Wednesday 25th May 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

In The Rite Of The Washing Of The Feet… Cardinal Sarah Gives Scope To Celebrant Priest Whether Or Not To Include Women

March 15, 2016 Frontpage No Comments
cardinalsahar

By MAIKE HICKSON

A letter from Pope Francis to Robert Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was published January 21, 2016, (http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2016/01/21/0041/00085.html), in which Pope Francis decreed that, at the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet (in the Ordinary Latin Rite) on Holy Thursday, the priest may wash the feet not only of men, but also of women.
On January 21, Edward Pentin gave a thorough overview of these proposed and permitted changes in the National Catholic Register (http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-changes-rules-for-washing-of-the-feet-on-holy-thursday), to include the further explanations and instructions as published by the office of Cardinal Sarah himself.
In the wake of this general papal decree, some local bishops have further ordained that their own local priests are now obliged to follow this new rule, instead of leaving the decision up the celebrant himself. (The names of these local bishops are explicitly kept private here in order to protect the respective priests from reprisals.) These bishops now say that their priests should involve women in the ceremony of the washing of the feet.
This development has put those priests under moral pressure who are unwilling to wash the feet of married or unmarried women, due to their informed faith and their own priestly sense of modesty and chastity. For example, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, of Astana, Kazakhstan, has expressed his objections against this decision in February of 2016 (http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/02/exclusive-bishop-athanasius-schneider.html).
Schneider made a clear statement about this matter, as follows:
“As concretely to the innovation of washing the feet of women during the Holy Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday: This Holy Mass celebrates the commemoration of the institution of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and [of] the Priesthood. Therefore, the foot washing of women along with the men not only distracts from the main focus on Eucharist and on Priesthood, but generates confusion regarding the historical symbolism of the ‘twelve’ and of the apostles being of [the] male sex….
“By the way: The public washing and usually also kissing of the feet of women on the part of a man, in our case, of a priest or a bishop, is considered by every person of common sense in all cultures as being improper and even indecent. Thanks be to God, no priest or bishop is obliged to wash publicly the feet of women on Holy Thursday, for there is no binding norm for it, and the foot washing itself is only facultative.”
After a couple of priests contacted me and asked me to help them receive an authoritative clarification from Robert Cardinal Sarah himself, so that they might be assured of their own spiritual freedom to decide for themselves to include only men into the rite of the Washing of the Feet, I asked Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin for help in this matter.
Pentin, together with Aleteia Rome correspondent Diane Montagna, was able to speak with Cardinal Sarah who made a statement to Pentin according to which it is up to the individual celebrant to decide whom he invites to participate in the washing of the feet in the liturgy of Holy Thursday. As Pentin put it in an e-mail to me: “He [Cardinal Sarah] simply said that each bishop and priest ‘has to decide in accord with his own conscience, and according to the purpose for which the Lord instituted this feast.’ So in other words, by no means does a priest have to wash the feet of women.”
I consider this clarification to be important and intend to make it known to as many priests as possible. I know that others are trying to receive a more official statement from Cardinal Sarah, but due to the lack of time, I decided to get this information out into the public.
In order to receive wholehearted and candid statements from priests as to their own assessment of this issue, I contacted priests in the U.S. and abroad. Since some of the answers are so full of insight and worthy of our contemplation and further discussion, my husband recommended that I publish each of them in full. In the following I therefore publish these statements without my further comments.
It is worth noting that, with the one exception of the courageous and outspoken founder of Ignatius Press, Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ — who is always so generous with his conscientious advice and forthright interviews — the priests have all preferred to remain anonymous out of a fear of reprisals. These priests themselves come from different rites of the Catholic Church: the Eastern Byzantine Rite, the Novus Ordo Rite, as well as from the Traditional Gregorian Latin Rite.
Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, Ignatius Press, California:
“Of course it should be made clear that this is a permission, not a requirement. But even that clarity won’t affect what actually happens. Here’s a similar situation in which we can already see the results. When permission was given for female altar servers, it was a permission given to bishops not directly to priests. I.e., if a bishop so chose, he could permit the practice in his diocese. It was clear in the decree that no priest was required to have female servers, even if the bishop had given the permission. How was this treated? Many bishops insisted that the regular use of altar girls be normative for all Masses.
“So, this new permission will be (and already has been) treated as a requirement.
