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Angry Italian priest burns photo of Pope Benedict XVI during services

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has abandoned his flock, said one Italian priest, who expressed his outrage by setting fire to a picture of the retired pope during Sunday services.

"It was wonderful," said the Rev. Andrea Maggi from Santo Stefano Protomartire Church in the village of Castel Vittorio, in defense of his act, Reuters reported.

The pope is no better than Capt. Francesco Schettino, the Italian charged with negligence and abandonment in the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster off Italy's coast, he said, in the Reuters report.

Not all think similarly.

"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," said Gian Stefano Orengo, the mayor of the municipality where the church is located. Mr. Orengo then said, in the Reuters report, that Mr. Maggi used a candle flame and set the photo on fire.

Half the congregation walked out, Mr. Orengo said.

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