Pope washes feet of two girls, two Muslims at youth prison

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Pope Francis waves from the pope-mobile during his inauguration Mass at St. Peter's Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Thursday (March 28) washed the feet of 12 young inmates, including two girls and two Muslims, during a Maundy Thursday Mass at a youth detention center in Rome.

  • Voltaire Warda

    Thanks to Almighty God for giving us Pope Francis a Jesuit that his work helping the poor and underprivileged is as real as if Jesus Christ was between us.

    I am a 73 years old who studied under American Jesuits in iraq for 10 years

    I salute you Pope Francis and I wish you a very happy Easter.

    In Christ’s Love

    Christ has risen

    Voltaire E Warda

  • The Honest Banker

    The new Bishop of Rome is certainly showing a new leadership style. His humility and willingness to mix with prisoners and others with problems may cause others in high positions to think twice about their arrogant displays of wealth and power. Arrogance breeds risk while humility breed caution and caring. His leadership may actually cause others to think twice! I wonder if any other world leader would consider washing the feet of his constituents or even lower themselves to meet them in their own homes. Hello Mr Obama? Mr Cameron? Mr Netanyahu? Mr Meshaal (HAMAS)? See more at: http://tinyurl.com/abtwmo7

  • Paulo Sayson

    I hope visits the Philippines and teach the priests not to be bullies. I’m glad it wasn’t a filipino, Bishop Tagle, who became pope. He would have done a lot of harm to the Church. I love Pope Francis. I hope he can reform the church in our country. They interfere so much with politics.

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  • Vii

    Thanks be to God for the examplary life of our pope. Holding strictly to tradition can sometimes lead the faithful into forgeting the true teaching of Christ’ love.

  • dominic

    More important than the liturgical statement Pope Francis may have intended to telegraph is that, in doing so, he may have overlooked, neglected, or disregarded, if not violated Muslim law.according to the Code of Ethics for Muslim Men and Women—Rules Related to Socializing:

    The Rules of Touching

    193 – Rule: Body contact is not allowed with one who it is not allowed to look at, and every kind of touching of the body to any part of the other one’s body is haram and one must refrain from this; unless it from on top of the clothing and it is without the intention of lust. ABGKLMS
    While the Pope may have intended this particular footwashing to be “a positive sign” in the life of the Serbian Muslim inmate whose foot he washed, strict Muslims may take offense.

    Like Pope Benedict XVI, it may not be long before Pope Francis finds himself being challenged by an Imam who issues a fatwa. In October 2006,Prominent Jamaat leader Hafiz Saifullah Khalid said that in the present circumstances, jihad has become obligatory for each Muslim. Muslims are being declared terrorists and our battle for survival has already started.

    Eschewing protocol can be refreshing and prove reinvigorating. It can be a sign of love and respect, fulfilling the spirit of the law” rather than living according to the “letter of the law.”

    In retrospect, it can also cause unintended problems.In retrospect, it can also cause unintended problems.

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