Italian priest burns photo of Benedict during Mass

VATICAN CITY Mon Mar 4, 2013 11:53am EST

VATICAN CITY (Reuters)- - An Italian priest set fire to a photo of Pope Benedict during Sunday Mass in protest against his abdication, telling a shocked congregation that the former pontiff had abandoned his flock.

"It was wonderful," the Rev. Andrea Maggi from Santo Stefano Protomartire church in the small northern village of Castel Vittorio, told La Repubblica daily, defending his act.

He compared Benedict, who resigned as pope on Thursday, to Captain Francesco Schettino, who is accused of abandoning the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the Italian coast before all passengers were rescued.

Gian Stefano Orengo, mayor of the municipality in the northwestern Liguria region, told Italian radio the action had prompted half of the congregation to walk out.

"Before starting the homily, the priest took the photo of the pope and he said this is not a pope, this is not a shepherd, he abandoned his flock," Orengo said, adding that Maggi then used a candle flame set alight the photo of Benedict.

Orengo said he would inform Church authorities about the incident, adding that Maggi was going through a "fragile" time from a psychological point of view.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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Comments (9)
raybythebay wrote:
The retiring Pope was one of the worst Popes in years. The Catholic Church must open their minds and welcome Women and Gays if they are to survive!

Mar 04, 2013 2:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
judiet wrote:
Ok so this priest thinks the Pope should have stayed on when he felt he was not able to the job because he coukld no longer make good decisions and was getting fraile and unhealthy??? Is he a nut or what. I would hope the church looks into what he has done and into HIS mental state. The Pope knew enough to step down so why can’t people accept that and be thankful he did what he did. Who knows if he had stayed on what might have happen. Look to our own parents who are 88,would we want them to be head of our family and make all the decisions? of course not,we respect them and take their feelings into consideration but they have to give up helm and let another step up. I respect the Pope mor than ever for what he has done for his followers.

Mar 04, 2013 3:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
and this is news worthy for what reason?

Mar 04, 2013 4:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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