Every time a new Pope is elected, there's a whole lot of rituals and ceremonies that have to be gone through, in accordance with tradition. Well there's one tradition that very few people know about.

Shortly after the new Pope is enthroned, the Chief Rabbi seeks an audience. He is shown into the Pope's presence, where upon he presents him with a silver tray bearing a velvet cushion. On top of the cushion is an ancient, shriveled parchment envelope.

The Pope symbolically stretches out his arm in a gesture of rejection.

The Chief Rabbi then retires, taking the envelope with him and does not return until the next Pope is elected. John Paul II was intrigued by this ritual, whose origins were unknown to him.  He instructed the best scholars of the Vatican to research it, but they came up with nothing. When the time came and the Chief Rabbi was shown into his presence, he faithfully enacted the ritual rejection but, as the Chief Rabbi turned to leave, he called him back.

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1,960 hits 2.4 (1961 votes) Share Favorite | Flag 19 years ago by falconwing

Ancient Religious Tradition

Every time a new Pope is elected, there's a whole lot of rituals and ceremonies that have to be gone through, in accordance with tradition. Well there's one tradition that very few people know about. (more)


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