Thank you, Pope Francis!

In two weeks Pope Francis has done more to promote Summorum Pontificum than Pope Benedict did since the day he promulgated it.

After the decision by Pope Francis to wash the feet of two women on Holy Thursday, conservative Catholic priests and laypeople alike will now be looking for ways out of the dilemma posed by the foot washing rite of the Holy Thursday Mass.

The foot washing rite is actually optional, though that fact is little grasped by liberals who impose the options they like as obligatory on those who would prefer to opt out. Liturgical law prescribes that only men (viri in Latin) can be chosen for that rite. Priests who want to adhere to the law will find themselves facing fierce opposition by liberals demanding that women be included. Bishops will be hard-pressed to explain how priests should keep to the liturgical law when the Pope himself flouts it. By including women, the Pope has cast all liturgical laws into the hazard.

Priests who opt to omit the foot washing from Holy Thursday Mass will be seen – paradoxically – as dissenting from the law that clearly excludes women’s feet from being washed. To avoid the dilemma entirely, priests and lay Catholics who wish to see proper liturgical law observed will find a suitable option in the older form of the Roman Rite, the so-called “Tridentine” form emancipated in 2007 by Pope Benedict.

After Summorum Pontificum went into force, a clarifying document called Universae Ecclesiae was issued to help people interpret correctly how how to implement Pope Benedict’s provisions. Universae Ecclesiae says that all customs or liturgical practices not in force in 1962 (such as altars girls, communion in the hand and now, apparently, washing women’s feet), are not to be integrated into liturgies in the older form of the Roman Rite. Priests and lay Catholics who want Holy Thursday without dilemmas and controversies and fights about whose feet can be washed, have the legitimate option of the traditional Roman Missal which is, effectively, bullet proof.

Don’t kid yourselves. Many priests and lay Catholics are upset by the Pope’s move and the dilemma this poses at the local level throughout much of the western Church.

War-weary Catholics are back in the trenches, but they now have Summorum Pontificum. And Pope Francis has done more to promote Summorum Pontificum then Pope Benedict ever did.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Benedict XVI, Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Drill, The future and our choices, Universae Ecclesiae and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Magpie says:

    I feel betrayed. That’s all I am going to say. If anything, this latest thing has made me think that God is really saying, ”Leave the Pope to me. Pray for him. Concentrate on working out your own salvation.”

  2. Therese says:

    Thanks, Father. I couldn’t agree more. Even the AP is fanning the flames, looking for a story:

    Father Benedict has generously provided for us. Pope Francis is clarifying the situation. Do we really need to wait for the marching band? The show’s over–let’s stop ‘murmuring’ and get back to work restoring the liturgy.

  3. servusfidelis says:

    My question Fr. Z is can Pope Francis abrogate the Traditional Mass and/or rescind Summoram Pontificam or Universae Ecclessiae? [Of course he can. But he won’t.]

  4. bposullivan says:

    “Priests who want to adhere to the law will find themselves facing fierce opposition by liberals demanding that women be included. Bishops will be hard-pressed to explain how priests should keep to the liturgical law when the Pope himself flouts it.”

    This seems to assume that law won’t have been changed, at least to offer choice to bishops or conferences, by next year.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Dear Fr. Z., thanks so much for posting this. The problem is, of course, that people in the street, uneducated Catholics (if adults, there own fault) think that the washing of a woman’s feet means that there will be women priests. I kid you not.

    There needs to be more priests willing and able to say the TLM. I pray for this daily-for orthodox, traditional seminarians.

    I am in a wasteland of NO and many are…pray for us.

  6. wmeyer says:

    So Pope Francis, by his actions, is promoting Summorum Pontificum simply by driving people away from the NO? Sorry, but when we have so many pastors who were formed in the bad old days, and will not support their vicars in easing back to the rubrics as they stand, I do not see how this can be a benefit to anyone but the spirit of Vatican II people, who will see this as an act clearly in support of their most twisted notions: ordination of women, and further denigration of the need for the priestly office.

  7. NBW says:

    This is upsetting and confusing. I agree with you Fr. Z. I hope many priests will turn to the Tridentine Mass as a solution. The Tridentine Mass would also solve the language problem as well. So many parishes have Masses said in other languages which actually divides the parish instead of unifying it.

    I pray for Pope Francis and for Pope Emeritus.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    PS, you may not know how many Catholics want women priests…it is appalling to come against such ignorance and prejudice. The equality gurus have won the day.

  9. Austin Catholics says:

    I am honestly astonished by the reaction to anything as trivial as including girls in a foot-washing ritual. I suspect the large majority of US Catholics are, and that like me, they were unaware of any debate about the sex of people who participate. (I never heard about this “controversy” until 2012). I never noticed the sex of the people getting their feet washed. [You have completely missed the point, I fear. This is not essentially about the foot-washing thing at all. It is about order, law and reason in the Church. It is about antinomianism.]

    Hey, it’s fine with me if we just don’t include foot-washing in Holy Thursday at all. It’s too touchy-feely for my sensibilities.

    Can we also eliminate the holding of the hands during The Lord’s Prayer? Touchy-feely stuff like that really turns me off.

  10. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Fr. Z, you enabler you. A sad, classic manifestation of the deep-seated cognitive dissonance so prevalent among Catholics. You can’t accept that the Papacy is the very fountain of doctrinal and liturgical innovation, so you force yourself into ever more convoluted rationalizations in a vain attempt to justify that which cannot be justified. And in so doing, you allow for yet more reform and innovation on top of more reform and innovation. [You are confused.]

  11. Robbie says:

    I agree with what Father Z has written, but, I must admit, it saddens me this was written. I saddens me because Pope Francis has created a lot of confusion in just a short period of time.

  12. Andrew says:

    It is not enough to remove one obstacle where other obstacles remain. It is time to get serious and start learning Latin: not as a language to be translated (or decodified) into English, but as a language to be understood and used fluently. We must be able to stand up to those who say that this is a language that no one understands, and say: “nequaquam. Ego enim optime intellego linguam latinam, insuper et delector usu hujus sermonis tum legendo, tum loquendo, tum non numquam etiam auscultando. Ne mihi dicatis me hunc sermonem non intellegere.”

  13. ewcaetano says:

    Last Holy Thursday the priest (ordained just one week ago), mentioning the example of Pope Francis and his call for mercy, “breaking the protocol”, told that all faithful should approach the altar to receive the sacrament without fear. Even those in mortal sin (it was implicit in his words) could receive the eucharist if, afterwards, they wanted to go to confession. Sad. Awful. And I am not saying that it is Pope Francis fault this happened, but many will distort his words and actions to justify many abuses.

  14. Amerikaner says:

    Many were offended by the actions of Christ. To the Jewish priests, what he did and said was hard to understand and accept. But to his disciples he explained his actions and words.

    Before we jump all over the Holy Father, perhaps we should try to understand why. [Have you read this blog recently?] Yes, he ignored a law but perhaps he felt there was a greater reason to do so that was just. We should be charitable in accepting his mind until we hear and understand more about his action.

    I confess that I too was confused and disappointed. But then I think that I need more humility as I am not the Pope nor am I in the position to judge him. I don’t know what others think but that is where I am at the moment.

  15. Jackie L says:

    I found my way to the TLM, largely in reaction to liturgical abuses, and other weirdness found in the NO. Others have too, and this will accelerate as NO abuses become more the norm again, and I think they will.

  16. Fr Jackson says:

    Thanks for the post, Father. Do you mind if I say that we are seeing a side of you that we haven’t seen in a litle while? It’s interesting. Thanks, Father. [Do you mind if I say that, if you think this is some other side of me, then you haven’t been paying much attention? Happy Easter!]

  17. Skeinster says:

    If they do come, could we please not indulge in our own worst tendencies?
    A comment on another blog re: Trad papal reactions, slightly amended:

    That said- this is still an object lesson in Why No One Likes the Trads. These are the tendencies, observed over decades, that we need to work on if we are to attract others to the EF. (Tendencies, I said. Not everyone of us does this. So shoe, foot.)
    1) We tend to see everything through a personal lens and to analyse all things Churchly only as it affects us. Forgetting/ignoring that there are umpty million other Catholics in the world, with their own concerns.
    2) We tend to think that we are better catechized and formed than we actually are.
    3) We tend to conflate what, for want of a better term, I call “Twilight Zone” spirituality with true mysticism.
    4) We sometimes act as though every OF Mass attendee is a deliberate enemy, rather than a fellow Catholic often a victim of circumstances beyond their control.
    5) We tend to have the Gift of Grudge, which is fatal to sanctification.
    6) We tend, in our zeal and enthusiasm, to exaggerate and to make subjective statements as if they were facts. The EF is not a panacea.
    7) We tend to be big drama queens, generating more heat than light.
    8) We tend to be very good at excusing our own behavior, but not extending the same benevolence to others. A general human failing, yes, but especially prevalent among us.

    For many seekers, the beauty of the liturgy will not outshine an ugly atmosphere in the congregation.

  18. future_sister says:

    I remember I had a friend tell me not to go to Mass on campus Holy Thursday because they wash women’s feet… He took me to a church just off campus that is normally good…. well… this year they had female altar servers wearing cassock and surplice, atrocious contemporary music, and the foot washing ritual, with only 6 people getting their feet washed, 4 of them women. After Mass my friend apologized to me for disappointing me.

    and to the earlier comment about Pope Francis being able to rescind Summorum Pontificum, this friend of mine said that if Pope Francis messes with Summorum Pontificum he may actually consider going SSPX… I yelled at him for that one of course and explained that that is not the proper response. Actually he could use prayers, he is trying to discern between the diocesan priesthood and the FSSP. He knows we need good legit diocesan priests who would “say the black and do the red” but our whole diocese would tear him apart for it and he doesn’t think he has the strength to deal with it. We go to a different diocese to find a TLM and the diocesan priest who says that Mass is hated by many just because he says a Low Mass everyday before the NO.

  19. Dr. K says:

    Let’s see what kind of bishop Pope Francis appoints, and the kind of priests these bishops choose to ordain.

    Will we return to Bernardin bishops hostile toward ordaining traditional men? Or will we continue to see bishops who are orthodox and generally friendly toward tradition?

  20. BLB Oregon says:

    I hope the Vatican will issue a statement emphasizing that a Holy Thursday Mass celebrated in a prison in which Christians are incarcerated with Muslims and men with women is not to be taken as an example for all Masses in the Universal Church. When the Pope decides to dispense with a rule in this day and age, the need for explanation is far greater than when previous Popes dispensed with rules under circumstances that were not made known to the entire planet within the hour. It is unfortunate, but the uncontrollable nature of internet gossip cannot be safely ignored. The Pope has the authority to do many things, but the maxim sometimes attributed to St. Francis, “Preach always, and when necessary use words” has become “Realize that you preach always, and you can’t depend on words to clarify what you mean to say.”

  21. BLB Oregon says:

    As a side note, I do plan to ask anyone who claims that his foot washing means that he’s ready to ordain women if they think he is also signaling that he plans on ordaining Muslims and Catholic men who accrued a criminal record before the age of 25…

  22. oldcanon2257 says:

    I think what Father Z is saying in a subtle way is that we traditionalists really need to get our collective behinds out of the confinement of the liturgical ghetto we have locked ourselves in and start grassroot movements to implement Summorum Pontificum at the parish level and be persistent and persevere until we get it (like the young men from Fr. Z’s recent blog post “TRADS ON FIRE! Young men getting the job done and implementing a TLM in a parish.“). Incrementalism, anybody? At least now we have SP and UE (until, God forbid, they are taken away from us.)

    Being a trad myself, I have to say that we trads are some of the biggest whiners in the world (our whining rivals that of the liberals). We could sit there all day long day after day and lamenting the state of the Church after V2. We tend to disengage the moment we have obtained some tiny concessions from the local ordinary (such as a once-every-2-month EF Mass in some isolated parish church in a remote corner of a diocese). After 50 years in the liturgical desert, perhaps we trads have gotten used to the victim mentality and defeatist/fatalist attitude. When we allow ourselves to be confined to our liturgical ghetto, we have played right into the hand of the liberals who want to keep the EF Mass from ever seeing the light of day in typical parish and prevent the faithful from discovering the “most beautiful thing this side of Heaven”.

    Abp. Fulton Sheen said, “There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.” In the same manner, I think what the liberals fear the most is the possibility that someday the rank-and-file Catholics realizing they had been misled all this time liturgically by those prelates who were supposed to be their shepherds. To paraphrase Abp. Sheen, I don’t think there are many Catholic faithful in the world who really hate the traditions of Catholic Church (if they really know/understand what those traditions are), but there are millions of Catholics who have been misled/misguided/tricked into hating what they wrongly perceived to be traditions.

    The liberals in the hierarchy want keep trads from being visible, that way Joe Catholic of the dioceses won’t get any exposure to the beauty of reverently celebrated, rubric-following Mass (both EF and OF). The liberals DO understand well the meaning of “lex orandi, lex credendi” and know that getting away with liturgical novelties is the first step in getting away with doctrinal novelties.

    Please keep praying for the Pope and the Church.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star 

  23. chantgirl says:

    The stark reality in the US and Europe is that the NO parishes that have had the worst liturgical abuses have hemorrhaged the youth and the majority of parishioners left are not reproducing. The EF communities (I am not speaking of the SSPX as I have never attended at their chapels, but the EF communities like the FSSP and ICKSP) are breeding at a steady clip and are attracting younger people in their 20s and 30s. The one exception are some of the JPII Catholics (my era)who were educated in the Theology of the Body and still go to the NO and follow the Church’s teaching on contraception. They are in the minority but are very committed to the Church.

    Many NO parishes will be forced to close in the next 15 years, as the funerals far outpace the baptisms. The tactics of the 70s and 80s that lost us so many people will not now work again in the New Millennium. Many young people left because of them and it is absurd to think that they will now return because of them. Something’s got to give. The demographics are going to force the NO parishes to reform their liturgies and evangelization or they will die. On the other hand, those of us who attend the EF could use a little help getting outside of our communities to evangelize. I know it’s difficult because we are raising larger families, but we’re going to have to give more.

  24. Doctor K,

    I think the Pope is well aware that to encourage the liturgical slop of the 60’s and 70’S is also a call to re instate the Lavender Mafia into the chanceries and seminaries of that time period. Hopefully he is far more discreet than what you seem to imply.

  25. prisoner says:

    Like it or not, Fr. Z, this effects the whole Church and it is truly a disaster. It is an act of false humility and our Holy Father should be submitting himself to something higher then his will, namely the liturgical laws and Holy Tradition of the Church. The Holy Father should be reminded to, “Say the black and do the red.” [Keep buying and sending mugs and swag from my online store to the Holy Father until he gets it!]

  26. Supertradmum says:

    BLBOregon, you do not understand the person in the pew. Most Catholics I come across have not read anything on line nor have they read the CCC. They just see what the media is showing as symbolic gestures and jump to liberal conclusions.

    We need more catechesis big time. I am grateful for the clear doctrine on the infallibility of the Pope, but you would be surprised how many people think that everything he does is infallible.

    I first met this with people after Assisi as such symbolic gestures resonate with the television/media folks who are just plain ignorant. I do not give them a pass, by the way.

  27. Basher says:

    BLB Oregon wrote:

    “As a side note, I do plan to ask anyone who claims that his foot washing means that he’s ready to ordain women if they think he is also signaling that he plans on ordaining Muslims and Catholic men who accrued a criminal record before the age of 25…”,

    Since this answer is obviously no, the obvious follow up is “Do you think Pope Francis is just staggeringly ignorant of the radical agenda of the female foot-washers in the Catholic world, or is in fact aligning himself with that radical agenda?”.

    Neither answer makes me happy.

  28. Basher says:

    Hieromonk wrote:

    “I think the Pope is well aware that to encourage the liturgical slop of the 60?s and 70?S is also a call to re instate the Lavender Mafia into the chanceries and seminaries of that time period. Hopefully he is far more discreet than what you seem to imply.

    Oh boy. I didn’t even think about that, but I’m sure those people are emboldened as well, since Francis may not understand the link between bad liturgy, bad theology, and bad morals…but they sure do.

  29. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Well, well, well. MSN (part of the MSM) has taken notice of our (meaning “the faithful’s”) concerns about Pope Francis and mentioned Fr. Z, Ed Peters and RC. The following link is highlighted on its current front page in its “What Do You Think?” section:

    I’d like to hope that any traffic driven hear would take a good read and understand what being a faithful Catholic really means, but I’m a realist. Get ready for more spam, Fr. Z.

  30. Ted says:

    I think too much is being made of all this, particularly by the triumphalist so-called progressives who are fueling division considering that there were already exceptions to the rule in force last Thursday. From Zenit, 29 March 2006:

    “About a year ago, however, the Holy See, while affirming that the men-only rule remains the norm, did permit a U.S. bishop to also wash women’s feet if he considered it pastorally necessary in specific cases. This permission was for a particular case and from a strictly legal point of view has no value outside the diocese in question. ”

    Surely an exception can be granted to any bishop, and only a bishop, and only in special circumstances, such as the one the Holy Father was in on Holy Thursday.

    Fr Lombardi was right to point out yesterday that,
    “Excluding the girls would have been inopportune in light of the simple aim of communicating a message of love to all, in a group that certainly didn’t include experts on liturgical rules.”

    Please folks, relax….

  31. Luvadoxi says:

    The thing is, chant girl, that Anglo NO folks are getting older and not having kids, but our Hispanic community in our church is (thanks be to God) very young and they have many young children; I noticed that last night. Also, in our parish, it seems like so many new Catholics come from evangelical ecclesial communities, and they are not used to liturgical worship; they join the praise band and become EMHCs. What to do?

  32. RomanticTradition says:

    For me, this is a lesson to all that in disregarding liturgical laws, there for a reason and not to be ignored, we get into problems like Pope Francis has gotten himself into. I was already over that he was going to a youth prison, whatever, different venue I guess (personally I would have simply transferred all the pomp more rigorously to the new locale)? But for whatever GOOD intentions he originally had, for whatever ACT OF CHARITY he was trying to convey was completely swallowed by the liberal coverage of the event which emphasized THE WOMEN he washed. Every media outlet I went through couldn’t stop babbling on, not of his immense love for the poor, but the possible inclusion of women into the Church. Whatever he was trying to do: no one got the point.

  33. vox borealis says:


    “Excluding the girls would have been inopportune in light of the simple aim of communicating a message of love to all, in a group that certainly didn’t include experts on liturgical rules.”

    And since most every parish in the world is made up of a groups that don’t include liturgical experts, the rule itself is pretty much moot. Wonderful. That will help clarify things a lot. /sarcasm

  34. Luvadoxi says:

    I have to admit I’m put off by much of traditional catholic behavior. I don’t want to have to wear prairie dresses and be submissive to men. [?!?] I’m afraid this is the attitude of many in that community, and it’s just as off-putting as people judging me for not wanting to hold hands, etc.

  35. vox borealis says:

    Father Z.,
    You are trying very hard to put up a brave front, and I really do appreciate your effort. It is helping me a little, I guess, inasmuch as it gives me some possible means of explaining what otherwise seems to be the rapid unraveling of pope Benedict’s “marshal plan.” The problem with brick by brick is that it takes many, many years to build, but only one tremor to knock everything down before the construction is complete, especially when the edifice is built on already shaky foundations.

    I do hope you’re right. But I am pessimistic.

  36. chantgirl says:

    Luvadoxi- if the Hispanics manage to maintain that level of procreation after a couple of generations, I’ll be surprised and impressed, especially as they seem to be a target of Planned Parenthood and Obamacare.

  37. BLB Oregon says:


    This may be a little beside the point–but will the church not ordain men who have criminal records before 25–even if they have reformed? That would seem to be a somewhat unmerciful and wasteful position.”

    My point is that they are not yet anything like ready for ordination. For this particular Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we cannot forget that our Holy Father pointedly chose a place about as different from the Cenacle as could be chosen. That should be taken as a clue concerning what his message was! He could not have been not saying “these are the people I’m ready to ordain”! He was saying “not being ordained or a candidate for ordination does not make you into a second-class human being. You are worth no less in the eyes of God than a cardinal, or the Pope.”

  38. Luvadoxi says:

    Supertradmum–thanks so much for that article. I loved that he washed the feet of baby boys and the sign this was against abortion. I will need to be more charitable in my thoughts and posts.

  39. The Drifter says:

    I have the impression many of those who criticize the Holy Father’s present liturgical choices (jarring as they may appear) are looking at the trees rather than the forest. Besides, it is very unlikely Pope Francis will put any sort of stop to the implementatio of the Summorum Pontificum, for the simple reason that being a Jesuit his approach to liturgy is going to be practical rather than ideological. He will cherish what will bring people back to church and to the sacraments. As traddies, we have a unique weapon called the Gregorian-Carolingian mass (Tridentine is a misnomer, in my humble opinion), provided we stop moaning about present woes and use this precious gift as weapon in the fight for evangelization – the need of which the Holy Father has rightly underscored. Therefore, let us pull up our socks, cut to the chase, and get the Vetus Ordo swinging.

  40. kjh says:

    It is kind of crazy to have this type of confusion thrown into the middle of the holy season of Lent, with Easter just approaching. I do not know how many of the things that go on during the Mass and other celebrations (such as the Good Friday celebration of the Passion of our Lord) are just being innovative, lazy, intentionally ignoring what is supposed to be done, or other reasons? For example, at the church we have been attending (at which they have a “fairly” reverent Mass – they even use incense!, a beautiful schola with awesome and beautiful music, etc.) at the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper the “foot washing” time was opened as a “hand washing – and this year we are also offering foot washing” time. With probably nearly 100% participation! Totally waters down (excuse the pun) any real significance to the action, at least insofar as it has any connection to the manner in which Jesus performed this action and for whom. The Good Friday Passion was a mix of different things, from the narrator of the Passion stumbling over so many words, and the “voice” reader being totally emphatic with every line, but really being emphatic in a strange way. (Both were women, not that it matters so much, but even my wife made an observation about that.) The “Solemn Intercessions” were set up so that the priest(s) read the beginning of each prayer, and then they had the congregation read the priest’s part together in unison. (I was befuddled by that! They even have a deacon, who would have been perfectly suited to read the deacon’s part… and two priests!) The final prayer was interesting, too, in that that the pastor concluded with the wrong prayer mentioning the paschal mysteries and at the end said “Go in peace, alleluia, alleluia” to which most people dutifully responded “Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.” This, on Good Friday… Not wanting to be critical or picky, but some of these things just seem downright wrong, and couldn’t people bother to preview the readings and prayers beforehand and have a more respectful presentation of everything?
    Perhaps it is a personal problem with me, but I feel that these “little things” detract from the beauty and awesomeness of what is being celebrated and memorialized. Perhaps 99% of the people don’t really notice? Or don’t really care?

  41. BLB Oregon says:

    “Also, in our parish, it seems like so many new Catholics come from evangelical ecclesial communities, and they are not used to liturgical worship; they join the praise band and become EMHCs. What to do?”

    The problem is that if it were not for the evangelical ecclesial communities in the Spanish-speaking countries, the Protestants would be getting even more converts away from Catholic families than they are. There was a time when there was color and life in the traditional Church outside of Mass that seems to have ebbed away. If that were put back into parish contexts where the faithful meet OUTSIDE of Mass, then I think that would do a lot to both save Catholics from Protestantism (both Anglo and Latin ones, BTW) and save the Mass from incursions of music that lacks the reverence that the liturgical music has.

    1) There need to be expressions of faith outside Mass that allow exuberance.
    2) There needs to be a greater appreciation that there is a place and a time for both the solemn and the more unbridled expressions of faith, that both are enhanced by giving each its place. I think this is where traditional Catholicism has lost some people; that is, the “outside” expressions have ebbed.

  42. Luvadoxi says:

    Chantgirl–sadly, I think that’s true–they will be absorbed into US media culture. Hopefully we’re wrong.

  43. Basher says:

    My point is that we are now in the zone where human value is affirmed by time spent in the sanctuary (literally or figuratively depending on venue) during liturgy.

  44. APX says:

    Can we just stop with freak outs every time the pope does something peculiar? All we’re doing is giving the Liberals something to write about and making ourselves look bad. Liberals don’t care about the liturgy unless it is related to “creating the liturgical environment” (usually with things like sand and cacti, and draping colored cloth on anything and everything that can be draped, and felt banners now with changeable messages thanks to 3M stick-on velcro). They care more about social justice, which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself.

    So here’s a crazy idea- rather than whine and complain about this and that which the pope does, organize your EF Mass congregation (the whole shebang, if possible) to go out and do corporal works of mercy in the community. Go out and be visible in the community and at every logical opportunity that arises, promote the Church’s traditions and the EF Mass and how they help you raise your heart and mind to God in such a way that you feel compelled to come out into the community and share that charity with everyone. This is, of course, assuming that this is true for Traditionalists.

    Ora et Labora. We have the ora, but I can’t help but feel we lack the labora. I’m pretty sure St. John Chrysostom was talking about this to some degree in his homily on holiness when he was talking about the leaven and the mustard seed, and going out and “Let[ting] your light shine before men. That they may see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in Heaven.” It’s not enough to just pray and wear hairshirts and do other forms of penances. Enough with the laziness and excuses. I can only imagine that St. John Chrysostom is in Heaven doing the spiritual equivalence to a face palm.

    The Liberals can see right through us. We talk loud, but no one’s listening. It’s all the same; it’s just whine, whine, whine. It’s time to stop wasting our time and find something else to do. At least, that’s what I would do. (I feel like I’m repeating myself.)

  45. Thank you, Father Z! Perhaps we may hope and pray that you have hit upon God’s own plan (and our holy Father’s) for the restoration of faith and liturgy.

    Seriously, it might also help to add the novena for the Pope to our Eucharistic adoration, and maybe a daily decade of the rosary for the papacy of Pope Francis and its continuity with tradition.

  46. tonyfernandez says:

    I think that people are getting Fr. Z’s post wrong. I seriously doubt it was written seriously. There is much in here that is tongue and cheek, and he is obviously flustered and is letting his frustration out with a piece such as this. Yes, there is a way to voice displeasure and disagreement without vitriol and coarse words. I read this in the same way I read “A Modest Proposal”.

    Frankly, the rite at this point may as well be abolished. It was a good sentiment, but there is far too much discord involved and I don’t think anything good has come from it. It’s a good message to remember, but practically implementing it has been a disaster.

  47. Supertradmum says:

    Henry Edwards, prayer is an excellent idea.

  48. tonyfernandez says:

    And I understand what Pope Francis was trying to do. I’m sure he thought that this was a great act of charity. How it has turned out, however, is a mess. And frankly, the controversy should have been foreseen and so the act avoided. Liberal news outlets portray this as a Church that is finally reaching out to women. They can cast the pre-Francis Church as mysoginistic and ignorant of women. They ignore the many women saints, the veneration of Mary, and the many contributions of women. Now, post-Francis, things are going to be corrected, or so the story goes.

    The egalitarianism of modern society is depressing.

  49. pjsandstrom says:

    The ‘foot washing’ even in John’s Gospel has little or nothing (explicitly) to do with ‘ordination’. [Is that so? Well, I’m glad you settled that thorny question once and for all.] We are told by Jesus to follow his example in our service to each other. It is certainly a traditional usage in Abbeys and Monasteries (even in Women’s Abbeys and Monasteries where the Abbess/Prioress does the washing) carrying out the example of the Christ in service to guests and members of the community. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” Thus a Pastor in his Parish should ‘wash the feet of at least a representative group of his parishioners’ as a sign of his role of service for them and his parish.

  50. bposullivan says:

    Ted, I agree that too much is being made of it, but are progressives really saying that this is likely to be a step towards ordination of women? Progressives would like to see that, bu they’re no necessarily optimistic that it will happen. The point of view of this comment from NCR seems more common:

    “While many Catholics wonder how Francis’ use of symbols, aimed at preaching mercy and inclusion, will be translated into decisions within the church, there is little question he has already set a radical new tone throughout.”

    In other words, progressives like the tone but they’re far from certain about whether or how it will be reflected in policy.

  51. VARoman says:

    I was discussing “footgate” with a friend of mine this morning. He was talking me down off the ledge by pointing out that when Pope Francis went to that prison, it was a private act, and not part of a liturgy, so it was not a violation of Canon law. Any truth to that?

  52. Kathleen10 says:

    Cheesehead: Father Z. is not an “enabler”. He is not in a position to control the papacy. He has a responsibility here and he knows it. He is acting responsibly, and walking a very fine line. He shows mature restraint. I’m glad I’m not him.
    It is not the responsibility of the Holy See to “innovate”. That is best left to cultural and religious “innovators” like every other organized denomination, and they do it so well their pews are empty.

    I have not heard anyone mention the prostrate prayer. I am tired of what appears to me to be public displays of me-ism. I’m done.
    I will wait to see what God will do about the current situation. We are under tribulations of a kind we did not anticipate. (who does?) This too shall pass. It may do much damage, but this too shall pass. Stay on course fellow Christian soldiers. God will not let anyone destroy His Church, nor lead His lambs unfed.
    Happy Easter to all, especially you, Fr. Z.

  53. tonesing says:

    Like many, I am certainly conflicted. My ultramontanist tendencies are battling my love of liturgical tradition!

    I think I get what His Holiness is trying to do, and I pray it works. I am already hearing people I know who have otherwise shown contempt for Holy Mother Church express their impressions of the Francis and his humility.

    Benedict has been anticipating a “Remnant Church” since after the Council. (See this from Father Z last year.) Francis appears not ready to accept it as an inevitability. If by washing the feet of a couple ladies a few hearts are moved and souls are saved, would it not be worth it?

    Additionally, the Church seems closer than ever to our Eastern brethren. If his humility and deference move the Orthodox and the Church again “breathes with both lungs,” would it not be worth it?

    I certainly pray we won’t return to the days of Chas-Albs, burlap overlay stoles, butterflies on banners and the St. Louis Jesuits. However, if the Holy Father’s Franciscan spirit of penance, joy, peace and humility saves souls, I guess I can live for another decade before the “Reform of the Reform” is complete, especially with the Forma Extraordinaria.

    Viva il Papa, (er il Papi?)!

    On a lighter note, how about this oldie:

    Did you know there are only two things that a Jesuit won’t change at Mass?
    Bread and wine

  54. Kathleen10 says:

    “leave” his lambs unfed. I never learn.

  55. frobuaidhe says:

    Funny you should post this. I have been troubled by the Holy Thursday foot-washing episode and since yesterday have been thinking about how I might go exclusively EF. I cannot see a way to do this in Ireland and the words of the psalmist are staying with me today, “…obliviscere populum tuum et domus patri tui.”

    Prayers for direction requested, please.

  56. Phil_NL says:

    Fr. Z., your analysis is both spot on, and completely wrong.

    It is spot on in so far that the words you wrote ring (and are) true. But they’re wrong in what they omit: there are plenty of people out there who have no particular taste for the EF as EF; with that I mean they have a preference for reverent Masses, but are equally (if not more, through decades of habit) happy with a well-said NO Mass. If the abuses in the NO were to increase, even if the ars celebrandi with take a step back, that would mean a big negative for them. This situation would then basically force them to transition to an EF – with all its attendent difficulties, plus those posed by the fact they have no particular love for the EF as opposed to the high-standard NO they knew – or swallow it.
    That’s a no-win situation, and one that in varying degrees will occur through much of the church. I know it’s a prime focus of this blog, but many Catholics out there would not be overly concerned about liturgy unless it goes overboard, and would not easily take to the EF they have never known. Being force-fed a return to the EF will not help either. Conclusion: if it is encouraged that the NO goes overboard, many will suffer, as they won’t see a transition to an EF as a step up, but rather as a burden they have to bear. And I think most will not even see such a transition as worth the effort.

