ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Posters are appearing all over Rome today depicting Pope Francis scowling and asking, "Where's your mercy?"
They read, "Eh, Francis, you've commissioned Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, you've ignored cardinals ... but where's your mercy?"
The posters refer to three recent events where some say Pope Francis has been heavy handed. The first is the recent upset in the Soverign Military Order of Malta where amid scandal Pope Francis asked the head of the order to resign.
The second is the Vatican investigation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI) and the closing of one of their seminaries in Italy.
The third is an ongoing request from four prominent cardinals and many others to clarify recent papal statements addressing the ability for civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
Marco Tostatti, a Vatican insider, says this is an "historical and unprecedented event."
Father Antonio Spadaro — a close friend of the Holy Father — commented, "the vulgarity of the means used shows the desperation of this small minority that makes a lot of noise and makes use of all childhood strategies." He goes on to say, "It is a new piece of the attack strategy that will not affect neither the serenity nor the popularity of the Pope."
There is, however, no indication that the Knights of Malta, the FFI or the four cardinals are involved in the campaign.