herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

'They're going to eat him' - worried Cardinal's cry as nuns mob Pope

Pope Francis was mobbed by a group of overexcited nuns, let out from their convents during his visit to Naples.

The nuns had to be reined in by the Archibishop of Naples after swarming the pontiff, to his evident bemusement, and showering him with gifts and greetings.

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe could be heard through the microphone urging restraint and making lighthearted commentary in a Neapolitan accent.

"Sisters . . . Later. . . . well would you look at that. These are the cloistered ones. Just imagine the non-cloistered ones," he said, provoking laughter among the crowd gathered in the cathedral.

"They are going to eat him! Sisters . . sisters!"

Cloistered nuns observe rules of "papal enclosure" and rarely leave their nunneries, receiving visitors through a grill.

The pope was holding an event in Naples cathedral to meet priests, religious leaders and seminarians in the Naples cathedral on his one-day visit to the city.

Hundreds of thousands gathered in the streets to welcome him, but few got as close as a group of nuns who had been given special permission to leave seven different closed convents in Naples to attend the Pope's cathedral visit.

CLOSE

After their presence was announced, the starstruck sisters broke into applause and waved excitedly from the basilica's side wing, then a half dozen of them scurried up close, surrounding the pontiff in their long black religious habits. One carried a large wrapped present. Pope Francis smiled as staff and security personnel tried to restrain the nuns.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News