Jason Engwer’s recent post on justification by foot-washing raises some pressing questions in sacramental podiatry. Not every form of foot-washing is justificatory. Many forms of foot-washing are either invalid or at least irregular. Valid administration of foot-washing must address a number of key questions:
1. What type of water should the celebrant use? Hot water or cold water? Holy water or profane water? Spring water? Artesian water? Mineral water? Salt water? Fluoridated water?
2. Which foot is washed? The right foot or the left foot?
3. If the pedal candidate is an amputee, will a prosthetic foot be an adequate alternative?
If not, then is the foot-washing of desire sufficient? Does the pedibus flaminis correspond to the baptismus flaminis?
And what about the foot-washing of blood? Does the pedibum sanguinis correspond to the baptismum sanguinis?
4. How do we verify pedal succession all the way back to the exemplary foot? Is there an exemplary slipper to test the various pedal claimants (i.e. the Cinderella criterion)?
5. Which foot is the one true foot? Whose foot supplies the pedal exemplar? Must it be a Petrine foot? Will a Johannine foot suffice?
6. Which church is the rightful heir to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic foot?