To kiss pope’s hand – or not – enters the Catholic tradition wars

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – – To kiss the ring on the pope’s hand or to not – that’s the query.

On Monday, when Pope Francis visited a Catholic shrine in Loreto, he repeatedly withdrew his proper hand as a protracted line of individuals bowed and tried to kiss the ring on it.

The footage went viral and the pope’s refusal shortly entered what are often called the Catholic cultural wars between conservatives and progressives.

LifeSiteNews, a conservative Catholic web site that usually criticizes the pope, known as the episode “disturbing” within the headline of an article that included a protracted historical past of the rings pope’s put on and their significance.

Rorate Caeli, a web site learn by Catholic traditionalists, Tweeted: “Francis, In case you don’t wish to be the Vicar of Christ, then get out of there!”

Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, a supporter of Francis, countered by Tweeting: “He’s ensuring that they interact with him, not deal with him like a sacred relic. He’s the Vicar of Christ, not a Roman emperor.”

“It’s excessive time kissing bishops’ rings disappears altogether. It’s simply ridiculous and has nothing to do with custom. It’s an import from monarchies. A lot of the pomp round bishops must be ditched,” Tweeted Jesuit priest Russell Pollitt.

Some Vatican watchers famous that even former Pope Benedict, a hero to nostalgic conservatives, and his predecessor John Paul, didn’t like having their arms kissed – no less than not by lengthy traces of individuals, for the sake of expediency.

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One Twitter person recalled that when he visited Pope John Paul with a gaggle of 50 folks they have been advised particularly to not kneel or kiss the papal hand.

The Vatican didn’t say why the pope was so insistent on not having the ring – a easy silver one with a cross – kissed within the lengthy receiving line on Tuesday.

“Typically he likes it, typically he doesn’t. It’s actually so simple as that,” mentioned an in depth aide to the pope who spoke on the situation of anonymity. The aide added he was “amused” by all of the response.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Enhancing by Alexandra Hudson