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Pope Francis ring-kissing controversy creates confusion over the long-standing tradition




Pope Francis bless worshipers outside the Loreto Basilica during a visit to the Loreto Duke, near Ancona in the Marche region of Italy on March 25. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty Images)

Some called it disruptive "- while others see it as an act of" demystifying "the pavement – but any member of the royal court in Catholic Twitter seems to have an opinion on The video of Pope Francis expressing visceral irritation in Catholics seeking to kiss his ring.

The video filmed during the Pope's day trip to Loreto, Italy, on Monday, first began making rounds in traditional Catholic circles and showed a smiling pope pulling his hand back under a parade of Catholics seeking to kiss his ring 19659004] The traditional act of kissing the ring – which in the Catholic tradition is borne by bishops, cardinals and the pope – has historically symbolized respect for When recordings are discovered by Francis ruling Catholics away from it, the right Catholic homepage called Lifesite the "disturbing."

Others replied, however, that Francis's actions reflect A man who has gained a reputation as a people's pope seeks to introduce a more humble approach to the way Catholics engage the papal office.

In his 1996 book "The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church," James-Charles Noonan wrote Jr. "For centuries, the Church has given indulgence to Catholics who honor the popes, cardinals, and other prelates."

Indulgences are given to specific deeds of action, where the Church pardons sin and has long been a common practice, but as Noonan observes when it comes to calling kisses in most western nations, the prelates have long counteracted the exercise.

On Monday, it seems quite clear that this Pope also does. [19659009] Medieval Church History Researcher Christopher Bellitto, Professor at Kean University, said that the old tradition of kissing the pope's ring is not part of any formal protocol while greeting the Pope, but one is synonymous with behavioral patterns of how to greet kings , queens and emperors.

"When you met Ramses or Nebuchadnezzar, I am sure it was common practice to bend and kiss his ring."

Now, Bellitto says, "It's a superiority that's best over."

"This is not so much of a Francis story, as much as a story of modern papacy," he added.

John Allen, a veteran Vatican journalist and editor of the online Catholic news site Crux, agreed, Francis acts Monday is a further move in a trend that continued since Pope John XXIII to "call down the tradition of submission" as traditionally has marked the papacy over the centuries.

Francis's reaction, he believes, is a further step in demystifying one of the world's most secretive institutions, and after the second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Popes have made a gradual effort to bring the office to the modern era.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI sent us shock waves around Rome as he sent his bejeweled papal tiara to a charity tour around the United States for the benefit of Catholic relief services, making him the last pontiff to make the crown.

Pope John Paul I, whose short 33-day pope changed the course of papal liturgy when he destroyed the papal crown ceremony for a bowels music. Pope John Paul II, who wanted to fly around the world visiting 129 countries, abandoned the portable papal throne to the pop mobile, allowing for easier access to the masses who had come to greet him.

Even Pope Benedict XVI, known for his love for liturgical garments, removed the Tiara image from the papal coat of arms – and like Francis shot away giving the guests the opportunity to kiss his papal ring.

For Allen, Monday's lesson is that the Vatican's Ceremonial Event Ceremony should reconsider how it communicates with those participating in a pope audience, explaining to them that Francis prefers for his guests, not kissing the papal ring .

Papal cinema Austen Ivereigh said Monday's movements were nothing new for Francis and merely a further effort to free the pact of his "monarchical encrustations" and to remove elements of the court rule that are still over. An old time.

"He's not trying to steer people away from showing respect for the papal office," Ivereigh said. "For him, it's about having a meeting, not an act of submission."

Bellitto said the irony of the video controversy is that it is run by traditional Catholics who "do not like the pope but still want to transform him into a renaissance prince."

Meanwhile, Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of sexually abuse, which was a member of the pope's commission for the protection of minors, to observe that the video fails to show "the last 15 minutes when he had his hand kissed completely normal."

Collins said Francis only began to resist the ring that kissed after a particularly aggressive greeter had grabbed his hand in a rough way.

"Elderly blocks easily, it's possible, his hand was wounded," she wrote. "The full video puts this" pulls away "in context."

Nevertheless, Ivereigh said that it is a pope who prefers to wash the feet of those who greet him – not having his ring kissed by them. 19659026] Christopher White is the national correspondent of Crux and The Tablet. Follow him on Twitter @ CWWhite212


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