The General Instruction of the Roman Missal is the Catholic Church’s instructions governing the celebration of Mass.
N. 274 of the Roman Missal specifies that:
“During Mass three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of host, after the showing of the chalice and before Communion.”
Ann Barnhardt was the first to notice this — that on March 14, 2013, when Jorge Bergoglio said his first Mass as Pope Francis, he did not genuflect in accordance with the Roman Missal‘s instructions.
In the video of that Mass below, the consecration of the host into the Body of Christ happens at the 51:47 mark, and the consecration of the chalice or wine into the Blood of Christ at the 52:32 mark — but Pope Francis did not genuflect.
While the Church makes exemptions for priests whose health makes genuflecting or kneeling difficult or impossible, that is not the case with Pope Francis who often has been seen kneeling.
Indeed, if you do a “google” search for images of Pope Francis kneeling, you’ll find plenty. Here are two:
Here’s Pope Francis not genuflecting in another Mass — the Christmas Midnight Mass, December 24, 2016.
The consecration of the host into the Body of Christ begins at the 1:18:57 mark. Note how the Vatican’s camera cuts to a nun dressed in blue in the congregation (11:19:25), to avoid capturing the Pope’s refusal to genuflect.
Then comes the consecration of the wine into the Blood of Christ (1:20:20). Once again, the camera cuts to and lingers on another blue-garbed nun in the congregation (1:20:36 to 1:20:42), instead of showing the Pope not genuflecting.
To this day, an official explanation as to why Pope Francis does not genuflect at the consecration of host and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ has not been offered.
Francis still refuses to kneel before the Eucharistic adoration.
Vatican News (21 February) published photographs of a Eucharistic adoration that took place during the retreat of the Roman Curia in progress in Ariccia, near Rome.
The participants in the retreat knelt before the monstrance, except Francesco.
The rumors that Francis had problems with his knees proved to be false as he knelt on several occasions before the refugees on Holy Thursday or while visiting an Anglican shrine in Uganda in November 2015.
Update (April 20, 2018):
Here’s a video showing how the Vatican PR team uses “creative” camera angles to conceal the fact that Pope Francis refused to kneel before the Body and Blood of Christ our Lord:
H/t John Namnik
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