It has been announced over much of the Catholic blogosphere (e.g., see HERE and HERE). Rome has been covered in posters portraying an unflattering photo of Pope Francis above words in a Romanesque dialect criticising him for some of his many acts that have shocked the Catholic world, and finally asking him but where, then, is your mercy [for these cases]?
“Hey Francis, you police congregations, priests are removed, (you have) decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans (Friars of the Immaculate), ignored Cardinals …
but where is your mercy?”
How will Pope Francis react to this? If he has not already exhausted his little store of insults, he will be finding some particularly juicy ones for the authors of this prank!
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Conservative criticism of Pope Francis intensified Saturday after his intervention in the Knights of Malta order, with posters appearing around Rome citing his actions against conservative Catholics and asking: “Where’s your mercy?”
The posters appeared on the same day that Francis cemented his authority over the Knights by naming a top Vatican archbishop, Angelo Becciu, to be his special delegate to the ancient aristocratic order.
Francis gave Becciu, the No. 2 in the Vatican secretariat of state, “all necessary powers” to help lay the groundwork for a new constitution for the order, lead the spiritual renewal of its professed knights and prepare for the election of a new grand master, expected in three months.
The Vatican’s intervention with the sovereign group had provided fuel for Francis’ conservative critics, who until Saturday had largely confined their concern with his mercy-over-morals papacy to blogs, interviews and conferences.
On Saturday, dozens of posters appeared around Rome featuring a stern-looking Francis and referencing the “decapitation” of the Knights and other actions Francis has taken against conservative, tradition-minded groups.
Within hours, the city of Rome had plastered over the posters. Police launched an investigation into the conservative circles believed responsible, aided by closed-circuit cameras, the ANSA news agency said.
The posters, written in Roman dialect, also cited the way Francis had “ignored cardinals,” a reference to the four cardinals who have publicly asked Francis to clarify whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion.
Francis hasn’t responded directly, though he has made it clear he favors case-by-case allowances.