NPR

Why Did The Pope Refuse To Let Worshippers Kiss His Ring? 'Hygiene'

"He wants to avoid the risk of contagion for the people, not for him," Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti told reporters on Thursday.
Days after footage showed Pope Francis refusing to let lay Roman Catholics kiss the papal ring, the pontiff explained it was an attempt to stop the spread of germs. On Wednesday Francis allowed 85-year-old Sr. Maria Concetta Esu to kiss his hand during his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Source: Vincenzo Pinto

Pope Francis clarified one church-related mystery on Thursday, explaining that it was a fear of spreading germs that provoked him to yank his hand away

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