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!
There are only two laws:
1) Love God.
2) Love your neighbor.
I would say that this falls under Rule #2.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet?
7 Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.
8 No, said Peter, you shall never wash my feet.
Jesus answered, Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.
9 Then, Lord, Simon Peter replied, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!
10 Jesus answered, Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you. 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. Do you understand what I have done for you? he asked them. 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one anothers feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
He showed us what humility and character look like, obama has neither.....
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I just call it political correctness and posturing, I may be wrong. All this does is give the other side justification to start the polemic of women priests. IMHO
I remember in past FR threads people quoting the Sacramentary instructions for Holy Thursday and the definition of the word Vir and so on, I guess it’s a moot topic now.
I think Pope Francis can give permission to wash women’s feet the same way Blessed John Paul II gave permission for female altar servers. I wish he had changed the law before he did this, though. I fear this is going to stoke false hope among the women’s ordination crowd. I used to write letters to the appropriate church authorities in the early 90s about liturgical abuses. I hope Pope Francis’ action won’t stoke a number of Catholic priests and liturgical people to say: We’ll celebrate Mass anyway we want.
An interesting view on this can be found at: