Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Video of Pope Francis goes viral as he refuses to let his ring be kissed

The Vatican did not explain the reason for it

When Pope Francis visited a Catholic shrine in Loreto this week, he repeatedly withdrew his right hand as a long line of people bowed and tried to kiss the ring on it.

The footage went viral and some Vatican watchers noted that even former Pope Benedict, a hero to nostalgic conservatives, and his predecessor John Paul, did not like having their hands or rings kissed –at least not by long lines of people – for the sake of expediency.

One Twitter user recalled that when he visited Pope John Paul with a group of 50 people, they were told specifically not to kneel or kiss the papal ring.

The Vatican did not say why the pope was so insistent on not having his ring kissed in the long receiving line on Tuesday.

"Sometimes he likes it, sometimes he does not. It's really as simple as that," said a close aide to the pope who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The aide added he was "amused" by all the reaction.

However, official Vatican footage shows the pope receiving more than 100 people during the course of more than 10 minutes, and it was only during one short segment that he was pulling his hand away.

Updated: March 27, 2019 01:50 PM

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