21 January 2016

A Mandatum even more Novum UPDATE

Our Holy Father has commanded to be changed the Novus Ordo prescriptions for the Pedilavium so that the group whose feet are washed may include a diverse group of the Faithful, not excluding females. This is, of course, entirely within his competence.

But, most interesting, both his own words, and the consequent Decree of the CDW, clearly restrict the group to "the Faithful" [fideles once] and "the People of God" [populus Dei twice]. I do not know of evidence that this restriction was explicitly present in the previous legislation.

In the past, Papa Bergoglio ignored the Law as it then stood; now that he has changed that Law, I wonder if he will himself obey it by excluding the unbaptised.

If he does, I will consider this an advance. If he continues his previous arbitrary approach to the Law of which he is himself the supreme giver upon Earth, I may think the less well of him.

UPDATE Interesting that it took the CDW more than a year to put the Sovereign Pontiff's wishes into effect.


Unknown said...

There was something -was it in Edersheim? - about the priests of the Mosaic Covenant serving barefoot and washing their feet before entering the holy precints of the Temple and engaging in sacrifice. And was there something else about not all of the levitical priests not serving in the Temple and making sacrifice, although all the priests might each the sacrifice? Perhaps you, Father, or one of your learned readers could conjecture as to whether Our Saviour was, in the washing of the feet of his chosen apostles, fulfilling that type found in the Old Testament of a divided priesthood, where some make sacrifice and all eat the sacrifice, requiring some to be made holy for service in the temple of His Body, as shown by the washing of their feet.

If is were so, do we fail to follow the example of Our Lord in washing the feet of those not so ordered to the ministerial priesthood, or who even, by the mystery of their gender, would never have a nature that would allow such a ordering to the ministerial priesthood?

DJR said...

It is clear to anyone with eyes and ears that the pope does not like certain rules.

When he does not like a rule, he flouts it, as he did while a bishop.

The present pope did not obey the Church's established liturgical rules while he was ordinary of Buenos Aires. There are photos, available on the Internet, of him washing the feet of women on Holy Thursday at a time when that was prohibited.

He also undermined Pope Benedict's establishment of the Ordinariate for former Anglicans.

It seems difficult to me why anyone would feel compelled to obey the directives of a man who himself has been disobedient.

Goose/gander thing.

Woody said...

What an optimist you are, Father!

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Hunwicke,

You said, "I wonder if he will himself now obey it by excluding the unbaptised."

I'm sure he won't. I hope I'm wrong.

Deacon Augustine said...

In attempting to emphasize one aspect of the pedilavium, he has succeeded in eradicating the sacerdotal symbolism of the act i.e. its part in the ordination of the apostles as the first priests and fathers of the New Covenant.

Looks like the Bugnini movement is back in full swing.

GOR said...

I am coming more and more to the conviction that this pontificate will be seen historically as an aberration – much like Avignon and other occasions in Papal history.

I’m sorry, but I have given up on ‘glossing’ Pope Francis’s sayings and actions. I have come to seeing him as a danger to the Church, confusing and misleading people, instead of ‘confirming’ them in the Faith.

The sooner this pontificate ends, the better for the Church as far as I’m concerned. I have no desire to listen to anything he has to say from now on. I’ve had enough.

He is not confirming my Faith and I don’t need someone – Papal or not – putting it in danger

Victor said...

Well, we have learned already that every human being is a child of God. So why differentiate during the mandatum?

@Deacon Augustine: That particular ship has sailed since Pope Pius XII saw fit to introduce the mandatum in ordinary parish liturgy - before that, it was only done by bishops and abbots.

If I were a parish priest, I would do away with the mandatum (which, oddly enough, is NOT mandatory) altogether.

Peter said...


At a football or rugby match supporters often call out with words of support that might be seen as guidance: “heave”, “get him”, “kick”, “pass”, “Allez les Bleus” and so on. The more formal instruction will have come from the coaches before the match. So Pope Benedict gave clear instruction and Pope Francis calls out to support his team with words that might be seen as guidance. The wise players keep in mind what the coach, or in our case Pope Benedict, taught.

So often Pope Francis sounds like a supporter dissatisfied with the performance of the team. Then his words are not encouragement but approbation. Sometimes football supports boo their team in the same way.

The problem may well be failings of the players. Geoffrey Howe once suggested another type of challenge that a cricket team might face not caused by failings of the players.

Matthew Roth said...

I think that this is the moment to ask for the indult for the traditional Holy Week. If priests can wash women’s feet for years and not only get away with it but be encouraged in it (the official USCCB policy was to do it) and then to have Rome approve it, I see no reason why traditionally-minded Catholics cannot have the old Holy Week.

Though be honest, I’m not all that inclined to ask for permission on account of its antiquity. What I would clarify is Communion on Good Friday (the law might now permit the general Communion) and the times. The morning and night are not pastorally friendly on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for the Mass, the “preparation,” and the Vigil and Mass. Other than that, I say leave it alone.

Liam Ronan said...

"From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age." (Daniel 12:11-13)

1,335 days seems like a long time to me.

Wolverine said...

'The Faithful'? 'God's People'? Please view the Holy Father's January prayer intention video
to obtain the new (accurate) definition for these terms.

Unknown said...

People of God could mean anyone that believes in any god when it comes to this Pope, so I wouldn't be surprised if he washes more Muslim feet this Holy Thursday.

John Vasc said...

I cannot say I'm surprised or delighted. And yet:
The new rule does not say that women must be selected for the Mandatum, merely that the celebrant may choose from among Catholic men and women ('Qui selecti sunt ex populo Dei.')
So only Catholics, then - 'ex populo Dei' (unless that concept has been changed as well, which would be even more alarming... :-)
'Selecti sunt' - The celebrant may choose as he pleases, and need give no reason. I realize some may roll their eyes at the fanciful idea of a PP being able to make any free choices unchallenged by the usual suspects among the parishioners. But it is not necessary to hold the Mandatum at all - and again, no reason needs to be given, other than that it is inessential. Or, for example: 'Holy Week already very full / Mass already terribly long /Father very busy this week/ concern for elderly, bus timetables, heating bill' - that kind of thing.