Pope Francis changes the rules: Women can have their feet washed on Holy Thursday

Pope Francis has issued a decree revising the rules for the traditional foot-washing ritual on Holy Thursday, saying the rite should no longer be limited to men and boys, but also include women and young girls.

Those participating in the ceremony, the decree says, should be representative of the entire community.

The change, Francis wrote, is “an attempt to improve the method of implementation, to express the full meaning of the gesture performed by Jesus at the Last Supper, his gift of himself ‘to the end’ for the salvation of the world, his boundless charity.”