Pope Francis Washing Women’s Feet & The Popes Who Thought About Resigning . . . But Didn’t

by jimmyakin

in +Religion, Law, Liturgy, Podcasts, Radio Shows, The Pope


Recently, Pope Francis washed the feet of several young people, including young women. He did this in the wake of Pope Benedict's resignation. Here are two interesting discussions of Pope Francis's actions and a look at recent popes who thought about resigning but didn't do so in the end.

It has been widely reported that, when he was still the cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future Pope Francis washed the feet of women during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Now he has done so as pope.

Did he break the Church’s law?

What does this event mean, and how can we understand what he was trying to do?



Popes Who Thought About Resigning . . . But Didn’t

Benedict XVI’s resignation may have been the first papal resignation in hundreds of years, but it didn’t come completely out of the blue.

He’d already indicated that he had been thinking about the subject of resignation.

What is less well known is that other recent popes had been thinking about it, too.

lot of recent popes.



Two Conversations

This special, extra episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast contains two conversations I recently had on these subjects on Al Kresta’s and Drew Mariani’s radio shows.

I thought they were very interesting, productive discussions, and so I thought I’d share them with you.

Use the player or links below to listen!

(Or, if you’re reading by email CLICK HERE to go to the original post and listen.)

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Nancy D April 9, 2013 at 6:38 am

To misrepresent the purpose of Christ’s washing the feet of His Apostles on Holy Thursday in preparation for His instituting The Sacrament of Holy Orders, and The Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist and The Holy and Divine Liturgy, only serves to cause confusion, not clarity. To ignore the truth of Scripture, is to ignore the truth of Christ.

Bill912 April 9, 2013 at 8:38 am

@Nancy D
 Why do you say that preparation for instituting the sacraments and the Mass was our Lord’s ONLY purpose in washing the Apostles’ feet?

Nancy D April 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

@Bill912, because this took place on Holy Thursday.

The Sarge April 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm

@Nancy D
 That explanation is as clear as mud.

Nancy D April 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

@The Sarge, only if you do not understand the meaning of being prepared to receive The Sacrament of Holy Orders and The Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist.

The Sarge April 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

@Nancy D  @The
 So explain for an idiot like me why that was Christ’s ONLY purpose.

Nancy D April 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm

@The Sarge, read The Gospel of John in regards to the washing of the feet. Christ states His purpose in The Gospel.

Bill912 April 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm

@Nancy D  @The
 I guess she can’t–or won’t– say how that was our Lord’s only purpose in washing the Apostles’  feet.

Bill912 April 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

@Nancy D  @The
 I’m beginning to smell troll.

Nancy D April 10, 2013 at 3:39 am

@Bill912 @ I am beginning to understand that there are many who have not been catechised, and show a lack of respect for the Sanctity of The Sacraments instituted by Christ.

Bill912 April 10, 2013 at 4:29 am

@Nancy D  @Bill912
 And she proves that my sniffer is functioning properly.

The Masked Chicken April 11, 2013 at 4:25 am

@Bill912 @Nancy D

The Masked Chicken April 11, 2013 at 4:36 am

Sorry, I don’t quite have the hang of posting in the comboxes in the new format. My comment got posted, separately, above.
The Chicken

Curious April 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

Hello Jimmy,
       I am disappointed with Al in that he did not go further with the discussion. 
1)  We know what Francis’ gesture in washing the feet of Muslims was meant to convey, but what was actually understood in the Muslim world?  Would this be read as a submission of the Pope to Islam?  Cultures do not interpret gestures the same way. For example, kissing the Koran could be interpreted in the West as a gesture of tolerance toward what others reverence, whereas in Islam, it might be interpreted as submission to the “word of Allah and his one true prophet”.  Very different messages.
2)  To what extent did the Muslims participate in the rest of the Mass?  Were they given communion?  Was any provision made for the youth to attend confession before this Mass?  One would think that special pastoral care would be indicated for prisoners to attend Mass.  After all, it is likely these “youth” were not innocent lambs unjustly imprisoned, particularly in Italy.

The Masked Chicken April 11, 2013 at 4:35 am

I wrote extensive comments about this topic on another blog that might help put things in contex (two long comments on the first link – have to scroll down – and one in the second):
Perhaps, this will help situate things. The foot washing is a layered sign that may be used to different purposes.
The Chicken

Nancy D April 11, 2013 at 7:09 am

@The Masked Chicken, with all due respect, this particular Day was not like any other day, it was Holy Thursday, the Day that Christ instituted The Sacrament of Holy Orders, and The Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist and The Holy and Divine Liturgy. The Words of Consecration can be found in The Last Supper Discourse in The Gospel of John, including the words of Consecration in regards to Holy Communion.

The Masked Chicken April 11, 2013 at 4:44 am

Actually, the first comment in the series is at 4:20pm, March 30, here:
The Chicken

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