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.)
re: “The Pope most certainly is a Head of State. He is the head of the Vatican City State and the Holy See.”
Nanetteclaret, I stand corrected regarding the Pope being a “Head of State”.
However, and please understand, I’m not meaning to argue and I have no hostile intent. I’m just looking at the Pope as Christian leader. As I said before, I am NOT Catholic, in fact the media would describe me as a “fundamentalist Baptist”, and, I do NOT believe in papal infallibility and all that.
So, even though the Pope is a head of state, it is not, in my opinion, a typical political entity. And, which kingdom is to have more influence on a Christian, the political establishments of men, or, the Kingdom of God? Which Kingdom should have priority on the Pope?
I doubt we will agree on this, but I still think that showing humility in this case is not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus shocked His disciples when He had a conversation with a hated Samaritan woman in the “Woman at the well” story. I’m not equating the Pope with Jesus, just pointing out that often Christianity is at odds with tradition and taboos.
Again, I’m not meaning to argue, and you may be absolutely correct in the end. It was just a thought, maybe a bad one, but just a thought all the same.
Just so. By bowing to Queen Raina, a lovely and admirably woman no doubt, Pope Francis has now established a precedent. Certainly, all popes must now bow to the wives of foreign dignitaries who are granted the privilege of a private audience. To refrain from doing so will be a grave insult. Can you imagine how the Queen of Spain, Catholic for twenty generations or more would react if the pope did not bow to her when he bowed to a Mohammedan in his own private chambers. I’m afraid Francis is either a fool or a nave.