(Appearances Are Deceiving)

Pope Francis is given to elaborate displays of humility:-

Pope Francis washes the feet of Muslim migrants, says we are ‘children of the same God’

They came from Mali, Eritrea, Syria and Pakistan. They were Muslim, Hindu, Catholic and Coptic Christians. And one by one, Pope Francis knelt down before these migrants on Holy Thursday and washed their feet. . .

Francis condemned the attack in Brussels and those behind such violence. "There are manufacturers, arms dealers who want blood, not peace; they want the war, not fraternity," the pope said.

"You, we, all of us together, of different religions, different cultures, but children of the same Father, brothers — and there, those poor people, who buy weapons to wreck fraternity," Francis said Thursday. "Today, at this time, when I do the same act of Jesus washing the feet of twelve of you, let us all make a gesture of brotherhood, and let us all say: 'We are different, we are different, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace.'"

The incongruity of these gestures should be evident to anyone who considers that the Pope is a potentate who stands at the pinnacle of power in a hierarchy which rules over a world Roman Catholic population of over 1.2 billion souls. Nevertheless, there are probably billions who stand in amazement at the "goodness" of the man, ignoring the power structure over which he rules:

Can Pope Francis Reconcile His Message of Humility With the Vatican’s Rigid Power Structure?

Last week, in Rome, I attended a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis himself, the man who has become, unexpectedly, the most powerful spokesman against inequality and injustice in the world. The Mass was held outdoors, at the Lateran Palace; it was free and open to all. I was in Rome as a journalist-invitee to an academic conference sponsored by the University of Notre Dame on the topic of “contending modernities,” and though I am not a Catholic, I love religion. I had a rare chance to glimpse this sensational figure — the bishop who reaches out to the faithful by calling them on the phone, who in his frequent displays of humility washes the feet of the elderly and the incarcerated and others of society’s lowest castes — on the very spot, practically, where, more than 1,600 years ago, Christianity became the religion of empire. It seemed to me an opportunity not to be missed.

'John Paul II was a rock star, too, of course, but his appeal — a forward-looking, optimistic statesman, a friend of Ronald Reagan — suited his time. Not since Vatican II has a pope done more to “throw open the windows of the church,” as John XXIII put it, and let the fresh air in. Francis is a pope for now — decrying poverty, confronting climate change, and establishing a tribunal for bishops who looked away from sex offenders. . .

As the crowd pressed against the barriers, certain worthy VIPs were being admitted into the piazza itself, within pitching distance of the altar, into what at a baseball game would be the box seats. There were ushers in white tie and tails, and security guards, looking like Secret Service, listening to unseen voices in earphones and barring interlopers from the inner circle.

Inside the barriers, men who had given their lives to God promenaded toward their places near the altar like so many rare birds. There were hundreds of them, garbed in costumes from another age, each sartorial iteration conveying a rank, an order, and a history that to the inexpert eye was both certain and obscure. There was the Swiss Guard, of course, in their striped knickers and spats; priests in red cassocks and lace aprons called rochets; priests wearing purple with golden tassels dangling down their backs; priests in velvet birettas and white-cassocked monks with Birkenstocks on their feet. All these men had places up front, in easy view of the pontiff — who, when he entered the square clad in white and gold, took his place on a white chair that can only be called a throne.

The Mass itself carried another dissonance. Francis’s gentle, slurred voice infused the square with a kind of enveloping holiness. The sun began to set on Rome; a boy near me who looked about 10 began to cry; birds circled in the bluish air. “We scatter … when we do not live in brotherhood, when we compete to occupy the best places … when we do not find the courage to give a witness of charity, when we are unable to offer hope,” Francis said. Even in a homily with a narrow, theological theme — the centrality of the Eucharist in the Catholic faith — the pope found a chance to repudiate self-serving ambition and offer a view of brotherhood and love instead.

But it was impossible to ignore that, even outdoors, at an “open” event, the crowd was arranged in tiers and rows, so that each participant could see his or her higher or lower position in the order of things. . .

Worthy of note is that the political element of the Pope's actions is not viewed with disfavor. This may not be surprising for those who do not profess to be Christians; but is truly a mark of the falling away from Christian principles by contemporary Christian churches. Did not Jesus declare the essential of separation between church and state? (Matt. 22:21.):

Pope Francis' political style on display: humble gestures, not fiery rhetoric

Within the often stormy centers of secular power, Pope Francis has brought a quiet and even deferential moral authority to bitter political divides.

It is in many ways a moral authority rooted as much in personal gestures and his deeply humble lifestyle as it is in the historic teachings of the Catholic Church. He has washed the feet of those in prison, embraced the disfigured, and opted for a simple four-door Fiat to get around this week – actions of humility that have resonated around the world.

“I think he’s got really good political instincts, especially in his instinct not to be overtly political,” says Terrence Tilley, professor of Catholic theology at Fordham University in New York. “That almost sounds like a paradox, but it’s a kind of a style that keeps him involved with the people, without regard to all the trappings of his office.”

Jesus Christ stated the principle that must govern the relationship between humans and their spiritual leaders in Matt. 23:8-12. Pope Francis and the papacy in general would have us believe that they are fulfilling verses 11-12, and expect us to ignore their blatant violations of all that Jesus stated in verses 8-10. Imagine for example a mere mortal being called the holy father, and claiming the right of "magisterium," to be the teacher of the world for all the blasphemous dogmas of Rome. There is in Pope Francis' words and actions invariably a combination of moral teaching and ecumenical evangelism. Ecumenism is the engine by which Rome is driving towards world domination.

The image of morality is a delusional chimera (Cf. 2 Thess. 2:9-12.) The apostle Paul has given us clear warnings in 2 Thess. 2 and also in 2 Cor. 11:13-15. Spiritual leaders can safely be judged by only one standard - the Bible, which has alerted us to the true nature of the papacy.