Gregory to wash kiddy feet

Gregory to wash kiddy feet

My apologies again. I was wrong in a previous blog thread when I said that Archbishop Wilton Gregory wasn’t going to be the one washing kids feet on Holy Thursday (tonight). According to the Associated Press, he is.

Gregory himself planned to take part in a Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony that involves boys and girls Thursday evening at Atlanta’s Cathedral of Christ the King.

Does he not understand how the sight of a bishop washing kids’ feet might be a bad image to give to press photographers? Is he tone-deaf to the moral cacophony over priests sexually abusing kids? This is an incredibly dumb action to take. Of course, this is the same guy who said last year that the Scandal is “history.”

Even some who supported last year’s ban support Gregory’s decision. “I trust our archbishop,” said Joe O’Farrell, a member of Christ the King who supported Donoghue last year. “He’s a wonderful man, and I couldn’t be more impressed with his spiritual nature. I will defer to his wisdom.”

Who wants to take the over-under on how soon Mr. O’Farrell regrets placing his trust in the archbishop? I put it at six months.

  • Second things first, because of Archbishop Gregory’s pattern. I don’t think he’ll be able to last that long without doing something that most orthodox Catholics in Atlanta will be unhappy about.

    And six months because I’m guessing.

  • Is there anything objectively wrong with the aforementioned activity? Does ritual foot washing not indicate service, through which Archbishop Gregory reaffirms his – and the Church’s – commitment to serving children?

    That’s the true image an action such as this should send.

    But since when have we, as Catholics, wrung our hands over the idiotic interpretations of our practices and theology?

    I’m more comfortable with the argument that washing the feet of females is a bad idea, since it works against the rubrics.

    But we all know what Archbishop Gregory’s intentions are through this action, and I dare say that they are noble.

    Sure, there’s a potential for a P.R. problem. But in the end, who cares? Any abusive press coverage would be abusive because a respectful footwashing is misinterpreted to have some kind of sexualized connotation.

  • Josh M….

    Uh oh.  Some friendly advice:  Before dozens of Dom’s readers slit their wrists, or before you get flamed for wading into this without having fully understood *both* sides, read the last thread dealing with this issue (the “Atlanta foot washing” one)

  • Actually, Patrick, I’ve followed that thread for a while now. I’m still a little confused about what the fuss is over smile.

  • Even though I hinted at it, a clarification:

    I agree with the theological connections regarding the current rubrics on this. It’s a shame that more parishes don’t follow it.

    However, I just can’t justify getting antsy about the children involved in this.

  • Choosing the Twelve
    by Leon J. Suprenant, Jr
    The drama of Our Lordny of the Bishops. They are leading their flock away from Roman Catholicism in even the most minute areas.

  • Tonight my pastor announced from the altar that the foot washing represented Christ washing the feet of his disciples.  Then he proceeded to wash the feet of men, women, young boys and girls, with the help of our deacon.

    I have no idea where Bishop Pilla stands on this.  Sigh.

  • Today, I had the unfortunate opportunity to read the piece on our archbishop in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

    Dom, I know that you are tender on this kiddy thing, however, my issue with this is far beyond that.

    For me, this issue is not only the lack adherence to Vatican directives, but the flagrant violation of over two thousand years of tradition of the Church.

    Since 1964

    -Humane Vitae—excoriation by the American Church, ie, the hierarchy and theologians
    -Standing for communion
    _Mass vs populem
    -Communion in the hand
    – confession face to face
    -lay readers
    -lay female readers
    -lay ministers of the Eucharist
    -lay female ministers of the Eucharist
    -protestant music at Mass
    -rock and roll music at Mass
    -pagan music at Mass, eg, native South American drum beats
    -clown Masses
    -Altar girls
    -washing women-03-25 11:36:03
    2005-03-25 15:36:03
    Yes, the Church will prevail ultimately.  But in the midst of the Arian heresy some people died.  They did not see the recovery.  I’m older than you, Dom.  I haven’t got as many years left to wait it out.

    Also, we must remember that in Russia the Church disappeared for a time, and in China today I would expect many people are afraid to worship in the underground Church.  In Europe the churches that still offer Mass are offering something so heretical that it leaves one wondering if the priest who consecrates is still doing what the Church intends.  Just recently there were photos of a shrine to St. Judas in an Austrian church.  We are following in Europe’s footsteps.

    Are Catholics better off staying around only to see their faith leak away in drops until there is nothing left? 

    I keep remembering that the Orthodox have valid sacraments, and that what their priests are teaching is still Catholic.

    And remember, John Paul II calls them our “Sister Churches.”  About the only thing that keeps me from doxing is that I know I’m not holy enough, and that Roman Catholicism is so ingrained that the switch would be difficult.

  • Carrie:

    Buck up. Think of Peter’s reply to Jesus when He asked if the disciples, too, would leave him in John 6: “Lord, to whom shall we go?”  Peter knew Jesus was the only Way, despite all.

    Satan’s reign is ended.  We’re just part of the mop-up.  And there’s a ton of mopping left.  We need all hands on deck…

    If you bolt from the Church, “they” will have have won, no?  Read the “Jesus Forsaken” prayer Dom posted.  And let’s all pray for Terri, and for our Excellencies (sic).

  • Carrie: go to Mass at different parishes and pray to God that he send you to a faithful and holy priest. It will happen eventually. Or you could try the other Catholic churches… I have a couple of friends who have found peace in the eastern Catholic parishes.

    All that is going on is good to know for discernment but not despair.

