How Old Am I?

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I am so old that I can recall when the feet washed at Mass on a Holy Thursday belonged to Catholics!


Pope Francis will wash the feet of young refugees during an Easter Week ritual in a gesture high in symbolism inside the Catholic Church and beyond.

The Vatican didn’t say Tuesday if non-Catholics would be among the 12 refugees participating in the Holy Thursday rite at an asylum center in Castelnuovo di Porto, north of Rome. But women will almost certainly be involved, and a Vatican official, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, noted that most of the center’s residents are non-Catholic.

The ritual is meant to be a gesture of service, and re-enacts a rite Jesus performed on his apostles before being crucified.

Within weeks of becoming pope, Francis stunned conservatives by washing the feet of women, Orthodox Christians and Muslims at a juvenile detention facility. In subsequent years, he has washed the feet of other Muslims and even a Brazilian Catholic transsexual at Rome’s main prison.

Vatican rules had long called for only men to participate, and popes past and many priests traditionally performed the ritual on 12 Catholic men, recalling Jesus’ 12 apostles and further cementing the doctrine of an all-male priesthood.

But Francis in January changed the regulations to explicitly allow women and girls to participate.

The new norms said anyone from the “people of God” could be chosen. While the phrase “people of God” refers to baptized Christians, the decree also said that pastors should instruct “both the chosen faithful and others so that they may participate in the rite consciously, actively and fruitfully,” suggesting that the rite could be open to non-Catholics as well.

Fisichella, who is spearheading Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy initiative, said the choice of the refugee center was highly symbolic given the current migration crises.


Go here to read the rest.  Like most leftists, the Pope politicizes everything he touches, especially the sacred.  The most hopeful interpretation of this Papacy is that God is engaging in a divine practical joke.  A bleaker assessment is that God has given us the Pope we truly deserve.

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  1. ….or he could wash the blood off the feet of a newly aborted fetus. That would be a symbol that is long, long overdue from the seven hills.

  2. I can remember when Holy Thursday was about the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and not gestures involving feet.

  3. Dale,

    That would be the pre-Vatican II Church. One about sin, redemption, grace and eternal life. We are the post-Vatican II Church. This one is about social justice, equality and feeling good about oneself.

  4. The direction the priest Jesus gave them took place in stages, addressing priestly gifts uniquely- over the period of time from the Last (first) Supper and following his resurrection “I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”
    “do this in remembrance of Me,” “whose sins who retain shall be retained…”
    First came the washing of their feet with the command to service. The word “maundy” – from Old French mandé, from Latin mandatum “commandment”
    He washed the feet of His disciples before He instituted the Eucharist ,… Not the women of Jerusalem, not even His mother. but those He was ordaining as priests. Their lives as priests would be lives of service.

    The emphasis is on the action modeled by Christ, not an action of pity (washing a leper’s feet) or of inclusiveness..

  5. Earlier this month, Rorate-Caeli also posted an interesting and informative account of how P Francis the Great also destroyed vocations in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (nearly halving their numbers from when he started) and also effectively contributed to the rise of independent traditional Catholic groups in his diocese (Don McClarey, please take special note, this is an Easter Beagle gift-egg to you, because it also has a photo-image of a giant puppet at a “mass” celebrated by the then-Cardinal Bergoglio):

    I too love puppets, though not at “mass”.

    Everywhere this visionary whirlwind called Francis goes, he leaves wreckage in his wake. Just like Arrupe, just like Kolvenbach, just like Nicolas (other Jesuit “visionaries”, who have left the once-proud Society like rolling driftwood pieces on the beach, with a “melancholy long withdrawing roar.”
    “The Sea of Faith

    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore

    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.

    But now I only hear

    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,

    Retreating, to the breath

    Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear

    And naked shingles of the world. ”
    …Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach”
    But we can always have puppets.

  6. The action modeled by Christ, was not an action of pity (washing a leper’s feet) or of inclusiveness.. but a part of the call to priesthood. Shortly after that he instituted the Eucharist, to be celebrated continuously since.

    the emphasis is not on the identity of the reception of the foot washing nor his or her inclusion/exclusion from society. It was not about the recipients of social justice, but about the lives of service that the disciples were called to. More about the humility in the identity of the foot washer, than that of the one whose feet are washed.
    Having lay men and women wash each other’s feet could be a great symbolic teaching about the priesthood of the laity, but it is separate from that opening statement of commission 2000 years ago and should not be a part of the celebration of Holy Thursday.

  7. One of the things that irritates me about the Roman Catholic hierarchy is that it pretends to be corporate but behaves in decidedly non-corporate ways. What I mean is that the Bishops from Europe preside over dramatically declining dioceses but they have much influence.

