An Italian priest has been excommunicated from the Catholic church for his derogatory comments about Pope Francis.
According to The Guardian, Father Ramon Guidetti was caught referring to Pope Francis as a “usurper” and a “freemason” during his homily on New Year’s Eve, marking the one-year anniversary of the passing of Pope Benedict XVI.
In the 20-minute video uploaded to YouTube, Guidetti referred to Pope Francis, whose birth name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as “Mr Bergoglio” and described him as “a Jesuit Freemason linked to world powers, an anti-pope usurper”.
Guidetti added, Francis maintains a “cadaverous gaze, into nothingness,” unlike “good Benedict.” and argued that Francis was not the real Pope and had not been so for the past decade.
In a decree from The Diocese of Livorno in Tuscany, the church announced that Guidetti had “publicly committed an act of a schismatic nature” during Mass.
“We inform you that Don Ramon Guidetti, Priest of the Diocese of Livorno and Parish Priest of the Parish of San Ranieri in Guasticce, on 31 December 2023, during the Eucharistic celebration, publicly committed an act of a schismatic nature, refusing submission to the Supreme Pontiff and communion with the members of the Church subject to him,” the decree said before stating the priest faced “latae sententiae excommunication” or an automatic excommunication.
“Priests and faithful are warned not to participate in any of his celebrations or other cult practices because they would ipso facto incur the very serious penalty of excommunication,” it continued.
According to Catholic News Agency, Guidetti had worked as a parish priest at the Church of San Ranieri, located outside the city of Livorno.
In an interview with Radio Domina Nostra, a radio show hosted by another priest who was excommunicated for similar reasons, Guidetti insisted he was calm yet “astonished” by the “speed” with which he was removed from the position.
An Italian priest has been excommunicated by his local bishop for saying in a homily that Pope Francis “is not the pope” and calling him “a usurper.” https://t.co/kkkGs6pIvH
— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) January 3, 2024
“[I am] astonished at the speed at which the guillotine came down,” he said, Premier Christian News reported. “I will frame the decree and hang it on the wall — it will be something I will boast about.”
The excommunication highlights the bitter divisions within the church over its religious and political direction under Pope Francis’s leadership.
The Argentinian, who became pontiff in 2013, is notorious for his progressive political positions and hostility to Catholic leaders sympathetic to the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
However, the 87-year-old has made no secret of his declining health and recently confirmed plans for his own burial.
“When old age arrives and you reach limits, you need to prepare yourself,” Pope Francis said in an interview with Mexican television last month. “I will launch a new funeral ritual.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.