Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pope Francis and the rubrics

You knew it was going to happen: Pope Francis is coming under attack. It's just interesting that the first serious shots are coming from the orthodox/right.

There has been some sniping at how he's been going against the norm in number of ways. But when he washed the feet of females - including a Muslim one - on Holy Thursday, some folks got "incensed."

I don't know all the norms about whose feet should be washed - the sticklers note it should only be male feet, but I've also seen some people argue that it depends on which set of rules, interpretation, etc.

Okay, to be honest, I've been irked at the way that interpretation argument has been used to excuse repeated rubric roughing in my own diocese. But I also think some rules are more important than others. After all, there is that "the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath" observation that someone once made. So I had no problem with altar girls, or holding hands at the Our Father, to cite two examples.

I also wondered when he was elected if he was going to exhibit some of the traits I've seen at Hispanic liturgies. There's often a looser interpretation of the rules and more spontaneity. I've seen signs of that in what he does.

Now this foot thing.

And what happens if he starts saying some other things are perfectly fine. Like liturgical dance (admittedly, one of my peeves)? Or religious rock/folk/jazz music? What if - gasp - he says the guitar is a legitimate liturgical instrument?

Is Pope Francis going to get the treatment Cardinal Dolan got after he arrived in New York and disappointed the folks who thought he was going to clean house?

It remains to be seen just what Pope Francis will do with some significant issues.

It also remains to be seen if some folks will give him a chance, or will just settle back into a more-Catholic-than-the-pope mode of operation.

I just hope he says no to liturgical dance!

Pax et bonum


Anonymous said...

"I don't know all the norms about whose feet should be washed"

Do acquaint yourself with them norm.

A Secular Franciscan said...

To be honest, I think this is one of the norms that really isn't worth getting worked up about. Now if it was lay preaching, well ...