We read with interest an Associated Press story about Pope Francis washing the feet of two girls, a Muslim and an Italian Catholic, during a traditional Holy Thursday ritual, which said it was a “sharp blow” to traditional Catholics.
The story said it has “devastated traditionalist Roman Catholics who admired his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI,” who restored much of the traditional pomp to the papacy.
The story was out of Vatican City and perhaps there were traditionalists there who were upset. We didn’t hear a single comment from a Catholic who was upset, and that included traditionalist Catholics.
The story even said it was the “final straw” for some of the faithful, who saw it as evidence that Pope Francis has little or no interest “in one of the key priorities of Benedict’s papacy: reviving the pre-Vatican II traditions of the Catholic church.”
Apparently, only the feet of men had been washed before by a Pope and priests, but few of the rank and file Catholics know much about the complete history of that ritual. And, the guess here is that they are not too upset about it.
Pope Francis, a champion of the poor, probably is going to do a few other things that may shock the extreme traditionalists, but, again, the rank and file Catholics aren’t going to be “devastated” by what he does.
But on the main beliefs of the church, we don’t expect him to bend and become an entreme liberal. In fact, the Catholic liberals may end up being disappointed as he holds to the traditional fundamental positions of the church.