Pope Francis continues to shake things up.
Fr. Z expresses worries that I think are a bit overblown. On the technical matter, St. John Lateran is not yet "officially" the Pope's Cathedral, so he wouldn't celebrate Mass there. Of course that could change, but meh, I can't find myself worked up about it.
The fear that the changes will be received in the wrong way is a real one. A lot of Pope Paul VI's moves, while fully orthodox, were done without much thinking to the long game in view, and caused pain which is still be worked out almost 50 years later. Yet forgive me for being a snide kid, but really? He isn't changing clerical celibacy, introducing a new practice in the liturgy (let's hope not), etc. He is choosing to instead celebrate Mass in a prison, providing the liturgy to the downtrodden.
I also agree with my good friend Diane (I have a feeling we will be discussing things like this a lot after Church socials!) that we should remember Holy Thursday is about the inauguration of the priesthood. and celebrate that fact. Yet I'm not sure that the Holy Father celebrating Mass in a prison undermines this or sends a different message. What does a priest do? A priest offers sacrifice. What does a Catholic priest of the order of Melchizedek do? That priest offers the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. One could celebrate the inauguration of the priesthood by immediately going out doing the work of the priest, in this case performing several corporal/spiritual works of mercy in visiting people in prison. (Though I suppose if we were looking for symbolism, even better to do it on Holy Saturday, though I fear others not named Diane would engage in serious concern trolling then as well.) Maybe the Holy Father could make this point specifically.
All this being said, there is one thing I worry about, and that is the washing of feet of women. I understand why some people advocate doing this. It isn't just washing the feet of the priests, but an act of service towards all. As things currently stand, that just isn't what the rite is described as. The rite is meant to be an act of solidarity between Christ and the priesthood, with lay men filling in when you don't have 12 extra priests whose feet one priest can wash. People can argue if we should change it. (I think we shouldn't.) Yet in the end, things are what they currently are, and if the Pope does otherwise (as he had done in the past as a priest and bishop) it could only lead to further confusion. Of course, the foot washing ceremony is completely optional, so maybe he will omit it. (Though I doubt it.)
So if he does otherwise, am I going to like it? No I won't. It probably won't have too much of an impact on change if he does it. Yet if one asks me, I hope he doesn't, because in the future, we very well could reach that point Fr. Z fears.