Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Vatican Etiquette and a Pope's Dance

Pope Pius X declared tango dancing as immoral in 1913, and off-limits to Catholics. But when the tango proved to be too popular to declare "off-limits," Pope Pius X tried a different tactic, mocking the tango as "one of the dullest things imaginable," and recommending people take up dancing the furlana instead, a popular Venetian dance from the 17th and 18th centiuries. By February of 1914, the New York Times was reporting: 
"POPE'S DANCE' IS THE RAGE; The Furlana Now Rivals the Tango in Popularity Among Italians.
By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times"

The Vatican authorities have given the strictest notice to those who recommend people for audience with the Pope that they must guarantee that such persons will conform to Vatican etiquette in kneeling and kissing the hand of the Pope. This notification was issued as a result of the conduct of some Americans, a few weeks ago, who refused to kneel when the Pope appeared. — The Sausalito News, 1904

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia