Get Religion asks: So what was Pope Francis up to on Holy Thursday?
My answer --
What he was up to is demonstrating that he's holier than Christ -- Jesus washed the Disciples' feet, the feet of people he well knew, to rebuke them their childish and sinful one-upsmanship. Francis washed -- and kissed -- the feet of criminals, people he does not and will not know, who were picked out and presented to him for his silly photo-op, to demonstrate to all the world how proudly humble he is! how he can out-do Christ in humility and holiness!
The phenomenon of presenting oneself as being more holy (and/or more moral) than God is very common in Western cultures -- even the anti-Christians do it. Francis' display of it just happens to be a very Catholic way of doing it.
As another example, consider the "liberal" promotion of injustice, which they call opposition to ‘vengeance’ -- this is at root a public display of moral one-upsmanship, not just over you, but over God himself.
Drew has further thoughts
I hadn't realized that the woman whose foot Francis was kissing was a Moslem ... but that detail makes the whole thing perfect, don't you think?