United States: Atlanta's head man in the silly hat has managed to get half his parishioners offside by declaring the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual a boys club only activity.
About 100 men and women gathered outside Atlanta's Roman Catholic cathedral Thursday to protest the archbishop's exclusion of women from the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual.
Contrary to the order from Archbishop John Donoghue, the protesters said the rite should include everyone. Donoghue did not address the protest during Mass Thursday night. He and his staff have refused to comment on the issue.
Protesters sang and prayed during the hour long demonstration, which spilled from the sidewalk into the street. Some brought picket signs, but most brought only towels and washbowls.
In a letter last month to Atlanta priests, Donoghue said they should select 12 men from each parish to represent the apostles who had their feet washed by Jesus at the Last Supper.
Many see foot-washing as a symbolic act of service and charity. Lalor Cadley, who organized the demonstration, said the archbishopin some ways, has lost sight of the gospel message.
It's about serving one another in love,Cadley said.
As Sister Patty Caraher, an Atlanta nun, washed Nancy Frate's feet outside the Cathedral of Christ the King, Frate explained why she joined the protest:I'm 66 in August. I don't have a lot of years left, so it's time I stood up for the things I believe.
Faithful Decry Foot-Washing Ban of Women - AP, 9th April 2004.