“Why does the Pope move so slowly?”

Why does the Pope move so slowly?

Not even Queen Elizabeth waves with as little energy as he does!

And he certainly doesn’t compare with an earlier head of state (the Israeli Prime Minister) who addressed Congress and then engaged in a happy politician’s waving.

Well, the reason for the Pope’s slow movement — waving, walking, speaking — actually is theological, going back centuries.

When Martin Luther (at the time still a monk) was lecturing university assemblies in the 1500s, he was expected by the rules of his monastic order to maintain a demeanor of calm.  Gesturing with arms during a talk was OUT.  Luther would place his hands inside of the sleeves of his monk’s robe.  The belief was that any energetic movement suggested violence.  All gestures had to give off the impression of tranquility.

Pope Francis is carrying on this tradition.

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