The Pope does not pretend to be God and does not seek worship that belongs
to God alone.
He is a man, but his vocation is to lead the Church of Jesus
Christ on Earth, fulfilling the commission that Christ gave to His Apostle,
Peter. The great reception that he receives is by those that acknowledge
this great responsibility and duty and the One to whom he belongs, namely, our
Lord Jesus Christ and his chief Apostle, Peter, to whom the Keys were given in perpetuity
of his office (cf. Matthew 16:13ff and Isaiah 22:15-25). Yes, Peter's office continues,
just as Eliakim's did — the model from which Jesus acted.
- How would you receive one who comes in the name of the Lord?
You may not believe
that he is given this commission, but Catholics do, with good scriptural and historical basis to substantiate our belief.
You may also recall that when Peter himself walked through the crowds many
would try to get their sick family members close enough to him so that his
shadow may simply fall on them and they might be healed (cf. Acts 5:15).
At first glance, this may seem even idolatrous, but it was simply good folks
realizing God could use a man in His ministry to do divine things.
today that God can use ordinary folks to do his work, and certainly a man who
has assumed the office of Peter deserves respect and thanks for laying his life
down at God's service.