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WATCH: Pope Francis avoids kisses to his ring

A video of Pope Francis evading ring kisses by pilgrims in Italy has elicited mixed reactions online.

The Pope, while in Loreto town, was receiving monks, nuns and parishioners who stood in line to greet him.

One by one they greeted the Pope and a short video of the session – in which he could be seen withdrawing his right hand quickly to evade ring kisses – went viral.

In the video, the Pope quickly greeted the faithful and withdrew his hand whenever they made an attempt to kiss the papal ring.

FULL VIDEO

Vatican did not comment on the viral video but instead shared the full video of the meet and greet session that showed that the Pope had allowed the first people in line to kiss his ring.

A source told Reuters that the Pope saw the queue was moving slowly and started withdrawing his hand quickly so as to make time for the Catholic faithful who were waiting outside.

After the meet and greet session with monks, nuns and parishioners, Pope Francis interacted with people who had gathered outside the venue.

Online users commented on the short video of the Pope dodging ring kisses.

Moth Standard commented, “Probably just gets tired of it after a while?”

Jeff P wrote, “The Pope is only adding a greater level of humility to the Papacy, which isn’t really a bad thing in the bigger picture.”

Kenneth Maina replied, “Why can’t his handlers warn the Catholic faithful that the Pope doesn’t want the tradition to continue? I found his behavior rather distasteful.”

The papal ring, worn on the third finger of the right hand, is unique to every Pope and is believed to be a powerful symbol of a pontiff’s authority hence the tradition of kissing it.