The rights of girls and Catholic lay faithful to carry out certain roles on the altar are not prescribed as "rights" within the Church, according to the Church's top legal authority, Archbishop Raymond Burke. The statement came in a clarification he wrote about the consequences of the reintroduction of the Latin Rite Mass by Pope Benedict.
The Catholic Church of Germany recently printed a commentary on the application of Benedict XVI's 2007 motu proprio, "Summorum Pontificum," which made Pope St. Pius V's Latin Rite Mass more widely available. In the preface of the volume, printed for the third anniversary of the motu proprio, Archbishop Raymond Burke clarified some confusion about the legislation's practical use.
Archbishop Burke is the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, which is often described as the supreme court of the Catholic Church.
According to Vatican Radio, the archbishop explained in the preface that due to the motu proprio's papal origins, it is not just an act of legislation brought about as a "favor" to a specific group for the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Mass in Latin, but one that applies to the entire Church. [Does someone from the Office of the Archbishop of Manila or of the CBCP Commission on the Liturgy hearing this? I think they do. It's hard to for people playing dumb and mute to hear and speak, eh?]
Archbishop Burke wrote, "it is about a law whose finality is the protection and promotion of the life of all the mystical body of Christ and the maximum expression of this life, that is to say, the Sacred Liturgy." [Excellently put! See how the cardinal-to-be plays it out with the promotion of life and the Sacred Liturgy? In the US, sometimes those who are of the kumbaya church are the ones who are so pro-altar girls, pro-liturgical inculturation, pro-women's ordination, pro-married clergy, pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion...]
It implies an obligation of the Church "to preserve liturgical tradition and maintain the legitimate celebration of both forms of the Roman Rite, that preceding the Second Vatican Council and that which followed it," he said. [Both forms are valid! Get it?]
Archbishop Burke pointed out that the Holy Father himself explained that for the communion of the Church in the past and the future, "universally accepted uses of uninterrupted apostolic tradition" must be observed.
This, he he pointed out should be done "not only to avoid errors, but also to transmit the integrity of the faith, so that the law of the prayer of the Church might correspond to her law of faith." [Lex orandi, lex credendi. You see the how some people express their faith with how they pray. I am not implying anything. Just an advice on how to do a "quick diagnosis".]
The American archbishop went on to point out that certain elements may need to be clarified in this regard. For example, he wrote, among the "rights" of the baptized, assistance by "persons of the feminine sex" at the altar is not included. [This has already been clarified yet the abuse continues! And Communion in the Hand is one such thing! Sign the petition to Stop it!] Additionally, serving as a lector or as an extraordinary distribution of communion is not a right of the laity, he noted. [The laity does not have the right! No one does except the ordained! That is the purpose of clerical ordination. Liturgists often confuse this in the name of active participation which obviously the Council Fathers of Vatican II had something very different in mind!]
As such, out of respect for the integrity of the liturgical discipline within the Roman Missal of 1962, these more modern modifications are not observed in the extraordinary form. [I remember an event where a priest threw a nutty after people refuse to receive Holy Communion in the hand (ugh!) during a TLM (ugh! ugh! ugh!). I mean...come on!]
This clarification comes just a week after L'Osservatore Romano writer Lucetta Scaraffia published an article on the altar server pilgrimage to the Vatican which drew thousands of boys and girls alike. She drew some attention as she proposed that the introduction of girls into the position of serving at the altar "meant the end of every attribution of impurity to their sex ... it meant a different attention to the liturgy and an approach to the faith in bringing it near to their very hearts." [See how feminists see a shimmer of light and they call it a supernova. Ugh!]
Archbishop Burke clarified, however, that the reality of the matter is that neither the presence of girls at the altar, nor the participation of lay faithful "belong to the fundamental rights of the baptized." [Amen to that!]
You might wonder what are the rights of the baptized? Let us quote the Catholic Encyclopedia:
This sacrament is the door of the Church of Christ [Hey Mormons and Manalo followers! It's not you we are talking about! So stop hijacking our Mother Church's name!] and the entrance into a new life. We are reborn from the state of slaves of sin into the freedom of the Sons of God. Baptism incorporates us with Christ's mystical body and makes us partakers of all the privileges flowing from the redemptive act of the Church's Divine Founder. We shall now outline the principal effects of baptism. [I summarized them into bullet points.]
The remission of all sin, original and actual
Remission of temporal punishment
Infusion of supernatural grace, gifts, and virtues
Conferral of the right to special graces
Impression of a character on the soul
See that? Nothing in there says: "After you get baptized, you can be the priest's alter ego at the altar or you can play "I-am-almost-a-priest" game."
Oops! Before I go any further, I am sure the creative liturgists who soooo love active participation would quote this:
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1273 Incorporated into the Church by Baptism, the faithful have received the sacramental character that consecrates them for Christian religious worship.83 The baptismal seal enables and commits Christians to serve God by a vital participation in the holy liturgy of the Church and to exercise their baptismal priesthood by the witness of holy lives and practical charity.84
And how about that active participation thing that they always trumpet? Let us then consult Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II, the Bible of liturgical creativities and inculturation:
28. In liturgical celebrations each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy. [Minister or layman...Hmmm. Isn't that obvious? If you are not a layman, then you are a minister and vice versa! Don't have to be a rocket scientist there, eh? So that means, each has his own duty to perform according to the nature of his office! So does that mean that laymen can be minsters at Mass, or did Vatican II encourage it? Let us continue.]
30. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence. [Sooooo!!!! Active participation of the people (meaning the laity) is limited to " means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes". Nothing there says about altar girls, a battalion of EMHCs... See how we were duped. You always get the answer of "Vatican 2 says it so!" Oh really? Where?]