Thursday, March 24, 2005
Great article detailing most recent documents, affirming 'viri selecti', (select men) to be chosen.
"The rite itself has always specified that only men are to have their feet washed. The word used in Latin is viri (“men”), not hominess, which legitimately includes men and women. Because of ongoing debate on this issue, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS), in a 1988 circular letter entitled Paschales Solemnitatis, affirmed that the tradition of washing the feet of “chosen men” should be retained.Then in 1996, the United States bishops proposed a modification that would allow for the washing of women’s and children’s feet during the Holy Thursday service. This proposal received the necessary support of more than two-thirds of the US bishops, but it still required the formal approval of the Holy See before it could take effect. Such approval has never been given. Meanwhile, the CDWDS published the official third edition of the Roman Missal in 2002, which still provides that only men are to have their feet washed."