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Pope will wash feet of refugees in Easter Week ritual

By Staff Reporter

Pope Francis will clean the feet of young refugees during the Easter Week foot-washing ritual, after making official his practice of having women participate in the ceremony as well as men.

The Vatican did not say if non-Catholics would be among the 12 refugees participating in the Holy Thursday rite at an asylum centre north of Rome.

Within weeks of becoming Pope, Francis stunned conservatives by washing the feet of women and Muslims in a re-enacting of a rite Jesus performed on his Apostles before crucifixion.

Vatican rules had long called for only men to participate, but Francis in January changed the regulations to explicitly allow women to take part.

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