As is a Catholic norm, the Pope’s ring is kissed by members of the congregation but Pope Francis pulled a first for refusing to be revered in that way. This brought his way enraged backlash.
When Pope Francis visited a Catholic shrine in Loreto on Monday, he repeatedly withdrew his right hand as a long line of people bowed and tried to kiss the ring on it.
The footage went viral and the pope’s refusal quickly entered what are known as the Catholic cultural wars between conservatives and progressives.
This was followed by an uproar from some of the Catholic believers.
Traditional Catholic Website Rorate Caeli posted on its Twitter, “Francis, if you don’t want to be the Vicar of Christ, then get out of there!”
The website further explained, “These people are not kissing Jorge Mario Bergoglio, it is not all about him, and his person, as he seems to think.
They want to kiss Peter, the Vicar of Christ. It’s monstrous to deny them that.”
Others on the contrary lauded the Pope for breaking old Catholic traditions.
“For this Pope, the authority of the papacy does not rest on kissing rings but in faithfulness to applying Christ’s mandate,” remarked one Christopher Lamb.