Commend The Pope for Disregarding Tradition in Favor of Equality

Target: Pope Francis

Goal: Thank Pope Francis for his unhesitating willingness to wash the feet of two young women

Since his recent induction into The Papacy, Pope Francis has already become known for his open disregard of some typical Catholic traditions. After being chosen, he opted to receive his pledges of obedience from a standing position, rather than from The Pope’s pedestal chair. One of his more outspoken actions has been to call for intensified dialogue with Islam. These instances have often been in an effort to emphasize equality over strict religious devoutness.

Most recently, Pope Francis visited the Casal del Marmo detention facility in Rome, where he conducted an age-old tradition of washing and kissing the feet of 12 inmates. The gesture was made in reference to the story of Jesus washing the feet of his apostles at the Last Supper. However, all of Jesus’s apostles were males, and for this reason women have never been included in the rite. At the detention facility, Pope Francis washed the feet of two women, stirring up controversy amongst Catholics. To compound matters, one of the women was a Muslim.

Many members of the church – and Catholic citizens of the world – have taken this action as evidence of disrespectful dissent for religious laws. However, Pope Francis should be thanked for his actions, which have introduced a badly needed dose of tolerance and kindness into the often rigid institution of Catholicism.

Dear Pope Francis,

Since being elected to The Papacy, you have made a conscious effort to promote equality and humility into the modern Catholic practice by respectfully disregarding a number of its usual traditions. Recently, you visited the Casal del Marmo juvenile facility in Rome and proceeded to wash the feet of two women – one of them a Muslim.

This tradition has vehemently stressed the exclusion of women in order to adhere to the original rite in which Jesus washed the feet of his 12 male apostles. However, you chose to break from this strict adherence in order to promote a greater acceptance of all peoples. We commend you for this act of tolerance, for it leads by example and sets a precedence for future instances of religious devotion. Thank you.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit: Diliff via

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One Comment

  1. Elisabetta Corona says:

    As Mary of Magdala washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and shed precious fragrant essential oil on them, the Apostles uttered disturbance about the non-traditional behavior… Jesus answered praising the woman’s compassion, and told them: “Her action will be remembered as long as Gospels will be there”. Traditions often become crystal cages of rigidity, and prevent from the actual listening to God’s living word: which creatively inspires infinite forms to realize his essential commandment of unconditioned Love…

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