Roman Catholics: Rebellion in the Backyard

Florence, the city where Girolamo Savonarola preached in defiance of a Renaissance Pope, Alexander VI, has another rebel priest on its hands. In fact, the name of Don Enzo Mazzi, 41, has already become known all over Italy as a symbol of the clerical protest that has broken out even in Roman Catholicism's own backyard.

Father Mazzi was for 14 years pastor of the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in the drab, working-class Florentine suburb of Isolotto. On the theory that conventional methods would have no impact on his parishioners, most...