I was watching a short documentary on the final years of Pope Pius XII. And noticed during his Urbi et Orbi at his coronation as well as during his papal blessings, the crowd would kneel. There was another clip of him walking in a procession through the crowd, blessing the people as he would walk past them, and the people would kneel, cross themselves as he passed, then stand. Another clip, he walked into a room of some 30-40 people, and as he walked in, every knelt and made the sign of the cross.
Is this still common today? Do people kneel in the presence of the Holy Father, or as he enters the room, and during his papal blessings?
The custom got lost after the innovations brought about by Vatican II
People still kneel for blessings (even by priests) in more traditionalist parishes, such as the one where I attend Mass.
It is a pity that this, along with other gestures and devotions, got lost in the last 50 years or so. It is great for us Catholics to dig up the treasures from the past which can do nothing but enrich our Faith.
I have never understood why certain things have been disposed of after Vatican II. The council documents never called for their disposal but the Church has allowed it in some part. Thank God for the internet which contains many good prayers and devotions our Christian brethren have practised for hundreds of years - thanks to it, we can rediscover the little things that made our Faith so great in the past.
On a side note, I too watched that documentary. You should watch the whole thing on Pius XII’s great life in Italian (has English subtitles if you’re not familiar with the language) here: youtube.com/watch?v=bEAgUkHzz0A
If the Holy Father walked into a room where I was present, I know I would kneel and cross myself as he walked in. Not to worship him, but to RESPECT his most Divine position as the succesor of St. Peter. It was really cool to see, so much respect for the Holy Father. I know we as Catholics still have great respect and love for His Holiness, I would just like to see more kneeling in his presence, to give God thanks for his Vicar of Christ on earth.
I’m not so sure Peter would have wanted people dropping to their knees in his presence, with the exception possibly of when he was administering the sacraments in the person of Christ. Such reverence should be reserved for Christ himself. Again, even as holder of the keys of heaven, the Pope and bishops (and Apostles before them) are to serve not be served. It is not how others treat us that gives us prestige in the kingdom, but how we treat others!
True. But I still think a simple kneel when he enters, just as we kiss his ring, just out of respect. I have no doubt your right about St. Peter, however I’m sure many knelt before St. Peter during his Pontificate. Not that he wanted it, but outta respect for his Papacy and Leadership, perhaps. But of course, it’s on the individual. If one feels compelled to kneel when he approaches for a brief moment, rise and kiss his ring, I see nothing wrong with it.