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How Should We Understand Pope Francis Washing Women's Feet?
NCRegister ^ | March 28, 2013 4:28 | Jimmy Akin

Posted on 03/30/2013 10:44:48 AM PDT by Salvation

How Should We Understand Pope Francis Washing Women's Feet?

Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:28
 
 
 

--snip-- 

This Year's Mass of the Lord's Supper

It was surprising but not surprising when the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had chosen to celebrate this year's Mass of the Lord's Supper not in one of the papal basilicas of Rome but, instead, in its juvenile prison.

That's precisely the kind of gesture that we have come to expect from the new pope in the short time we've been getting to know him.

It's not traditional, but it's humble and evangelistic.

And it corresponds to Jesus' remarks that, when we visit those in prison, we are spiritually visiting him (Matthew 25:36-40).

It's also in keeping with things he's done before, such as holding the service in a maternity hospital in Buenos Aires in 2005.

--snip-- 

Questions

 

1. What do the Church's liturgical documents say about footwashing?

--snip-- 

2. How does Pope Francis's decision relate to this?

--snip-- 

 

3. Can Pope Francis just do things that aren't provided for in the law?

--snip-- 

4. If he can do this, can others?

Technically speaking, no. If a pope judges that, due to the particular circumstances of a papal celebration, an exception should be made, that does not create a legal precedent allowing others to do so.

--snip-- 

5. What should we expect in the future?

--snip-- 

Already, the Congregation for Divine Worship has, apparently, indicated privately that a bishop can wash women's feet if he feels a pastoral exception should be made. At least, that's what Cardinal O'Malley indicated he was told when he asked them about the subject (see here for more info).

 

6. How should we understand the rite in light of Pope Francis's action?

--snip-- 

The most direct explanation of the rite's purpose is found in Paschales Solemnitatis, which says:

51. The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came "not to be served, but to serve." This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.

This indicates that we should understand that this rite "represents the service and charity of Christ"--

--snip-- 



 


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; francis; holythursday; pope; popefrancis; vatican
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Please find the answers here
1 posted on 03/30/2013 10:44:48 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Remember how Christ talked to the Samritan woman? Was that acceptable in his day? Yet, he did it anyway to evangelize her.

Holy Thursday Ping!


2 posted on 03/30/2013 10:47:05 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Can Pope Francis just do things that aren't provided for in the law?

There are only two laws:

1) Love God.
2) Love your neighbor.

I would say that this falls under Rule #2.

3 posted on 03/30/2013 10:49:00 AM PDT by Hoodat (I stand with Rand.)
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To: Salvation

I’m not Catholic but I sure wish I could see more Christian behavior like this among my Christian brethren.

I’m not saying that we all need to wash the feet of inmates, only that we could all stand to be better Christians.


4 posted on 03/30/2013 10:50:24 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Hoodat

Excellent point. I think they were talking about the church guidelines, though.


5 posted on 03/30/2013 10:53:35 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A woman washed Jesus' feet.

Pope Francis is washing a mother's feet in the photo who is also holding a baby.

Why would anyone have a problem with that?

In Jesus's time a host would wash his guest's feet as a sign of hospitality because the guest would have traveled a long way on dusty roads.

Today, all of those people don't really need their feet washed - Francis is symbolically extending a Christ-like hospitality. That's all.

6 posted on 03/30/2013 10:54:26 AM PDT by Slyfox (The Key to Marxism is Medicine ~ Vladimir Lenin)
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To: cripplecreek

Amen!

Perhaps we have a model here in Pope Francis.

Did Jesus talk with the Samritan woman? Yes, even though it was not acceptable in those days to do so.

His motive — love for all evangelization


7 posted on 03/30/2013 10:54:51 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Yes he spoke to the Samaritan woman...but did not wash her feet.

At the last supper Jesus washing of “the Disciples” feet, in content with the passage....was emphasize they were to serve one another..(as believers), rather then squabble over who was more significant.

I do think the Pope went too far by kissing the feet as he did...were the individuals believers? Because we can't ignore the fact Jesus washed “the Disciples” feet....not unbelievers...and this to make a bold statement concerning they were to serve one another.

However, this is the first Pope I've found quite interesting... and perhaps he will make a difference within the Catholic faith as he certainly seems to be taking the church to a place where they remember what the family of believers is about. Time will tell....no doubt opposition will follow him.

8 posted on 03/30/2013 11:03:21 AM PDT by caww
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To: Salvation

Yes and it is an important example of how Christ came for the world as we are all sinners. Some Pharisees asked him why he hung out with sinners. He made a point that sick people need a doctor; healthy people do not.


9 posted on 03/30/2013 11:04:58 AM PDT by grimalkin (Once abolish the God and the government becomes the God. -G.K. Chesterton)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: cripplecreek
Visit those in prison.

Once faced with a problem of how we could deal with hundreds of thousands of undelivered sample tampons (product samples sent in the mail) I took that question as if it had been delivered by Jesus personally ~ and put some serious thought to it.

We are commanded to visit those in prison ~ whether personally, or to alleviate the conditions of those held there.

That meaning had not been clear to me until faced with this situation ~ hundreds of thousands of undelivered product samples of use to who?

With a little research i found that every prison of any kind in this nation has a charitable group of some kind who make sure appropriate donations get to the prisoners. As those calls started coming in about those samples, I simply directed the callers to contact the warden's office at the nearest prison, or the county sheriff if he ran a jail.

That there were women in need. Many of the people I contacted on the matter ~ starting with Bureau of Prisons in DC ~ advised me that most women's facilities by a one size fits all traditional sanitary napkin ~ and almost never anything more advanced ~ that the only way women prisoners may acquire modern products was from charities, and that almost never happened.

