Disturbing: Why Didn’t the Pope Let People Kiss His Ring?

Leader of world's Catholics is apparently uncomfortable with the traditional gesture of respect and adoration

Image Credit: giulio napolitano /

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s Catholics, continually pulled his hand back and would not let members of the public kiss his ring when they approached him and tried to show their respect for and piety toward the papacy during his visit this week to Loreto.

Pilgrims who lined up to greet him during his one-day visit to the Holy House of Loreto were continually left disappointed as the pope jerked his hand back again and again and again — all with a smile on his face.

Interestingly, the pope did allow priests and other religious to kiss his papal ring.

But when he began to greet the laity — he started pulling his hand away each time someone leaned toward the ring.

“He not only pulls it away … he swats a few of these poor people,” noted Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo on “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday night. “I call it the papal pullback.”

He’s apparently “uncomfortable with the kissing of the papal ring,” Arroyo added, noting he spoke to sources at the Vatican.

“Let them kiss the ring! Why can’t they kiss the ring?” said host Laura Ingraham.

“It looks rude. It makes people feel bad,” added Arroyo of the pope’s actions. “There’s an odd discomfort here” for the kissing of the ring, he said‚ though on plenty of other occasions the pope has allowed it.

Here’s the latest explanation for why the pope did what he did:

“A bishop’s ring is a sign of his ‘marriage’ to the diocese over which he rules,” noted LifeSiteNews. “Conferred during the rite of consecration, the episcopal ring was historically regarded as emblematic of the mystical betrothal of the bishop to his church. The formula used in the rite of consecration of a bishop when he is invested with his ring is laden with such symbolism. According to the rite, the principal consecrator places the ring on the ring finger of the new bishop’s right hand, saying: ‘Take this ring, the seal of your fidelity. With faith and love protect the bride of God, his holy church.’ The formula dates back to the first millennium.”

Related: Michael Moore Was ‘Grateful’ for his Meeting with Pope Francis

“The gesture of kissing the episcopal ring … is a way of reminding the bishop of his promises to his people and their loyalty to him,” the outlet also noted. “It is a reminder of the unbreakable nuptial bond between him and his people, and the affection and loyalty for each other. Clergy and laity who kiss a bishop’s ring therefore remind him of his undertakings when he was consecrated to the episcopate.”

For Francis, however, it was a no-go for rank-and-file Catholics this week.

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