"The ritual washing of feet is a gesture of humility based on the belief that Jesus Christ washed the feet of his apostles on the evening of their final meal together before his arrest, crucifixion and death.
Vatican tradition has it that each year on Good Thursday the pope washes the feet of twelve priests of different ages and nationalities in a solemn ceremony held in Rome's St John Lateran's Basilica or in St Peter's Basilica.
The priests are seen as representing the apostles.
Though retired pontiff Benedict XVI revised the ritual in 2007 by selecting 12 lay men from Rome for the ceremony, the new Pope Francis shook up Catholic tradition Thursday by choosing to honour not only prisoners, but women as well as men."
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It's pretty sad when something so beautiful and so simple raises such concern - one might think instead, that it would inspire awe, admiration, and even inspiration. Like Jesus, Pope Francis is demonstrating that his view of women is evolved to the point where he is at least willing to include them in his service - as equal recipients.
As Jesus' supposed "representative" on earth, one might assume that this would be standard behavior. Sadly, it has not been; however, maybe Pope Francis in going to change all of that, and welcome the other half of humanity (women) to be participants in spiritual living.
Jesus, of course, was the pioneer. He not only included women in his ministry, he ordained them to be teachers and leaders - roles at which they always excelled.
From The Urantia Book:
150:1.3 It was most astounding in that day, when women were not even allowed on the main floor of the synagogue (being confined to the women’s gallery), to behold them being recognized as authorized teachers of the new gospel of the kingdom. The charge which Jesus gave these ten women as he set them apart for gospel teaching and ministry was the emancipation proclamation which set free all women and for all time; no more was man to look upon woman as his spiritual inferior.