Anti-Francis posters cause a stir in Rome

What happened?

Dozens of posters sprang up around Rome on Saturday in an anonymous protest against Pope Francis. The posters featured an apparently glowering Francis and made reference to his interventions in the Knights of Malta saga and his silence in response to the dubia. They read: “Ah Francis, you’ve taken over congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals … but where’s your mercy?” The police are investigating.

What the Vaticanisti said

The Italian journalist Marco Tosatti said the appearance of the posters was “big news”. Romans often raise their voices against public figures, he said, but the attack on a pope was “unprecedented”.

Breitbart’s Rome bureau chief, Thomas D Williams, noted that the posters had a counterintuitive message. “Having placed great stress on mercy since the beginning of his pontificate, Francis has found himself particularly susceptible to the criticism of a certain double-standard, since he has reserved his most strident invectives for conservatives, labelling them rigid, doctrinaire and legalistic.”

The Pope had also twice demoted Cardinal Raymond Burke, and sacked a Vatican cleric “who allegedly criticised the Pope in private”, Williams said.

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