- Pope Francis had issued a decree in 2013
- Decree asked Churches to include women and children in feet-washing ceremony
- Syro Malabar Church claimed that the decree was meant fonly for Latin Catholic Church
A few liberal Christian organisations have risen up in protest after Kerala-based Catholic Churches refused to follow the decree issued by Pope Francis regarding feet-washing ceremony held as part of Maundy Thursday. The Churches refused to include women and children in the ceremony in spite of a Papal decree in this regard.
Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the day Jesus is believed to have washed the feet of his disciples commanding them to love each other. Syro Malabar Church, the second largest Eastern Catholic Church after Ukranian Church, and Syro Malankara Church denied following the 2013 decree issued by Pope.
Cardinal George Alanchery, Major Archbishop of Syro Malabar Church, issued a circular that they do not intend to break centuries-old tradition. A Synod convened at Mount St Thomas decided not to follow the decree of Pope and stated that the eastern churches have a different set of rituals.
A circular from the Archbishop also sought a clarification from Rome on the decree and claimed that it was meant only for Latin Catholic Church for it mentioned 'Roman Missal.'
There have been protests from certain quarters of the Church since the circular was issued. Kottayam-based ecumenical women's group Women's Lives Matter, on April 11, conducted a representational foot washing ceremony as a mark of dissent against the circular. The ritual was held at a charity home where they washed the feet of 12 inmates.
Open Church Movement, another organisation, also observed a feet-washing ceremony. The function was held on April 13 at IMA Hall in Kochi.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:40 PM IST