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Morning Catholic must-reads: 16/03/16

Archbishop Ioan Robu of Bucharest presides at the foot-washing rite on Holy Thursday last year (AP)

Priests are not obliged to wash women’s feet on Holy Thursday, Vatican liturgy prefect Cardinal Robert Sarah has reportedly said.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin has denied covering up abuse after French prime minister Manuel Valls urged him to take responsibility for a scandal in his archdiocese.

The sudden death of theologian Fr Virgilio Elizondo is “a deep loss for the Church”, Archbishop José Gomez has said (Rocco Palmo).

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin will begin a three-day visit to Bulgaria on Saturday.

The Knights of Columbus have stepped in to support the Catholic news site Crux after the Boston Globe withdrew its backing.

Robert Mickens says there’s a problem with Pope Francis’s plan for “healthy decentralisation”.

And Baptist minister Jeremy Everett describes his “Franciscan conversion” to serving the poor.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.