2013年3月28日，新任教宗方濟打破教廷傳統，為女性和回教徒犯人洗腳並俯身親吻之。 這呼應了月前2月27日在紐約時報上國際關係大師 保羅˙甘迺迪所寫的短文。
在短文中，他公開承認，他是西方非教會成立的、主要大學中唯一仍實際力行的天主教徒國際關係教授。他每周三為窮人、吸毒者、無家可歸者服務中餐。他寫道: 「你能愛你披頭散髮、骯髒、一無所有的鄰居如你愛你自己一樣? 這才是宗教的真髓，其他都是『腳註』。」
On March 28, 2013, the newly elected Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of two young female prisoners, one of them a Muslim, in a break with tradition. That echoed what Professor Paul Kennedy (see inset) of the The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987) fame wrote on New York Times/International Herald Tribune on February 27, 2013.
Two years after the publication of his book, the once superpower the former Soviet Union collapsed, and two decades after, the other super power United States began its gradual decline.
Professor Kennedy at Yale University admitted that he was the only professor of international relations at a major western liberal university who was a practicing Catholic. Every Wednesday for many years, he had worked at the soup kitchen for the downtrodden neighbors. He wrote, “Do you love your dirty hairy, smelly, dispossessed neighbor as yourself, and will reach out to help? Loving your God, and loving your known and unknown neighbors as yourself, is the core. Everything else is footnotes.”
Chong-Pin Lin April 1, 2013