ROME—Father Jeremy Leatherby of Sacramento, California, surely knew what was coming when he continued to preach to the faithful that Pope Benedict XVI, who retired in 2013, is still the one true pope.
Since the election upon Benedict’s retirement of Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, Leatherby has shunned the new pontiff and continued to only refer to Benedict as the church’s true leader in mass. Last week, after several warnings, he was charged with schism, defrocked and excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
“I continue to regard Benedict as retaining the Office of Peter, as mysterious as that might be,” he wrote in an open letter to the Sacramento diocese, referring to the belief that all new popes replace the original pope Peter. “Therefore, I do not regard Bergoglio as the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.”
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