Sunday, April 7, 2013

Catholic Common Sense from Fr. Greg Coiro, O.F.M Cap.

Fr. Greg is the rector over at the Shrine of St. Francis in San Francisco. He is marvelous homilist, as well as a wonderful example of Franciscan humility. This is from his Easter Sunday pastor's message:

"I received phone calls and e-mails from friends who know that I am a stickler about observing the liturgical rubrics that say that, during the Rite of Washing of Feet during the Holy Thursday Mass, the feet of twelve men are washed. I omit the rite rather than violate this rubric by including women in the ceremony.

My friends gleefully pointed out that Pope Francis washed the feet of three women at his Holy Thursday Mass at juvenile detention center in Rome. What they did not seem to know is the old adage, 'The lawgiver is above the law.' The rubric which binds me does not oblige the pope.

At St. Mary’s Cathedral, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone correctly followed the liturgical directives and washed the feet of twelve men. Now that Pope Francis has set an example of including women, are Archbishop Cordileone and I free to follow suit? Not unless the liturgical directives are formally changed.

Is the pope’s act a signal that the Church may be considering a change in its teaching that only men can be ordained priests? No. In the case of liturgical directives, the pope is the lawgiver and, hence is above the law. In matters of faith and morals, that is, in those things pertaining to divine law and natural law, the pope is not the law giver, so he is not above the law.

The teaching of the Church will remain that Christ did not empower the Church to confer the priesthood on women and that this is part of the Deposit of Faith, not a mere disciplinary teaching, regardless of who may get their feet washed on Holy Thursday."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will share this. It is somewhat comforting. But for me not altogether satisfying.