    Looked at from a purely administrative viewpoint, for a Bishop IS an administrator, they are failures and that should matter.

    So it is here, in choosing a pope, shouldn’t the primary consideration be demonstrated performance? It isn’t like we lack statistics; wr know how many people, what percentage of the population, and the relative ages of practicing Catholics nearly everywhere. It should be easy enough to note that a diocese grew or shrunk, is embraced or rejected by upcoming generations, etc.

    Presumably, a bishop whose diocese is experiencing strong and sustained growth under their stewardship is one blessed by providence.

    Surely this would be a better approach to selecting a pope than the political tug-of-war that gave us Francis?

  8. The idea of looking to demographics and growth performance for bishops and popes does not appeal to me, Protestant megachurches shoe us how to appeal to the modern world and grow and thrive.
    Jesus said he would guide us with His Holy Spirit! Also -“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven…” etc.
    And I think of the importance of good advisors for the pope. Acts 6 tells us about the selection of deacons (seven of them!)
    – good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom– Our current pope has certainly shaken up the curia and the college of cardinals– I wish he had better advisors.
    But still, I don’t think the current way of selecting the pope needs to be changed– just followed more prudently.
    Loss of faith including popular lack of understanding of the sacred calling of priesthood is almost complete.
    To cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work through the Chruch we continue pray the mass, read / study His Word and hope.

  9. I don’t think I favor changing the way popes are selected. I am suggesting that the Cardinals look less at internal politics and more at the results.

    Jesus used the parable of the fig tree and tells us that we can tell a tree by its fruit. I’m suggesting that bishops spend some time on their administrative duties. They are, first and foremost, stewards.

  10. Like most leftists, the Pope politicizes everything he touches, especially the sacred.

    Ain’t that the truth.
    It even makes sense, if you follow the train of thought– the left is the one that either holds that the state is all, or that the state is ‘what we do together,’ that the state is all of us.
    That would mean that the political– things related to the state– would be everything that involves other people.
    So if you want something to be shared with everyone, you must make it political.
    Yeah, this totally ignores all the layers of other associations– many of them either overlapping with each other, or exclusive of each other– that are supposed to be between the person and the state. It’s wrong. Doesn’t make it irrational or nonsensical, just wrong.

  11. The current Roman Pontiff listens to Cardinals who are failures. Cardinal Rodriguez of Honduras has lost half of Honduran Catholics to Protestant sects. Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Marx preside over an ever shrinking German Church.

    I don’t care whose feet the Pontiff washes or doesn’t wash as I consider him to be a combination of ineptitude and cunning. I don’t like the ceremony and I would refuse to participate in it if asked.

  12. I do agree ” ..I am suggesting that the Cardinals look less at internal politics and more at the results.” More prudence please!

  13. Wealthy churchmen in European dioceses seem distant from what the Church teaches and why. They may have more influence than most from the “peripheries”– But, all the particular churches far from Rome culturally and geographically are not necessarily staying true to the Faith either—victim to a combo of enculturation and modernism. Our Faith is under attack near and far. Losing the teachings of Christ.
    The ‘spirit” of social justice has changed our perception of so many of the teachings and practices- from marriage to the washing of the feet.

    Socialistic ideas in religion even to the point that Everyone Goes To Heaven.
    Changing ideas of Holy Thursday foot washing is at the end of years of our boat being swamped by relativism. Mercy today eliminates what, until now, have always been useful distinctions.
    As the pope seeks decentralization and persists in this breaking molds, it can only get worse. Anti-authoritarian ideas are anti-God,
    Going toward a more “collegial” structure spreads and, really, shrugs off, the personal responsibility, as shouldered by Peter.

  14. Anzlyne.

    You are so right in your opinions.
    I agree with all of them.
    How is it possible to kill the cancer that has metastasised throughout Christendom?
    Relativism-phoma. ( my word…it’s moldy this acceptance of all things considered.)

    “Pray the mass, read, study His word, Hope”…yes. This is our remedy.
    I keep Hope alive and dwell on His promises.
    Those who run the race well are conditioned.
    They love to partake of the remedy daily for it fills them with Hope.

    This Pope is being prayed for.
    I’m all in.
    What is to come is Gods work. He has asked for our prayers and sacrifices, and God will use them for good. In Christ we can depend.
    He is our anchor. Our protection in the storm.
    Our everything.

    I believe it can only be

  15. (Oops. Accidentally hit key.)

    I believe it can only be repaired by your list.
    We hold fast to the remedy, including hours of Eucharistic Adoration.

  16. I am fortunate in that I can attend Holy Thursday Mass–leaving in a little while–at an Abbey with no foot washing or shenanigans. Have endured the everybody washes and gets washed circus in the past. Foot washing has overcome the focus on the Eucharist and the Priesthood. And it is promoted from the top down.

