(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, on Monday in a private audience in the Vatican.
A statement released by the Holy See Press Office said: “They spoke about how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and help deliver a message of hope, especially to those people who are most disadvantaged.”
ZUCKERBERG AND THE PAPAL AUDIENCE
What happens when one has an audience with the Pope? It is all about recognzing the Pope's authority.
1. You Must Submit to the Authority of the Pope
- “Your Holiness” and “Holy Father” are the only two correct ways to address the Pope.
- Over the course of two separate meetings, former U.S. President George W. Bush broke Papal etiquette twice, first by repeatedly referring to the Pope as “Sir” and then by misusing “Your Eminence,” which is used only for cardinals in the church.
- On both occasions, the Vatican and certain media outlets took offense.
- Even the leader of the free world is not immune to losing track of etiquette!
2. You Must Recognize His Eminence
- When he enters the room, stand up and applaud.
- Seeing the Pope in person, in full papal regalia, impresses many to make standing and clapping their natural reaction.
- When the Pope goes to exit, stand and keep your eyes fixed on His Holiness until he has left the room.
3. You Must Bless the Pope and Bow to Him
- When the Pope approaches you, bow deeply.
- He will extend his hand. If you are Catholic, it is traditional to kiss his ring.
- If you are not Catholic, shaking his hand is the alternative. “It’s an honor to meet you, Your Holiness” is as respectful a greeting as you will need. There is no sense in overdoing it.
- It is rare for the Pope to grant a private audience with a non-Catholic, and even they must submit to his authority.
In essence, when one is granted a private audience with the Pope, one must recognize that he is Jesus Christ on earth. This is according to Catholic teaching found in "The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XII" page 304, where Leo states "We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty".
Jesus said in John 14:6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Any other acknowledgement of spiritual authority is blasphemy.