It is most unlikely there are very many Americans who have not heard the term “piss off the Pope.” It generally means that there are some “transgressions so offensive that they would ‘piss off’ (enrage) even the most good-natured person.” Apparently, even a Vatican Archbishop serving as the official Vatican Ambassador to the United States can transgress to the point that he “pissed off the Pope.” In fact, the Holy Father is so vexed with the Archbishop for putting him in a publicly embarrassing situation that he is “replacing” (read fired) the uber-conservative Archbishop. He still has miles to go, but there is more to like about this ‘new and improved’ Pope all the time; even for an avowed secular humanist.
The offensive Italian Archbishop, Carlo Maria Viganò, will vacate the position of what Catholics call “apostolic nuncio” to the United States; the American equivalent of an ambassador from the Vatican. His replacement is a French clergyman, Christophe Pierre, who is serving as the ‘apostolic nuncio’ to Mexico and is said to be an immigration advocate, and not an “ultra-conservative social warrior” like Viganò. It was Viganò’s conservative views on marriage equality in the United States that incited him to ambush the Pope with Kim Davis; the evangelical bigot the evangelical right reveres as a minor demigod.
As a “loving and extreme socially conservative representative of Christ,” Viganò was vocally and vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage during his five-year tenure as the Vatican’s “nuncio” to the United States. Apparently, Viganò looked at the evangelical right’s influence and power over the government and believed he was as influential and above his position as the ‘morality overlords’ in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Pope Francis disabused Viganò of that belief.
What really ‘pissed off the Pope’ was learning that Viganò sent the anonymous invitation to Kentucky County Clerk and evangelical bigot Kim Davis asking her to visit the Pontiff prior to his leaving Washington D.C. to return to the Vatican. The Pope probably does not condone or even like the idea of marriage equality, but he apparently hates being ambushed into meeting with the American face of evangelical bigotry, Kim Davis. Apparently Archbishop Viganò believed, like Kim Davis, anti-LGBT organization Liberty Counsel, and religious right fanatics everywhere that publicizing “a private meeting between the Holy Father and Kim Davis was a coup for America’s evangelical bigotry and religious fanaticism.”
According to Vatican sources, it was that conspiratorial ambush-by-bigot that was the transgression so offensive that it “pissed off the Pope” enough to fire Viganò. According to a close friend of the Pontiff, Francis claimed he was “blindsided by the meeting” and it prompted the Vatican to quickly distance itself from Viganò. Many insiders believed Pope Francis would “quietly replace the archbishop as his statutory retirement age was approaching,” but he did ‘piss off the Pope’ and it was a transgression too offensive to address “quietly.”