Italian priest burns photo of Benedict during Mass
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 Reverend 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.