An Italian priest has been removed from his position for referring to Francis as a ‘usurper anti-pope’.

 

Priest in Tuscany Criticizes Pope Francis in New Year’s Eve Speech

An Italian priest has been dismissed from his position after referring to Pope Francis as an “anti-pope usurper” during his New Year’s Eve sermon.

During his tribute speech at Saint Ranieri church in Guasticce, a village in the Tuscan province of Livorno, Father Ramon Guidetti compared Pope Francis unfavorably to his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who passed away a year ago.

A video recording of the sermon, which lasted over 20 minutes and was shared online, shows Guidetti addressing the Argentinian pontiff, formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as simply “Mr. Bergoglio.” He goes on to describe him as “a Jesuit Freemason linked to world powers, an anti-pope usurper.”

Guidetti further states that Francis has a “cadaverous gaze, into nothingness,” in contrast to “good Benedict.”

Although some members of his congregation applauded his remarks, Guidetti’s excommunication followed swiftly. Livorno’s bishop, Simone Giusti, issued a decree stating that Guidetti had “publicly committed an act of a schismatic nature.” He ordered the priest’s removal from the position of parish priest at Saint Ranieri in Guasticce and warned other priests against participating in any of his activities, as this would result in “the very serious penalty of excommunication.”

Guidetti had previously made anti-Francis comments and, despite being excommunicated, he expressed pride in the act, seeing it as a mark of defiance against “this tyrannical church.”

“I am calm,” Guidetti told Radio Domina Nostra, a radio program hosted by another excommunicated priest, Alessandro Minutella. “But I am astonished at the speed with which the guillotine fell. I will frame the decree and hang it on the wall – it will be something to boast about.”

Francis became pope following Benedict’s resignation in March 2013. His papacy has been supported by progressives, but he has faced opposition from a conservative faction within the church. This group is critical of his focus on issues such as social inequality, the climate crisis, and refugees. In December, Francis approved a ruling allowing priests to bless unmarried and same-sex couples, a significant departure from the Catholic church’s previous stance.

Some of Francis’s detractors question the validity of his appointment due to Benedict’s resignation.

In recent years, Francis has experienced health issues and has occasionally hinted at the possibility of his own resignation. When questioned about his well-being in a September interview, he jokingly remarked, “Still alive … although some want me dead.”

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