Nancy Pelosi used the Holy Thursday tradition of Washing of the Feet to talk about passing HR15 – bipartisan immigration legislation that her office says would ‘reduce the deficit by nearly $1 trillion, secure our borders, unite our families, protect our workers and provide an earned pathway to citizenship.’”
The story went viral after being picked up by the Drudge Report, whose banner headline read “Pope Pelosi Washes Feet of Immigrants.” The headline was slightly inaccurate. Judging from the photos, Pelosi was not washing the feet, but pouring water over the feet, which were then washed by Bishop Andrus. Pelosi was joined by other San Francisco politicians, including supervisors David Chiu and Malia Cohen. Three of the pictures of Pelosi and Andrus also show the next pairing of politicians/clergy: San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu with Catholic deacon Brian Bromberger.
Deacon Bromberger has appeared in the pages of CalCatholic before. In 2011, he lead a group of parishioners from his former parish posting, St. John of God in San Francisco, at the city’s gay pride parade (Three parishes in SF ‘gay pride’ parade: 7/1/2011). As recently as June 28, 2012, he was listed as serving on St. John of God’s liturgy committee, where one of his fellow members was Maria Eitz, who has since been ordained as a “Roman Catholic woman priest” (Will she be removed?: 7/3/2012) Deacon Bromberger no longer serves at St. John of God.
Two of the photos showing Pelosi helping in the foot-washing showed photographers and videographers scrambling for camera angles. The Spanish-language TV network Univision did cover the story.
Media responses generally ranged from cynically amused “Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants’ feet in humble Holy Week act — then promotions on Twitter (Washington Times), “That foot washing thing is a great opportunity to show how much I care for the poor” (Patheos), to the outraged: “sickening, shameful” (Brent Bozell at CNSNews).