PopeWatch: Posters

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Rorate Caeli brings us this story about anti-Francis posters going up in Rome:
Rome woke up this Saturday with something quite new, and very old, in its streets: posters throughout the City (in the style of the old “pasquinate“) critical of the Pope.
In English, from the Romanesco-inspired Italian:

Ah Francis, you have intervened in Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals… but where is your mercy?

These were common at the time of the Papal States (before the fall of Porta Pia and the full unification of Italy in 1870): not for religious reasons, but rather for political complaints, since the Popes were also the secular rulers of the Pontifical territories.
Since then, these public criticisms of Pontiffs mostly disappeared in the City, considering the new Italian authorities were now those responsible for the secular government of the old papal territories, and that the Pope remained responsible only for religious matters. They still show up all the time against Italian politicians. 
 

Go here to read the rest.  It is only fair that most political of Popes in modern times has to deal with the type of negative feedback that politicians get all the time.

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5 Comments

  1. According to an article in the January 2106 issue of Catholic World Report,
    attendance at papal events (general audiences, special audiences, liturgies, and
    the Wednesday Angelus) has been steadily declining. In 2015, Vatican attendance
    figures stood at 3,210,860, 45% fewer than the 5,916,800 recorded for 2014
    and less than half of the crowds of 6,623,900 Francis drew in the first nine
    months of his pontificate in 2013. The biggest drop-off has been in attendance
    for the Angelus, with 1.6 million in attendance over 2015, compared to over
    3 million the year before. General Audiences with the Pope require a ticket,
    so attendance numbers can be tracked with particular precision. According to
    the Prefecture of the Papal Household, which issues the tickets, in 2013 the
    Audiences were attended by 51,617 people, in 2014 it declined to 27,883,
    and in 2015 Francis’ General Audiences were attended by just 14,818.

    The Angelus figures are revealing, I believe, because it is during the Angelus
    that Popes give a brief sermon to crowds in the square below. Pope St. John
    Paul II had a natural charisma that made up for a sometimes convoluted
    speaking and writing style, and his Wednesday Angelus addresses were very
    well attended. Shy Benedict XVI, bless him, had little natural charisma but
    a powerful, clear, logical and learned writing style that more than made up
    for his lackluster delivery –indeed, the crowds for his Angelus addresses
    exceeded those for his predecessor. With Francis, the Catholic faithful
    appear to see neither charisma nor the clear exposition of doctrine, and so,
    to borrow a phrase from that great philosopher Yogi Berra, “They’re staying
    away in droves”.

    While Francis still has drawing power as a tourist attraction, it appears that
    the number of Catholics drawn to see and hear this Pope is fast dwindling.
    Myself, I would not cross the street to hear him speak, let alone travel to Rome.

  2. “…the Pope remained responsible only for religious matters. They still show up all the time against Italian politicians. ”
    Oh? If the shoe fits…

Comments are closed.