Friday, August 1, 2014
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Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

Pope washes feet of disabled in pre-Easter rite that in 2013 helped define papacy
Posted on April 17, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people — women and non-Catholics among them — in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve like a “slave.”

Francis’ decision in 2013 to perform the Holy Thursday ritual on women and Muslim inmates at a juvenile detention center just two weeks after his election helped define his rule-breaking papacy. It riled traditionalist Catholics, who pointed to the Vatican’s own regulations that the ritual be performed only on men since Jesus’ 12 apostles were men.

The 2014 edition brought Francis to a center for the elderly and disabled Thursday. Francis kneeled down, washed, dried and kissed the feet of a dozen people, some in wheelchairs.

He said the ritual is a gesture of “a slave’s service.”




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Updated on July 31, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated on July 22, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.
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