  17. Whendid we take to calling Maundy Thursday “Holy Thursday,” a name formerly used for Ascension Day?

    Obviously, I am showing my age!

  18. I’m old enough to remember when we had a Catholic Pope; when Veterans’ Day was Armistice Day; and when all of us were fallen persons in need of God (all things are possible for God) working the impossible: (in my case) saving my horrid, sinful soul.
    And, I remember as a youth, each Good Friday, coming into the home before 3PM and my sainted mother reading to us the Passion to us wild boys.

  19. Well, I didn’t attend Holy Thursday Mass last night for the first time in many years, rather than risk what I already knew (according to the local diocesan newspaper and to word from our very politically-correct parish apparatchiks) would be the pre-arranged spectacle at the Novus Ordo political foot-washing “rite”. It looks like I wasn’t the only one “voting with my feet” (all puns intended), according to others who actually went.

    It looks as though “Maundy Thursday” is a thing of the past for Catholics, unless they can attend a un-revised traditional Mass location. I just am “done” with being subjected to the political messaging called the New “Mass”. Or, as P. Francis washed Muslims’ feet at Rome, dhimmitude called the New Mass.

  20. First of all, in the Middle East, a conquered king kisses the feet of the conqueror. Bergoglio is likely to self-intoxicated to be cognizant of this fact. Jihadists will celebrate this stupidity.

    The Belgian ISIS airport attacks occurred on the morning of Mar. 22, 2016. We all know that brutal and utterly diabolical explosives loaded with nails and shrapnel were designed to disfigure, maim and kill and so leave a visible legacy on the survivors of glorious jihad’s offensive. Besides the fact that there are several still missing, there are at least 2 other Americans presumed likely dead (that is besides siblings Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski who are now confirmed to be dead—-their names withheld for days to avoid juxtaposition of Presidente-Absente,who could finish his baseball-game celebration in Havana and his next-day weirdly erotic Tango-Totentanz in Buenos Aires): they are Stephanie and Justin Shults, husband and wife.

    Brussels, despite the attacks, is not Tangiers or Abu Dhabi: if they are not in a hospital by now, they are dead, and were likely known to be dead by the State Department when Obama was doing his world-spring break tour.
    But on this Holy Saturday, you all know this: what a difference a week makes. Because just 2 days prior to the attacks, a spiritually-blind leader used his Vqticqn Palm Sunday leadership role to bludgeon Christians for their well-founded opposition to more Muslims flooding into Europe to prepare to launch the inevitable and eventual jihad:
    Reportedly even Muslim children in Antwerp celebrated the attacks as the first wave on conquering “crusader Europe”.

    Their leaders start early in teaching them hatred. We do not know what we are dealing with, and Western liberals are the blindest of the blind. Najim Laachroui, one of the bombers, was a Muslim born in Belgium, and was well-educated in a preferred Catholic school in Brussels, Institut de la Sainte Famille d’Helmet. Reuters skillfully referred to the arondissement where he grew up, Schaerbeek, as “ethnically mixed”. It is a Sharia stronghold, idiots, and a twin-no-go-zone to Mollenbeek: I have been there (not into its precincts itself: or I would have been beaten and robbed, or worse):

    Laachroui had returned to Syrian to fight jihad but was enabled to return in the invasion wave orchestrated by Merkel and the Euro Union of the last year or so….

    “It is not uncommon for Muslim pupils in Belgium to go to Catholic schools, which can be seen as more conservative or more exclusive than state schools.

    The Paris attacks’ suspected mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian killed during a raid in Paris suburb St Denis on Nov. 18, had at 12 won a scholarship to an elite Catholic school.

    Appropriate for vespers on Good Friday: Ps. 93: 2-3 (Vulgate edition):
    “Rise up, Judge of the earth, rendewer their deserts to the proud;
    How long, O Lord, shall the wicked, how long shell the wicked glory, mouthing insolent speeches?”

    Pardon me, but the arrest in the Garden and Good Friday goes on for many of us, and Easter is a long, long, long, way off.

  21. I’m suggesting that bishops spend some time on their administrative duties. They are, first and foremost, stewards.
    David Spaulding

    I believe bishops in the US spend too much time on administrivia. They are, first and foremost, stewards of the Kingdom of God not of a bureaucracy. Leave the Papierkrieg to competent, trustworthy bureaucrats, dear bishops, and get on with shepherding and instructing the flock entrusted to you.

    IMO, the whole foot washing of one and all comes from insufficient meditation on the lessons of Christ–another argument for bishops letting go of the micro-managing habit.

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