The Invisible Last Super Under Pope Francis -- Footwashing: The All-Purpose Social Gesture
(Rome) The Holy See announced the papal celebrations for the Holy Week, together with the Feast of Easter. As in previous years, the calendar is devoid of the day of the Holy Thursday.
On the morning of the 13th of April, the Pope will be celebrating the Chrism Mass as usual in St. Peter's. The Mass of the Last Supper is not mentioned, the evening of Holy Thursday, with which liturgically, the Triduum Sacrum begins.
Pope Francis will not celebrate the Last Supper of the Lord in the Lateran Basilica, the Episcopal Church of Rome and the "Mother of All Churches", but in a place not yet known. In the fifth year, a central liturgical moment, which is of paramount importance to the Universal Church, disappears from the field of vision.
As in previous years, a "spectacular" foot wash can be expected in 2017 as well. The speculation among Vaticanists is currently looking at whose feet the Pope will wash this year, excluding the public and the Church.
The Mass on the evening of the Holy Thursday is a liturgy of constitutive importance for the Catholic Church and of great concentration. The washing of the feet recalls the sign the Lord made to the apostles. It's a sign that the apostolic succession must always be a humble service. To express this, Popes, Cardinals and Bishops wash feet as direct followers and direct subordinates.
This is just one element. On the same evening, the establishment of the Blessed Sacrament of the Most Holy Sacrament was conceived by Jesus Christ, and inseparably, the establishment of the consecrated priesthood. This dual institution forms the center of the liturgical liturgy and is closely connected with the Church as a sacred sacred space. This really requires that the Holy Mass in Cœna Domini be celebrated by the leaders in their bishop's church with the faithful.
In other words, the establishment of the sacrament of the priesthood and of the altar's Sacrament (Eucharist) are again behind the gesture of footwashing, which appears above all as a social gesture, through the papal visit to an unknown, closed place. It's an aspect emphasized by the circumstance that Pope Francis has also washed the feet of Muslims.
Since the visits to prisons and the refugee home, the question has also been raised as to whether Pope Francis gave Communion to those others than believers. Corresponding inquiries were not answered either by the Vatican or by the chaplains of the institutions visited.
In 2014 an initiative of Catholic media called on the bishops not to leave their cathedrals this evening to celebrate in other places. The absence of the bishop from his bishop's church is an "anomaly". This initiative, however, had to fallen into the void, since it was the Pope himself who left his bishop's church, the Lateran Basilica. Pope Francis has made the central Liturgy of Holy Thursday "invisible", according to Messa in Latino. The Holy Mass in the Lateran Basilica was open to all the faithful and was broadcast on television.
The Missa in Coena Domini by Pope Francis, which exclude the public:
2013: Visit to the Youth Prison 2014: visit to a disabled facility 2015: visit to prison 2016: visit to refugee home 2017 :?
Text. Giuseppe Nardi Photo: Vatican.va (Screenshot)