POPE Benedict XVI’s UK visit this week has attracted hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets – and many complain his specially designed vehicle known as the Popemobile has moved rather too briskly through crowds.
So spare a thought for some of the pontiff’s fans who raced to a branch of McDonalds in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Friday morning when they heard the Holy Father was having breakfast there.
But holy expectation soon turned into disappointment when they discovered that this particular pontiff was an earthly Pope – a hired impersonator on borrowed robes who went to great lengths to pull-off the deception by making his own Popemobile.
Clearly not seeing the joke, a few Scots fooled by the fake Pope called the police.
For a brief moment, police officers on motorbikes flanked the fake Popemobile travelling at a sedate 6 miles per hour — briefly giving it a credible look of the real thing – but soon waved it off the road and got speaking to the elderly “pontiff”.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police can confirm that a male dressed in papal attire as part of a publicity stunt was spoken to by officers on Comely Bank.
“His replica Popemobile was security checked and moved on from causing an obstruction to traffic in the area.
“The male was then permitted to continue with his business.”
The fake impersonator was on a publicity stunt for Popewatch.org, and his Popemobile bore the website address of a betting company.
A Popewatch.org spokesman said: “Most people only got a quick glimpse of the real Pope, but we had another guy doing the rounds.
“After our Pope zoomed around Edinburgh, he headed to Glasgow. Next stop is London. We’re behind the real Pope all the way.”