Pope Francis received on April 11 the participants of a two-day retreat at the Vatican which involved civil and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan. During the audience Francis knelt down and kissed the feet of ecclesiastical and Muslim men officials and one woman.
There was a look of shock on the faces of the more than 20 dignitaries in the room as an overweight Francis dropped to his knees in front of the (deeply embarrassed) South Sudan leaders four times and kissed their feet. The prelates who were along side of him struggled to lift him to his feet each time. He looked as though he had overexerted himself in doing this when he stood up panting and wheezing.
His actions were all the more shocking to all who witnessed his behaviour because he is notorious for never genuflecting or kneeling during the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass, nor in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration.