Pope Francis has allowed nuns and priests to kiss his papal ring during his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, two days after a video showing him pulling his hand away from several faithful drew criticism.
Some conservative critics of the pope feel Francis was abandoning Church doctrine and tradition, and seized on him withdrawing his hand as evidence of him shunning age-old traditions.
But many said the video clip did not give the full picture.
During a visit on Monday to Loreto, a major Italian pilgrimage site, the Holy Father received a long line of faithful, some of whom kissed his hand.
He only began withdrawing his hand after having greeted many people.
The pope on Wednesday allowed nuns and priests to kiss his hand during his general audience.
Picture: Sr Maria Concetta Esu, an 85-year-old Daughter of St Joseph, kisses the hand of Pope Francis after the pontiff awarded her the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross during his general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican today, on 27th March 2019. (CNS photo/Vatican Media via Reuters).