Come On In, Get Comfy! Pope Francis’ Relaxed Attitude Means That People Are Taking His Seat

Pope Francis continues to surprise and charm with his warmth and hospitality.

I see a meme developing:  Pope giving up his chair to someone…. a soldier, an athlete, a child…. and choosing to stand.

Back in April, when we were just getting to know him, Pope Francis brought a chair (and a sandwich!) outside to a member of the Swiss Guard who had been assigned to guard his doorway at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

In June, Pope Francis invited 17-year-old Alberto di Tullio, who has Down syndrome, to climb up onto his open-top Mercedes popemobile at the conclusion of the Wednesday Audience.  As some 80,000 pilgrims watched in St. Peter’s Square, di Tullio spun around and around in the Pope’s customary seat, while a standing Pope Francis watched and smiled.


The Buenos Aires Herald printed this photo of Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi seated in Pope Francis’ chair when the Argentine soccer star and his team visited the Vatican in August.



Deacon Greg Kandra shared this photo of a small child leading Pope Francis to his seat when the pope visited Assisi.



And now this:  A small child sits happily in the Pope’s chair
on the dais during a General Audience in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.  This photo was posted by Fr. Roderick Vonhögen, and I’m not sure when it was taken.




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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • RelapsedCatholic

    He seems to understand that the point of the church is not to elevate the clergy into lives of ease and luxury, but instead to elevate the dignity and hopes of the least among us.

    • kathyschiffer

      Well, yes. But do the people around him understand that he, as the Vicar of Christ, is deserving of high respect? The Pope extends his arms to welcome all; but it’s still appropriate to bow and kiss his ring.

      • RelapsedCatholic

        Well three out of four are children or impaired, so I’ll give them a pass. If I were offered the Pope’s chair I would of course refuse not only because he is the Pope, but because he is my elder as well. If he was insistent I would cave so as not to be rude. And yes, I would bow to him as well, although that does not come naturally to Americans.

        He is remarkable because he understands that optics and gestures matter. He is not insulated behind marble walls. To preach on behalf of the poor while holding a giant golden cross just looks bad and cuts at your credibility. The move he made recently with the German Bishop of Bling was amazing.

  • Deb. Thurston OCDS

    Well, if you watched the event on CTV or saw the video, the boy was unsupervised, ignored Vatican security who tried to bribe him (unsuccessfully) with candy, and he was quite a distraction Saturday evening during the event with families. All of the other children were seated calmly around the dais with their balloons while he was wandering around. It was one of those moments where most parents in the crowd were probably squirming inside. One or two still photos look sweet and cute. “I guess you had to be there.”