I read that NCRegister article too, and found it completely unconvincing. The Pedilavium rite within the context of the Great and Holy Thursday liturgy is not commemorating "service in general," but the institution of priestly service by Christ in commissioning His apostles to serve the people of God. Quite frankly the Roman Church does not need more liturgical innovation, and it most certainly does not need to be even more ritually Low Church than it is already.
That is precisely why I revised my view *somewhat*, and adopted a wait and see attitude. I guess I'm slightly more gullible and open to "suggestion" than you, as I didn't find it completely
unconvincing. There was enough there to give me pause for thought about my own judgmentalism and preconceived ideas--but the depth of my catechesis and education is not nearly as great as that of others here. And no, I'm *not* being sarcastic.
If knowing the meaning of the Pedilavium rite according to Tradition is a form of "judgmentalism" then I am guilty as charged. That said, the constant desire for liturgical innovation in the Roman Church is a problem even if large numbers of Roman Catholics refuse to see it as one.
Reaching out to troubled teens by showing that the head of ~ 1+ billion Catholics, a servant of Christ, loves them enough to humble himself with this gesture is profound in itself and surely had an impact on those kids and others. I have no problem with this and I applaud the Pope not for 'innovation' but loving service. I do, however, agree with the other poster that the Pope could have performed the traditional ritual and then visited the jail, but hindsight is 20/20. And I don't think it is fair to make a subjective and personal diagnosis about whether the Pope is "bored" in mass. From having a sibling with one lung, as Pope Francis has, I can tell you that seemingly normal daily activities are exhausting for people with that condition.