  57. Traductora says:

    Blboregon, I’m on Malta right now, and the thing that has kept the faith alive here (and in Spain, where it is less reported) are lay activities, such as Holy Week processions, Nativity scenes, and sodalities and their activities. At the same time, this encourages the priests, and I have met good, devout and evangelization-oriented priests here who literally stop tourists on the street and drag them into the church to see something (a statue or a relic) that they think will impress them. And it does.

    But the point is that there are still remnants of Catholic culture in Latin countries, and regardless of the lousy liturgy and the left-wing orientation of many of the clergy, especially the North Americans who work with Hispanics, popular devotion has kept the Faith alive enough to be revived. Maybe what we need to do is leave the liturgy to the clergy and get to work on rebuilding Catholic popular culture. Ask your priest to lead a Corpus Christi procession with marching bands and flower-strewing little girls! Promote the building of Nativity scenes and ask to set them up in public (or some place on church property that is publicly visible). Don’t let the Faith become invisible!

  58. david andrew says:

    “Gravitational pull.”
    “Mutual enrichment.”
    “Brick by brick.”

    The first two phrases are what we were regaled with regarding the wonderful gift that SP and UE would be in aiding the reclamation of our unique Catholic Identity. I even recall the “lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi” drum being beaten regularly. As we pray, we believe and as we believe, we live our lives. “Say the black, do the red.” “Save the liturgy, save the world.”

    Brick by brick, indeed. Little did we know that SP would give us all the bricks we needed to build our own ghetto, our own prison, into which we would be forced to live, separated from the flock because we were too obsessed with tradition and orthopraxis in the liturgy, while being found wanting for our lack of obvious “charity” and public displays of “social justice”.

    With the proponents of SP and UE safely marginalized, the Protestantization of the Church can continue apace.

    None of this was as Benedict intended, but now we must live with the unintended consequences.

    Many are writing of the “trads” who suffer from a “trench mentality” and who treat anyone from outside their small, isolated camps with coldness and suspicion. I fear that this will only become worse, and not without reason. Unfortunately, those of us who bought into the “reform of the reform” philosophy will find we have nowhere to turn, because those rabidly wedded to the TLM to the complete exclusion of anyone remotely associated with the NO will turn on us serious-minded “reform of the reform” types for being two-faced, while the progressive crowd will dismiss us as irrelevant, mean-spirited and misguided and whatever little inroads we made under the premise of “mutual enrichment” will be buried under piles of scorn.

    None of this is good, and to say otherwise I fear is being truly blind to the realities we now face.

  59. MikeM says:

    Basher wrote:
    Since this answer is obviously no, the obvious follow up is “Do you think Pope Francis is just staggeringly ignorant of the radical agenda of the female foot-washers in the Catholic world, or is in fact aligning himself with that radical agenda?”.

    I don’t like Pope Francis’ decision on this at all, but it’s entirely possible that he’s aware of, and still not all that focused on, the agenda of the women’s ordination crowd. He seems to think that there are more important messages to send and issues to address than that, and that he doesn’t need to base his decisions on how they’re going to respond.

  60. Toan says:

    Basher: Regarding your original question, it’s not so silly if you understand Fr. Z’s post as follows: All Ordinary Form norms appear to be cast into doubt, while Extraordinary Form norms remain solid.

    Those who are apparently despairing bring the words to my mind, “o ye of little faith!” I can see the masses of people grumbling at Moses (who might be likened more to Pope Emeritus Benedict than to Pope Francis).

    I can believe that liturgical laxity is detrimental to the faith. On the other hand, apparently, strict adherence to liturgical norms is no inerrant protector of faith — or hope.

    To the despairing (not all of you): God is in control. I pray that He will give you a sign to comfort and encourage you.

  61. Luvadoxi says:

    BLB said: The problem is that if it were not for the evangelical ecclesial communities in the Spanish-speaking countries, the Protestants would be getting even more converts away from Catholic families than they are. There was a time when there was color and life in the traditional Church outside of Mass that seems to have ebbed away.

    Very good point. One great shout-out for our parish–when I noticed all the Latino children and families–it was last night after the English mass–they were filing out to do a live way of the Cross which they do every year–it’s *amazing* and very moving. So I hope they keep that up!

    I have to be patient–I came in from a somewhat evangelical conversion experience, although I’d grown up in mainline Protestant liturgical communities. I guess we need to bring ’em in but then keep teaching the *truth*–that’s where we’re falling down. A lack of catechesis combined with fellowship. I thought I was coming into a Catholic church with mystery and “magic”–because my conversion involved the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart. We need to give this “deep magic”, in C.S. Lewis’ phrase. To do it with patience and charity. Hopefully this is what our Holy Father is angling towards.

  62. Luvadoxi says:

    Sorry–I meant to end BLB’s quote after “ebbed away” in the first paragraph.

  63. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Cheesesteak expert,

    if you think this article was a defense of our Holy Father, read the text again. (The one between the lines.)

    Dear @Supertradmum,

    I have not yet seen anybody connect the foot-washing with ordination save the kind now upset about our Holy Father’s action.


    while I normally agree that the so-called liberals tend to give a huge media impact about anything remotably interpretable in their direction, I have a strong feeling this is not the case here. They would not have so much as noticed the Pope’s action, were it not for the upset from the other end of the spectrum.

  64. Imrahil says:

    Dear @david andrew,

    maybe it is true what you said about “trad” suspicions. But they are not cold.

  65. pberginjr says:

    frobuaidhe Please check out Silverstream Priory if you are at all near Co. Meath. I am friends with the prior there. They are a fledgling community of Benedictine Adorerers–originally in Tulsa, OK (USA)–who relocated for lack of financial support, etc. Father Prior, who lived for decades as a Cistercian, celebrates the forma extraordinaria exclusively, and the community celebrates the Divine Office according to the usus antiquior (several of the services are open to the public). They also have opened what has been called the best religious bookstore in Ireland, “The Gatehouse,” to sustain their efforts. The community is dedicated to prayer and reparation for priests. Father Prior also podcasts most homilies and runs a wonderful blog.

  66. netokor says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for this post. I for one needed it! Phil_NL, I don’t think the NO Mass will disappear. Now it’s my turn to suggest-very respectfully-that you might be overreacting.

  67. Heather says:

    Pope Francis has inadvertently promoted SP? That’s a reach. This is a sign of things to. Come. We need to brace ourselves for papal altar girls.

  68. Lavrans says:

    @heather – Benedict already had altar girls. I hated that too.

  69. jameeka says:

    It’s funny how , with Pope Emeritus Benedict’s intellectual words, he appeals to my heart. With Pope Francis’ more sentimental words and actions, he makes me think. Both can highlight some paradoxes.

  70. Basher says:

    Toan wrote:

    “Basher: Regarding your original question, it’s not so silly if you understand Fr. Z’s post as follows: All Ordinary Form norms appear to be cast into doubt, while Extraordinary Form norms remain solid.

    And it is very, very silly to conclude that this means anything or will accomplish anything. This is the same crisis/opportunity that has driven people to the TLM for the last 20 years. Very few people.

    Like Heather says, trying to find the good in this is a reach. I think that puts it mildly.

    As to what this dialogue accomplishes, consider:

    I think we may have a sort of replay of 1969-72 going on in a lot of places. The crazy is coming. We have long wondered what our parents and grandparents did or didn’t do that allowed the crazy to take over the first time. Some of us even imagine that we would do better. Now we get a chance to find out. Our Catholic obedience and desire for unity will be placed in opposition to truth. Just like happened to the generation that witnessed the first death of Catholic liturgy. Will we do any better? Will we have whatever spark they lacked that domed them to folk masses and the abuse-o-rama?

    I doubt it. I think we will be as bewildered and blindsided as they were. I think we will have a lot more understanding for Catholic parents and grandparents who were powerless before the onslaught the last time.

  71. Anabela says:

    Thank you so much for this post Fr. Z. You are so right. I for one will start going to a TLM as soon I can do so. I want to return to more traditional Catholicism. God bless you Fr. Z.

  72. Heather says:

    @Lavrans. I did not know that. I thought that was the one thing left. Excuse me while I choke.

  73. Rob22 says:

    The TLM has drawn few – even where encouraged by the bishop. The Pope is looking at the larger pool of believers IMO.

    Will he end SP. Not to worry. It won’t happen. He won’t encourage it either. Leaving it up to the local bishop. IMO.

    The only actual change I could see is his discouraging stand-alone EF parishes in favor of intthe EF where said, into NO parishes.

    Will he keep the Commission? And, if he does, who will head it? That will give an indication of where the EF goes from here.

  74. yatzer says:

    Whether the Pope washed girls feet or not doesn’t affect me one way or the other particularly. What does is the fact that he disregarded the norms for no apparent good reason without explanation. If he can do that, why am I stumbling around trying to obey them? It can be hard enough to drag my body out of bed on Sunday without the thought of the Pope making up his own rules. I know the Sunday obligation (which I am MORE than happy to fulfill when up out of my sleepy fog) is not comparable, but he hasn’t helped those of us snagged by the easy way out of any given situation.

  75. Lavrans says:

    I know Heather, but there are images on the net which show it.

  76. jhayes says:

    Pjsandstrom wrote: “The ‘foot washing’ even in John’s Gospel has little or nothing (explicitly) to do with ‘ordination”

    It’s probably worth pointing out that the foot washing at he Last Supper occurs only in John’s Gospel. None of the other Gospels mention it.

    John’s Gospel has no institution narrative. There is no Eucharist at John’s Last Supper. Jesus’ message is to serve others humbly in memory of what he has done for the Apostles in washing their feet.

  77. Supertradmum says:

    Traductora, the Tridentine Mass is still suppressed in Malta, and I do not think that piety in processions or devotions take the place of the Mass of the Ages. I have been to Malta and lived there for a while. The devotions are great, but hide a growing number of Catholics who want abortion and contraception, or worse, are already contracepting.

    Sorry, but to compare devotions with the Mass is not the same spirituality.

  78. Katylamb says:

    Kathleen10 says:

    30 March 2013 at 1:04 pm

    “I have not heard anyone mention the prostrate prayer. I am tired of what appears to me to be public displays of me-ism. I’m done.’

    I don’t understand this. At the cathedral I attend (Lansing, Michigan) this is always done at the Good Friday service, by the bishop and the priests. Our bishop is conservative. A few years ago he had a big funeral for some aborted fetus’ that were found in the trash behind an abortion mill. He gave us a Latin Mass community in the crypt of the cathedral, with a priest to serve it.
    So I wonder, is he doing wrong with that prostration prayer on Good Friday? I have never, ever felt he or the priests were making it “all about me” when they did that.

  79. david andrew says:

    Please note regarding the “coldness and suspicion” of the TLM camp . . . I wrote many have written, not that I completely subscribe to this characterization.

    But the point remains. As the marginalization continues, the deep wounds that were wrongly inflicted the on those attached to or drawn to the TLM the first time will merely have the yet-healed scabs torn off.

    I quote Waugh from his great novel Brideshead Revisited, what is happening is “A blow expected, repeated, falling on a bruise, with no smart or shock of surprise, only a dull sickening sensation and the doubt whether another like it could be borne.”

  80. sunbreak says:

    The whole footwashing thing just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. Aren’t there better things to worry about?

  81. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    To offer evidence in support of Father Zuhlsdorf’s contention:

    1) A year from retirement, the archbishop of the ______diocese ordered that no one should kneel until all had received communion. The response: aside from bewilderment, many people discovered that at the TLM we were allowed to kneel, and that they could teach their children to kneel before God. The TLM saw more adherents in a very short time.

    2) Another bishop, following the recommendations of the CDC or some county health office, or using it as pretext, forbade the reception on the tongue for the duration of flu season. The result: the local TLM has seen a jump in the number of families , and the number of altar boys in training.

    Standing Room Only is usually reserved for theatres, but to my direct knowledge, it applies now to churches offering the TLM.

    If God permits an evil, a greater good comes from it.

  82. Irene says:

    Now I am confused. I read just this week, not sure by whom, but via, that the washing of feet was authorized by Pope Pius XII in 1955. On Holy Thursday I attended an EF Mass by FSSP and the priest washed the feet of twelve men. Also, I have a 1950 St. Joseph Daily Missal with The Washing of the Feet in it, to be done after the stripping of the altar.

  83. servulus indignus Christi says:

    I would not call it “bulletproof”. As far as I’m concerned I won’t tolerate any tampering with the Mass of Tradition, but I would not lay it beyond the realm of what could be coming upon us to think that that this Pope would feel himself justified to alter the true Mass (when I say true, I in no way deny the validity of the Post Vatican II Mass, I simply do not find in it much of anything of what has been passed down). Should such meddling with the Mass of Tradition occur…then what? I do not think it foolish, under the current climate, for one to consider what one and one’s family ought to do then. I won’t jump ship…but I won’t participate in any nonsense either….

  84. Supertradmum says:

    Irene, it is not the washing of the feet which is being seen as the problem, but that of womens’ or girls’ feet.

  85. Robbie says:

    Upon further review, I still agree with most of what Father Z wrote, but I also disagree in one area. I certainly agree with the sentiment of the piece. The actions on Holy Thursday, while likely deemed minor by the uniformed, will create a real dilemma for conservative and traditional minded Catholics and priests.

    Where I disagree is that this controversy has, in fact, aided the Summorum Pontificum. Sadly, I doubt many who attend Mass in the US care one way or another about the NO or the TLM. When I speak to friends about the TLM, they look at me like I’m speaking Greek or I’m just a bit of a kook. My suspicion is most Catholics have no idea what the TLM is and they certainly don’t know it’s available to be said.

    I suspect we are headed back to the 1970’s Liturgical style. I don’t think Francis is up for the blatant Liturgical travesties, but he is a man of VCII in that he doesn’t care for the pomp.

  86. acardnal says:

    jhayes wrote, “It’s probably worth pointing out that the foot washing at he Last Supper occurs only in John’s Gospel. None of the other Gospels mention it.

    John’s Gospel has no institution narrative. There is no Eucharist at John’s Last Supper. Jesus’ message is to serve others humbly in memory of what he has done for the Apostles in washing their feet.”

    And that’s why the Gospel of John is NOT considered a synoptic Gospel.

  87. lmo1968 says:

    So now people are looking at the pope and are saying why be obedient? Here is my answer: Because God loves it when we are obedient. So we obey out of love for God. Is there really any other reason for obedience than love?

  88. jhayes says:

    Irene wrote “I have a 1950 St. Joseph Daily Missal with The Washing of the Feet in it, to be done after the stripping of the altar.”

    Prior to 1955 it was a separate ceremony. Starting in 1955 it could be either separate or part of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

  89. boxerpaws1952 says:

    I’m not sure what is meant by returning to traditional Catholicism? If this means the Traditional Mass-yes, understand. If it means traditional Catholicism then i have to say didn’t know we had left.

    Lost track of who said this but it’s a comment that expresses exactly where i am at as well,while I normally agree that the so-called liberals tend to give a huge media impact about anything remotably interpretable in their direction, I have a strong feeling this is not the case here. They would not have so much as noticed the Pope’s action, were it not for the upset from the other end of the spectrum. And it’s so obvious. It doesn’t mean what he did was right either but this person has a point and now here we are. Just because the media doesn’t notice it doesn’t mean it’s right. The media is now using this. We are now embroiled in the very things the media loves to feed on and use to raise the questions of,women in the priesthood, a split in the Church,Catholics pitted against Catholics etc etc. And no Pope Francis had no intention of permitting women to be ordained to the priesthood. He’s ALWAYS made that clear from whtat i’ve read and heard. They have been writing the narrative for some time. We can pick the battles carefully but the rest of the time it’s just best to ignore the media and do what is right regardless of what they drum up. I wish now Our Holy Father,if he had the best of motives to do what he did ,would have done it CORRECTLY or not at all.

