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For the First Time, Muslims and Women Were Included in Pope’s Foot-Washing Ceremony

Newly-appointed Pope Francis made international headlines when he announced that instead of delivering Holy Thursday Mass from St Peter’s Basilica, he would instead visit a youth prison on the outskirts of Rome. It’s now being reported that among the 12 inmates whose feet he washed during the ceremony, for the first time ever, Muslims and women were included in the Holy Thursday rite.

The foot-washing ceremony has been traditionally limited to men, because Jesus’ 12 disciples were all male. In his unscripted message to the young offenders, he encouraged them to serve others: “It is the example of the Lord. He was the most important but he washed the feet of others. The most important must be at the service of others” …

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