Posters criticising Pope Francis appear in Rome

Rome [Italy], Feb. 6 : Posters critical of Pope Francis appeared on walls around Rome on Saturday, condemning his actions against some conservative Catholics.

Written in local Roman dialect, the posters lamented that the Pope had "removed priests; decapitated the Knights of Malta" and "ignored Cardinals," echoing some of the major complaints some conservative Catholics have about Pope Francis' recent decisions, reports the Guardian.

The poster, showing a stern-looking Pope Francis, reads, "You've put congregations under supervision, removed priests, decapitated the Maltese and Franciscan orders and ignored cardinals..But where is your compassion?" On the day the posters appeared, the Pope finalised a month-long battle with the Knights of Malta, an ancient Catholic order by appointing a Special Delegate from the Vatican and giving him "all necessary powers" to help renew the traditional order.

The Knights of Malta have a unique "sovereign" standing within the Catholic Church, similar to that of a separate country, and they had contested the legality of the Pope's intervention into their order.

Last month, the Pope forced the resignation of the head of the Knights of Malta, former Grand Master Matthew Festing.

Within few hours of their appearance, the posters were taken down. Conservative criticism of Pope Francis has intensified since November, when he refused to answer an official letter sent to him by four cardinals.

The letter criticized his move to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion. That issue has divided many in the Catholic Church and has left bishops around the world arguing about the Pope's intentions and how to implement the directive.

The defenders of Pope Francis claim that the posters are a sign that the latter is doing something right.

Some Catholic traditionalists are opposed to the Pope's papacy as they view him as too progressive on issues involving social doctrine.

Source: ANI