If they get pushed out of Syria by the civil war, the only place they can go in the region will probably be Jordan, which (without refugees) is 6% Christian (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations).
The Pope is responsible to the six Eastern Catholic patriarchs, plus the rest of these hard-pressed Faithful of the ancient Churches, to provide for their safety and well-being as best he can.
Why's he meeting the the royals of Jordan? Because he is trying to find diplomatic, political, as well as physical support for the Christian people of the Middle East who are faced with extermination.
Is that a good enough reason for you?
As to the propriety of the bowing: well, there's St. Paul:
Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
And remember, Paul was writing to and about the Romans; and the Roman Empire proved itself willing, through sporadic persecutions over a period of 300 years, to burn, crucify, and cut the heads off of Christians.
So I reckon the Pope was both offering the due diplomatic honors, plus the spontaneity of love --- hasn't anybody commented on the fact that he was bowing to a woman? You know, that subset of the human species whom the Muslims customarily treat like shi'ite?
I guess love in Christ --- a pastor's love --- is so rare, some don't even recognize it when they see it.
But some do.
“Why’s he meeting the the royals of Jordan? Because he is trying to find diplomatic, political, as well as physical support for the Christian people of the Middle East who are faced with extermination.”—interesting theory, maybe even you are right, I don’t know.
I do not like this Pope. Am I required to? I think he opens his trap and says stupid stuff and is real impressed with himself and how “humble” he is
Look Rainya is not Mother Mary. I have no problem with him bowing to Mother Mary.
Very good post, thank you.
Not that it will convince already hardened hearts, but it certainly helped me. Speaking for myself, I forgot about the Christian perspective you pointed out here.
It’s all too easy, with the overbearing, dominant Muslim presence there, to forget there are still Christians to consider in the Middle East. The Pope (and the Vatican) can’t simply forget about them in favor of political (or even traditional) expediency.
Ummh, I didn’t say anything negative about the Pope’s actions.
re: “ So I reckon the Pope was both offering the due diplomatic honors, plus the spontaneity of love -— hasn’t anybody commented on the fact that he was bowing to a woman? You know, that subset of the human species whom the Muslims customarily treat like shi’ite?
I guess love in Christ -— a pastor’s love -— is so rare, some don’t even recognize it when they see it.”
I’m not Catholic, but I think I agree with your take on this.
The Pope is not a governmental “head of state”. He is a spiritual leader and a witness for Christ. How is it “bowing to satan” (as some have said) if he shows humility on behalf of Christ and as a witness for Christ’s love to this woman?
I also highly agree with you that it is significant that he showed the humility to a woman, but not to the male head of state - that is truly radical in the middle eastern mindset. Yes, she is “royalty”, but she’s still a woman.
I may have some other issues with this Pope, but in this instance, I do not.
I agree. After all th prince mentality by earlier popes, this is refreshing
Very well said. The Pope is the Head of the Church here on earth, but he is also a Head of State, a diplomat, and must keep that in mind when dealing with matters of state. The state of Christianity in the Middle East is tenuous, as the Pope well knows, and showing respect to other Middle Easter heads of state, who are trying to help, and their wives, goes a long way in the diplomacy department.