Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pope Francis washing women's feet

Pope Francis went to a juvenile prison to wash the feet of 12 individuals, some Christians, some Muslims, some women, some men. I think this sent a good message that he was willing to wash the feet of criminals, non-Christians, men, and women. As the Bible reminds us, we are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God and we are therefore no different than these criminals.

But Pope Francis violated a liturgical rule by washing the feet of women. The symbolism of the washing of the feet is that the priest, bishop, or in this case, pope, is ultimately a servant to all the faithful. But it also represents the washing of the feet of the 12 apostles. All of the apostles were men and therefore it is appropriate for the priest to wash only the feet of men. But this is not just me saying this. This is specified in the rubric of the Sacramentary, which is the book outlining the procedures to be followed by the priest during Mass. This includes Holy Thursday when the washing of the feet takes places.

The Sacramentary states:

Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them.

It specifically lists men as receiving the washing of the feet. No exception is made for women.

The USCCB has made an exception to allow women, by emphasizing the symbolism of service and charity and placing less emphasis on the apostleship of the twelve men.

Charity is wonderful, one of the three holiest virtues. But charity cannot justify incorrect liturgical actions. If people are offended that women cannot participate in this event, it is possible that they do not know the meaning behind it. Are they also offended that Jesus selected only men as apostles?

The Sacramentary does not seem to specify that the participants must be Christian, and therefore it seems alright that some participants were non-Christian. Of course, this is not an infallible teaching held in the deposit of faith and does not amount to a doctrine or dogma. I think Pope Francis is a great pope and I want him to do a good job.

Today is Holy Saturday, a time of waiting for the resurrection of Christ. We wait in anticipation for the coming of our Lord. This reminds us that the Lord shall return. Many Catholics will attend Easter Vigil, which combines the Saturday Mass with Easter Sunday Mass. The first half is very solemn and quiet, and the second half we celebrate the joyous resurrection of our Lord, the greatest day in the Christian calendar.

In most churches, the celebration begins later in the evening from about 7pm to 9pm and then ends around 2 hours later.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Francis has clarified the reason behind his papal name. I always had the feeling he named himself for St. Francis of Assisi, who I regard as the patron saint of my middle name Francis as well.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

FAKE Photo of Bergoglio (Pope Francis) with John Paul II and Ratzinger

This is NOT Pope Francis:

A very amazing picture has been circulating on Facebook and perhaps elsewhere. It purports to be the three most recent popes together - our newest Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), Pope John Paul II, and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).

This is in fact not the case. It cannot be Bergoglio. The man in the picture is a Cardinal, as one can tell by his cassock. Bergoglio became a cardinal in 2001. As you can easily tell by comparing this photo of John Paul II with one from 2001, this photo is much earlier than that. To the best of my knowledge, the cardinal in the picture is Cardinal Edouard Gagnon. Gagnon, of Quebec, died on August 25, 2007 at the age of 89. I am not 100% certain of this however.

I am not sure when the photo was taken.

Here are some more photos of Cardinal Gagnon. Judge for yourself if he looks like the guy in the middle above:


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The New Pope is...

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina has been chosen as the 266th Pope! His Papal name is Pope Francis!

We have a Pope!

Just waiting to see who he is.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Times for Papal Election Voting

The 2013 Papal election to select the 266th pope will start tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Here is the schedule for the first nine votes will take place in the Vatican City to elect the successor of Pope Benedict XVI and ultimately the 265th Successor of Peter and Roman Pontiff:

(Thanks to for the information)

1st Ballot - 2:00PM Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2nd Ballot - 5:30AM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3rd Ballot - 7:00AM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

4th Ballot - 12:30PM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

5th Ballot - 2:00PM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

6th Ballot - 5:30AM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 14, 2013

7th Ballot - 7:00AM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 14, 2013

8th Ballot - 12:30PM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 14, 2013

9th Ballot - 2:00PM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 14, 2013

My prediction is that the pope will be chosen on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Monday, March 04, 2013



The answer is no, no, and no. The Church will NOT, I repeat WILL NOT change its teachings on women priests, contraception, or gay marriage. Not now, not in 5 years, not depending on who is elected as pope, never. These teachings form part of the deposit of faith and are unchangeable. You can now stop asking these same old questions over and over and start asking substantive questions which actually matter.

If you don't like the Church's teachings on these issues, don't hold your breath for them to change. I would invite you to look into why the Church teaches what it does in these areas, but if you are steadfastly uninterested in that, then please either accept it, keep quiet about it, or move elsewhere. If you are looking for a Church that looks like the Catholic Church in many ways but has women priests, allows contraception, and gay marriage, you might want to try a Protestant denomination like the Anglican church.

Watching TV coverage of the upcoming papal election has become an exercise in tedium. Every interview is identical. Whether they have a Catholic layperson or a bishop, the interviewer only ever asks one of 4 questions:

1) Will the next pope allow women priests?
2) Will the next pope allow contraception?
3) Will the next pope change the Church's position on homosexual acts or allow gay marriage?
4) Will the next pope change the Church's position on abortion (especially in cases of rape or incest)?

Once the interviewee answers the question, undeterred the interviewer will persist with follow-up questions, such as:

5) But isn't it time for the Church to modernize?
6) So many Catholics oppose the Church's position in this area. Isn't it time for a change?
7) But how will the Church attract young people?

The answer to all of the above 4 question is "No." Period. No if, ands, or buts. Questions 5, 6, and 7 are thus moot. Now that that has been established in the first couple of minutes of the interview, why not try coming up with some original and thoughtful questions?

I don't even have a TV, but from the YouTube videos I see of the mainstream media's coverage of the papal election, this guide I've prepared could come in handy for many reporters, anchors, and journalists.