So, there you are folks ~ if you want to do charity directly, find a place housing women prisoners ~ donate tampons.

Over the years those calls didn't stop coming and i found myself answering the question of what to do with those samples for 20 years.

I heartily approve of the Pope's washing of the feet and his visit to prison ~ all of us can follow up with charitable giving to those imprisoned.

11 posted on 03/30/2013 11:06:06 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Slyfox
Why would anyone have a problem with that?

I dunno, maybe because the rubrics of the liturgy specify viri ("men", as in "adult male humans," not homines, human beings of unspecified gender), and when the chief executive ignores the rulebook and does his own thing (Barack Hussein Obama, call your office), it sets a bad example?

The persons whose feet are being washed are supposed to represent the Apostles, not generic "people in need". The Apostles were all men, and the fact that the Apostles were all men is usually cited as part of the rationale for an all-male priesthood.

12 posted on 03/30/2013 11:11:44 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: muawiyah

I give my samples to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at my church. When they go to visit a new family (usually to deliver a table and chairs or some other furniture) they check the kitchen and the bathroom.

Do they have soap to wash dishes?

Do they have toilet paper in the bathroom?

After finding out that they made these checks I also starting buying a case of TP for them. Sometimes we don’t think about these simple necessities — or rather — take our own supply for granted.


13 posted on 03/30/2013 11:17:30 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
It seems a very unwise move in today's environment. My wife and daughters were particularly furious. The war for sin on behalf of Satan involves a war against sex, because the devil hates the human body. And in particular, it's a war against men, because men are the strength of Christian society. When they are called upon and answer, the devil is routed. When they grow distracted or are bypassed, the family and society are divided, and men go play video games, or whatever is the contemporary equivalent.

To my eyes, this wasn't the historical moment for Pope Francis's gesture, which comes across as very 1970s. Whatever the Holy Father's motives, it will be interpreted by Catholic men as more evidence that they have no special purpose. It will be used by Christ's enemies (inside and outside the Church) to convince more confused people that Christ's humanity and the priesthood are meaningless. I pray that in the long run, this act of the Pope's will be become part of a great victory for which I can't see the outlines. But to my limited vision now, it looks like an invasion of Russia in the winter.

14 posted on 03/30/2013 11:19:20 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: cripplecreek

Amen


15 posted on 03/30/2013 11:22:05 AM PDT by pleasenotcalifornia
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To: SamuraiScot

I just wrote an email to someone encouraging the men in his group to step forward and do these things.

I believe it will happen. And I understand the pain. I had my feet washed once by my priest, and I decided this year, that if I were to be asked, I would recommend a man that was sitting in another pew.

I think we need to do this.


16 posted on 03/30/2013 11:24:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
How Should We Understand Pope Francis Washing Women's Feet?
Pope Francis’ sermon for Mass of the Last Supper at Rome’s juvenile prison

'I do this with my heart,' Pope says before washing inmates' feet
The Birthday of the Chalice (Maundy Thursday)
Young Inmates Eager for Holy Thursday Mass With Francis
The Fourth Cup
The Last Supper and the Forgiveness of Sins
Benedict XVI’s sermon for Holy Thursday Mass of the Last Supper (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Mandatum of Love (meaning of Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Significance of Holy Thursday
Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
A Christian Passover Seder for Holy Thursday (or tonight)

The significance of Holy Thursday (institution of the Eucharist and priesthood)
Holy Thursday: The God who Washes Feet
Holy Thursday and the washing of the feet [Mandatum]
The Hunt for the Fourth Cup
Great and Holy Thursday [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, Shire Thursday
Holy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON HOLY THURSDAY IN 2004 AND 2005.
Paths to Rome: Washing of Feet on Holy Thursday

Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday And More on Days of Abstinence
Reflections for Maundy Thursday: The Carrying of the Cross
Past Not Over (Why Passover is the most widely observed holiday.)
The Chrism Mass
Celebration of a Family Seder Meal
Washing the Feet of Men Only on Holy Thursday
ALTAR OF REPOSE - Catholic Liturgy for Maundy Thursday
Catholic Caucus: Maundy (Holy) Thursday
The Fourth Cup: The Sacrament of the Eucharist [Holy Thursday] [Passover]
Holy Thursday - When the moon is full

17 posted on 03/30/2013 11:24:44 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Campion

Until fairly recently, the foot washing was only done by the bishops to 12 priests at the bishop’s Chrism mass. This was to symbolize humility.

After Vatican II, the practice was extended to parishes. Probably because of the possibility of scandal (Father washing the feet of some attractive woman, for example), in 1980 it was provided that the parish-level washees, so to speak, should be viri, that is, men.

So this is not an ancient tradition and the restriction to males is fairly recent and was purely practical, not symbolic or laden with meaning. A person who has his or her feet washed is not thereby considered a successor to the Apostles or a candidate for the priesthood, but simply a humble person to whom a person more important in worldly terms is deferring and showing that what is really important is to use one’s abilities and position to serve others and not to lord it over them. It has nothing to do with ordination.


18 posted on 03/30/2013 11:29:16 AM PDT by livius
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To: caww
were the individuals believers?

A couple were believers in Allah (Muslim definition; not Mideast Christian), we've been told.

But, alas, one has to pick one's battles, and this episode is 0.000001 percent as troubling to me as the existence of the NO itself, somewhat like a pimple on a huge skin tumor -- who cares?

19 posted on 03/30/2013 11:29:20 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: Salvation

Haven’t looked up your answers, but it is perfectly permissible in my Diocese (Milwaukee) for the priests to wash a woman’s feet. They ask for volunteers every year.


20 posted on 03/30/2013 11:37:12 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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