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Francis feet washing sends signals across the world

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In yet another rich use of symbols, an emerging preaching pattern of Pope Francis’ pontificate, he included women and Muslims in one of the most important liturgical celebrations in the Catholic calendar year.

Kneeling at the feet of 12 juvenile inmates in a Rome detention center, he washed and kissed their feet.  The group included two women and two Muslims and ranged in age from 14 to 21.

Francis’ calls to humility and service have been two hallmarks in is young pontificate.

Francis washes, kisses feet of two women, two Muslims

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Francis hope note

Pope Francis today kneeled before 12 juvenile detainees in a Rome detention center during a Holy Thursday ceremony. He washed, dried and kissed their feet. Two in the group were women, two were Muslims, according to the Vatican.

The symbolism of these gestures will certainly move quickly beyond the Catholic church.

Bergoglio criticized church leadership before conclave

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More evidence today the church’s cardinals knew what they were going to get when they elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope, as a serious reformer. There is a report this morning, through Cuba’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega, that Bergoglio offered strong criticism of church leadership and direction before the cardinals elected him the new pontiff.

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