Monday, May 21


Reader Query

A Commenter Asks:

I am reading a story about a Mormon who supposedly had an audience with Pius XII. I think it is a fabrication but I cannot be sure. One thing stands out: the author claims that at the time of this audience it was necessary to drink a glass of wine before meeting the Pope. Was this ever protocol? I can't think of anywhere better than SotHW to ask this type of thing. Here is the excerpt: "The day for the appointment arrived and John made his way to the Vatican. Apparently according to John, before having audience with the Pope, there are several small rituals one must go through, one of which included drinking a small glass of wine. When the wine was presented to him, he declined it stating that he was a Mormon and that Mormons did not drink alcohol. The aides who were taking John through this process were very embarrassed at this oversight and apologized profusely if they had offended him."

I have not heard of such a thing. It sounds to me like a gesture of hospitality on behalf of the Vatican officials, offering a drink, was mistaken as a ritualized observance by the Mormon visitor. But, that is just my guess.

Anyone know for sure?

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