Friday, March 22, 2013

About The Holy Father, Pope Francis Washing Women's Feet!

Father McDonald at Southern Orders has written a bracing article for Traddies, like me, who are shocked-disappointed-indignant that Pope Francis might be washing women’s feet and other laity’s feet on Holy Thursday.  In short Father says:

1.   Washing feet is a SacramenTAL, not a SacraMENT.  Therefore,  how the Pope does it is should not be a deal-breaker, anymore than when Bl. JP II added those 5 Mysteries of Light to the Holy Rosary.  (I understand that Francis is one of those intransigents who stubbornly refuses to learn them!)

2. Washing feet should not be considered a symbol of ordination, anyway….it is a symbol of Christ’s--and therefore the sacramental priesthood's humility.  Period. (I did not know that....but Father makes a good case!)

  (this is my point)  Christ gives us teachers to help us sort out what is really important, to order things.  Otherwise we just see a collection of incoherent regulations.  Do we naturally know when one rule trumps another?  No!  We need guidance from above for that….plus, if it turns out we have been wrong about the best interpretation of this sacramenTAL that could be a good thing-- as it is a good thing when we sometimes have to ‘eat crow’.   It fosters humility and speeds reconciliation which the Church badly needs. 

Long live Pope Francis!!

addendum: A pope washing the laity's feet is not unprecedented.

from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia

......In 694 the Seventeenth Synod of Toledo commanded all bishops and priests in a position of superiority under pain of excommunication to wash the feet of those subject to them. The matter is also discussed by Amalarius and other liturgists of the ninth century. Whether the custom of holiding this "maundy" (from "Mandatum novum do vobis", the first words of the initial Antiphon) on Maundy Thursday, developed out of the baptismal practice originally attached to that day does not seem quite clear, but it soon became an universal custom in cathedral and collegiate churches. In the latter half of the twelfth century the pope washed the feet of twelve sub-deacons after his Mass and of thirteen poor men after his dinner........{{this article also mentions that it is the practice of some Orthodox for the Priest/Bishop to wash the feet of the laity}}


  1. No, but washing women’s feet is an abuse.

  2. Baloney Just ask yourself would Jesus object to the Popes actions? He was demonstrating humility not strict adherence to what Jesus did in the Gospels. Its this over correct straining out the gnat that ossifies the Church. Have a nice day

  3. No its not an abuse. It is to show humility. That's it. .