As head of state at the Vatican, not to mention the leader of the world's 1.2 billion catholics, protocol requires visitors to bow to him when they meet him at the Holy See.
"Up until the 19th century visitors would kiss the pope's shoes, and the tradition is still that all visitors, women included, bow to him, but Francis behaves as he did before he became pope and is not interested in protocol," a senior Vatican official told The Daily Telegraph.
It is not the first time the Pope has eschewed formality when receiving visitors.
When Cristina Kirchner, Argentina's president, met him in March, a day before his formal inauguration, he gave her a kiss after she presented him with a gourd for mate, the traditional Argentine tea.
This is very reminiscent of Barack Obama's insistence on bowing to foreign leaders when he was first crowned... er... elected. Along with his syncretism (Obama is also a syncretist) and now this tie to Obama with the bowing and kissing up to world leaders will we soon see an announced partnership between the two? Stay tuned!