Archbishop Burke celebrates the TLM in St Peter's. OH MY GOD--is that a woman I see way back there?
Here's a fascinating clarification from Archbishop Raymond Burke on the rights of laity and altar girls when it comes to the Tridentine Latin Mass. They have none. I suppose it goes with out saying that the following is an extract from the Chaput News Agency, CNA.
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.(Which I guess means that Benedict as Pope can favor the entire church with his personal preferences.)
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."
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.
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. (It would seem to me Archbishop Burke must have a very interesting definition of universally accepted. Maybe he means by his like minded clerical friends.)
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."
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. Additionally, serving as a lector or as an extraordinary distribution of communion is not a right of the laity, he noted.
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.
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." (Apparently this poor misguided woman was wrong.)
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."
I'm kind of curious as to just what rights Archbishop Burke assigns to the baptized. It certainly isn't any right to the sacraments because huge swaths of the faithful have been left priest less by the Vatican. The Vatican retains its right to insist the the all male celibate priesthood supersedes the laity's right to sacraments. I think we are still under the obligation to attend Mass even if it's more or less impossible. One would think access to the Sacraments would be the fundamental right of Catholic laity, but then I'm not even sure Catholic laity actually have a right to think. I do know we have an obligation to obey, but I don't think obligations equate to rights.
I wonder why we rarely hear any talk from the Vatican about their obligations to the faithful? Maybe those who think this rights/obligations thing is a one way street have it pretty much correct. The clerical caste of bishops and above have all the rights, the lower clergy, religious, and laity have all the obligations. Women having the most obligations and children -especially girls-the least rights. In my reading of the New Testament, Jesus seemed to reverse this entirely. Children had the most rights and men the most obligations with male religious leadership having the most obligations of anyone. Hmmm this could be considered an inversion of Jesus's direct teachings. Inversion, as a frequent commenter on this blog points out, is the hallmark signature of negative plane energy.
I read another article this morning on RH Reality Check in which the author reviews the immediate past history of Vatican proclamations and teachings. It's hard not to agree with the conclusion that women and children pay the brunt of the price for Vatican teachings and have historically. In this sense it's tradition. Her last paragraph really struck home to me because it addresses why this has been so and why it's changing now:
"For now, I see the church continuing to "bleed women," as Sister Joan Chittister once put it. Those who remain will be subject to a hierarchy that is clinging desperately to sexist man-made laws and sexist interpretations of tradition and Scripture, then passing their sexist messages onto young Catholic girls.
A cradle Catholic, it took me a long time to develop a voice inside that was loud enough to drown out those messages. It saddens me that many Catholic girls will spend years of their lives doing the same. But that is the inevitable consequence of institutionalized diminishment and discrimination. And that is not ending in the Catholic Church any time soon.
The line I have in bold is the prime reason the Vatican teaches us from a very early age that they are the only voice of truth. Entraining that concept early in neural development means it will take that much longer to develop one's own independent voice that has enough authority to over come original entrainment. For women this notion of male authority was entrained by the entire culture. That's not true any more and is why there is hope that women can develop their own authentic internal voice. This is one big reason the Vatican sees the LCWR as a threat. This group of women has essentially been on a path whose search was for an authentic internal spiritual and religious voice. They were also historically the group of Catholics who did the most to entrain us to believe the uni voice of the hierarchy was our sole authentic internal moral voice. The previously totally compliant sisterhood of the LCWR is a big loss to the Vatican and it's future survival in some very big ways. The boys in the Vatican are way too late to change this situation in meaningful way.
The Burkes and Rodes and Bertones and Benedicts of the Vatican world can stomp their red loafers and shake their gold crosiers. They can continue to tell girls and women, lay men, and lesser clergy and religious that God has decreed we have few rights and all the obligations for the maintenance of God's self chosen messengers and we should thank their god this situation exists. They can try that is, but more and more of us are seeing they are talking at us about their god. The God we have found, that gives authority to our inner voice, tells us something totally different. That voice tells us Jesus was right when He said to look with in.