Female factor in Francis’ foot-kissing caper sends Catholic traditionalists into a tail-spin


Female factor in Francis’ foot-kissing caper sends Catholic

traditionalists into a tail-spin

A FRISSON of fear ran though the ranks of Catholic misogynists when Pope Francis became the first pontiff to wash and kiss the feet of two women  – one a Muslim – during a Maundy Thursday mass.

Francis accused of 'liturgical abuse' for kissing female feet

Francis accused of ‘liturgical abuse’ for kissing female feet


According to the Guardian, traditionalists are alarmed, interpreting his action as a possible move towards opening the priesthood to females, not to mention opening a Pandora’s box of other reforms.

At the Casal del Marmo youth detention centre on the outskirts of Rome, the Argentinian Pope washed and dried and kissed the feet of 12 inmates “as part of the traditional rite representing Jesus’ final act of humility towards his disciples”.

He had surprised the Vatican with his decision to wash the prisoners’ feet – a move that echoed the early years of John Paul II, who once performed the rite in the St John Lateran basilica with a dozen homeless men. In their later years John Paul II and Benedict XVI restricted the rite to 12 Catholic priests.

But it was Francis’ inclusion of the two young women that was the most dramatic break with tradition.

The Vatican’s spokesman Federico Lombardi insisted the rite took place in a:

Specific situation in which excluding the girls would have been inopportune in light of the simple aim of communicating a message of love to all.

Under the headline Pope begins Easter with liturgical abuse Chris Gillibrand, a British commentator, wrote on his blog, CathCon:

It is a salutary thing to visit the captives, as the Bible states, but the washing of the feet of the twelve who represent the Twelve Apostles is confined to adult Christian men. One of the two girls whose feet he washed was Muslim. Given the way the action will be viewed in the Middle East, it is hardly prudent.

We will see whether it is a particular case, as Lombardi suggests, or the beginning of a journey. Given his active support for the charismatic movement in his diocese, one can only be concerned that he could be prepared to ordain women … How can the pope maintain discipline in the church if he himself does not conform himself to prevailing ecclesiastical legislation?

This was not the first time Francis had washed female feet. As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he often included women in the gesture. However as Pope, his move was quietly groundbreaking.

Not to mention toe-curlingly creepy.

Hat tip: Agent Cormac


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