Here is a recent photo of Francis standing before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. This is not a new phenomenon, we have seen this before. Just as we have seen him not genuflect before the Host on the altar at Mass.
Now, before anyone says it, I will: we should not jump to rash judgment about anyone, particularly the pope. Maybe he is unable to kneel, though we have often seen him kneeling in other contexts, most infamously washing the feet of women and muslims on Holy Thursday. OK, let’s assume he is unable to kneel. If so, in order to avoid the grave scandal this engenders there should by a press release by the Holy See stating a condition that does not allow him to kneel in front of his Lord, for the good of the simple faithful if for no other reason. Furthermore, even if he could not kneel, he should bow before the Sacrament and make other acts showing worship as he can, and often.
Because if he can kneel, and yet doesn’t, what message does this convey? Some possibilities: 1) He does not believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist; 2) He believes in the Real Presence generally, but that hosts consecrated in the new rite aren’t actually effectively consecrated, and he does not wish to commit idolatry (let’s call this doubtful); 3) He believes in the Real Presence and that he is in the presence of God but that God is his equal and so he doesn’t need to kneel; or, 4) He believes in the Real Presence and that he is in the presence of God and wishes to openly show Him scorn.
Perhaps there are other possibilities, and in the name of justice and charity I invite you to supply one that lets him off the hook.
Because this looks bad. No, this IS bad.