What is it exactly that we honour when we honour the Pope? Do we honour the man who holds the office, or do we honour the office itself? Like, if a bad man were to become Pope (as we know painfully well that can happen), do we still applaud him in parades?
Like, if I can draw an analogy, people cheer the president, and there’s respect that’s expected toward the presidents. But, it’s not respect toward the presidents themselves, but rather, respect for the office that they hold. You could be in the opposition party and think that the president is the worst human being spawned on the face of the earth, but you still need to stand up when the president walks in.
Is it like this with the Pope? Is it that we kiss the ring of Peter’s office, and not that we kiss the ring of the man occupying it?