In response to your article on "A gender debate on foot washing", Catholics in Southwest Florida, who believe in gender equality, should stop giving and see if Bishop Dewane changes his directive on washing women's feet on Holy Thursday. The meaning of the foot washing is that Jesus gave us an example of mutual service. So why should priests not wash the feet of women who do so much work in local parishes?
The bible tells us that Jesus washed his disciples feet. Women were among Jesus' closest disciples. The Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala and told her to "go and tell" the apostles the Good News of the Resurrection. The church fathers called Mary, the "apostle to the apostles". So,on what grounds does the Catholic Church hierarchy refuse to wash women's feet? Is this another example of sexism? If so, Catholics need to take action.
Bridget Mary Meehan
Roman Catholic Womanbishop
serving the Southern Region
Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice in Florida
A gender debate on foot washing
By Todd Ruger
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
"In a move that brings a national debate home to Southwest Florida Catholic churches, Bishop Frank Dewane has reminded priests that only men should have their feet washed during a pre-Easter ceremony.
Many Catholic priests in Southwest Florida have customarily washed the feet of male and female parishioners on the Thursday before Easter in a symbol of humbly serving others..."