It's almost here...a day that should be about celebrating one of our greatest and most glorious Masses of the year, but, for so many priests and congregations it is an annual wrestling match over "pastoral sensitivities" and Church Law. What a shame that such a feast is annually marred, simply because no one seems willing to make a stand.
The Church's Law on the matter is clear. Wash the feet of 12 men or don't do the foot washing at all.
Those are the two options. And yet, Exhibit A shone against parish priests - "look what Pope Francis does." My response: "as you seem to be more acutely aware than anyone else, and as you often remind me in other situations...I'm not the Pope!" I can't make law.
Exhibit B - WWJD - "What Would Jesus Do." Answer: Scriptures tell us He washed the feet of 12 men
Exhibit C - some secretary at the USCCB said it could be a good idea to wash men AND women's feet. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) secretaries at the USCCB can't make Church Law either.
And so, yet again, pastors all over the country are thrown under the bus. "Why do you hate women" "why aren't you open to the Spirit" etc etc.
Here it is worth noting if I WERE Pope, one of the things I'd do early on would be to allow, in countries that care, the use of "men and women" as opposed to just "men", at least in the Mass. I think there are probably going to be a lot more women in Heaven then men, etc. etc.
All that being said, the truly dangerous and sad mind set here is the supposed pitting of "Law" vs "The Spirit"... Incidentally pitting the Law of the Church and the Holy Spirit against one another is a heresy.
Day 1 of leadership courses teach people aspiring to be leaders to not throw their people under the bus. If a hard decision needs to be made, leadership makes it... but not in this instance.
And so we face another year of being hated for trying to do what the Church commands.