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Pope 'pulled ring away over germs fear'

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Pope Francis faced criticism. Photo: Reuters

Pope Francis faced criticism. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Pope Francis faced criticism. Photo: Reuters

Pope Francis has set the record straight about why he pulled his hand away when throngs of people lined up to kiss his ring: for fear of spreading germs.

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said Francis was concerned about hygiene when, after greeting throngs of well-wishers in Loreto, he began pulling his hand away to discourage people from kissing his ring.

Disrespect

Video of the incident went viral, with some conservative critics blasting what they said was Francis' disrespect for the tradition.

Mr Gisotti said it was no-thing of the sort, adding that Francis is happy to receive the greeting in small groups, as he did on Wednesday.


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