Pope Francis filmed refusing to let worshippers kiss his ring

Pope Francis has been caught on camera refusing to have his hand kissed by worshippers.

He was in Loreto on Monday, greeting members of the public when the uncomfortable encounter was filmed.

As worshippers leant down to kiss the papal ring on Pope Francis's right hand, he repeatedly withdraws his hand, leaving them hanging.

One unfortunate man accidentally kisses his own hand, while others end up kissing empty air.

The AM Show host, Amanda Gillies lost herself to a fit of giggles while watching the video on Thursday morning.

"That is outstanding, good on him," she said through laughter.

"Are you not meant to kiss the hand of the Pope?" asked co-host Mark Richardson

"No you are! It's a sign of devotion," replied Gillies.

"He wasn't into it though," she continued.

The Pope's refusal to have his hand kissed has ignited a debate between conservatives and progressives.

"Francis, if you don't want to be the Vicar of Christ, then get out of there!" tweeted Rorate Caeli, a website read by Catholic traditionalists.

The website also described Pope Francis's refusal as "monstrous."

But others are defending Pope Francis, saying his refusal is not cold hearted but humanising. 

"He greets them warmly, as human beings. He's making sure they engage with him, not treat him like a sacred relic. He's the Vicar of Christ, not a Roman Emperor," said papal biographer Austen Ivereigh.



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