Pope Francis has been trolled by a 'fake news' edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, alleging he has replied to his conservative critics.
Vatican police are investigating the mailing of the fake front page to priests, bishops and cardinals, according to Kath.Net.
The front page mock-up contains a fake reply, purportedly by the Pope, to the cardinals who have criticised his exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Conservatives are angry because the document, the result of two synods on the family in Rome, appears to permit a liberalisation of the current ban on communion for Catholics who have remarried after divorce.
The Pope's criticis had requested he reply, 'yes' or 'no' to their questions.
In the fake front page, he replies: 'Yes and no'.
Osservatore editpr Giovanni Maria Vian described the fake front page as 'slander'. However, he told Associated Press: 'We were only sad because the layout wasn't as nice as ours.'
The fake edition also uses medieval Latin instead of the contemporary version of the language used in the Vatican.
It follows the posting of more than 200 posters in Rome attacking the Pope.
The poster carried a photograph of him looking grim as well as the caption: 'Francis, you have placed congregations under commissionerial direction, dismissed priests, decapitated the Immaculate of Malta and the Franciscans, ignored cardinals. Where is your mercy?'
The last sentence is a reference to the Jubilee Year of Mercy which has just ended.