Is kneeling before a pope improper?

A non-Catholic brought it to my attention that many were kneeling before the Pope when he was alive. He feels this was a form of worship and that people by so doing were showing worship to a man. Could you comment please?

Not all kneeling is worship. For example, a man who proposes marriage to a woman on bended knee is not worshipping his beloved. As another example, gentlemen who knelt before monarchs to be knighted were not worshipping their monarch. Kneeling before another person usually signifies either respect for or subjection to the legitimate authority of that person. In the case of a pope, it symbolizes both.

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