|Pope Francis bowed to this, just like a Muslim.|
There's no reason to suppose the Holy Father is insincere about any of this. If anything, he may be one of those people who are too sincere. "Fanatic" would be too strong a word, of course, but something like that. Perhaps "enthusiast."
What compounds that problem is that he lacks an organic approach to issues. With Pope Francis, everything feels bolted on.
Mercy! What that adds or expresses about the mercy always available from the Church is unexplained. It is like if I told my wife, "Starting December 8, for a whole year, I'm going to love you!" She would be justified in wondering what that implies about the "normal" time outside of the Year of Love. One suspects more PR: focus the people's attention on the mercy of the Church. The Bear supposes this is not such a bad thing, but it does make it sound "new and improved!" Still, the Bear is inclined to withhold judgment until we see it in action.
Similarly, we witnessed the determination for divorced and remarried Catholics to have access to Holy Communion, come Hell or high water. That implicates several doctrines of the Church, but as far as the Bear knows, none of the brilliant minds at the Synod even tried to finesse the issue. Again, an idea seized Pope Francis, and he was prepared to bolt it on any old way, as long as it got stuck onto the Church.
The Bear said, "he lacks an organic approach to issues." Perhaps a better way of saying it is that he does not connect the dots. Maybe he can't. Maybe he just doesn't see the need to bother.
When the Bear read that the Pope bowed toward Mecca during a visit to a mosque, he didn't get very excited. Why of course Pope Francis would do that. He did it in Turkey last year.
But the more the Bear thought about it, the more of a problem he found. Fine, take your shoes off, but does bowing in the direction of Mecca differ qualitatively? Sure it does. If you bow toward Mecca like Muslims do, you are performing a religious gesture. Of course, Pope Francis realizes this, unless he really is Chauncey Gardener. No Muslim would genuflect in a Catholic Church if he understood the significance of the act. (Or kiss a Bible, but that's ancient history.)
Being Pope of Rome should be enough. Of course he should be cordial to other religions as chief example and head of state of the Vatican. But adopt their practices in whatsoever small degree? Christians have died rather than do that. Pope Francis has an idée fixe about the essential unity of all religions -- especially the Three Amigos Great Abrahamic Religions, only one of which has any valid notion of God and salvation. (That would be the Catholic religion for those among you who have not been properly catechized or are popes.)
This is emphatically not Catholic at all. Would it be going too far to say that Pope Francis possesses praiseworthy humanitarian instincts, but not ordinary Catholic instincts? That would explain why he simply doesn't understand why a Catholic should be at least uncomfortable bowing toward Mecca, if not violently resistant. Would you? Ah, what's a bow, Bear? Ah, what's a pinch of incense, Holy Father?
It isn't just a bow. It's a window into the very scary mind of Jorge Bergoglio, who became the Bishop of Rome, and who joked about his "neuroses." What he really thinks he is is anyone's guess, but the Bear bets "Bishop of Rome" doesn't begin to cover it.
Humility is the most unstable virtue. It can flip to pride in a heartbeat. And pride's motto is, "Such concerns do not apply to me."
See also: Mahound's Paradise. Pope Francis says don't get bogged down in small issues like contraception until poverty is eliminated in the world. The man is hopeless. Patience.