Isnt it amazing how Catholicism can go largely unnoticed for years, then all of a sudden, its being covered on Secular news outlets 24/7 when the Pope is in town?
That is the public relations power of the papacy. I bet the Methodists, for example, wish they could generate this kind of coverage on a whim.
BTW, here’s a relevant news link as required in this forum:
A need to cover religion
He is being accorded status related to his position as a foreign head of state. We do the same thing no matter what country the person heads. Note that the twenty-one gun salute he received is only for heads of state. No other religious body outside of the UK has a head of state in its highest post.