May I wash women’s feet, please?

May I wash women’s feet, please?

It looks like Archbishop O’Malley has caved to the pressure. According to a Boston Globe story, during his ad limina visit to Rome this week he’s going to ask for a change in the rule about only men having their feet washed on Holy Thursday.

While in Rome, O’Malley also will seek a clear explanation on the washing of feet, an issue that caused controversy after he washed only the feet of men, and not women, on Holy Thursday in April. O’Malley later apologized for offending women, and said he was following Vatican guidelines. “The archbishop will ask for an extension of the directive on footwashing, to allow both men and women to be washed,” Coyne said.

The archbishop received a lot of criticism in the local press for that and for comments during the Chrism Mass during Holy Week about radical feminism. Unfortunately, rather than using the criticism as an opportunity to teach why the Church reserves the ritual only to menns.

At least he’s asking Rome’s permission. There are lot of bishops who feel free to just ignore the Vatican do whatever they please.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli