Letter to the Editor from Conyers, GA
Published: April 15, 2004
To the Editor:
What a shame that the solemnity of the Paschal Triduum was marred by disappointment, argument, protestors and more bad publicity for our church.
Make no mistake, Archbishop Donoghue had every right to make the decision that only men should have their feet washed on Holy Thursday. His decision is based on the rubric of the Roman Missal. The archbishop was quite clear as to why he was changing the long-standing tradition.
I do wish that Archbishop Donoghue had announced his decision at the beginning of Lent. Before most parish liturgy committees had made arrangements and asked people—male and female, child and senior—to partake in the service. Being part of this service has always been looked on as a blessing. It was difficult to make the calls.
To be perfectly honest, I wish the archbishop had “taken a page” from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops FAQ (frequently asked questions), approved in November 2003 and entitled “Popular Devotional Practices: Basic Questions and Answers.” It states that “The Church has learned from experience that authentic popular devotions are an invaluable means of promoting an increased love of God.” Quoting Pope Paul VI, they go on, “…When it is well oriented, this popular religiousity can be more and more for multitudes of our people a true encounter with God in Jesus Christ.”
Let us look to the future and the work all Catholics—men and women—need to do to keep our beloved Church unified as a people of God.
Barbara Kastanias Lee, Conyers