The passage you quote tells us that “When Peter was come in, Cornelius came to meet him, and falling at his feet, adored.” Peter saw that Cornelius was giving him a worship more than could be permitted, and said, “Arise. I myself am also a man.” If the Pope detected the same dispositions in those who came to honor him he would utter a similar warning. He would be the first to say, “I too am but a creature of God. You must not worship me like this.” But kneeling is a sign of respect and reverence. When Sir Francis Drake knelt before Queen Elizabeth, he was not adoring her. In the good old days of chivalry, men proposed to the ladies of their choice on their knees, but that did not imply divine worship! Kneeling, therefore, can be a sign of ordinary respect, or of divine worship according to the intentions of the one offering such a tribute. As divine worship it cannot be offered to anyone less than God, and in this sense the Pope would forbid it as did St. Peter. But the same act can be offered as a sign of respect for the authority vested in the minister of Christ, and the utmost respect is due to Christ’s Vicar, the Pope.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty
The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections
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