Washing hands and feet

Pope Francis washed refugees’ feet during a Good Friday ceremony at a camp near Rome. Later he addressed a large crowd and took his chance to criticise Europe’s attitude to refugees.

Europe’s atittude certainly does not reserve praise as it is flooded my millions of refugees. But what exactly is doing Pope Francis for Yazidis and other Christians in Syria? How many have been saved by him and the Catholic church? How many refugees are sheltered in the Vatican?

He did stongly protest against the persecution of Christians, according to a Guardian article: “our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence”.

He also joined other world leaders, journalists and many people with common sense, in noticing that “followers of some religions … profane the name of God and … use the holy name to justify their unprecedented violence”. Such remarks have been made by others for years now.

It is a bit rich reading the Pope blames arms dealers and traitors for making money. Sure, they are increasing other people’s misery. How about the Vatican’s opaque financial dealings and involvement in financial scandals?

Nice to read Pope Francis condems pedophiles, especially priests. But what about an appology to victims, or compensation – even if the victims no longer have the legal possibilities to put the Catholic Church and the criminals it shelters in the dock?

Washing some feet about once a year does not absolve a pontif and his Church. Like Europe being taken to task on its attitude towards refugees by this pontif, he and his Church are still washing their hands of too many issues as well.

Guardian Pope Francis laments

Guardian Vatican hit by new financial scandals

Church spends more on building than compensation


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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