The Diocese of Fall River, heeding the Vatican line on a rite that is an important part of some Catholics' piety, told some priests this week not to wash the feet of women on the Thursday before Easter.A rich tradition of disobedience, that is...and anyone who supports this disobedience is thumbing his nose at the Lord Himself....
In Fall River, one prominent member of the city's Catholic community said he was disturbed by the sudden and seemingly arbitrary application of the policy there.
``It's a rich tradition,'' he said, asking that he not be identified. ``But once the issue is brought up, it deserves dialog on whether the symbolism of washing the apostles' feet ought to be gender-blind. It should generate serious discussions about the merits.''
The Vatican stipulates that priests should engage in ritual foot-washing only with men because the practice mirrors Jesus' washing of his apostles' feet. The reasoning is similar to that which limits the priesthood to men: Because only men were apostles, only men can become priests.Of course, because Bishop Coleman, in obedience to the Holy Father, says the directives are to be obeyed, he is a "traditionalist who trained at the Vatican".
The Fall River rule was promulgated by Bishop George W. Coleman, a traditionalist who trained at the Vatican and took over in his native diocese a year ago April 30.
That's a "code phrase" used by the media to distinguish between faithful Catholic leaders and Pseudo-Catholics.