U.K. Liturgist - Don't Imitate The Pope

I found this interesting.

Fr Paul Gunter, Secretary of the Department for Christian Life and Worship in the U.K. tells priest in England & Wales that just because the Pope did it, doesn't mean you can.
Parish priests in England and Wales should not follow the example of Pope Francis by washing women's feet, according to the liturgy secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

During the first Holy Week of his papacy, Pope Francis washed the feet of two women on Maundy Thursday at the Casa del Marmo prison for young offenders in Rome.

Fr Paul Gunter, Secretary of the Department for Christian Life and Worship, told The Tablet that Pope Francis had legitimately dispensed himself from liturgical norms but that his was a unique pastoral context. In parish churches, Fr Paul said that the washing of the feet is meant to be an imitation of the Last Supper and "intrinsically attached" to the institution of the priesthood.
Noted without additional comment.
*subhead*Do as we say, not as he does..*subhead*


  1. Thank you for this post.

    Undoubtedly, many will run with the Pope's example, claiming for themselves a latitude which has no real justification other than—"Hey, if he can do it, why can't we?"

    I challenged a visiting priest recently, politely and with due deference I might add, as to why he was routinely omitting certain parts of the Mass that should not be omitted. His response—"Well, the Bishop does it." Then he proceeded to claim for himself an authority which denied the greater authority. There's that little thing called Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22.3 which he dismissed as "some medieval text".

    It's good to hear clear guidance coming from the UK. It's been rare in the past. Let's hope the Canadian bishops speak with the same clarity.

  2. They certainly were never "imitating" the Pope (BXVI)before. Why would they start now?

    1. Because it would involve their favourite past time - disobeying the teaching and laws of the Church.

  3. It has been happening for years where I live. Papa is a latecomer.

  4. That's how we all raise our kids, right? And its working just great! Now we have something nifty to call our hypocrisy: "unique pastoral context."

  5. I'm stunned. An article about explaining the RIGHT interpretation. Not, some take it into your own hands logic. Well done. Correct.

  6. Fr Bede Rowe had a very good piece on his blog - A Chaplain Abroad - about why the Pope was wrong to do what he did.

  7. Can we wash the feet of inter-sexed people? In some places they are called hermaphrodites...


Post a Comment