Francis labelled as an "anti-papal usurper"

Priest excommunicated after comments against the Pope

Rome - "A Jesuit Freemason connected to the world powers": an Italian priest has taken the conspiracy theories surrounding Pope Francis too far. After a confused New Year's Eve sermon, he was immediately excommunicated.

Published  on 02.01.2024 at 17:50  – 

Not a good start to the new year: in Italy, a priest not only lost his job on New Year's Day, but also his membership of the Catholic Church. After making statements against Pope Francis, his responsible bishop immediately excommunicated him, i.e. excluded him from the ecclesial community, reports the newspaper "Corriere della Sera" (Tuesday).

The reason for the measure is said to be an incident during the New Year's Eve mass of the priest from the town of Guasticce near Livorno. According to the newspaper, he had claimed in his sermon that Pope Francis was not the legitimate head of the Catholic Church. Rather, the Argentinian had taken possession of his office illegally.

Alleged lightning strike in Buenos Aires

In the mass, which coincided with the first anniversary of the death of the Pope emeritus (2005-2013), the clergyman substantiated his claim. On 17 December 2023, the birthday of the incumbent pope, lightning struck a statue of St Peter near Buenos Aires. In the incident in the home of St Peter's successor and Jesuit Francis, the figure's halo and key were destroyed.

According to the priest, this was no coincidence: the halo was burnt because Peter was no longer a saint, but "a Jesuit Freemason linked to the world powers, an anti-papal usurper". The keys had been destroyed because "the good Benedict", i.e. the former pope, had kept them.

In addition to the excommunication of the priest due to the "public act of a schismatic nature", the bishop also admonished the faithful of the parish. They must not take part in any celebrations or other worship practices of the ex-priest in question, otherwise they too would be expelled from the Catholic Church. (KNA)