People keep trying to kiss the Pope's ring, and he's having absolutely none of it
A video has emerged of Pope Francis denying Catholic worshippers the opportunity to kiss his papal ring. The footage was initially posted by the Catholic Sat Twitter page, with the caption: "Pope Francis really doesn’t want anyone kissing his ring. This from today, after Mass…"
Unsurprisingly, given his status as the head of the Catholic church, the footage racked up 2.9 million views, as of this writing.
This is the moment the Pope repeatedly pulls his hands away from worshippers attempting to kiss his ring:
The awkward interactions occurred while the 82-year-old greeted worshippers following Monday's Mass service at the Basilica della Santa Casa.
The Basilica della Santa Casa Cathedral is a renowned pilgrimage site dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Italian town of Loreto.
Although the Pope can be seen smiling as he shakes the hands of the Catholic devotees, he is evidently reluctant to allow them to kiss the sacred ring, a symbol of his dedication to the faith.
In fact, the Argentinian pontiff reacted to the innocent gesture, usually regarded as a traditional sign of reverence, with complete disdain. He immediately snatches his hand away from members of the congregation as they kneel down to kiss the ring.
And despite the fact that the Pope repeatedly pulls his hand away with every attempt, that doesn't deter those waiting in line, as each of them still tries in vain to peck the holy ring.
So unwilling is the Pope for the Catholic churchgoers to get up-close with the ring that he can even be seen physically guiding some of them to one side.
Following the Mass service, Pope Francis signed a document entitled 'Christ Lives', concerning today's youth. The document will be released on April 2 and included in it are the Pope's comments with regards to a meeting he had with world bishops last October.
The issues which arose in the meeting center around issues such as finding ways to welcome gay people into the Catholic faith, giving women more influence within the church and combating the well-documented sexual abuse scandals associated with the Catholic church.