    Unfortunately it is too late for that.The only conclusion I will draw now is that I love the Holy Father for what he is trying to do, put an assessment of his Pontificate on hold for awhile, see what happens in the near future and where he takes us,avoid the VITRIOL and VULTURES-and PRAY for Pope Francis,the Pope Emeritus and US.
    I will not attack the Traditional Mass. No reason to.I will not attack the NO because when it is done w/o the abuses and much reverence there is no reason to.

    Our other problems have been mentioned. VERY poor catechesis and that i have believed is one of THE largest problems in the Church (among others).It’s amazing to many of us that there are Catholics who believe women CAN be ordained.Add that to you can vote for someone who is pro abortion and support gay marriage. Yes, there are plenty of ppl out there with an agenda. We’re not naive enough to think the enemy camp doesn’t exist and isn’t trying to take down the Church. There are though ppl who are not in that camp at all but are just so poorly catechized they don’t know any better( and boy does the enemy use them. )
    My hope and prayer for Pope Francis,Pope Emeritus and the Church-all of us-is that the matter of Our Holy Father’s breaking Canon Law is addressed by Pope Francis himself. I just will not-as many of us have said-go into the vulture camp of vitriol and fear.

  90. Supertradmum says:

    Am I the only one who bumps into feminists weekly at Mass? Hey, washing the feet of women is seen as part of the acceptance of women priests by them. If you have not had these discussions, good for you.

    The Institution of the Priesthood began at the Last Supper, ergo, the remembrance of that solemn occasion must include reference to that. All the apostles who had their feet washed by Christ were new priests. When Christ said that they were to do the same as He, be a servant, He was referring to the servant-hood of the priesthood.

    (12) So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? (13) Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. (14) If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. (15) For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (16) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (17) If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John 13:12-17

    Symbolic confusion adds fuel to the inflamed brains of those men and women who want women priests.

  91. Jack Orlando says:

    (before reading the other comments) I have written in the past the the OF at least has the superior lectionary. Now I am persuaded this advantage does not outweigh the otherwise general superiority of the EF. I’m abandoning the OF.

    Yet all sides — Arch-Liberal, “anything-goes Liberal, Conservative, loyal Traditionalist, and schismatic Traditionalist — must acknowledge that the OF and the EF are not what Sacrosanctum Concilium wanted.

    The fight is on! Please, SSPX, swallow your pride and join us in the trenches! You will do no good in schism.

  92. Lavrans says:

    @lmo1968: Obedience? Yes. To Christ. To His Church, which means being obedient to her laws and teachings. To her dogma and doctrines. To even her rubrics and disciplines, which she can change, but we cannot. Obedient to our pastors, bishops, and Pope? Yes, provided they are not heretics. There were many heretic bishops in the days of the Arians. Heck, there have been a few in the days of Vatican II. Is Francis? I don’t think so, but I certainly hope not. At the end of the day, we are obedient to that which we are bound to be obedient to: ex-cathedra statements and teachings deemed worthy of belief or necessary to be followed. His breaking of Mass rubric is not one of those things. We need not follow his example at all in that case. He may like soccer. I hate it. I do not have to like it because he does.

    There is a fine line between being obedient to the Pope and making him a god or an idol. I do the former and despise the latter. He is a man, like me, at the end of the day. I obey what he says when it is necessary – same would have been true for the Borgia popes, who were awful men in their personal lives.

    I also have a right to gripe about this and can still remain Catholic. Unlike a liberal griping about Church teaching, I am simply griping about his liturgies and the fact that certain goofballs of a certain age will see it as license to do goofy things at Mass. I don’t want my kids sitting through that. It matters and I can complain without being a heretic or a dissident.

    So please, keep your lectures for those who deserve them.

  93. jhayes says:

    In the 1955 revision, the Mandatum could be either a separate ceremony (as pre-1955) or be part of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

    If you choose to omit it from the TLM Mass of the Lord’s Supper, would you have to perform it as a separate ceremony after the Stripping of the Altar?

    “In the pre-1955 ritual, the Washing of the Feet, commonly known as the “Mandatum”, from the first word of the first antiphon sung during the washing, is done as a separate service from the Mass. After the stripping of the Altar is complete, and generally after a break of some hours, the clergy and servers go in procession to a place set aside for the Mandatum. (The service was often done immediately after Vespers, but it was not obligatory for the Vespers to precede.) If there is no other place where the Mandatum may be conveniently done, it may be done before the main altar of the church, but this is not the ideal practice.

    The Gospel of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is repeated, with all of the ceremonies normally observed at a Solemn Mass. After this, the priest washes the feet of 12 men, wearing an apron as Our Lord Himself did at the Last Supper. As he comes before each of the twelve, the priests genuflects before him, in imitation of our Lord’s humility. The subdeacon kneels to hold up the foot of each of the 12 men as the priest washes it, and the deacon proffers a towel with which to dry it, after which the priest kisses it….

    In the Holy Week reforms of 1955, the Mandatum was modified as follows.

    It is permitted, but not required, to insert the Washing of the Feet into the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, immediately after the Gospel (and Homily, if there is one.) A new rubric specifies that as many of the antiphons as are needed for the length of the service may be sung, but “Ubi caritas” may never be omitted. The eighth of the nine antiphons in the Missal of St. Pius V is suppressed. The rubric no longer says that the priest kisses the feet after washing them.

    Since the Mandatum may still be done outside the Mass, another new rubric specifies that in such case, the Gospel of the Mass is to be repeated at the beginning, as in the Missal of St. Pius V.

    In the Missal of 1961, a further slight alteration was made to this rite, namely, that the collect at the end is to be said “versus populum.”


  94. Basher says:

    Lavrans wrote:

    “I also have a right to gripe about this and can still remain Catholic. Unlike a liberal griping about Church teaching, I am simply griping about his liturgies and the fact that certain goofballs of a certain age will see it as license to do goofy things at Mass. I don’t want my kids sitting through that. It matters and I can complain without being a heretic or a dissident.

    So please, keep your lectures for those who deserve them.”

    Yes, yes, yes. Exactly.

    I will add that those certain goofballs are STILL in charge of most parishes. I thought the “certain age” was 60+ based upon my last two parishes, but at my new one, it’s 48-50+, which means the DRE is one, and the music leader is one, etc. etc.

  95. netokor says:

    “So please, keep your lectures for those who deserve them.” I will, Lavrans: What kind of a Catholic are you if you hate soccer! :)!

  96. Lavrans says:

    @netokor – A Catholic from the midwestern United States, that’s what kind!

  97. netokor says:

    God bless, Lavrans. Roll Tide Roll!

  98. fides249 says:

    I agree with KHJ’s comments (March 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM) which state:

    “Not wanting to be critical or picky, but some of these things just seem downright wrong, and couldn’t people bother to preview the readings and prayers beforehand and have a more respectful presentation of everything?”

    My family and I went to Good Friday ‘Passion of the Lord” liturgical celebration in a Discalced Carmelite-run parish which is quite orthodox. But I guess the Carmelite priest (presider) did NOT read the prayers beforehand:

    1) Just remembering from his head, he asked that the response to the ‘Showing of the Holy Cross’ be “Come, let us worship (old English Translation, Pre-3rd Edition Roman Missal)” instead of the proper (current) “Come, let us adore (which is clearly stated in the Mass Guide used in that parish).”
    2) He was late on his part (prayer after the petition) in The Solemn Intercessions for at the least the first five of the petitions. He used the opening prayer in response to the first petition. Then the deacon said the petition for (the second) the Pope and the priest said the prayer for (the first) Holy Church. No too many noticed because the petitions and prayers are not listed in the Mass Guide but I am using MTF’s Daily Roman Missal which have the texts.

  99. boxerpaws1952 says:

    ” Liberal news outlets portray this as a Church that is finally reaching out to women. ” True tony but let’s be honest. The liberal news is going to do their own portrayal of a lot of things no matter what Pope Francis does or doesn’t do. What he says or doesn’t say. Remember when our Pope Emeritus gave the Regensburg address? Remember when Pope Benedict said that a prostitute using a condom because she has aids might be a move towards morality-BING. The Church is ready to not only permit condom use but promote it. I can’t think of other media twists on our Pope Emeritus off hand but those 2 were huge. We all knew what Pope Benedict meant but the media didn’t care even if they did(which i doubt).
    Lavan said, He is a man, like me, at the end of the day Yep and the Vicar of Christ as well.
    A point i think you also made. I am thrilled to see Catholics take such an interest in the Papacy at all. I remember a time when the Pope was the head of the Church who lived in this mysterious place called the Vatican. He didn’t travel(and most of them, not much)and we knew he spoke to the Church (laity)from time to time. We also knew we obeyed him in the matters you mentioned.
    We were well catechized and knew about the Papacy.Taught to understand it but as far as the Pope himself went-it was all so mysterious in many ways.
    He seemed distant.
    He wasn’t of course but this is the impression of someone who was very young at the time.The JPII generation have a whole different impression i’m sure.
    She also said, I am simply griping about his liturgies and the fact that certain goofballs of a certain age will see it as license to do goofy things at Mass. i honestly haven’t seen Pope Francis doing any goofy liturgies in the liturgy and no i don’t want to see any goofiness going on in the liturgy. Unfortunately i think the people who want to do goofy things in the liturgy are probably going to do them anyway because they are probably going to be the same people who used Vatican II as an excuse to do the goofy things in the liturgy. Some of us were blessed to have reverence in the NO. Yes, if there’s any goofiness-due to Pope Francis or not-you are not a dissident for not wanting your children to see it.It’s definitely getting a little ugly because people are reading so much into the other persons comments. I blame this partly on the VITRIOL from the beginning( from some) and the media spin which frustrates ALL of us. Again, i say better to ignore.

  100. StabatMater says:

    I haven’t time now to read all the comments, though I hope to soon. I will say that my very dysfunctional alcoholic father’s practice of “do as I say, not as I do” raised 2 very confused and rebellious teenagers, only one of whom has converted and is trying to live the Faith. So this decision is a 50/50 shot of making things better, at best. It can go so many ways because confusion breeds chaos. And confusion is not of God. While that realization is a primary source of my conversion & my later journey to the TLM, that is NOT a gamble I would EVER take with the souls of my children now that I am the parent. Once I knew better, I did better. I am a small-town girl who has had to struggle to educate herself and her family on the Truths of the Church and her liturgy. (I thank God for the many faithful bloggers who have steered me in the direction of good books and resources along the way!) I find it extremely difficult to believe that cardinals, bishops, and the like who are far more educated than I, who have traveled the world, etc, cannot recognize Truth and embrace it in it’s totality when they bear the very responsibility to impart it to the rest of us, are given incredible grace through the sacrament of Holy Orders to do so, and take serious vows pledging to do just that.
    Furthermore, while we are “reaching out” to people of different income levels, and nationalities, and religions, have we forgotten that we are in a crisis of the priesthood???? And this rubric that could & should dignify the priests of Holy Mother Church, in times of such chaos, was given away to someone else??? I feel cheated for them!
    A very dear friend has recently “left” the priesthood– I am personally shaken by this. I had the privilege of attending this man’s ordination and served his first Mass as a lector (before I knew better ;) some 15 years ago. I have watched good, strong priests be battled, beaten, and broken by mothers who demand their daughters be altar servers. I have watched the complete feminization of the Novus Ordo by a most devout, traditional priest, who can’t get rid of them as lectors. They follow him in the Holy Thursday procession to the altar of repose as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. How can a priest possibly battle this now? The liberals who never copied Benedict’s “style” (as though it was a personal choice rather than authentic Roman Catholicism), who REFUSED to receive the Eucharist on their knees and on the tongue, who mock those of us who do, are now LOVING that “the Holy Father knows better than the rules.” I am afraid that I have watched these battles rage far too long to not be a tad cynical at this age. In my gut I know this is not as it should be, but I pray that I am wrong!

    My feeling at a Mass offered in the last moments of Benedict’s pontificate, as our pastor faced the tabernacle and declared, “The See of Peter is vacant. May God have mercy on us!” was “how Holy Thursday-esque!” Perhaps Good Friday is around the corner as the Church must follow Christ in His Passion.
    As my 8 year old son has begun to serve at Our Lord’s altar this past year, so much of this is tugging at my mind and heart. What will be left for him? The condition of our seminaries is frightening, even with recent “improvements”.
    May all the Angels & Saints in Heaven pray for us and God’s Holy Church!

  101. fides249 says:

    It is ‘KJH’ and not ‘KHJ’ (I guess I got used to the call sign of the local radio station here) who posted the March 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM comments.

  102. boxerpaws1952 says:

    I forgot who said it(apologies for a poor memory w/ names)” I was already over that he was going to a youth prison, ”
    why would one need to ‘get over’ that he was going to a prison?

  103. Andy Lucy says:

    “…War-weary Catholics are back in the trenches…”

    Back? Back?? Some of us haven’t even had a trip back to the reserve trenches to catch our breath since we discovered the beauty of the TLM. I have formally been on the front lines for 20 years (as of tonight… I entered the Church at the Easter Vigil in 1993). On that night I walked up the line, entered the fire trench and have been there ever since. The 8 years of Benedict were good for morale, but we saw little liturgical change in our diocese. The nearest TLM is still over 2 hours away, but we keep trying. We keep offering. We keep praying. We keep persevering.

    God Bless all here, and hope y’all have a blessed Easter.

  104. PA mom says:

    Supertradmum-I do not bump into feminists after Mass.
    But then, I am in the mom’s with young kids set, many of who are trying to have a number of kids AND work part time, and maybe they figure they have enough on their plate. Or maybe it’s a least a bit a generational thing. check the women with little ones to get a feeling of what lies ahead.

  105. lana says:

    Where Pope Francis comes from his problem was not clown Masses and liberal priests ad-libbing the Mass. It was ultra-conservative priests who, for example, would not baptize children of unwed mothers. Also, you can see from his Holy Thursday morning homily, the tendency to over-spiritualize and forget to ‘give of the gift you have been given’. In this atmosphere, if I was him, I would have preferred SP not to be implemented, as it would give a locus for the malcontents to gather and encourage each other, who wanted things to stay ‘as they were’ but not in a good way. Our corner of the world is small. It should not surprise us that the priorities of a non-European Pope are different than ours.

  106. PA mom says:

    I will repeat my thought here as well. If this washing of feet is supposed to be priestly in nature, and there is only one priest in many parishes and maybe a deacon, a very few young men, even fewer of whom would agree to have their feet washed in public, why is this being done at a parish level?
    I get the idea of the Bishop and his priests/ seminarians, so leave it at a Bishop level (and of course religious communities) but end it at a parish level.
    No women, no married men, just bishops with their priests and/or seminarians.
    That’s what we do with special privileges in the family. Can’t do them responsibly? Then they go away.

  107. Christopher says:

    ‘War-weary Catholics are back in the trenches, but they now have Summorum Pontificum. And Pope Francis has done more to promote Summorum Pontificum then Pope Benedict ever did.’

    Father Z, one has to admire your optimism amongst the bleakness that seems to be prevalent around.

    God Bless.

