How do you know he venerated it? Veneration, like adoration, is an interior act.
No it's not. Veneration is a public/outward gesture or
an interior action or
both. But the absence of an interior action doesn't negate the fact that it was a very public act of veneration
Latin veneratus, past participle of venerari, from vener-, venus love, charm — more at win
1 : to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
2 : to honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion
One does not ordinarily kiss books of poetry or gifts in general. Kissing a book of (pseudo) religious texts is, I really am sorry to say (and I mean that!), veneration
The worst you can say is that he imprudently caused confusion and scandal by that exterior gesture. You are in no position to judge his intentions.
No, the worst
that I can say is that the public actions
of the Bishop of Rome (not his interior intent) was an act of blasphemy and a betrayal of Christ. The best that I can say is that he was brain addled by age and had no idea what he was doing. In which case, a VERY public apology was in order.
John Paul was always good at apologizing for the long dead. He probably could have been persuaded to say "Ooops, we goofed"
But as usual when papal actions were involved, the Vatican was silent and teams of apologists rushed - whistling past the graveyard - to tell us what John Paul REALLY
meant. (Facts to the contrary not withstanding)