“As to the substance: The rite of washing of feet is not required ever. As canon law now stands, duodecim viri (not duodecim homines) is specified. Of course, as supreme legislator, the Pope can (in theory) change the law any which way he desires. But the prototype is, of course, the Last Supper where Jesus washes the feet, not of His disciples, not of people chosen randomly from the crowds, but of the apostles, and tells them they should wash ‘one another’s feet.’ That is, ordained ministers should follow this example among themselves.
“Which is probably why, though the evidence for the rite in the early Church is very thin, we do know that in the 11th century the Pope washed the feet of subdeacons. Certainly from the time of Trent (16th century), until 1955, the rite was not part of the Mass.
“One thing is certain: There is a ‘symbolic dissonance’ or disconnect. The humility and service of which Jesus gives an example is something every Christian owes everyone. Nevertheless, the historical origin of the example is Jesus’ washing of the feet of His 12 apostles. Trying to make the gesture more ‘inclusive’ than Jesus Himself did simply muddles the historical image.
“Oh, and by the way, when will we see the first lawsuit where a woman claims the priest or bishop touched her seductively?”
A priest from Florida:
“Thank you for doing this. I, myself, am totally opposed to this pernicious and sacrilegious encroachment of unabashed modernism which this Bishop of Rome has performed since his first Holy Thursday — instead of washing, as Christ did Himself — the feet of elderly priests and bishops. I will never do this myself. Thanks to His Eminence Cardinal Sarah, but otherwise I would use the ‘option’ of not performing it at all. Deo gratias that mine is a Traditional parish. No one here would stand for this.”
A priest from Virginia:
“Anonymously, I think it’s a terrible interpretation. I also think it’s scandalous for a priest to be handling a married woman’s foot, much less an unmarried woman…we’re just going to skip it.”
A priest from the Eastern Rite:
“If it helps any, the Byzantine Tradition is that the washing of the feet is limited to patriarchs, bishops, and priests who, in their several orders represent Our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles and special disciples — no laymen or women need apply.”
A priest from Italy:
“Feel free to write this as coming from Don Pietro Leone:
“The Mass of Maundy Thursday celebrates the institution of two sacraments: The Holy Priesthood and the Blessed Eucharist. The Holy Priesthood may be validly conferred solely on males, who alone may validly offer and confect the Blessed Eucharist. The 12 persons whose feet are washed in this Mass represent the 12 disciples whom Our Lord Jesus Christ ordained priests during the Last Supper. The Church has always prescribed that the ceremony should be performed with men in order to recall the foot-washing of the disciples.
“Permitting women to participate in this ceremony is inappropriate for the following reasons:
“1) It breaks with the Tradition that only men may participate in the liturgy. This derives from the beginnings of the Church and has its roots in the Jewish faith originating 4,000 years ago.
“2) More particularly, it breaks with the Tradition of the Mass of Maundy Thursday, which foresaw the foot-washing only of males.
“3) It no longer symbolizes the disciples present at the Last Supper.
“4) It no longer manifests the connection between those whose feet are washed and the two sacraments instituted during the Supper. In these ways it represents an attack on objective norms, particularly those of Tradition as enshrined in the liturgical rubrics, in favor of a spirit of creativity which is both subjectivist and lacking in depth and meaning. It generates confusion as to the sacramental order, especially in regard to the male priesthood.”
Another U.S. priest:
“For me, thanks be to God, the issue of washing women’s feet is relatively a non-issue. This problem, like most problems in the Novus Ordo, raises the more pertinent question: Why would anyone even celebrate it or assist at it, in the first place? As I would not celebrate this dubious rite, in which this dubious change in liturgical law is being inserted, I would certainly not compromise my priestly modesty even further by washing women’s feet. This novelty, which has no historical liturgical basis to it, and therefore is opposed to tradition, is clearly the latest instance of pushing the feminist agenda upon the Church.
“At some point, women will wake up and realize the attempt to androgenize the liturgy, and therefore the culture at large, is destructive of the ‘feminine genius’ and it is yet another assault on the fundamental basis upon which God created us: male and female. But because this change in liturgical law (reflecting yet another instance of the ‘errors of Russia’ infiltrating the Church) does visibly and dramatically affect the Church at large — especially in all male identities of those in the Apostolic College whose feet were actually washed by Christ — I am sadly affected by this decision.
“Yet, I have only the recourse of preaching against it, and penitential praying for the Church’s restoration beginning with its hierarchy knowing that the Church’s Mother herself will see to this restoration of Catholicism regardless of how long it takes us to heed her warnings.”
A priest from Italy:
“I think that what Cardinal Sarah has already said is very good. This is really an abomination, and it is yet another way to see the Church divided because everyone will do [things] according to his own conscience, be it Protestant or Catholic, two consciences paradoxically in the same Church. One wonders how long this can endure because, at the bottom of this liturgical abuse, is an erroneous view of the Church and her hierarchy.”

