Leaders around the world pay homage to the pope of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The majority of the people on this planet assume (wrongly) that the pope represents Christianity and is the "head" of the church. It's a great tragedy and powerful deception of Satan in this world - one of his strongest deceptions and traps to lead people away from saving faith in Christ.
Since we serve Jesus in Italy to proclaim the Gospel, evangelize, make disciples and plant biblical churches we are living in the home territory of the RCC where it has reigned unchecked for centuries. We feel the weight of its oppression upon the people every day. We see the RCC megachurch structures in every town and village built by the poor people's money collected in order to grant them a false salvation. We see the harm it has done to countless souls by leading them astray. The masses no longer have any interest in God. The practicing Catholics (only 5% of Italy's population) are self-righteous yet have no assurance of their salvation because they do not know the Gospel of the grace of God. What we see among the people is total confusion and indifference - a true work of Satan to render lost sinners his slaves.
Personally, when I look at the RCC I cannot help but think of Proverbs like 14:12 -
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
HERE is a wonderful short article from brother Tim Challies he graciously points out the true nature of the "peoples pope", Francis. It's part of his series on false teachers and very much worth your time to read.