  108. boxerpaws1952 says:

    StabatMater(got it right. the most recent comment)your comment is well understood and i heard a cry in it that will not go unanswered i’m sure. I was concerned with this one statement though and maybe due to a lack of understanding. “And this rubric that could & should dignify the priests of Holy Mother Church, in times of such chaos, was given away to someone else??? ” In the context of everything else you wrote i took it to mean you thought Pope Francis was demeaning the priesthood overall.i don’t think so and i don’t think it was the intention on Holy Thursday either.
    I don’t like the altar girls either because i always believed this is the place where vocations to the priesthood sometimes begin( as well as the family and other factors). Still it seemed to me that many of our young boys that served DID go on to become priests if they were called.
    Vocations to religious institutions for women come by other means as far as i can see and to date i’ve seen NONE (no pun intended)come from having girl altar servers.Feminism is a whole topic in itself. Maybe we should separate the topic of feminism(true feminism)from the radical feminism that seeks to have women ordained as priests. That to me goes into the category of dissidents who have no time for Church teaching period.
    There was a time when we had more priests coming from seminary than we had places to put them. Our parish actually had 2 priests.Now we have one priest for 2 parishes.I’m not sure i would attribute it to any ONE reason though. (Yes,i could be wrong).

  109. boxerpaws1952 says:

    Lana ,thank you for mentioning our Holy Father’s background. We are one Church but sometimes it is two different worlds depending on where we come from.

  110. Sandy says:

    This whole issue is upsetting, but in addition, I am still wondering who received Holy Communion at that Holy Thursday Mass! Should I even ask?! Surely a Pope would not go so far as to………………

  111. boxerpaws1952 says:

    will stop back later to see where this is going but for now my vertigo is wildly out of control and it’s better to take a break(Ménière’s disease).For us(with this disorder)the world can be a merry go round in more ways than one.

  112. Sandy says:

    Another thing – it is so very sad that the feminists have priests so afraid that they (priests) will not even include in the Holy Thursday sermon anything about the institution of the priesthood, as well as the Eucharist, by Jesus on that day.

  113. Dr Austin says:

    O felix culpa!

  114. frjim4321 says:

    With all due respect, I think the premise here is a bit of wishful thinking. It can also work entirely opposite to this. As I have mentioned before, it has seemed to me that places where the unformed mass sometimes referred to as the “extraordinary form” is much less prevalent in dioceses where high quality liturgical catechesis followed the Council. I suspect that by providing excellent liturgical catechesis (both by word and example) even fewer individuals will find the need to take refuge from what they don’t correctly understand (the reformed rite of 1973) in the imperfect rite that preceded it for a couple centuries.

  115. Father Z beat me to it. This thought was crystalizing in my mind last night and today: that some number of seminarians and priests are likely to gravitate toward the Extraordinary Form, for precisely the reason he mentions.

    What many people don’t appreciate–and on the part of some, it’s irritating, because they should know better (and some do know better)–is that the loosey-goosey approach to rubrics spawns an amazing volume of “why can’t we do ___” for priests, and not just about the liturgy.

    And it’s fine for folks like Mark Shea to say–as I saw him say today on Facebook–that priests should just say no–but then Mr. Shea (who’s on the side of the angels in my opinion) is not known for what is called a “pastoral touch.” It gets exhausting to have these conversations over and over. It’s a terrible distraction from a lot of things a priest needs to do–and for many or most of us, we’d rather do.

    A lot of priests–not all “trads” by any means–will often say to one another, over dinner and drinks, “oh I’d gladly stop doing X, but…” and then cite the example of other priests, or the fact that they’ve already said no to so many things, they figure, I have to let that settle in before I tighten up more; or they fear the bishop won’t back them up.

    By the way, here’s where traditional types unwittingly do themselves so much harm. A lot of the immoderate reactions–the “nutties”–and free use of terms like “liberal” “modernist” “limp-wristed” etc., all make it easy for priests I’m describing simply to write off tradition-minded people as crazies who cannot be satisfied, so why bother?

    Anyway, the situation for the present–until someone rectifies it–is that priests can expect even less backup if they stand strong.

    Meanwhile, the underlying issues that have given rise to re-thinking how we approach liturgy–i.e., on some parts, the “reform of the reform,” and on other parts, the exploration of the older forms–haven’t changed. If anything, a spread of nuttiness in the liturgy may make the question more acute. Don’t think short-term.

  116. StabatMater says:

    No, I do not believe that this was the Holy Father’s INTENT to demean the priesthood. I think this should be reserved for the Bishop’s Chrism Mass, and the Chrism Mass should be on a Thursday. (Not that anyone should care what I think on such a matter!;) In this dicoese the Chrism Mass is on Tuesday and “Protestantly Painful” with a songstress at the front of the sanctuary as our archbishop makes it all about the “Young Church” the “Church of the Youth” who occupy one half of the Cathedral they are bused into, wearing their Catholic school uniform polo shirt and SHORTS! They greatly outnumber our priests, and he gives them so much glory because adolescence is what life is all about and so we should cater to it and tell them how great they are because of their age, right??? But I digress. (Former youth ministry coordinatory, I am shamed to admit!)
    Again, I don’t think it was his intent, and I am not up to reading souls, either. But from a psychological view point, I think the misuse of the Mandatum and other priestly duties that are “equally distributed” to laity are detrimental to the faith and damaging to our sensiblities of proper authority, order, and accountability.
    Too many lay people playing priests. I am aware of the shortage of priests, but if we prayerfully assisted in building up each priest in his vocation, and allowed what should be reserved for the vocation to remain reserved, even though we would sacrifice convenience of accessiblity or frequency, etc. little boys would know just what a big fabulous deal it really is.
    And little men KNOW the difference. I was sad to hear my son refer to one particular smiling, jolly Cardinal who does not carry himself as a Prince of the Church, in my opinion, nor does he kneel before the Pope or kiss his ring (at least not on the live coverage we have watched the past few years), as “Buzz Lightyear”. I was mortified, but remained silent. He then asked, “I sure hope when he consecrates the Eucharist he doesn’t add, ‘To infinity and beyond!’ I don’t want my son to be openly critical, but when he sees what we all see and knows it, I’ve got to let him call it!
    Yes, I have directed him to pray fervently for our priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Holy Father– several times a day. And he is happy to do so!
    Thanks for asking for clarification!
    Off to Vigil Mass where a dear young friend will receive the gift of Confirmation and join her husband and children in the fullness of the Faith! And then back for TLM in the morning– such glory awaits!

  117. frjim4321 says:

    Fr. Fox: No I think what’s happening is that the “rotr” ethos was symptomatic of the pendulum reaching the opposite extreme, and now we will we are finally coming back toward the sensible center position.

  118. The Masked Chicken says:

    I think I’ve finally found out why I can only read the first 100 or so of these multi-hundred comment threads. I think it has to do with a WordPress setting that shuts off the download after so many milliseconds. I have dial-up at home, so my speed is too slow to get all of the download before the server shuts down. Maybe this cuts down on spam, but it makes it difficult to get a word in edgewise (which, for me, might not be a bad thing).

    In any case, I decided to hibernate from commenting of Pope Francis for six months, but I woke up, briefly, to scratch my beak, and I noticed a few things: 1) there are a lot more new names commenting, here, suddenly, than I’ve seen over the last few months, and 2) its going to be really hard to get back to sleep with all of the noise.

    I could say a lot of things about this mess, but would there be a point? Now, if no one had said anything about the foot washing at the start, you know, there’s a chance this might just have passed under the radar and everyone could wait for some actual change in the legislation before anyone said anything. Even if your paster said something to the effect, “…but the Pope did it…,” you could always say, “…and when you get to be Pope, you can do the same, but, until then, you are bound by Law, so don’t promote yourself, just yet…” This could all have been kept on the downlow, but the folks at Rorate and other places have such big mouths that they just can’t stop stirring the pot. Don’t they realize they are dealing with nitroglycerine? Keep the cart quiet and on a level field and you stand to live another day, but start banging on the cart and driving over rough road and ka-blam, there goes any hope to keep you nice new EF cart in one piece. You guys just do not know how to deal with these types of insults to your sensibilities. Pretend they don’t exist. Ignore them. You have to treat them like mosquito bites. Don’t scratch them and nine times out of ten they won’t get any bigger, but scratch and they can get infected. Do not fan the flames because you do not know that you are fanning the flames of the Good Spirit.

    I mean, I would love to have a discussion on poverty (which is at the root of things), because I think a lot of people could really learn some things, but I am not having that sort of discussion in this dojo under these conditions.

    In any case, just a few comments about things, in general.

    In the Institution Narrative (part of the Farewell Narrative], Jesus said [Jhn 13:15], “ypódeigma gár édo?ka ymín ína kathó?s egó? epoíi?sa ymín kaí ymeís poií?te,” [For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you – hope the Greek displays, properly], which is interesting. The primary word, ypódeigma [hypodeigma], literally means, a gift of an underlying sign or representation: hypo [under or underlying] – deig [sign] – ma [given]. This is not, “the example,” (that would be the Cross), but, an example (one of many) or, better, a sign. In this sense, the example or sign refers to something, else. What is that? Primarily, it refers to the Cross, but beyond that, the whole reason the office of Bishop was created: to be a servant, first to the whole world, and then to his diocese. In this sense, each bishop is to be of identical service to the world and particular service to their diocese. It, indirectly, refers to the service we are to have for one another, since this sign refers itself to the Cross and each person, ordained or not who is a believer is commanded (not counseled, notice) to pick up his own individual Cross, which is always, in one way or another, a service rendered to someone could not obtain that service on their own. When catholics offer things up, they are putting their suffering at the service of others, like a spiritual blood transfusion, so that others might gain strength and healing from it.

    in this sense, as a Bishop, Pope Francis is to be of service to the world and in this sense, he is to wash the feet of everyone. In a liturgical sense, however, the idea of foot washing, while coming from a practical standpoint of being a service to a desert and nomadic people, is different. The first instance is Abraham washing the feet of the three Visitors. This, is a type for man placing himself at the service of God. In the Institution Narrative, Jesus goes on to say:

    Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
    If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

    Notice he says, what – “blessed are you if you do them

    What is the, “them?” Going back to the original foot washing, it refers to doing what you are sent to do. Jesus is referring, by example of himself, directly, that, as Man, he is going to do what he was sent to do – to serve as an offering of sin (washing the dust from our souls) and that we, as the people of God, must do as we are sent – to serve.

    There are different ways to serve, however, and it is important to note that Jesus was washing the feet of future priests because foot washing is of a prophetic nature in Scripture. There are 14 instances of foot washing recorded in Scripture and all of them have some direct influence on the future of Israel, be it Abraham washing the feet of the three Visitors, the institution of the washing of the priest’s hands and feet before the Temple service, Laban washing the feet of Abraham’s servant who was sent on a mission to find a wife for Issac, or David plotting against Uriah.

    The point is that foot washing, itself, in Scripture, is a prophetic act, especially in reference to the House of David (either as ancestors or descendants). You will search high and low, but of those 14 instances, you will not find a single instance of a man washing a woman’s feet. That is not to say that a man may not wash the feet of a woman in service (you married men might think to so honor your wives), but that, simply put, women were very seldom sent as messengers of God in the Old Testament and certainly not in the service of the Temple. Being sent is a type of sacrifice of obedience and the office of sacrifice fell, primarily, to men. One is to wash the feet of those that are sent to you as a way of worshiping the God who, for whatever reason, sent them. It was the Apostles who were called and sent out to form disciples who were then further sent. Washing the feet of the Apostles is a way of telling them that they will be sent to the nations. Only Bishops are so commissioned to serve the nations, as an office, and they are specifically sent by God (Christ). The Old Testament typology is unmistakeable to a First-century Jew.

    Thus, washing the feet of someone at the Mass of Institution on Holy Thursday, is a way of affirming that these people will be sent by God, specifically, as a sacrifice or the purveyor of a sacrifice. To be honest, it would have been unheard of to wash the feet of a woman in that setting. It simply would not have made sense to the Jewish people, who would have seen this foot washing, during Passover, no less, as directly connected to the washing of the priests in the Temple service.

    Women’s feet can certainly be washed, since they are also disciples, but not in the context of the Passover. Thus, clergy may certainly wash women’s feet as a sign of their underlying service to mankind, but not within the context of the Institution Mass. It simply makes no sense. It is not a sign of humility because humility refers to some truth and the washing of feet has a pre-assigned purpose which refers to a pre-assigned truth. The service offered in this sign is already defined and to do otherwise refutes the sign.

    So, I cannot see a basis for washing women’s feet at the Holy Thursday Mass, not as a sign of humility nor prophecy. It is not a small thing to do so. The poor can be served with better signs. How about throwing an Easter party and inviting the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame? That is a sign given by God directly to the poor. One serves the poor with the understanding that they cannot pay you back. In that context, what does foot washing at Holy Thursday Mass have to do with the poor?

    Just my thoughts and I’m going back into hibernation. Call me when something shakes the cave.

    The Chicken

  119. Nan says:

    Magpie, I’m still weeping because the church has lost its foundation. For me, the temple veil is now torn and the church doesn’t lead to salvation.

  120. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Here’s how I plan to respond to this disaster: 1) greater devotion to the holy Rosary. Mary will prevail!; 2) I will study Latin with all my might. Took it when I was in school back in the Pleistocene era. Can pick it up on the web. And I will tell everyone I can how much I hope the Latin liturgy will be returned.

  121. Potato2 says:

    Nice try Fr. Z
    I’m not buying it.
    Just like I don’t buy it when political conservatives thank obama for amking them stronger. He doesn’t make them stronger. He pushes his agenda. same here.
    You know it don’t you?

  122. acardnal says:

    “the sensible center”, frjim4321, is what brought about the current (last 50 years) crisis in the Church, i.e., loss of regular Sunday Mass attendance, lack of reverence for the Holy Eucharist, no understanding of basic Catholic principles, failure to go to the Sacrament of Penance, and lack of understanding of Christian sexual morality.

  123. acardnal says:

    I should have added that Pope Francis, age 76, appears to want to return to that era of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and that will NOT foster a new evangelization at all! Save the Liturgy, Save the World are not empty words.

  124. Father Jim said:

    Fr. Fox: No I think what’s happening is that the “rotr” ethos was symptomatic of the pendulum reaching the opposite extreme, and now we will we are finally coming back toward the sensible center position.

    Oh no, Father. If time, my energy, and our genial host permitted, I would demolish that contention as thoroughly as the Romans demolished Carthage, ending with the ground being sown with salt.

    The “reform of the reform” is the only hope the Ordinary Form of the Mass has.

    As it is routinely celebrated, with banal music (rather than the propers as called for), with endless and unpredictable variations, beyond those allowed for, with incessant talking, with the “versus populum” posture that cannot be defended, with the ritual as denuded of color and richness as too many post-Council churches have been, the Ordinary Form is, I fear, condemned to a long, slow, but inexorable decline.

    The stunning fact is that when someone sees the Ordinary Form celebrated precisely as the rubrics presuppose: with the proper texts, chanted, ad orientem, in continuity with traditional forms, in ars celebrandi, vessels, vestments, and in setting, people will mistakenly not even recognize it as the Mass of Paul VI, and think it is some sort of “violation.” I’m reminded of Chesterton’s much-quoted witticism about Christianity: it isn’t so much tried and found wanting, but wanted but never tried. People who intensely dislike the Ordinary Form will say, this I could love.

    The cheerleaders for the post-Vatican II mode of celebrating the Mass should be more circumspect; in what sense has their cherished project been a success?

    I am actually in favor of a proper liturgical reform, and so I read Pope Benedict. But sometimes, in order to go forward the right way, one must back up along ones path a bit.

    Again, if we have a breaking out of liturgical nuttiness again, more people will decide that the Extraordinary Form looks better and better.

