15:44 GMT +317 August 2019
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    Pope Francis waves during a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto on the feast of the Annunciation, in Loreto, Italy

    Thou Shalt Not Kiss: Pope Denies Worshipers Right to Smooch His Ring (VIDEO)

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    Catholics have a tradition of kissing the hands or rings of bishops as a sign of honouring them and their service to Christ, but Pope Francis has long been known for breaking certain customs.

    While receiving worshipers during his visit to the Holy House of Loreto, near the city of Ancona, Italy, Pope Francis surprised those who approached to greet the pontiff and to kiss the Ring of the Fisherman that he wears by repeatedly drawing his ringed hand away and not allowing the people to finish the customary act.

    READ MORE: Pope to Open Secret Archives Shedding Light on Vatican Actions During Holocaust

    Although it remains far unclear why the Pope decided to break with the tradition, which is meant to allow worshipers to show their respect to the top cleric, his move drew mixed reactions from people online. Some saw it as a sign of positive change in church traditions.

    Others disagreed with them and argued that he should uphold the tradition.

    Several netizens considered the act weird…

    … or even suggested that the Pope had put on the wrong ring.

    Some social media users guessed that maybe kissing the ring is allowed only for minors, referring to recent scandals that have hit the Catholic Church.

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    Tags:
    Beyond Politics, social media reactions, tradition, Ring of the Fisherman, Catholic Church, Pope Francis, Vatican, Italy
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