Pope Francis has posted an official warning to all whiners who enter the Vatican: Don’t do it.
A picture of a "No Whining" sign hanging on the Pope’s apartment door was recently posted on the Vatican Insider website. Andrea Tornielli, the site’s editor-in-chief who is close to Francis and has interviewed him several times, confirmed the sign’s legitimacy to Reuters.
The strongly worded sign included the international symbol for "no"—a backslash in a circle—and explained to visitors exactly what could result from succumbing to the unacceptable behavior.
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"Violators are subject to a syndrome of always feeling like a victim and the consequent reduction of your sense of humor and capacity to solve problems," the sign reads.
The sign provides further guidance on how to proceed alternatively to whining: "To get the best out of yourself, concentrate on your potential and not on your limitations."
The sign finishes off with a simple directive: "Stop complaining and take steps to improve your life."
The Pope received the sign from Salvo Noe, an Italian psychologist and self-help author. Francis promised Noe he would "put it up in his office for a laugh."
Francis has been around his share of so-called whiners, or what some characterize as "critics," since his papacy began in 2013.
Since Francis became Pope, some Catholics have expressed the concern that Francis is "loosening the church’s strict teachings on morality," and that he has deserted traditional Catholics "on issues such as abortion and contraception."
The tension between the Pope’s ideas and some traditional Catholic ideas recently came to a head when a Vatican cardinal was dismissed. Cardinal Gerhard Muller was relieved in June. He did not "accept" how things are being run at the Vatican.
"I cannot accept this way of doing things," Muller said in an interview with a German newspaper. "As a bishop, [the Pope] cannot treat people in this way."
The Vatican did not release a reason for the dismissal and Muller said, "[The Pope] did not give a reason."
Muller, a "conservative" in the Catholic church, has been viewed to be "resistant" to Francis' attempt to open up the church's teaching, particularly on the issue of allowing communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. Muller has spoken critically of a perceived disconnect between the Pope’s teaching and the culture within the Vatican itself.
"I have said this before—the church's social teaching must also be applied to the way employees are treated here in the Vatican," Muller said.
While Muller’s criticism might be characterized as whining, Muller is not alone in voicing his concerns about the Vatican culture, according to CNN Vatican analyst, John Allen.
"Vatican employees have long complained that the church's lofty rhetoric about social justice and workers' rights aren't always respected inside the Vatican itself," said Allen.