  125. Tifosi says:

    I, too, am concerned by Pope Francis’s actions. We have liturgical rubrics for a reason and to have someone change them to suit their own purposes is confusing. Trads have been taking a lot of heat for their remarks on other blogs about the action of Pope Francis. Although some of the remarks are angry, paranoid, and disrespectful of the Holy Father, I know where they come from, and I’m willing to cut them some slack. Pope Benedict was like a drink of cool water after 40 years in the desert, and trads thought they might be gaining in the war. It was spiritual warfare, and they have been in the front lines.
    People have forgotten what happened in the 70’s, so I’m going to offer a personal history lesson. I remember it very well. I started Catholic school in 1965, so I remember the transitional Mass in English that was very much like the Tridentine, with a few things omitted. It was said ad orientem, had the prayers at the foot of the altar, without the Judica Me, and the Roman canon, since that was the only canon then. (I think if the reforms had stopped here, there would have been no problem.) The sisters at my school still wore their traditional habits when I started school.
    In 1969 everything changed. The Novus Ordo was introduced. With that, all traditional music was out and “Let it Be” and “Blowing in the Wind” became favorite hymns. Forty-Hours Devotion was out, as well as May Processions. Fortunately, our parish did not introduce communion standing or in the hand until much later. My mother and father had a very hard time with the changes. They tried to organize a group to lobby for at least a Latin Mass. They were called “heretics” by the priest and told “to get with the program.” We became “roaming Catholics.” We once attended a traditional Mass offered by an independent priest, but he railed against the parish down the street as being heretical so we didn’t return. We found a nearby parish with a Novus Ordo in Latin offered by a retired priest and went to that parish for years instead of our home parish. In addition, the sisters modified their habits, but within a year quit wearing them altogether, and the possibility of Mary not really being a virgin was discussed in religion class. My mother was told by her confessor to pull us out of Catholic school because “they were poisoning our minds.”
    In the 80’s a Norbertine father came to the parish to offer a weekly Novus Ordo in Latin which was very successful. When a new pastor came into the parish, he put a stop to it. My father spoke to him about it, and was told, “why do you want a Latin Mass. You don’t even understand Latin.” After that, my parents left the church and have never returned. They are now in the 80s, and I have been hoping that someday, we would get an FSSP parish, but this is LA. The traditional Mass has been kept going only because of the efforts of faithful who have fought the hard fight, been ostracized, and called names by their pastors. Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum things have improved, but Masses are spread out over the entire diocese and held at irregular times. For instance, there is a Mass offered at 1:00 p.m. in a local parish. If you want to observe the traditional fast, it truly becomes a weekly penance.
    People today think Mass is a meal, not a sacrifice. I see comments criticizing people for criticizing the Pope for not genuflecting at the consecration. At first, I thought maybe he had a physical problem, but he seems to be able to kneel when he wants to. To kneel to wash feet and not kneel before Christ present on the altar is confusing, especially when no explanation is offered.

    So have a little pity for trads. If it wasn’t for their efforts and others like them most of you who have easy access to the traditional Mass or a good quality Novus Ordo with decent music wouldn’t have that. I understand their comments and echo them to myself. This is more than about liturgy and other minutiae. It’s about Catholic identity and what sets us apart from just another Christian church, and constant change and uncertainty does nothing to help.

  126. maryh says:

    I think @BLB Oregon is right: Because he washed the feet of Muslim women, that, along with this sermon, makes clear that the foot-washing ceremony has nothing to do with who can be ordained as a priest. Did any media outlet fail to comment that he was washing the feet of a Muslim woman?

    A lot of people are uncatechized, but they’re not stupid. Wash the feet of married men – okay, married men can become priests. Wash the feet of women – maybe women can become priests. Wash the feet of a Muslim woman – oops, even the average media catechized know that doesn’t work.

    I don’t think Pope Francis is naive in the least. He knows exactly what he’s doing. And he just did something that will be taken by the average undercatechized Catholic as a sign of service and, incidentally, as a sign that it can’t be about ordaining women. They can “wonder” and “hope” all they want, but I think the average Catholic is just going to think – he washed Muslim’s feet – so this can’t be about who gets ordained.

    So he shows charity and does an end-run around the liberal spinmeisters. Because whatever the media says, everyone knows and saw that he washed the feet of Muslims.

    As for whether his example promotes antinomianism, I’m beginning to think he’s not interested in changing any canon law at all. As the pope, it appears he can already dispense himself from this canon law, and I don’t think he’s willing to use the force of canon law to require anyone to allow washing the feet of women. He’s left it right where it was: canonically, footwashing should be reserved to men, but that particular requirement can be dispensed with. It’s up to the bishops.

    And that’s the way I think he’s going to do things. He’s looking for a grassroots revival. And I agree with @The Drifter that he’s going be pratical. He wants people back in the Church and we think the EF is a great evangelizer. So he’s going to give us a chance to walk the walk and do that. If we want the EF, it’s up to us to get together and get it.

    I really like the idea of the average parish having at least one Sunday mass in the EF. It seems to me that would be more effective than separate FSSP or EF parishes. Besides which, if everyone who wants the EF goes off to a separate parish, who’s going to be left to bring it in to other parishes? This is NOT about the priest – it’s about the laity!

  127. catholicmidwest says:

    I honestly don’t think Traditionalists are high on Pope Francis’ radar at all. I think he’s going to preach the Gospel over and over. I think if you don’t want to appear on his radar and take a chance, Traditionalists ought to pipe down and listen as he preaches the Gospel and be happy about that.

  128. netokor says:

    StabatMater, what a moving account! I am much obliged to you for sharing it. Chicken, I truly admire your scholarship and eloquence in transmitting it.

  129. sandydeb says:

    The Catholic Church is big business and wields significant power around the world. The Catholic Church’s entire theological premise is biased in favor of men and is asserted to be “The Word of God.” When challenged, those in power simply loop back to the premise and use it to justify the bias. It is the equivalent of saying, “Because I said so.” If one disagrees, one is excommunicated, and subsequently damned for eternity. The Mother of all penalties (pun intended). Faith would require me to accept that my female gender has relegated me to second-class status in the eyes of God. To have so much discussion and belief centered on the inherent moral superiority of the male gender demonstrates that the Catholic Church worships men before God. (Loop back to “God said..”) I choose to put my faith in God rather than men, Catholic or not. My relationship with God does not require a third party.


  130. RJHighland says:

    I can’t wait for the rotating float with a young lady dressed as an angel holding the Word of God on top to process down the main aisle of St. Peter’s with circus music playing for Maudi Gras. I suppose that will re-enforce Summorum Pontificum even more than the washing of women’s feet on Maundy Thursday. Isn’t the institution of the Eucharist and institution of the priesthood the most important aspects of Maundy Thursday? If there is such a necessity to wash the feet of women and non-Catholics shouldn’t you have 12 men and then add who ever else you want to the ritual/practice? May God guide and direct our Holy Father and His Church to greater glory.

  131. lana says:

    Supertradmum, thank you so much for that great link!!!

    So much was made of his not wearing the gold cross, and such a simple answer!

  132. Cantor says:

    Nan –

    Don’t be waylaid by the chattering lips on either side of this ‘discussion’. The Church is still our true pathway to Salvation. We were promised from the beginning that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. To believe otherwise is to admire the wall hangings of Satan.

    When you attend Mass on Sunday, the clothing, the language, the priest’s orientation – physical or political – means nothing. Be he pope or ordained yesterday, at the time of the Consecration, he becomes the person of Jesus Christ who died for YOU, and won for YOU an eternity.

    Let us pray for guidance in this difficult time.

  133. jhayes says:

    Chicken, The following circular letter (Prot. N. 120/88) was published by the Congregation for Divine Worship on Saturday, 20 February 1988….

    “51. The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came “not to be served, but to serve”. This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.”

    Apart from stipulating “men”, there is no suggestion that the people washed should be limited to priests or future priests. The washing is a sign of Jesus’ new commandment “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” and his injunction “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” So it applies to all.

    Ideally, the reference to “men” will be removed, but in the meantime, the Pope can dispense himself from that internally and others by indult or, as Jimmy Akin has reported the CDW did in 2004, simply by indicating that bishops can decide for themselves based on pastoral considerations in their dioceses.

    I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.

  134. AnnAsher says:

    Nice positive spin on the first clear evidence that the new papacy is on a path to perdition.

  135. Lucas Whittaker says:

    I think that we are witnessing in these recent events an extreme confusion about basic principles and the actions of our Holy Father did not speak to authenticity, which does a great deal of harm to the universal Church. To those who see his actions as something good I can only say, “I’m sorry.”

    There is beauty in simplicity and there is simplicity in following the norms of mother Church. To stray from the black and the red only leaves people confused. And the general confusion is not a sign that we have witnessed something done for the sake of true charity. Mother Theresa did and said some shocking things that left no confusion in her wake, because those actions derived from a pure intention to love in the name of Jesus.

  136. Mitchell NY says:

    Surely the worries of traditional and conservative branches of the Church have reached the Vatican and the Pope. The silence to those concerns from Rome while with actions speaking to other branches of the Church reeks of a shunning of those concerns thus far. It exemplifies the exact attitude which the Holy Father wishes to change in others towards the world’s less fortunate. Here is where Emeritus Benedict’s teaching example is most needed. The Church is supposed to be like an umbrella for all of us to be able to take cover, be sheltered, be listened to, and feel protected. So far the truth is that some people have been pushed into the rain to make room for others when in fact we should all be crowding in together with no one being pushed out.

  137. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    I agree that the Pope’s decision to set aside the rules in this instance was unfortunate, and, in particular, the example set by his doing so may prove to be beyond unfortunate.

    That said: what would Mary do? I’m thinking, how would Our Lady have conducted herself toward Pope Peter I on that Sabbath day following Good Friday? It is plausible that Our Lady would have shared the Passover meal with the Apostles on that sad day before Easter. When she approached Peter, who had denied her Son three times, would Our Lady have reproached him? Would she have said, “I don’t want to sit near Peter, that creep; he denied my Son! I want to sit by anyone except him!”

    Does that sound like Our Lady? I don’t think so. I think Our Lady would have remained calm and dignified and charitable even toward Saint Peter who had denied her beloved Son. She would have prayed for Peter; her demeanor toward him would have been sweet and gracious; she would have maintained confidence that the Holy Spirit would strengthen him to do what is right in the future.

    I think that to imitate Our Lady in everything, we can’t go wrong.

  138. Supertradmum says:

    Just a thought as it is really late here–the vast majority of young men in the seminaries are Benedict’s men, as it were, who really love the TLM or at least want the renewal of the NO with the new emphasis on reverence and even ad orientem. This is true in many countries, including the US.

    What about these men?

  139. acardnal says:

    jhayes wrote, ““51. The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came “not to be served, but to serve”. This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.”

    This is referring to the men, the Apostles, whom Jesus ordained at the Last Supper. He expected his priests and bishops to serve others not to be served by them. That is the meaning behind the washing of the feet. There is no other meaning.

  140. acardnal says:

    Jesus did NOT wash the feet of any other women present or even the feet of his Holy and sinless mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary who undoubtedly was present. To extrapolate beyond that is speculation.

  141. Lucas Whittaker says:

    I’m taking a lead from Saint Paul on this one. Sometimes the Holy Father is wrong about important matters. When we are wrong the most healing action to take comes by way of an apology, which would open the way for a reconciliation. Saint Peter did this by making public the truth that he should have been practicing privately in his own life. There can be no growth among any people without reconciliation.

  142. jhayes says:

    I watched the Easter Vigil Mass. Francis baptized and confirmed three people at the Mass. Later, I watched to see if the prie-dieu Benedict had used for Communion would reappear. It didn’t and he gave the three of them Communion by intinction, standing, behind the altar. He did not come forward of the altar to distribute Communion to other people attending the Mass.

    The laity received Communion, standing, from 120 priests and deacons, as at Benedict’s Masses. Camera closeups showed that they were giving on the tongue or in the hand as the person requested. I don’t recall seeing Communion in the hand at Benedict’s Masses but it may just not have been caught on camera.

  143. lana says:

    Mitchell NY – Fr. Lombardi addressed the concerns. For one, I am satisfied with the response. Why do you say Rome is being silent?

  144. Amerikaner says:

    In my comment I wrote “Before we jump all over the Holy Father, perhaps we should try to understand why. ” and Fr. Z added a comment of his “[Have you read this blog recently?]”

    My comment was not a comment on WDTPRS. It was more of a general musing on the idea of society’s rashness to put the cart before the horse. I included myself into this assessment, thus the use of the “we.”

  145. lana says:

    Marion – that was a _beautiful_ thought! Thank you!

  146. Parasum says:

    “In two weeks Pope Francis has done more to promote Summorum Pontificum than Pope Benedict did since the day he promulgated it.”

    ## So true. His scandalous behaviour is a powerful indication of the new rite’s capacity for being abused. It is a room in a half-way house between the True Faith in its beauty, and the abominations of heresy. Despite himself, he proves by his abuses that Vatican II was built on shifting sand, and cannot last. For that at least he can be thanked.

    “After the decision by Pope Francis to wash the feet of two women on Holy Thursday, conservative Catholic priests and laypeople alike will now be looking for ways out of the dilemma posed by the foot washing rite of the Holy Thursday Mass.”

    ## No dilemma. A liturgical abuse is a liturgical abuse, even if the wrong-doer is the Pope. There cannot be a stand for the Pope, and another for other priests. That would be relativism. Either liturgical law obliges, or it does not. The Pope did wrong, and caused scandal, as these comboxes shows. If a parish priest is rightly rebuked for washing the feet of women and not men in the Mandatum, the Pope cannot be less worthy of rebuke. The Church cannot have it both ways. At the very least, and as a work of mercy, the authorities in the Church need to make it unambiguously clear that, if the Pope can indeed commit abuses without being at fault, while lesser clergy sin if they imitate him, ther is in fact, according to the mind of the Church, one standard applicable to him, but an entirely different standard applicable to them. The double standard needs to be made explicit, to avoid further confusion. Then he can rip up Tradition, the Faith, the Liturgy, morals, the sacraments, & meaning itself, to his heart’s content. And the rest of us can keep clear of his shenanigans, until the Church withers, and he has no Church to be Pope of. Let him explain that to the Great Shepherd of the Sheep :(

    “The foot washing rite is actually optional, though that fact is little grasped by liberals who impose the options they like as obligatory on those who would prefer to opt out.”

    ## An excellent description of this Pope. [My italics]

  147. chantgirl says:

    frjim4321- I gave up killing trolls for Lent, so I will just say that your inference that those who attend the EF are stupid, uncatechised or unable to deal with change is extremely offensive and intolerant. Most of my family and friends left the Church because of the foolishness, the anything goes attitude. I will not raise my children in the same liturgical environment in which I was raised, the same environment that has me pleading with God for the salvation of so many fallen-away Catholics whom I love.

  148. netokor says:

    Tifosi, thank you also very much for sharing your story.

    Sandydeb, the effort to express your bigotry toward our Church makes no sense. The opposite of love is indifference. No IRS agent will fine you if you fail to comply with any mandate promulgated by the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, if you must rage, you can find sympathy and affirmation somewhere else. There is a blog for ignorant, uneducated, irrational creatures like yourself. Perhaps you’ve heard of “fishwrap”?

  149. Parasum says:

    @ The Masked Chicken

    “hope the Greek displays, properly”

    ## Not in Mozilla 19, it doesn’t. But it’s easy to look up :)

  150. Pingback: Holy Week Liturgical Highlights and Review - Big Pulpit

  151. allan500 says:

    Fr. Z, I think the most important thing you observed is that “War-weary Catholics are back in the trenches.” We have no choice but to fight. It appears that Pope Francis is looking for a fight. Why? Could it be that he is not the humble man of peace he pretends to be, but a cunning fake? He knows exactly what he is doing when he ignores rubrics. He knows what he is doing when he greets every motley group of heretic and heathen but refuses to acknowledge the SSPX. Surely then are no further from the heart of the church than Muslims. He seems to be the classic bully doing what he wants–in disregard of people’s feelings and lawful aspirations– just because he can. Humble men don’t act like that.

