MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will wash the feet of former drug addicts and policemen on Holy Thursday, April 13, in a Holy Week ritual remembering the sacrifice of Christ.
They will be among the 12 people joining the annual "Washing of the Feet" ritual on Holy Thursday at the Manila Cathedral. The ritual will take place during the 5 pm Holy Thursday Mass to be led by the cardinal.
Tagle's private secretary, Father Reginald Malicdem, confirmed to Rappler that Tagle will wash the feet of the following:
Malicdem, also the rector of the Manila Cathedral, explained that there will be "two persons per classification," bringing the total number to 12.
On Holy Thursday, Catholic priests usually wash the feet of 12 people representing the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. The ritual, called the Washing of the Feet, stresses the importance of service. (READ: The washing of the feet: A lesson in humility and service)
On the rationale for the Archdiocese of Manila's choice of participants, Malicdem said that Tagle will explain this in his homily on April 13.
This is the Philippines' first Holy Week during the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has waged a war on drugs that has killed more than 7,000 people.
Tagle earlier condemned the drug-related killings while also slamming the illegal drug trade. Tagle recently launched a rehabilitation program in San Juan City even as he reminded his flock not to condemn others or "throw" them away. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.