#CardinalBergoglio washes the feet of an unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires’ Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005.

#CardinalBergolio washes the feet of a unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires' Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005.
Cardinal Bergoglio washes the feet of an unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires’ Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005

1 S 15: 22-23 “Is the pleasure of the LORD in holocausts and sacrifices or in obedience to the voice of the LORD? Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness better than the fat of rams. Rebellion is a sin of sorcery, presumption a crime of the teraphim.”

Lk 16: 10-11 “The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great.”

cf. Popes, like dads, don’t have a choice in the matter | In the Light of the Law

Update: Thursday, January 21, 2016:

The Pope decrees that not only men may be chosen for the washing of the feet in the Liturgy of Holy Thursday, Vatican City, Thursday, 21 January 2016 (VIS)

Excerpt from:

Washing For All. The Holy Thursday of Francis
by Sandro Magister

The washing of feet now overshadows the Mass of the last supper. The pope has admitted women to the ceremony, as long as they belong to the Church. But he is pushing even farther, and is also washing the feet of Muslims


The conception of the liturgy as a pedagogical act dictated by current events is an impoverishment that has understandably disconcerted the experts on this subject. Including Cardinal Robert Sarah, who was nonetheless promoted by Francis in 2014 as prefect of the Vatican congregation for divine worship.

The fact is that, after the appointment, the pope immediately told Cardinal Sarah that he had a change in mind for the ceremony of the washing of feet. A change that he made explicit and imposed in a letter to Sarah of December 20, 2014:

“I have reached the decision to make a change in the rubric of the Roman Missal. Therefore, I order that the rubric according to which the candidates chosen to receive the washing of feet be men or boys be modified in such a way as to enable the Pastors of the Church from now on to choose the candidates for the rite from among all members of the People of God.”

But it took more than a year, until Epiphany of 2016, for Sarah to issue the relative decree. Evidently not convinced of the goodness of the reform, the cardinal asked for and obtained the publication along with the decree, which he signed, of the letter with which Francis had ordered him to make the innovation, so that the real paternity of the change might be manifest.

The decree establishes that the ceremony of the washing of feet is no longer only for “men,” but more generically for those “who are chosen from amongst the people of God.” Meaning in practice “people young and old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated men and women and laity.”

The result is a change in the symbolism of the ceremony. While traditionally the washing of feet reproduced the action of Jesus with the apostles in the cenacle, and for this reason was performed only with men, and twelve of them in number, now it would represent something entirely different: “the variety and the unity of each part of the people of God.”