    [I won’t write here what I think of suggestions like this in my combox.]

  152. jhayes says:

    acardnal wrote “This is referring to the men, the Apostles, whom Jesus ordained at the Last Supper.”

    The quote is from a document about The Mandatum rite, not the Last Supper it refers to the men whose feet will be washed at the rite.

  153. netokor says:

    Chantgirl, after reading your post, I had to look for frjim4321’s, which I missed. He writes, “I suspect that by providing excellent liturgical catechesis (both by word and example) even fewer individuals will find the need to take refuge from what they don’t correctly understand (the reformed rite of 1973) in the imperfect rite that preceded it for a couple centuries.” Fr., as one of these individuals you refer to, I must ask you to be specific. What have I not understood correctly of the reformed rite of 1973? How was the Tridentine rite imperfect? And why have we been deprived of this “excellent liturgical catechesis” for so long?

  154. jhayes says:

    acardnal wrote: “Jesus did NOT wash the feet of any other women present or even the feet of his Holy and sinless mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary who undoubtedly was present. To extrapolate beyond that is speculation.”

    The idea that women or anyone other than the twelve apostles were there is speculation. It’s not established in any of the Gospels.

    Matthew uses both “disciples” and “the twelve” in describing those present with Jesus at he Last Supper, leaving the possibiity that there were more than 12 disciples there. However, since Matthew says that Jesus gave the bread and wine to his “disciples” and told them to “drink from it all of you”, having more than 12 disciples present would cause many complications.

  155. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Kathleen10, not sure what you mean when you say that innovation is not the responsibility of the Holy See; the Holy See has a long history of innovation, regardless of whether the Popes saw it as their responsibility to innovate. Many obviously thought that what they did was exactly as their forefathers did, but that has not been the case for about 1000 years since the first major innovation. Now the innovations have been coming pretty quickly, so that there’s barely little context left for Catholics to even recognize innovation. Take this service for foot washing. For generations, it was a separate service apart from the Mass. Then one of the greatest innovators over the course of his long influential life, Eugenio Pacelli, Pius XII, said it could be part of the Mass. So now many clergy and laity think if you don’t do perform the ceremony during the Mass, you are “breaking tradition.” And that’s one of hundreds of changes that deprive Catholics of the richness of their patrimony, from praxis (like fasting regs) to doctrine. So you can’t easily say that what Pope Francis did is in any way bad, without pointing out that he does it in the name of the Papacy, which of course Catholics cannot do; and so they enable the innovation to occur, again and again. Catholics cannot reject the innovations without rejecting the Papacy, and the latter they will not do; and so, by defending the Papacy, they by default end up enabling the innovations generation after generation.

  156. John 6:54 says:

    Lets see what occurs next year at Holy Thursday before getting too concerned. If the Pope had done this on the alter at St Peters then I can understand the up roar. It was as a Juvenal detention center. WWJD? Take a deep breath and pray.

  157. poohbear says:

    “but refuses to acknowledge the SSPX.”

    Perhaps Pope Francis is just respecting their wishes. After all, they did decline the invitation to rejoin the family.

  158. donato2 says:

    It is not a blessing to have the TLM grow somewhat simply because NO abuse is allowed to run wild. Pope Benedict’s vision, as I understand it, was to have the TLM and NO cross fertilize each other and eventually merge. This is a beautiful vision. An anecdote illustrates my feelings about this. I work in an office that has about 40 upper middle class, mostly caucasian, pretty secular professionals and about 80 support staff. The support staff is mostly Hispanic, many Catholic, some evangelical and some secular. One of the professionals who happened to be a Catholic returned to the Church when he was diagnosed with a fatal illness and then died. The entire office attended his NO funeral Mass, which was beautifully done by an obviously orthodox young priest. To have the entire office, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, at Mass praying together was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. So it should be with the universal Church. The most beautiful thing would be for us all to pray together in full communion with the Pope, the bishops, all the priests and the entire Church.

    The shame of allowing a return to silly season is that it would undermine the liturgical unity that Pope Benedict fostered. Over the course of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, I went to Mass at many different parishes and I saw some signs that the celebration of the NO was improving just as envisioned by Pope Benedict: more chant, more reverence. This gave me hope because the NO, properly celebrated, can be quite beautiful and has some advantages over the TLM in my opinion (I for example think that it is a good thing to be able to hear and understand the Eucharistic prayer). If the Vatican starts to signal that the Mass can be a “let’s all gather around the table for a meal, hey, who’s turn is it to say the prayers?” kind of thing. it obviously will not help the NO develop.

  159. mbabc123 says:

    I agree John 6:54, let’s wait and see what happens next year. What’s the bet if it’s in a Church that they’ll be all men?

    My understanding is that the Holy See’s press folk have essentially said that only men can have their feet washed but that this Mass was not at an ordinary parish, rather it was under special circumstances at a youth detention center – previously visited by his Holiness Benedict XVI btw.

    His Holiness Francis hasn’t been Pope for long, so lets see wait and see how things go liturgically.

    If anyone at my Parish brings up him washing the feet of two women (only two, the majority were men) then I’ll ask if we are planing on praying Mass next year in our usual liturgical setting or at a detention center. Maybe I’ll even bring up all the Latin and Chant and Communion on the tongue while kneeling at his installation Mass.

  160. frjim4321 says:

    chantgirl and netokor, it’s just a matter of my experience and nothing more . . . I did not use the word “stupid” nor do I believe it applies here.

  161. Nan says:

    Cantor, thank you for your kind words. I’m not responding to anything but the premise under which I was raised, that the Church is not about God but about Men’s rules; Pope Francis tore the foundation of the Church when he failed to follow the Rubrics as to washing the feet. If the Pope doesn’t bother following the rules, I don’t see how salvation can be found here.

    sandydeb, really? It was Christ who elevated women to the equal of men; equal doesn’t mean the same. The most revered human? The Blessed Virgin Mary. The Apostle to the Apostles? Mary Magdalene, who found his empty tomb. If you read the Gospel, women are around all the time, learning from Christ, unlike in Judaism, where women were controlled by their father, then their husband and did not learn from the Rabbi. Many religious orders were to teach basic education and work skills; mothers superior were in charge of their convents. Throughout the ages, the Catholic Church has put women in a higher place than they are in many societies.

    If you’re wailing because women can’t be priests, know that it isn’t about power; the women who wail the loudest about their inability to become a priest are power-hungry. In contrast, most priests I know didn’t go looking for ordination; Christ called them to him. If you recall, Christ was incarnate man, not woman. As such, because a priest stands in persona christi, a woman is incapable of being a priest. It simply isn’t possible. Also, the Church doesn’t sanction gay marriage and the Church is the bride of Christ, so it makes no sense that the Church would ordain women.

    I don’t remember who posted of their sadness about a priest who bailed out? I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll keep him in my prayers.

  162. Parasum says:

    @ Cheesesteak Expert:

    “So you can’t easily say that what Pope Francis did is in any way bad, without pointing out that he does it in the name of the Papacy, which of course Catholics cannot do…”

    ## Why ever not ? A stupid, scandalous, or unorthodox act or utterance of the Pope is of that description regardless of who he is.

    Acting “in the name of the Papacy” could cover anything from waging war on an Italian city-state to defining a dogma. And not all acts of the man who is Pope are done in his capacity as Pope: he absolves in the confessional not because he is the Pope, but because he is a priest. It’s essential to make distinctions, otherwise people get the idea that to criticise the Pope, no matter how imprudent, scandalous, heretical or scandalous his actions or words, is tantamount to criticising Christ. But that is an exaggerated idea of the Papacy, one not supported by the facts.

    “and so they enable the innovation to occur, again and again. Catholics cannot reject the innovations without rejecting the Papacy…”

    ## Not so. If the Pope prints a faulty edition of the Vulgate, as Clement V did in 1590, the fact of its being a Papal act does (& did) not alter the fact that it contained thousands of misprints. It had to be replaced, in 1592, which is why Clement VIII is more often associated with it.

    The idea that the authority is rejected when one of its acts is rejected, is not logical. Maybe this is in part why people confuse disobedience with schism.

  163. Traductora says:

    Supertradmum, my point was that popular faith is not kept alive by laypeople hanging around the sacristy and checking on the positioning of Father’s vestments, scrutinizing his hand positions, etc. I think that laypeople, whether “traditionalist” or NO, are perhaps getting excessively involved in liturgical matters, to the exclusion of their real duty, which is not to supervise the sanctuary but to bring the Faith out into the world. And I think the excessive level of lay involvement has confused the clergy and made it easy for them to abandon their teaching and even liturgical responsibilities.

    Places like Latin American, Spain, Malta or, most certainly, Italy itself now have a truly abysmal lack of knowledge of the Faith and its moral requirements because the clergy have abandoned their duties – no confessions in the parishes, cathecism of both children and adults left to unsupervised laypeople who don’t even know the Faith themselves, and the liturgy taken over by self-important laypeople. The only thing that has kept even the memory of the true Faith alive in those places, however, has been the traditions of popular devotion – and the devout, serious laypeople who have worked hard to keep the processions, the pilgrimages, etc. going and visible, still reminding the average person of the real story behind daily life, the real drama of salvation.

    And curiously enough, the clergy has often fought these practices. The Spanish cofradias really had to fight to keep the Holy Week processions alive in some parts of Spain where modernist bishops and clergy had been implanted in the 80s. That’s because popular devotions remained as an uncomfortable reminder of the reality of the Faith that the left wing official institutional segment of the Church was trying to erase.

    Obviously, there are going to be some laypeople who have a legitimate reason to be involved with liturgy – musicians, church architects, designers, and other people whose professional knowledge is needed by the clergy. But I think a lot of us laypeople should really remember that our place is in the world and not in the sacristy.

  164. Phil_NL says:


    That’s not what I meant at all. NOs won’t dissappear, nor am I afraid of that. I’m referring to the danger that advances in the reverence of tose NO Masses will halt or disappear. That doesn’t mean there won’t be NOs, but it may mean there won’t be decent NO Masses. That’s a much more limited category, but still one many are blessed to have, and wouldn’t want to change for either the guitar-type NO or the EF. I think the ‘if you want decent Masses, attend an EF’ idea is a very poor one. Every Catholic is entitled to a reverent Mass, also those who just don’t get that particular vibe from an EF.

    Even if your ultimate goal would be to get all Catholics into the EF by any means necessary (and I’m not saying this is anyone’s goal btw, just taking the extreme for the sake of the argument) saying that abuses and problematic optionals are a good thing since they drive people away from the NO is a very poor tactic. People would be grumbling for decades.

  165. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “I’m referring to the danger that advances in the reverence of those NO Masses will halt or disappear. That doesn’t mean there won’t be NOs, but it may mean there won’t be decent NO Masses

    Twelve suggestions to promote more reverent NO Masses in your parish, and in your diocese:

    1. Pray the Rosary on your knees every evening after dinner, as a family. We can obtain everything through the Rosary. It may take weeks, months, or years, but Our Lady will provide. Trust her.

    2. After each decade, offer the following prayer: “God our Father, please continue to send us holy priests.”

    3. Pray the Rosary in Church with other Mass attendees after daily Mass, especially on Saturday.

    4. Propose to the other attendees that you add the “God our Father, send us . . . ” prayer after each decade. This will spread the devotion. It has worked wonders in our parish!

    5. Before attending Mass each Sunday, ask the Holy Spirit to bless and inspire your celebrant and the congregation. Ask Him to provide a most holy and reverent celebration, with very great graces for all present and for the entire parish.

    6. Week in and week out, wear your Sunday best to Mass each Sunday. Suit and tie; skirt or dress, if you can afford them, and if not, then the freshest and nicest that you have. I don’t mean razzle-dazzle catwalk-style; I mean simply clean, dry, and well-groomed hair, freshly shaved, neatly dressed, as carefully put-together as you can. How you look while present to others will matter to them, even to the priest.

    7. Sit in the front row, or as close to it as you can, each week.

    8. Arrive early, and settle into your chosen spot, each week. Let it be seen that you are offering silent prayers. Kneel; fold your hands in prayer; look up at the crucifix, or bow your head and close your eyes, and beg God for all the graces from this Mass and Holy Communion that He can possibly bestow. Don’t speak or move unnecessarily, and stay in that attitude until it’s time to rise for the procession.

    9. Once Holy Mass begins, participate as if this were your last Mass on Earth. Offer most fervent prayers to God, imploring Him for a reverent and holy celebration now and in the future. Keep your nose out of the missalette and the bulletin; don’t take your eyes off the altar. Your actions will be noticed.

    10. After Mass is over, remain kneeling or seated in your pew for a few moments to offer thanks for Holy Communion. Let it be seen that you are in silent prayer. Three to five minutes – no more.

    11. Speak with Father after Mass each Sunday. Thank him for celebrating Mass. Tell him you are praying for him, and ask him to pray for you.

    12. Give as generously as you can of your time, talent, and treasure to your parish. Over time, your doing so can’t help but influence your pastor on your behalf. Be a lector, or teach CCD or RCIA, or offer to take Holy Communion to those who are homebound or in nursing homes; vacuum the Church, clip the hedges, make phone calls, stuff envelopes: the words and actions of those who clearly extend themselves to support the work of the parish are naturally going to carry a little more weight than those of parishioners who just sit back and kvetch.

    Keep plugging away; the results you want may take time, but they will come.

    May God bless you and keep you all, and Happy Easter!

  166. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Parasum, a blessed Feast to you.
    Of what value is authority if it is accepted as an idea, but rejected in practice? Sounds like cafeteria Catholicism. The person rejecting has taken on for himself the authority to decide, and that is called being a protestant. My point is that, because of so many innovations authorized and promulgated by the Papacy, Catholics do not know what to do, believe or submit to, other than the reigning Pope. Which can be quite confusing, when this Pope says, Zig, but the last Pope said, Zag. A lot of zig-zagging. Which Fr Z can help with, of course.

  167. G1j says:

    Catholics have fallen right into the Main Stream Media trap. They report something to try to divide and provide controversy. We fall into the trap and provide amusement.

  168. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Dear FrJim4321,

    You remind me that I don’t pray hard enough for our good priests who need every support that they can receive. I will begin praying more intensely for our priests today and every day from this day forward. As I write this I get the image in my mind of Moses who, when he lifted up his hands, gained victory for Israel in a difficult battle. I haven’t thought about this setting long enough to decide whether I will represent Aaron or Hur, but think of yourself as Moses keeping his hands lifted toward heaven in order for Israel to rout the enemy. Then know that the prayers of many for the sake of priests, like Aaron and Hur did for Moses, support you as you labor to bring people closer to God through the sacraments.

    (Exodus chapter 17) [10] Josue did as Moses had spoken, and he fought against Amalec; but Moses, and Aaron and Hur went up upon the top of the hill. [11] And when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel overcame: but if he let them down a little, Amalec overcame. [12] And Moses’ hands were heavy: so they took a stone, and put under him, and he sat on it: and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands on both sides. And it came to pass that his hands were not weary until sunset.

    Happy Easter, Father Jim.

  169. Grabski says:

    How many Catholics will begin to see SSPX chapels, or Orthodox Churches, as the only safe haven?

  170. Dennis Martin says:

    John 6:54 at 10:54

    Now you’ve REALLY gone and done it. Wrecked my day. Disheartened me beyond words.

    I didn’t know the Italians had imprisoned Juvenal. What in the world did he do to deserve this?

    This is a real Scandal. What is the world coming to?

  171. lana says:

    Nan, please don’t despair. Here is a reminder of what Greta wrote on an earlier thread:

    Bishops and popes are given the power to dispense, which is a relaxation of the law, for particular circumstances and for what they deem to be a “just and reasonable cause.” Check canons 85-93. So many people are looking at the Pope’s actions as him breaking the law….

