Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
There is this great scene in the movie 'The Incredibles' when Buddy is pretending to be Mr. Incredible's sidekick.
Police Officer: Wait. You mean he got away?
Mr. Incredible: Uh-huh. [gestures to Buddy sitting angrily in the car] Skippy here made sure of that.
Young Buddy: IncrediBoy!
Mr. Incredible: You're not affiliated with me!
When I first heard of the antics of Father Andrea Maggi, a parish priest in Northern Italy, I yelled to no one "You're not affiliated with me!"
I have defended the right of well meaning people to disagree with the Pope's prudential decision to resign. What I don't defend is the asshattery disguised as disagreement. To protest against the Pope's decision, Fr. Maggi held up a picture of the Pope at mass and set it afire. He then compared the Pope to the captain that abandoned the cruise ship he ran aground.
This is not respectful disagreement, it is asinine and juvenile behavior unbecoming of a priest and disrepectful of the Pope. He ought to be ashamed of himself. Alas, he is not. He stands by his ridiculous actions.
My favorite line from the piece describing the incident came from the Mayor of the town. Of Fr. Maggi he said, "I understand that Don Andrea is going through a delicate period from a psychological point of view." See, the Mayor knows how it is done. He just called Fr. Maggi a nut in the nicest possible way. That is respectful disagreement with style.