is not the business of Ralph Napierski to act on it. He has no jurisdiction to bring this group to Rome. Permission for the group would have to be sought from the local Bishop. Ralph Napierski has no jurisdiction in Ireland and has not submitted himself to the local Bishop.

3. Ralph Napierski claims to be the head of a Religious Congregation called Corpus Dei however, a bishop without a diocese is like a fish without water.

He could be an Abbot or a Prior of an Order but would have to submit his Order for the Bishop to take to Rome for recognition. It is claimed that The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge is a branch of Corpus Dei.

He was on his way to Rome to register The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge, but has not explained which Diocese he is Bishop of and to which Congregation did he submit his original Order Corpus Dei Order to?

4. First look at his photograph and think back to St Francis’s Mass

on Christmas Eve a few days ago and then compare it with this photo?


Here they claim Fr. Jose  is saying mass at  St. Leo the Great altar in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. In the picture Ralph is giving a homily. This mass they claim took place on Sunday 3rd March. It has all the marks of a staged event. Also the Catholic Church is not known for doing denials, as it looks like they were totally conned by these guys during a period of great change. Our reading is that was exactly why they came to Rome was when an unprecedented resignation of a Pope was in process.  The Catholic communication strategy is likely to to remain silent as answering him only gives him more oxygen.

5. Regardless of the different views in regard to the resignation of Pope Benedict can Ralph present us with a statement from Rome which indicates he has a Diocese and is in communion with Rome? We have already shown that the Berlin Archdiocese says the answer is NO.

All these photos are really beside the point as they are obviously genuine but taken out of context. One can see the people are ambushed and embarrassed. It is actually quite a despicable thing to do. Could we have a single letter from any of the Congregations which confirms what he is saying? Also in an earlier post we made he claimed he had an appointment with Pope Benedict to present his new order and to receive the Pope’s blessing for March 6. Naturally, with the resignation of  Pope Benedict that meeting could not go ahead and so he claimed that he had to now go to the relevant office to have his application checked out. This is a most bizarre story as all he has to do is publish the correspondence with Pope Benedict to show that his story stacks up. Do you believe he would not have done so by now if he had it? Also there is no way the Pope would have met a Bishop without a Diocese, and part of an Order that has not been recognised Corpus Dei and added to that he had an appointment for a new branch The Congregation Of Our Lady of Refuge. It does not add up and it never will.

Bishop Ralph:

On Monday March 4th I entered the Vatican together with 3 of my priests. We have been checked by the Italian police and by the Swiss Guard and I state that they did their job very well.
Of course they did let us pass because we came for a very special reason.

I am a Catholic Bishop, the leader of Corpus Dei and I am in union with the Roman Catholic Church and under the primacy of the Pope as soon as there is one again.

6. Bishop Ralph appears to crave attention and to try to get a reaction as can be seen from his dubious involvement with sex toys and naked women.

His supporters claim that he was preaching the word of God at a porn fair.  The only reason he was there was to preach the word of God, and they compare this to Jesus when he was accused of hanging around with prostitutes and tax collectors, 12 “On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matt 9: 12 – 13.


3 Responses

  1. If Napierski has been in Roscommon would he not have met with Bishop Kelly by now? As a resident of Ballagh in Co. Roscommon I am very concerned at the activities of these people. What is their objective in our community… are the local priests and bishops aware of their activities? Do they have their support?


  2. Recent posts from our resident House of Prayer troll have been moved to here:


  3. You have exposed a dubious individual and congregation setting themselves up in Co. Roscommon. Comment is required from official ecclesiastical sources so that members of the faithful are not misled.


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