A friend points out this item on Googlebooks, Urbs Et Orbis
, by William Humphrey, which, he mentions, contains all sorts of useful and edifying...and just plain weird...facts:
By ancient usage [during a papal audience] the wearing of spectacles is forbidden, but when necessary the Pope's permission is asked, and is never refused.
Okay, maybe it doesn't. Also:
The Pope does not, as a rule, pontificate except on solemn occasions. He sometimes, however, administers the sacrament of confirmation in his private chapel to the children of sovereigns and princes, or to persons for whom he has a special benevolence. With the exception of Benedict XIV. who had a great partiality for ordinations, the Popes rarely ordain. If, however, the Pope should himself confer on a cleric any order whatsoever, or even tonsure on a layman, this cleric cannot be further ordained by any other Bishop, without dispensation.
At public audiences the Pope ought not to be asked for extraordinary favours. It is superfluous to ask him to bless objects, since when he enters the chamber he blesses all present, and all the objects they have with them which are capable of being blessed. The favour of being allowed to assist at his Mass may be asked for; but nothing is to be asked for which falls within the domain of any of the Sacred Congregations. A grant of power to indulgence beads, for instance, will have no extrinsic value. The authenticity of it is incapable of proof. An Episcopal Court will not only have the right of opposing, but will be bound in duty to oppose the exercise of an alleged grant by one who says that he had it directly from the Pope at a public audience. The favour of assisting at the Pope's Mass, and receiving communion at his hands, is always refused to priests, except on Maundy Thursday. The reason is obvious. It is more for God's glory that a priest should himself say mass, than that he should receive communion at the hands of even the Vicar of Christ.
Incidentally, J.P. II looked a whole lot better in those glasses than Bono did. No wonder he took them.