Skip to comments.Pope washes feet of young detainees in ritual
Posted on 03/28/2013 12:21:53 PM PDT by haffast
Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of a dozen inmates at a juvenile detention center in a Holy Thursday ritual that he celebrated for years as archbishop and is continuing now that he is pope. Two of the 12 were young women, a remarkable choice given that the rite re-enacts Jesus' washing of the feet of his male disciples.
The Mass was held in the Casal del Marmo facility in Rome, where 46 young men and women currently are detained. Many of them are Gypsies or North African migrants, and the 12 selected for the foot-washing rite included Orthodox and Muslim detainees as well, news reports said.
Previous popes would carry out the foot-washing ritual on Holy Thursday in Rome's grand St. John Lateran basilica and the 12 people chosen for the ritual would always be priests to represent the 12 disciples.
That Francis would include women in this re-enactment is noteworthy given the insistence of some in the church that the ritual be reserved for men only: The argument is that Jesus' disciples were all male, and the Catholic priesthood that evolved from the original 12 disciples is restricted to men.
"The pope's washing the feet of women is hugely significant because including women in this part of the Holy Thursday Mass has been frowned on and even banned in some dioceses," said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of "The Jesuit Guide."
"It shows the all-embracing love of Christ, who ministered to all he met: man or woman, slave or free, Jew or Gentile," he said.
After the Mass, Francis greeted each of the inmates and gave each one an Easter egg.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
God bless you, LJ. I prayed for (with?) you consciously tonight at my parish, which had a beautiful Holy Thursday liturgy. And our pastor washed feminine feet as well: not my big ol' Humanae Feetae :o) ... but there were were some little Señoritas up there, solemn little brown girls with pink toenail polish on, and the cleanest little toes!
Although my sanity isn’t what it used to be, I’ll venture my opinion anyway.
There’s a difference between the “sacramental” and the “symbolic” at the Last Supper. The Sacraments originated at that time are Eucharist and Holy Orders, and these have specific requirements regarding the matter to be used. For the Eucharist, the matter is bread and wine. For Holy Orders, the matter is a baptised man (and oil). For this reason, the fact that only men were at the Last Supper is significant to the question of the male-only priesthood, though not nearly as critical as the theology of the priesthood and of the Eucharist.
The washing of feet, however, was a symbolic action, not the institution of a Sacrament in which Bishops, only, wash the feet of priests, only; or in which priests wash only one another’s feet. The point, as the Lord made perfectly clear, was that the leaders of His Church should serve others in the humblest way possible, beginning with, but surely not limited to, their own apostolic brethren. We can see that the attendees understood this, since they did not limit their service, in the ensuing years, to one another.
So, from a liturgical standpoint, I think it can go either way. If the point is to emphasize the “reenactment” aspect in the liturgy, as if it were a drama, then having male actors makes sense. (Please don’t have a woman playing Julius Caesar!) If the point is to emphasize the meaning, then those whose feet are washed can reasonably include any of the community, or even - especially - outsiders such as the prisoners to whom Pope Francis has ministered.
In my parish in San Antonio, everyone in the congregation could take a turn of washing someone else’s feet. Spouses with each other, parents with children, anyone with a total stranger ... it was very touching, and brought out that every one of us is called to humble himself in service every day.
Why criminals? There are devout Catholics who would have loved to be in that position. Talk about casting pearls before swine!
"I was sick and in prison and you visited Me. ... Inasmuch as you did it to one of these least of My brethren, you did it to Me."
The scribes and Pharisees said of Jesus, "Why does this man eat with tax collectors and sinners?" They wanted Him to associate only with the "devout."
I'm thinking the scribes and Pharisees are going to get a good looking at with this Pope.
Add'l comment: A priest giving an Easter egg is quite familiar to the Orthodox (at the conclusion of the PASCHA liturgy.) Reckon THAT will be a bone of contention to the scrupulous?
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
I’m sure some will go on about how the Easter egg is pagan and proves Pope Francis is the Antichrist.
Thanks for this thread! Excellent reading for today.
To me, a lot of the comments about the Pope in recent days sound very much like what we read in the Gospels. “How can he do that?!” “He’s not following the rules!!!” “Doesn’t he know what kind of people those are?!?” “Eeew, TACKY!”
Thank you very much for any prayers! Prayer is the real daily bread.
And you are so right about the hearts being touched - that is what spiritual connection, the kind that gives life and truth and love - it is from one heart filled with God’s truth and love, that touches a heart in darkness, and the dark heart receives the light and love. From heart to heart to heart.
The heart, according to the Vedas, is where the soul resides in the body...
Everything I read about Pope Francis makes me love him.
Same here. I was not expecting that he would look at the world and the Church ... a world in which a majority do not care if the human race survives, a Church in which many lack a basic understanding of the Faith and of the Lord's commandments ... and say, "I know what this situation needs most: the very best antique lace, and excluding women from as many rituals as possible! That's how we'll convert the 21st Century world!!!"
Rule-following is very, very comfortable, and you get fancy outfits to do it in and a warm sense of superiority. "I thank you, Lord, that I am not like other men ...". Just ask the Pharisees: "They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels, and enjoy salutations in the marketplaces and the best seats at banquets." (Right, Cardinal? Best seats!) But meanwhile (look at the Roman Curia) they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
The Pope is going around the barricades and out where it's dirty and ugly to win souls for God's Kingdom, just like Father Ho Lung, and I am absolutely thrilled.
Amen to that!
Imagine the impression on a Christian or Jewish woman of a man who isn't enslaved by lust, but can treat her as a human being, instead of projecting his desires onto her. In any religion, the rules about keeping women separate or hidden are occasioned by men's lust. One can understand why quite a few men (and some confused women) are getting in a tizzy and thinking evil of Pope Francis. Projection.
Why pray tell? She does not need Jesus to wash her clean? That one act may be the act of love and service that brings her to Christ later in life. The pope did not give her communion, he performed an act of love and service. God bless him for it!
I agree with both of you!
A verse in a small 16th century set of instructions for those wishing to surrender in love to God (in my tradition) and one part of one verse of pitfalls to avoid, goes something like this (memeory not exact). There is a companion verse of “dos”.
To be avoided: Following the rules and regulataions just for the sake of following them and not for the sake of real spiritual growth; or rejecting the rules and regulations out of whim and inventing one’s own.
It sounds as though Pope Francis is doing exactly the right, he is doing neither of the above and for the good of all.
What would Jesus have done? Refused? Spit in her face?
Jesus washed the feet of his DISCIPLES..those who believed in Him...not the Pharisees. There MUST be a clear line drawn by the church between Islam and Christianity evil and good. One does not appease those whose stated goal is destruction of all who will not sumbit. Even Jesus did not HELP those nailing him to the cross.
These people were CHOSEN..why choose an enemy of all that you are and believe?
You didn’t answer the question. Do you think, had Christ been washing feet, and this young woman was before her, he would have denied her? Skipped her? Called her an apostate and moved on? Rained down fire and brimstone upon her? What do you think he would have done?
Jesus performed many miracles for non-believers. He used the miracles to demonstrate he was filled with the spirit of God. He did not determine if they were believers beforehand.
And, if the ultimate goal is to convert this young woman to Christianity, don’t you think washing her feet and showing the compassion of Christ would be more effective that ignoring or castigating her?