Yesterday, I was at a Mass for a cardinal; when I greeted him, I kissed his ring. Was this appropriate or is this a sign of respect only given to the Pope?
Although the gesture is not as common today as it was in the past, it is perfectly appropriate to kiss a cardinal’s or a bishop’s ring. The gesture shows respect for the person’s authority, as that authority is symbolized by his ring. At one time, Catholics even kissed the hands of a newly-ordained priest as a gesture of respect for the hands newly empowered to confect the Eucharist.