    This is in fact what Fr. Lombardi explained.

    And “the gates of hell shall not prevail”.

    So, that is that! We have a very holy HolyFather, who is very prayerful, orthodox, and mentioned the Blessed Mother twice in his first address to the world. Another article I read mentions how everything he does is done deliberately and after prayer. Let us leave the Holy Spirit to work on all of us in one way or another, to ‘write straight with crooked lines’, if there are any here. Even if there are, God can unravel anything. Happy Easter!

  172. catholicmidwest says:

    Well, Cheesesteak Expert,
    That’s when you realize that you need to know what the point of the Church is in the first place. What is the point of the Church, anyway? (rhetorical question, but I’m curious as to what people will say)

  173. PA mom says:

    “point of Church?” help everyone know of, then know personally and be in the Presence of Jesus?
    Or, am I way off here?

  174. Dr. Timothy J. Williams says:

    The defenses of Pope Francis become more creative and desperate every day. Still, this one is a real howler. You may be correct that Francis will not launch a frontal assault on Summorum Pontificum (although I think that is far from certain). But he won’t have to in order to undermine it. Lukewarm bishops all over the world have been looking for an excuse to ignore it, and now they have one: a pope who ignores Church law himself. One thing is for certain: opportunities to attend a licit TLM will diminish during this pontificate. That will be the least of our worries.

  175. lana says:

    point of the Church?— I will probably miss something, and in no particular order and each one below is for the glory of the Father : 1) baptism, sharing in the Life of the Trinity 2) the one place to find the Truth. 3) the duty and privilege of co-redemption with Christ for the salvation of the world 4) witness and mission to the world 5) our sanctification through the Eucharist and the other Sacraments

  176. lana says:

    Cheesesteak, I am not sure what Papal innovations you are talking about. The last one was the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and that was no innovation but well, I hope I don’t have to get into that. I know exactly what to believe. Each Pope has stressed a different facet of the Gospel with his own gifts, and none has taught error. We do not have to follow or like each Pope’s personal style. But I think we should try and pray to love them as best we can, as Vicars of Christ Himself, in faith. Especially if it does not come naturally.

  177. jflare says:

    I seem to recall having heard many a view alike with yours during my teens and 20’s. Unfortunately, you seem to me to view the Church primarily as a political institution, a giant multi-national business, or perhaps a nice social services NGO, one with a few prayers attached for good measure. These reflect a very poor comprehension of the Church’s actual mission in the world. In fact, these views demonstrate precisely why many of us have been pretty uncomfortable with some of Pope Francis’ actions these past few weeks, especially with Holy Thursday.

    I can’t help but think of the madness that I saw throughout the late 80’s and 90’s in particular with John Paul II, especially with regard to gender. Very simply put, many a radical-leaning feminist felt it worthwhile to hijack and manipulate almost anything John Paul II did. Rarely would they pay attention to the whole message; they’d always hear and see precisely what they wished.
    If some might complain that Benedict didn’t interact with the world so well in terms of actually teaching the faith–his comments regarding condoms come to mind–I think we might legitimately fear all the more aggressive of an approach to anything that can even be hinted at as being more “progressive”.

    Simply put, too many people simply have no interest in faith outside what they’ve already decided they wish to believe. I’d like to see our Pope expect us to demonstrate that we actually have some understanding of WHY our Church acts the way it does.

  178. netokor says:

    Phil_NL, thank you for your response. Yes, we all deserve reverent Masses. The only reverent NO Mass that I ever found was the one celebrated at the EWTN Monastery. At that time it was a long drive to get there. Now I am blessed with a weekly Latin Mass, and sometimes a retired Bishop will come to celebrate a High Mass. I pray that reverence will continue to grow in the NO Mass and that you never feel abandoned. The Latin Mass can seem cold and uninviting at first. The English translation on the side really helps to know what is happening. With a little effort it really grows on you. I have to admit that since my first language is Spanish, it didn’t seem too foreign to me, because Latin is the Mother tongue of Romanic languages like Spanish, French, Italian, etc. God bless you! Our Lady watches over us.

    Frjim4321, thank you also for your kind reply and clarification. Sometimes your comments are very general and can be misconstrued. I apologize for my arrogance. God bless you also!

    Sandydeb, I am sorry also for my lack of charity toward you. Today at Holy Mass I asked our Lord and Lady to protect you. I really think that you should consider that if the Catholic Church were as you describe it, it would have disappeared a long time ago, and that not many women would be faithful Catholics. Consider what a mystery it is that throughout the centuries her enemies have been obsessed with Her instead of simply ignoring Her. You may never accept the truth that contraception turns women into objects of pleasure and that abortion is both the murder of a life and the rape of a mother, but consider that many women are grateful that our Church has shown the true dignity of women throughout the ages by fighting against these and other evils regardless of the cost. May Our Blessed Mother protect your precious soul.

  179. sandydeb says:

    Netoker: I was told something eerily similar by a devout Muslim woman. I respect your right to believe as you do. I see things differently. Thank you for your kind concern.

  180. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    lana, a classic example is when Pope Pius V said that his Mass was to be used forever, until another Supreme Legislator, Pope Paul VI, said no, now we’ll use the Mass of Paul VI, aka the Novus Ordo or the Ordinary Rite (for Latins). And of course Popes before Paul VI tinkered with the liturgy as well (Pius X, Pius XII), calendars, when you take your first communion, fasting requirements… it’s a long list.

  181. Katylamb says:

    What is the point of the Church? I know why Jesus Christ founded the Church, if that answers your question.
    Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men (people- not just vir) to eternal salvation.

  182. lana says:

    Hello Cheesesteak,
    Well, since my reversion was in 1993, by which time things had pretty much calmed down and things were fairly standard and reverent in my part of the world, it has not been that hard for me.

    What to do? The duties of my state. What to believe? The Catechism.
    Who to submit to? Yes, the reigning Pope. I don’t think their personal styles mean I need to zig or zag. These externals should not be the focus of our faith.

    I dont know. Life is pretty simple for me. I can appreciate others may have more difficulty, especially if you are in an area where there is little reverence. But to whom else shall we go? Only Peter was given the keys. SSPX or anything outside the Church is simply not an option. All we can do is pray and sacrifice and TRUST in God.

  183. Katylamb says:

    Sandydeb: “I was told something eerily similar by a devout Muslim woman.”

    Well? She was right. Muslims aren’t always wrong all of the time.

  184. lana says:

    I dont think externals was the correct word for what I was trying to say. Though some of it is. I think the right word may be ‘discipline’ for some of it. And, as we know, the ‘liturgy ‘ Pope VI promulgated is not the liturgy that we have, but that is a whole different topic.

  185. Giuseppe says:

    Phil_NL — I too agree with you that many people long for a reverent NO mass. Today we had a priest ad lib much of the NO Mass. In truth, the most reverent NO masses I have heard in the past year have been weekday masses. Perhaps because there are few in attendance, there is less tendency to ad lib. Plus, there is minimal music (which is the kiss of death for most NO masses.)

  186. nykash says:

    Marion Ancilla Mariae’s advice is great. Back when I was in the process of coming back to the Church, the examples of a few pios individuals – and solid homilies – helped tremendously. I wonder what type of example it would set of a dozen or so people would kneel for communion (yes, with a perfectly functional altar rail nearby).

    Is Fr. Z correct that this could turn people to tradition? I certainly hope so.

    As for myself, I’m dismayed at the state of the Church. I love Latin, the EF mass, and all of the things that form our Catholic identify (some of which I’m still discovering!). Contrast this with what you may see at a NO mass: immodest dress, lack of respect for the Real Presence, banal music. This compare and contrast can obviously go on and on.

    I fear that these two worlds cannot be reconciled.

  187. netokor says:

    Sandydeb, thank you for your comforting words. I feel you have forgiven me. You are always in my prayers. I forgot to mention to you that I have a special devotion to St Teresa of Ávila and St Thérèse of Lisieux, both Doctors of the Church. I also love and admire very deeply Mother Teresa of Calcutta. May their feminine tenderness and stength intercede for you and comfort you in times of distress; and, again, May The Woman Clothed with the Sun, The Queen of the Church and the Apostles, Our Mother Dearest, lead you to true peace.

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  189. robtbrown says:

    Cheesesteak Expert says:

    lana, a classic example is when Pope Pius V said that his Mass was to be used forever, until another Supreme Legislator, Pope Paul VI, said no, now we’ll use the Mass of Paul VI, aka the Novus Ordo or the Ordinary Rite (for Latins). And of course Popes before Paul VI tinkered with the liturgy as well (Pius X, Pius XII), calendars, when you take your first communion, fasting requirements… it’s a long list.

    I can only hope yours is a tongue in cheek comment. Otherwise, it is wildly uninformed and incompetent.

    1. NB: there is a difference between what is essential and what is not. Making minor changes to Latin liturgy (e.g., inserting the name of St Joseph in the canon) is not the same as eliminating Latin in favor of the vernacular, nor of replacing ad orientem celebration with versus populum.

    2, Paul VI certainly had the juridical authority to promulgate the Novus Ordo. Whether he had the same authority to abrogate the 1962 Missal is another question, moot because, as Benedict XVI said, he did not try. Juridically, no priest is obligated to the 1970 Missal nor to vernacular. In fact, the juridical tilt is toward Latin.

    3. Mass is now commonly said as a Novus Ordo vernacular (versus populum) not because the pope officially mandated it, but rather because pressure was exerted on priests. It is much like the experience of a priest friend in Rome in the mid 80’s. Like many other priests he was here to study the new code of canon law, which meant finding a place to live was very difficult. When he was finally able to find a place to live, he was told that there was a concelebrated mass at 1230 on school days. After he replied that he didn’t need to concelebrate, he was told that he also didn’t need to live there.

  190. Lucas Whittaker says:

    These recent events have me shaken up a bit. I am the type of person who is [usually] never shaken up by anything. My wife and I are fortunate to have both forms of the liturgy available in our “backyard”, and both forms are done well. Some time ago I came to prefer the “usus antiquitor”, but suddenly I feel the need, as Father Z here suggests, to attend only the extraordinary form of the Mass. I purchased two books on the liturgy yesterday that should allow me to speak somewhat intelligently about why I love the “usus antiquitor”. For now I can only say that I love it and that the silence of this liturgy appears to me as something beautiful, something that I see lacking in the ordinary form of the Mass. My major point here, though, is simply this: Under Benedict XVI I stayed the course with my usual reading in theology and philosophy (that did not include a study of liturgy) without feeling pressured to defend my love of the “usus antiquitor”. Suddenly, I feel uncomfortable because the “new guard” doesn’t appear to share the same love for the Church in the same way and that makes me feel quite uneasy. I hope that I am wrong, but these events do give me pause.

  191. The Masked Chicken says:

    Regarding my discussion of foot washing, above,

    I, sometimes, feel terrified doing exegetical work in comboxes, because it is always good practice to set aside such a work for a day or two and then come back to it to see if it makes sense and if one, still, considers it correct. Comboxes do not often afford that luxury, so, while I try to do my best, such comments, which are meant to bring a discussion of some primary sources to the comments, should always be considered as tentative and, of course, possibly either wrong or incomplete. I hope they can add to the discussion from time to time, but they should always be read as if they were written on a napkin and not in a professional publication. I, myself, much prefer these sorts of objective comments, where there is real evidence sorted and sifted through. I learn a lot from the comments that people make.

    I just wanted to take some time out between all of the ranting and raving to tell everyone how much I appreciate learning from your different points of view. There is only one Truth and the struggle to find it, hold, it, and preserve it takes a lot of discussion. St. Paul once wrote that God made disagreements so that the truth could be made known. I hope, in some halting way, we are stumbling towards the truth, with only an occasional stubbed toe and not too much cursing and swearing along the way.

    The Chicken

  192. Anne 2 says:

    Although Rubrics can be changed by the Church, they should not be ignored or disobeyed.
    Tradition is the washing of the feet of men only.
    There has been no change in the universal norm which reserves this rite to men as stated in the circular letter “Paschales Solemnitatis” (Jan. 16, 1988) and the rubrics of the 2002 Latin Roman Missal.
    No. 51 of the circular letter states: “The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came ‘not to be served, but to serve.’ This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.”
    Search the USCCB web site for :Washing of Feet” and you will find the following:
    “Depending on pastoral circumstance, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one’s feet and dries them.”

  193. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    robtbrown – so you know what is essential and what is not, eh? Glad that’s cleared up for all of Christendom. (this is tongue in cheek- what I previously wrote is true, and validated by your response). Also, Pope Paul VI disagreed with you categorically, as evidenced (see, when you accuse somebody of incompetence, it’s good to include a thing called evidence to back up your position) by his communiques with the Arch Lefebrve, which you can find at this link for example (but you do have to take the time and effort to move the cursor over the link and press enter to get there).
    Also, your use of the passive voice ” pressure was exerted on priests” points even more to the flabbiness of your argument. Who exerted this pressure? Perhaps you don’t want the answer and don’t like it, but here it is — The Pope and the bishops in communion with him!!

    That you have to resort to these sleight of hand is understandable, another way somebody deals with cognitive dissonance. Fr Z also shed light on another post about how people deal with this, i.e. they resort to gnosticism.

  194. St Donatus says:

    I hate to say it but I have been stunned spiritually since his rise to be Pope. I even felt a need to confess it to our priest, He told me not be concerned about the spirituality of the Pope but my own spirituality. I left the church for 30 years due to the ‘spirit of vatican II’ that had infected and killed so much of the faithful (including most of my ‘very’ faithful family). My biggest concern is why does God allow a Pope such as Pope Francis to be elected. This especially when one considers the terrible condition he left the Catholic church in Buenos Aires as testified in the MSN article as follows ‘The head of the society for South America, the Rev. Christian Bouchacourt, was less than generous in his assessment of Francis.

    “He cultivates a militant humility, but can prove humiliating for the church,” Bouchacourt said in a recent article, criticizing the “dilapidated” state of the clergy in Buenos Aires and the “disaster” of its seminary. “With him, we risk to see once again the Masses of Paul VI’s pontificate, a far cry from Benedict XVI’s efforts to restore to their honor the worthy liturgical ceremonies.”

    There was a true renewal started with Pope Benedict and it brought me back to the church. My very young and feeble spirituality is shaken by this. I do believe that the Catholic church is the church created by Christ, but if it is doing things that cause spiritual disaster, how can it continue to be favored by Christ. Are we taking the course of ancient Israel? Will the Catholic church soon be supplanted by a yet newer church. I know that the feeling in my FSSP parish is almost depressed and very subdued. I have been trying to give Pope Francis the benefit of doubt but the more I see, the more concerned I become.

    Some of the things he says are wonderful. He is right that we in the wealthier nations waste our wealth while the poor starve in Africa. Yet he is in effect starving us of the graces of the Catholic church in poor example and teaching. If the Cardinals were looking for a strong leader for the church, to reign in those who are attacking the church, to fill our seminaries, to bring in more priests, to bring Catholics closer to the truths of the church, why did they choose someone who would encourage us to break church law, to dismiss church rules, etc. If the Pope can break the laws of the church, why can’t I break church law? I know that sounds terrible, but what do you think most young Catholics are thinking today. I know that is what I thought after the ‘spirit of vatican II’ took effect.

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  196. Hank Igitur says:

    Although it may be tongue in cheek I do not think the last sentence is very fair to Pope Benedict XVI. We also have to wait and see what if any are his successor’s actions in regard to the TLM.

  197. smmclaug says:

    “He told me not be concerned about the spirituality of the Pope but my own spirituality.”

    The Pope makes it very hard to do when he tries to turn every single public occasion and every single point of protocol into an extravagant statement on his own personal spirituality.

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