In a path-breaking move, Pope Francis blessed women by washing their feet during the Holy Thursday mass in 2013, changing centuries-old tradition. It was the first gesture that included women in the foot-washing ritual in the history of Roman Catholic Church.


Last year, Pope Francis issued a decree revising the rules for the traditional foot-washing ritual to include women and young girls.

Related: What prompted  Syro Malabar Church to denounce foreign migration?

But the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church, the second largest Eastern Catholic Church after the Ukrainian Church, is not in a mood to follow the Papal decree.


Cardinal George Alanchery, Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church, clarified in a circular that there was no need to break the traditional custom. The Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church convened at Mount St. Thomas decided not to follow the Pope Francis's decree to include women in the foot-washing ritual. The eastern churches have different set of rituals and tradition and 2000-year-old customs need not be altered, the Synod felt.