Wednesday, November 26, 2014

German posing as a Cardinal arrested

The police in the southern Brazilian city of São Paulo, according to media reports, have arrested a 66-year-old German, who posed as a cardinal. Already in early November, the Archdiocese of São Paulo warned the local churches of the man, who said Mass and read confessions in the locality. The man is now to be deported within the next 15 days to Germany.

 The man, whose real name is specified in the Brazilian press as Wolfgang Schuler, had been arrested by the police in the center of São Paulo on November 20, after he could not identify himself. In various Catholic institutions in which he asked for shelter and financial assistance, he had previously posed as "Brother Andre Cardinal of Hohenzollern" and a member of the Carthusian Order. In some cases, he had also posed as the Bishop of Osnabrück.

 On November 7, the Archdiocese of São Paulo published a letter that warned of the false cardinal. Schuler was said to have been already been picked up by police in 2003 with false papers in the northeastern state of Bahia. He was due to be expelled at that time but escaped.

 Planned expulsion

In the city of Mogi das Cruzes, Schuler asked a monastery for shelter. To the monks, he pretended to be a relative of the German-born Suzane von Richthofen, who is serving a prison sentence of 39 years in prison in the state of São Paulo. Richthofen , supposedly a distant relative of the German World War II pilot Manfred von Richthofen, murdered her mother and father in 2002.

Schuler told the monks he wanted to visit Suzane von Richthofen in prison. However, since she did not know the alleged relative, the monks became suspicious and alerted their superiors. Schuler then traveled to São Paulo, where he was eventually arrested. According to media reports, the responsible Federal police have already requested travel papers for Schuler's expulsion from the German Consulate General in São Paulo.


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