  • Colleen, I’ve gone the route of visiting other churches looking for orthodoxy.  That was back in the 80s.  I’m a refugee at my present parish which is as orthodox as it gets around here.  My former parish was a nightmare.  I like my pastor.  Mostly the parish is orthodox.  But not always.  My husband is not comfortable with even this parish and periodically abstains from Mass in frustration.  We are in the Cleveland Diocese, so options are limited.  I’ve tried the Tridentine which is available two Sundays a month.  It is very sparsely attended and is located in an inner city neighborhood where I don’t feel safe on the street.  I’ve also tried the SSPX chapel and don’t think I can go that route.

    I would not be leaving Christ if I found an Orthodox church.

    Probably my present state of mind will pass.  It has every time I’ve come to this point in the past.  I’m just not good at keeping it to myself when I get here.

  • While I
    2005-03-26 20:25:25
    2005-03-27 00:25:25
    I think there were women at the Last Supper, yet we never hear of Jesus washing their feet, though a woman washed His.  Anyway…

    If I want to go to the Tridentine twice a month, I have to go alone mostly, though my husband has gone twice.  Last time I did it, I ended up on a street where I had no business being.  Scared the heck out of me, though nothing happened.  There are lots of one-way streets in the area, and I got completely lost.

    There were less than 35 people at the Tridentine, and that is certainly not spiritually nourishing.  No music either.

    In any case, I’m recovering from this latest funk.  It almost always helps to talk about it.

    I tried talking over with my husband the possibility of going to an Eastern Rite Divine Liturgy, and it became clear that the changes since VII have been nearly intolerable to him and to try to introduce an Eastern Rite would probably be the end of his going to church.  If I dox, he will probably either join the SSPX or stop attending church.  Neither one is an option I can live with knowing I caused it.

  • Carrie,

    Where do you derive your believe that there were women at the Last Supper?

    Yes, a woman washed Our Lord’s Feet…it wasn’t at the Last Supper.

    Why is the number of people attending a Mass with you important?  You called it “not spiritually nourishing”.  Why do you need music?  Did all of the “Saints of the Ages” that were nourtured with the unchanged Roman Canon; that being of St Gregory the Great, for thirteen to fourteen hundred years befor V2, attended High Masses each and every day?

    The Mass is meant to be vertical, not horizontal. 

    Please have a happy Easter!

  • Dom & Carrie,

    “You’ve got to remember that while things look bad on the macro level, there are many individual places were things are fine. You just have to find them.”

    This is good to remember, and such oasis of orthodoxy do exist, as I saw first hand this Triduum.  I was blessed to be able to attend Holy Thursday Mass and Easter Sunday Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church in St. Paul, MN.  They have a very reverent and beautiful N.O. Mass said in Latin.  They also, CURRENTLY, have ELEVEN seminarians!!!  The homily on Holy Thursday by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf focused on the Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood, as it should.  He also addressed the altar boys (yes, only boys) and encouraged them to be open to the call to the priesthood (which obviously has been bearing good fruit at St. Agnes).  When they had the washing of feet, the priest washed the feet of altar boys.  I think this was ok, but I think it also depends on the context.  The washing of feet was done very reverently at St. Agnes.  I’m sure there are places where the practice of washing children’s feet would most certainly raise a few (more than a few?) eyebrows.

    Don’t suppose moving to Minnesota is an option for you, Carrie?

  • No, moving to Minn. is not likely to be in my future.  I did attend Easter Sunday Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, OH, where the Mass was wonderful.  The church is gothic and the choir is outstanding.  Music there is usually classical.  I doubt anyone could get through Easter Mass there without experiencing the Resurrection on an emotional level.  Their new Bishop Campbell shook hands with the congregation after Mass.  I’m not sure exactly why, but I was drawn to him.  He seems to be very approachable and down to earth.

    My daughter is a member of the Cathedral parish because her local parish Mass was too innovative and she couldn’t tolerate it.  She made the switch right after moving there.  Recently because of a schedule crunch she went back to her local parish and she found it had become lots more conservative, which she was glad to discover in case she has to attend Mass there again.  Bishop Campbell came from Minnesota just recently to take Bishop Griffin’s place when he retired.  Griffin was known as being orthodox, so I was glad to see that Bishop Campbell will be following in his footsteps.  My daughter likes him.

    It’s a shame that the tabernacle is in a side chapel, though.  Lots of people genuflect…to the altar?  I’m not sure anyone thinks about it.  They just do it by habit.  I also missed the consecration bells.

    Brian, yes the Mass is vertical, but I also know that we come to Christ with our fellow Catholics and that trying to live the faith in a vacuum just doesn’t work for me.  When my faith wavers, it is through finding other Catholics to talk with that it is strengthened again.  A large nearly empty church seems to speak of a dying faith.  I need other people to worship with.  Remember that where two or three are gathered…  Christ knew we need each other.

    It took me a long time to get used to singing at Mass.  I have a singing voice only a mother could love and disliked it at first.  Prior to the Council when I was in parochial school, our grade school Mass was sung by the organist every day.  Not sung well, I admit.  Sunday Mass was never sung because my mother objected to the length of the high Mass and never attended it, while I always wanted to.  Maybe when you can’t sing, you appreciate those who can.  I do think God gave music to man for the purpose of worship.

    I do wish there were a choir around that sings chant.

  • Carrie,

    Bishop Campbell seems to be a very good bishop.  As an auxillary bishop in Minnesota, he was the rector at my friends seminary.  One of the first things he did was put kneelers in the seminary chapel.  The previous rector apparently did not want the seminarians to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer.  Columbus should really be happy with their new bishop!