Cardinal Sarah Gives Permission For Priests To Have Their Feet Washed By 12 Women
Priest are not obligated to wash the feet of women during the Mass on Holy Thursday, though they are permitted to have twelve women wash their feet, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments said in a statement last night.
Cardinal Sarah told EOTT in Rome last night that a priest “has to decide in accord with his own conscience whether or not some type of oil or lotion is to be administered to his feet during the foot-washing.”
Sarah went on to say that the use of a pumice stone would also permitted, “once again, according the priest’s conscience.”
“This permission is granted to priests not only in gratitude for their service to the Church, but for the countless number of rancid feet they have washed during past Holy Thursday Masses. The authorization was to be granted even before Pope Francis’ permission given to priests to wash the feet not only of men, but those of women as well, but as his approval came out before mine, women now also have the privilege of acting in what we can call an in persona Christi minor, acting as Christ in the Last Supper.”
“After careful consideration”, Sarah continued, “I have also decided to make a change to the Roman Missal. I therefore decree that the section according to which those persons chosen for the washing of the priest’s feet must be women, so that from now on pastors of the Church may choose the participants in the rite from among all the members of the People of God.”