Religious authorities: Kiss our hands and be humble!

Religious authorities: Kiss our hands and be humble!

All Orthodox and Catholic Churches, including our Coptic Orthodox Church, have this priestly habit. Whenever  you meet with one of their religious authorities, they extend their hands for kissing. Of course, if you don’t do it, you’re not humble enough. Other people from the congregation would look at you in despise. The question is: why would not these priests, bishops, cardinals and popes be humble themselves?

It’s really ironic. Their master, our Lord Jesus Christ, instead of asking of His disciples to kiss His hands and feet- and He deserves it- He knelt down on His knees and washed their feet.

This act of kissing is actually an act of submission. It creates a church of masters and slaves, not a church as God intended: a communion between equals in the eyes of God. The church as depicted by the apostle Paul is “… the body of Christ and individually [we are] members of it.  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12: 27-28).

How we became so distant from the true church as the body of Christ?

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2 Responses to Religious authorities: Kiss our hands and be humble!

  1. Mariella We says:

    These men represent Christ. The religious also wash other people’s feet. Even Christ had his hand kissed.

    • ibbarsoum says:

      Dear Mariella :
      When Jesus created the Church, he did not make certain few people to represent him, it was all the Church. Second, the religious authorities wash feet during Thursday of the passion week as a ritual act, not an act of humility. It happens once a year in our Coptic Church, and it is almost like a theatrical scene, where they swap lay people’s feet with a piece of cotton immersed in “holy water”. It is not at all an act of humility as Jesus did. Third, it is not recorded in the bible that anybody kissed Jesus hands, and if anybody did, Jesus would definitely deserve it as God Incarnate. So, my point still stands: we should see the church as a communion of equals in the eyes of God, not as few masters (eminences, graces, authorities…) and their slaves (lay people). God became incarnate to share his salvation and glory with all of us, and it is not right to reserve the glory for few and enslave the rest. God bless.

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