By Fr. Michael Kelly March 24, 2016 Global Pulse on-line
Excluding women from the foot-washing ceremony betrays Jesus’ message of service.
The decision by parts of the Catholic Church in India to differ with Pope Francis’ decision to allow women to have their feet washed in the ceremony on Holy Thursday is puzzling to say the least.
Their reason given is simple. The inclusion of women in a ceremony where a man (the celebrant) washes the feet of a woman as one of the 12 people who participate in the reenactment of Jesus actions on the first Holy Thursday would offend against “cultural sensitivities.”
Do these church leaders appreciate that this was just the point Jesus was making? He was precisely directing his action on a feature of behavior that offended the sensitivities of the people he was with.
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