Saturday, June 21, 2008

UK cathedral pushes altar girls in Tridentine Mass

You may recall our recent post on "The 1962 Mass with Post-1970 Innovations: Is It Likely?" (Musings, May 29, 2008), an article by Charles M. Wilson With additional comments by Philip C.L. Gray, JCL and Duane L.C.M. Galles, JD, JCD, in Christifidelis (November 9, 2007).

As an addendum to that post, here is one on a recent incident in Great Britain between the Dean of Cardiff Cathedral, Canon Peter Collins, and representatives of the local Latin Mass Society. Anna Arco, "Traditional Mass called off after row over altar girl" (Catholic Herald, May 23, 2008), writes:
A traditional Latin Mass that was due to be held in Cardiff Cathedral last Sunday was cancelled at the last minute after a row broke out over a female server.

Plans for a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, a joint initiative between the cathedral and Latin Mass Society (LMS), which was supposed to have been celebrated by the Abbot of Belmont Abbey, were scuppered after a disagreement arose over the altar server.

Disagreements escalated during a second training session for the cathedral servers and the Dean, Canon Peter Collins, when one of the cathedral's regular female servers came to the practice. She had not been at the previous training session nor had Canon Collins.

Her presence came as a surprise to members of the Latin Mass Society who were present, as the LMS insists that its policy has always been clear about following the rubrics and laws, which govern the 1962 form of the Roman Rite. This excludes the presence of women in the Sanctuary.

... Kingsley Lewis, the LMS's representative in Cardiff, telephoned Canon Collins the next morning to say that the LMS in conscience could not take part in the Mass if there was a female server present in the sanctuary. Neither party backed down and the Mass was cancelled.

Canon Collins said: "... I had no agenda, and no assumptions that it would be a problem that our normal servers would participate plus the extra servers supplied by the Latin Mass Society....

"I'm unclear as to whether Rome has an opinion on the rubrics of the Extraordinary Form and whether it would prohibit the presence of lady servers, but I will seek clarification on that matter....

Since Pope Benedict XVI published the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum which lifted restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass last year, a number of questions about the two forms of the Roman Rite have arisen. It has been reported that the Ecclesia Dei Commission is working on a document clarifying the Motu Proprio though the details of its release remains unclear.

Female altar servers were authorised by the Vatican retroactively in 1994 - so in accordance with Canon Law 230 - that Liturgical services may be carried out by lay people ex temporananea deputatione, according to the judgment of the bishop and where the needs of the Church require it. Permission was given as many parishes were already using girl altar servers. In 2001 Rome issued a clarification, saying that while bishops could give permission for female altar server, they could not force a priest to have women as servers.
[Hat tip to N.B.]

No comments: