Giovanni Battista Franzoni (8 November 1928 – 13 July 2017) was an Italian Christian communist and dissident theologian. A former Benedictine, he was Abbot of St. Paul's Outside the Walls from 1964 to 1973. Having become involved in activism and politics, he was laicized by Pope Paul VI in 1976.
Franzoni was an Italian born in Varna, Bulgaria. He professed as a member of the Order of Saint Benedict (OSB) on 5 July 1951. He was ordained to the priesthood on 25 January 1955, began his work as a priest in Florence, Italy. He was the author of numerous theological works.
An abbot at St. Paul's Outside the Walls, one of the most popular churches in Rome, he was defrocked by Pope Paul VI, with whom he had feuded over theology, during the Cold War, after he had announced his intention to vote for the Italian Communist Party in 1976 Italian general election, which Franzoni had joined in June of that year.
Franzoni was a longtime peace activist, having stood against the U