Demolition In Instalments: Maundy Thursday
The Holy Week is approaching again, and with it the Maundy Thursday Mass with attendant (but not compulsory) washing of the feet of the viri probandi.
It seems to me that this gives us additional clues as to how Francis thinks.
What Francis did last year was a blatant, shameless liturgical abuse. The fact that he was at that point the Bishop of Rome does not make it any less abusive; then whilst Francis can change the rules, he is bound to the existing rules until he changes them.
Francis was, therefore, subversive once in washing the feet of women and infidels in blatant violation of the law; but he was also subversive – apparently paradoxically, but actually logically – in his refusal to change them, leaving the rules as they are as he goes on doing as he pleases. The message here is very clear: if rules aren't really important, there's no real need to change them, either; and conversely, if rules are important than it was wrong for him to violate them.
This subtle but very dangerous, clearly subversive attitude will be equivocated by the Pollyannas, and it will be confused with prudence and conservatism instead. “You see? – they will say – Francis has not changed the rules concerning the washing of feet!”. No, he hasn't changed them. He prefers to trample them directly, and this is the policy he is obviously suggesting to priests and bishops the world over. With such a Bishop of Rome, every subversive priest and bishop will feel free to to do exactly as Francis did; many of those who don't will be put under pressure to follow Francis' example; but in all this, Francis will remain the brave innovator for the subversive, and the prudent conservative for the Pollyannas. Only a tiny minority of sound thinking and properly instructed Catholics will realise that this reckless behaviour is abuse of power, and encouragement to the others to do likewise. Vaya lio, indeed!
Once again we see here the workings of a Modernist mind, sowing confusion and disobedience as he avoids frontal attacks to Truth.
One year after Francis' Maundy Thursday liturgical abuse, countless parish churches will, without much trumpeting and drumming around, quietly adopt his ways. He knows perfectly well he can chip away orthodoxy one piece at a time just by way of his bad example, and this is exactly what he has been doing with his liturgical abuse and why he did it.
This is a demolition of sound Catholicism in instalments.
Something Francis has been doing from the very first hour of his pontificate.