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges

At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian,…Continue Reading

Serving LGBT Students in Catholic Schools

April 28, 2016, at 9:03 AM  |  By Dan Guernsey  |  Opinion How do Catholic schools best serve students who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (popularly called “transgendered”)? What should a school’s policies prescribe in order to prevent…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Christians live God’s love with joy, astonishment

(Vatican Radio) No Christian can exist without joy: that’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse. The Pope stressed that even through life’s difficulties, the Christian knows he can trust in Jesus and find hope. The Pope also reminded the faithful they should not allow riches to dominate their lives because they ultimately lead to sadness. Christians live in joy and amazement because…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: The Holy Trinity, where there is love there is God

(Vatican Radio) “The feast of the Holy Trinity invites us to engage in the daily events to be the leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy.” Those were Pope Francis’ words during his Angelus address on a sunny Trinity Sunday from his studio above St Peter’s Square. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of St. John, the Pope said that Jesus knew how to be close to the realization of the Father’s plan, which will…Continue Reading

Pope emeritus: Third Secret of Fatima was released in full

popeben

(Vatican Radio) Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said he never told anyone the publication of the “Third Secret of Fatima” in the year 2000 was incomplete, and confirmed the document was published in its totality. A Communiqué was published Saturday by the Holy See Press Office on various articles regarding the “Third Secret of Fatima.” “ Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the…Continue Reading

Pope: Understanding for sinners, no negotiating the truth

(Vatican Radio) Announcing the word of God should never be dissociated from the understanding of human weakness. That was Pope Francis’ message during the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. Commenting on the Gospel passage in which Christ speaks with the Pharisees about adultery, he said the Lord overcomes the human vision which would reduce the vision of God to a casuistic equation. The Gospel, the Pope said, is full of examples of the…Continue Reading

Pope: the rich who exploit the poor are bloodsuckers

(Vatican Radio) Exploiting the working people to enrich oneself is like sucking blood; it’s a mortal sin. That was the message of Pope Francis during the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The rich who suck the blood of the poor The day’s first reading, taken from the Letter of Saint James, is a forceful warning to the rich who accumulate wealth by exploiting the people. “Riches in themselves are good,” the Pope explained,…Continue Reading

Eastern Orthodoxy And The Particular Judgment

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In previous articles (The Wanderer, July 3, 2014; June 25, 2015), it was observed that: “Perhaps to the surprise of some Catholic ecumenists, Catholic doctrine regarding the Particular Judgment remains obscure, confused, or even denied among the Eastern Orthodox. They have no clear official teaching that the just go to Heaven immediately…Continue Reading

Obama To Visit The Land Of State-Owned Enterprises

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam, which his own State Department last month certified is still controlled — four decades after the fall of Saigon — by the Communist Party.…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Why Should Pro-Lifers Be Concerned About Dissent?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +…Continue Reading

Sharpening The Mind With Words

By DONALD DeMARCO My biology teacher of many moons ago took perverse delight in terrorizing his students while they were taking an exam. “Plagiarism,” he would bellow, “is arousing the suspicion of the proctor.” He enjoyed the sound of his own voice and repeated this warning many times. He intended it to be more intimidating…Continue Reading

Jesuit Higher Education

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Jesuit universities have been the topic of criticism several times in this column over the years. We don’t apologize for that. Odds are that when you hear about a performance of The Vagina Monologues, an honorary degree being awarded to a pro-abortion politician, or campus activities led by LGBTQ groups, it…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Exercises

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The way the human body physically works can teach us something about virtue and the way God’s grace works spiritually for each of us: We must use it to grow it. As I reminded our Life Teens and their families at Mass recently, if they slack off on physical exercise during the summer, come fall…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 After investigating the Inquisition, now we take a good look at the greatest marvel on this side of eternity: the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. To rule a country is not an easy job. That is why no head of state these days can…Continue Reading

The Seven Sacraments — Categories And Effects

By DON FIER Each of the seven sacraments, according to the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, was personally instituted by Christ during His visible stay on Earth. As we saw last week, the details of institution for some — even the precise words for administration — are taken directly from Scripture. However, as Christoph Cardinal Schönborn states in Living…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What is the official standing of Fr. Nicholas Gruner, who believed that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary had not been done properly? He was known as “the Fatima priest,” but I always thought that title belonged to Fr. Robert Fox. — M.S., Kentucky. A. Fr. Gruner died at the age of 72 on April…Continue Reading

Brought Together In The One Sacrifice

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Corpus Christi (YR C) Readings: Gen. 14:18-20 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Luke 9:11b-17 In the first reading today we hear about Melchizedek who is the Priest of God Most High and the King of Salem. The town of Salem became known as Jerusalem after Abraham brought Isaac to that place in obedience to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Crispin Of Viterbo

By CAROLE BRESLIN In March 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vine (Oak) located in Tuscany, Italy, to proclaim our Lady patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo. The tradition of visiting the image of Our Lady of the Oak began 600 years ago in 1417 when Mastro Baptist Magnano Iuzzante commissioned an image…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading