Pope John Paul has withdrawn from his original decision to end the ritual of being carried on a chair to public audiences.
Pope John Paul has withdrawn from his original decision to end the ritual of being carried on a chair to public audiences. He was chaired into an audience at the Vatican Assembly Hall last Wednesday (13 September).
SYNOPSIS: Pope John Paul broke with about a thousand years of tradition by refusing to be crowned. He has not found it so easy to end the ritual of arriving at public audiences in a chair carried by 12 men.
Vatican officials say they received many requests from the public for the return of the chair, and the Pope relented. But in other ways his warm and relaxed approach continues to contrast with the sometimes remote style of his predecessor Pope Paul.
Pope John Paul has injected wit and humour into his reign. On one occasion he pointed to his cardinals and said that he was only their elder brother. Observers say he successfully combines a fresh informality with the more strict ritual of the church.
The crowds react warmly to the new style of Pope.