Kathy Cummings on Pope's Foot-Washing Decree

April 01, 2016 Rebecca Corrente

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Pope Francis has decreed that women can take part in the foot-washing ritual today, Maundy Thursday

By D. Ashley Campbell March 24

Pope Francis performs the foot-washing ritual at a center for disabled people during Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) in 2014 at the Don Gnocchi Foundation in Rome. He decreed this year that women can take part in the ritual. (Osservatore Romano via AFP)

Women can now officially participate in the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual alongside men for the first time since the 1950s, thanks to a decree from Pope Francis that experts say also has symbolic significance and implications for church law.

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