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.
The Pope most certainly is a Head of State. He is the head of the Vatican City State and the Holy See.
He is really clueless about protocol and doesn’t seem to want to learn. The protocol is in place for a reason, to make things go smoothly (just like manners). Those who shun manners and protocol are inviting confusion and uncertainty. When no one knows - or cares - about the rules of polite society, the rules eventually are forgotten and the end result is chaos. Hence, misunderstandings (or worse) result from hurt feelings, since being disrespected is unbearable for most people.
In his concern for showing respect to one individual, he has scandalized many of his flock. (Which he seems to do on a weekly basis.)
Thank you, rusty. He’s really acting exactly like he did for all those years in Buenos Aires: as Padre Jorge, the bishop in the raincoat, who quietly gave his seat to a tired abuela on a city bus.