Rorate Caeli

For the record - the never-ending quest for more reforms.
1) CDW Secretary: Non-Catholic spouses of parishioners could be selected for foot-washing rite.
2) Lutherans given communion during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica

1. Even as the reform of Maundy Thursday foot washing was being announced, its loopholes were already being explored by the supporters of further reform. Buried in Catholic News' Agency's report on yesterday's change (Women may now have their feet washed at Holy Thursday Mass, Pope says) we find the following interpretation from Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the CDW (our emphases):

Although the Pope has previously chosen to wash the feet of both non-Catholics and non-Christians, Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, cautioned that the new change does not necessarily include them.

In Jan. 21 comments to CNA, the archbishop said that the changes are meant for “the local community,” and members of “the local parish.” 

He said that reading the decree as an invitation for non-Catholics to participate would be a “selective interpretation” of the text, and that while this could be something that happens “in the future,” it’s probably not what the Pope’s decision intended. 

However, Archbishop Roche did say that although the decree is meant for the local community, it’s possible that a non-Catholic spouse of a parishioner who regularly attends the Catholic liturgy could be chosen to participate

The archbishop also touched on the topic of whether non-Christians could be chosen. He pointed to Pope Francis’ decision to wash the feel of Muslim youth in 2013, distinguishing between papal liturgies from the everyday liturgy in “normal” situations. 

He explained that when Pope Francis chose to wash the feet of Muslim youth, it was under “special circumstances” and took place in an “unusual setting,” whereas the current decree is intended for the “normal, everyday liturgy in the parish.

The decree only states that those who will have their feet washed are "chosen from among the People of God", and that pastors are to a "choose a group of faithful representing the variety and unity of every part of the People of God. This group may consist of men and women, and ideally of the young and the old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated persons and laypeople." An orthodox interpretation of "People of God" would see this as a reference to Catholics, but given the post-Conciliar gymnastics about membership in the Church it can easily be interpreted to include non-Catholic Christians. With this latest loophole being opened by the No. 2 man in the CDW the looser interpretation has gained a foothold it is unlikely to lose, and more than likely to expand. Even more puzzling is Roche's justification of the inclusion of Muslims by the Pope in his footwashing ceremony under the rubric of "special circumstances" -- as if the annual rite is not itself a "special circumstance", and definitely not "normal, everyday" liturgy. This is nonsense!

2. According to Edward Pentin, a group of Lutheran pilgrims were given communion in St. Peter's Basilica itself this week. What is significant here is that communion was offered to them unilaterally by the celebrants of the Mass -- the Lutherans themselves were expecting to receive only a blessing, and the celebrants knew they were not Catholics.

It is scarcely possible that this happened without the knowledge of the Basilica authorities. Are we now seeing the practical effects of Francis' ambivalent words on holy communion for Lutherans?

Lutheran Group Reportedly Given Holy Communion in St. Peter's Basilica 
Priests seem to have known the group were Lutherans but gave them Holy Communion anyway, contravening canon law.
A Lutheran group from Finland, led by their bishop, Samuel Salmi of Oulu, reportedly received Holy Communion in St  Peter’s basilica this week, despite indicating to the priests present that they were ineligible to do so.

According to Finnish news agency Kotimaa, and reported here in Estonian, the priests celebrating the Mass were aware that they were Lutherans. 

The report said that at the time of Communion, the Finnish Lutherans put their right hand on their left shoulder to show they could not receive the Eucharist and wanted to receive a blessing instead.

The Finnish Lutheran bishop said the priests distributing Communion ignored the sign and offered the Lutherans Communion anyway. The bishop also received the Eucharist. 

The report said the youth choir from Finland sung at the Mass, and Bishop Salmi was asked to greet those present on behalf of the Finnish Lutherans. So there was no doubt who they were. 

Bishop Salmi said Pope Francis was not present at the Mass, but said the Pope had repeatedly indicated he would like to develop unity between different denominations. 

The bishop, who in 2011 said homosexuals should have "full rights" in the Lutheran church, also told the news agency that Pope Francis has theological enemies in the Vatican and so may be limited in how freely he can speak. 

In November, the Pope said that a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic should "talk to the Lord" before receiving Holy Communion, although Francis himself did not give her permission to do so. 

The Pope's words were understood by Rome's Lutheran community to mean that Lutherans could receive Holy Communion, in accordance with their conscience, although such a reading was later refuted by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.