Now about his mannerisms toward the pope, I believe that the boy felt a connection to him and in turn was being protective of him. Autistic children are far more in-tune than society thinks they are. .
And somehow the kid knew he was supposed to kiss the cross.
Basic teaching for a conservative Catholic family ... teach the child to kiss Jesus on the cross.
And considering the child was there to see the pope, I'd say he's probably Catholic.
It seems possible the child is 'special needs'.
It was handled just fine. I highly doubt it was a 'set up' of some kind
It's just one of those things that can happen .... IMHO
I have to say that I believe the child is Autistic most certainly! However I do not believe this was "staged" and here's why; I am a certified ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapist who has worked with many Autistic children. In my field it is the goal to teach these children basic life skills such as toilet training, communicating needs (food, drink, play time, affection, etc.) and appropriate public behavior as opposed to inappropriate public behavior. We use cues from the individual child in order to identify the behaviors to reward or not reward/ignore. If this would have been staged, his "handlers" would have been nearby in order to prompt him... they were not and if you notice, when he was picked up by, what I would presume, was his father/family member, he fought the attempt to be removed. He was on the verge of a meltdown because someone was trying to prevent him from something he wanted to do. If he had been "trained" to walk on stage and do those things, he would perceive the removal as a relief and willingly went with the man who picked him up.
Now about his mannerisms toward the pope, I believe that the boy felt a connection to him and in turn was being protective of him. Autistic children are far more in-tune than society thinks they are. To me, this boy's actions towards the pope make me feel more comfortable with the pope than I would be under normal circumstances. In some circles it is believed that people with Autism can see auras or intentions to put it another way. There is still very much left to learn about Autism, but what we do know and in those circles believe, is that Autism is a form of human evolution that went slightly awry. We try to "train" them from as young an age as possible to conform to our ideals of how they should act, when in reality we should be "trained" by them.