Friday, March 29, 2013

Bishop washes feet of nine women and three men in clear defiance of canon law

With a Mass on Holy Thursday, the Church began the celebration of the Triduum the of suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the Gospels, Jesus on the night before his death shared a meal with the 12 Apostles and washed their feet during this meal. With this service, which only slaves would have done at the time, he pointed out to his disciples his own life and their future role as a loving service for the people and for each other. "having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end.", writes John (13.1).

Love is the legacy of Jesus, which he entrusted to his disciples. With the foot washing, Jesus gave an example, "that ye should do as I have done to you" (13:15). Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer washed the feet of 12 women and men from the diocese representing the 12 apostles during the Holy Thursday liturgy in the Great Cathedral of Regensburg.

Qualified social worker with Harl.e.kin Perinatal Aftercare - Interdisciplinary early support in Catholic youth care. (female)
Nurse on the Early Birth Ward of the St Hedwig Clinic (male)
Case worker in the Catholic Advice Centre for Marriage, Family and Life Questions (female)
Pregnancy Advisor with Caritas (female)
Older married couple (male and female!- how long before......?)
Younger married couple (male and female!- comment as above)
Presenter of seminars for marriage preparation (female)
Midwife from the Caritas-Hospital of St. Joseph's (female)
House mother and nursery carer
Single mother

In his homily, the bishop asked: Why should the washing of feet be a momentous occasion? Should a basin and a series of men's dirty feet - represented today by selected men and women (...), be really today the focus of our attention?

Foot washing is so important, because God chooses this image of affection to the people to show how He relates to each of us. Look how God presents Himself to you: This is the message of the washing of feet. There is a God who kneels, who is literally inclined towards you, who makes himself small to do you some good.

Bishop Rudolf: "His Church has thus displayed a legacy that is certainly not less obligatory, as (...) his Eucharistic legacy to us." Eucharist and foot washing show us both in the same and complementary way how God is. He is there for us. He, whom we want to follow.

As Christians we need to bend over and go down, we, who would prefer to rise quite high . We who are afraid to do something that damages us by taking us down from our high horse.

On the other hand, washing of feet occurs in many places in our everyday lives: where sickness and disease are accepted
and shared, where a disabled child is welcomed with fullness of love and with open arms, and recognized as a gift.

Foot washing is done, "where confront the need of others for help with their heart." Where people dare to "follow the viewpoint of Jesus: namely, not from the top down but from the bottom up."
Pope Francis washes around the same time as the Mass of the Lord's Supper in Regensburg the feet of young inmates in a Roman prison . A young man is reported to have said the day before: I finally learn even to know someone who says of himself that he was my father. Bishop Rudolf: "Pray for us. But let us also pray especially in these days in a special way for our Pope Francis, and that his testimony and that of all of us should be credible and always more credible. "


Cathcon- Would be glad to learn of any other Bishops, apart from the Pope, who include women among the Twelve.

The Bishop here clearly means this as a sign of progressive intent on the matter of female ordination. Or is he just raising false expectations?

Father Lombardi in a statement that the Pope's washing of the feet of female prisoners said that it was a particular situation.   It will clearly be extensively copied in years to come, whatever canon law says.

This was the former Diocese of the head of the CDF, Archbishop Müller. How can he do his job even if canon law is no longer properly applied?


Gabby said...

While the rubrics say 'men' I think canon law is silent on the subject.

Gabby said...

While the rubrics say 'men' I think canon law is silent on the subject.

Unknown said...

The liturgical rubrics were violated, not canon law.

Josh Miechels said...

Canon law says "according to the prescribed liturgical books": the prescribed liturgical book is the missal, and the missal clearly says "viri" - men. I discuss this issue at length on my blog Blog of a City Seminarian.