Vatican City, Apr 18, 2017 / 06:58 am
Just two months after Pope Francis faced intense backlash for his reforms when critical posters were plastered around Rome, a new set went up around the city over Easter, this time praising the Pope for his commitment to mercy and inclusion.
“Thank you Pope Francis! For your true Christian engagement with love and mercy, as demanded by Jesus so often in our Holy Bible.”
This was the phrase written on some 300 posters that were hung April 14 around Rome’s city center and near the Vatican, and which will remain until April 22.
Sponsored by The Global Tolerance Initiative, the posters referred to a website called “Love is Tolerance,” which explained that Pope Francis had been named by the organization as their “Global Champion of Tolerance Easter 2017.”
Written in both Italian and English, the posters call on all cardinals, priests and bishops to follow with love the “wise advice” of the Pope, and to “read our Holy Bible with open eyes, hearts and minds.”
The posters conclude with an appeal for everyone to “pray for you and the Church with a ‘thinking heart and loving mind.’”
In addition to the text, the posters also feature three black-and-white images of Pope Francis taken during the Pope’s historic visit to the Holy Land in June 2014, including one of him in a helicopter and one of his pectoral cross.
The overwhelmingly positive tone of these posters stands in stark contrast to the unsigned posters that appeared in Rome Feb. 4, criticizing Pope Francis for several recent decisions made as part of his ongoing process of reform.