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Fr McCoy was not being disobedient when he accepted female servers for the old form

Two years ago a letter from Ecclesia Dei said female servers in the EF was allowable, if not recommended

By on Friday, 10 June 2011

Servers bow during a Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin rite at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Servers bow during a Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin rite at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Having probably caused Fr Alban McCoy, the Catholic chaplain at Cambridge, some unwanted publicity last week by blogging about his use of female altar servers at Tridentine Masses, I feel I must make amends. Traditionalists responding to my blog, to Fr Zuhlsdorf’s blog on the same subject and to the latest “clarification” from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, have all severely condemned Fr McCoy’s initiative. Some of them go so far as to assume he is engaging in a conspiracy to undermine the Extraordinary Form by deliberate Trojan horse tactics or that he is secretly in favour of women priests.

None of this is true. Apparently two years ago, after the publication of Summorum Pontificum, a letter from the PCED reached Fr Alban, stating: “When permission has been granted by the Ordinary of the Diocese for female altar servers, theoretically they could also serve the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but we cannot recommend this practice at the moment because it would be psychologically unacceptable to the great majority who attend these Masses.” The letter, Protocol 410/9, is dated May 14 2009 and signed by Mgr Camille Perl, vice-president of the PCED.

If I were the Cambridge chaplain reading this letter, I would interpret it as meaning that female altar servers are not forbidden outright at an EF Mass; indeed, that in the uncommon setting of a college chapel or chaplaincy, which would not be attended by the general public, I could use my discretion. If the “great majority” who attended such a Mass were not “psychologically disturbed” in my judgment as a priest of long experience in chaplaincy life and liturgy, then I could respond in good faith (as indeed Fr McCoy did) to the request of a couple of devout female students. No scandal or disobedience is involved here.

Now it seems that there is another letter from the PCED, a “clarification”, signed by a different monsignor and sent to a former worshipper at the chaplaincy, which declares that the 1994 ruling of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, giving permission for female altar servers at OF Masses, definitely does not apply in the case of Masses in the Extraordinary Form. Protocol 410/9 has been overruled. There is no point speculating why this has happened. What matters is that Fr McCoy’s good name is not tarnished.

According to Stuart Reid, who returns to the subject in this week’s Charterhouse, Fr McCoy will comply with this latest protocol if he or his bishop receives it direct, rather than at second-hand, through a disaffected former member of his Cambridge congregation. Given the muddle Rome has got into, this would only be courteous.

If I had been the person designated to dish out these protocols at the PCED, I would have suggested a “via media” in the first instance, rather than raise the question of psychology (which seems to call in question the mindset of traditionalists): just as intercommunion is only permitted in rare cases, I would have suggested that female altar servers at EF Masses would only be permissible at particular occasions and in non-public settings.

Someone also commented to me that standing for Communion and reception in the hand is a lot less reverent than the use of female altar servers. I agree.

  • Oliver

    His was taking the Mickey and he got his comeuppance. Now he’ll have to think of something else.

  • Anonymous

    I fail to see this in any way other than tokenistic posturing and demeaning the very nature of the Mass. Not by Having female altar servers; but by knowing it is simply not done – the tradition of the Church was ALWAYS that women , the eternal servants, should not be required to serve their servant, the priest.

  • RC

    Someone posted this on Fr Z. I think it is interesting:

    Fr Alban McCoy in The Tablet (22/10/2005):

    The word “transubstantiation”, which articulates the mode
    and status of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, came into official
    use only in the thirteenth century at the Fourth Lateran Council in
    1215, although it had been used earlier than this to account for what
    the Church believed about the eucharistic presence. It also entered into
    the definition of the mode of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist at the
    Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. Catholics are committed to
    the teaching of both the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of
    Trent, just as they are to that of the Second Vatican Council, that
    Christ is truly present, sacramentally in the Eucharist. They are not, however, committed to believing in the notion of transubstantiation, as such.
    What Trent actually says is that this is simply a most appropriate
    (aptissime) way of talking about the eucharistic presence, but it does
    not preclude other ways that might be deemed more appropriate. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the use of the word less than appropriate if, as some think, it is now apt to mislead.

    Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei (03/09/1965):

    We can see that some of those who are dealing with this Most Holy Mystery in speech and writing are disseminating opinions on… the dogma of transubstantiation
    that are disturbing the minds of the faithful and causing them no small
    measure of confusion about matters of faith, just as if it were all
    right for someone to take doctrine that has already been defined by the
    Church and consign it to oblivion or else interpret it in such a way as
    to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of
    the concepts involved… To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of
    presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the
    greatest miracle of its kind, we have to listen with docility to the
    voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly
    echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ
    becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole
    substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the
    wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation.

  • Dorothy

    When you say “apparently”, do you mean you have not seen this letter?

  • RC

    Someone posted this on Fr Z’s blog. I think it is interesting:–Fr Alban McCoy in The Tablet (22/10/2005):The word “transubstantiation”, which articulates the mode and status of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, came into official use only in the thirteenth century at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, although it had been used earlier than this to account for what the Church believed about the eucharistic presence. It also entered into the definition of the mode of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. Catholics are committed to the teaching of both the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Trent, just as they are to that of the Second Vatican Council, that Christ is truly present, sacramentally in the Eucharist. They are not, however, committed to believing in the notion of transubstantiation, as such. What Trent actually says is that this is simply a most appropriate (aptissime) way of talking about the eucharistic presence, but it does not preclude other ways that might be deemed more appropriate. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the use of the word less than appropriate if, as some think, it is now apt to mislead.Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei (03/09/1965):We can see that some of those who are dealing with this Most Holy Mystery in speech and writing are disseminating opinions on… the dogma of transubstantiation that are disturbing the minds of the faithful and causing them no small measure of confusion about matters of faith, just as if it were all right for someone to take doctrine that has already been defined by the Church and consign it to oblivion or else interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of the concepts involved… To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation.

  • RC

    Someone posted this on Fr Z’s blog. I think it is interesting:–Fr Alban McCoy in The Tablet (22/10/2005):The word “transubstantiation”, which articulates the mode and status of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, came into official use only in the thirteenth century at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, although it had been used earlier than this to account for what the Church believed about the eucharistic presence. It also entered into the definition of the mode of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. Catholics are committed to the teaching of both the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Trent, just as they are to that of the Second Vatican Council, that Christ is truly present, sacramentally in the Eucharist. They are not, however, committed to believing in the notion of transubstantiation, as such. What Trent actually says is that this is simply a most appropriate (aptissime) way of talking about the eucharistic presence, but it does not preclude other ways that might be deemed more appropriate. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the use of the word less than appropriate if, as some think, it is now apt to mislead.Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei (03/09/1965):We can see that some of those who are dealing with this Most Holy Mystery in speech and writing are disseminating opinions on… the dogma of transubstantiation that are disturbing the minds of the faithful and causing them no small measure of confusion about matters of faith, just as if it were all right for someone to take doctrine that has already been defined by the Church and consign it to oblivion or else interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of the concepts involved… To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation.

  • RC

    Third time lucky!

  • Dorothy

    Oh, scratch that. I assume there is a letter. What bothers me more is that someone–probably an actual Roman Catholic student or lecturer at Cambridge University who assisted at the Traditional Mass–is being dismissed as a “disaffected former member of [Father McCoy's] Catholic congregation.” 

    Meanwhile, the first Monsignor was right about female servers of the EF being psychologically unacceptable to those who love and assist at it, wasn’t he? 

    How sad that Catholics on both sides of the Atlantic now know all about what should have been just a tiny tempest in an Cambridge teapot. Of course, one longs to know what the young (but adult) women in question think of all this. 

  • Parasum

    “Catholics are committed to the teaching of both the Fourth Lateran
    Council and the Council of Trent, just as they are to that of the Second
    Vatican Council, that Christ is truly present, sacramentally in the
    Eucharist. They are not, however, committed to believing in the notion of transubstantiation, as such.What Trent actually says is that this is simply a most appropriate
    (aptissime) way of talking about the eucharistic presence, but it does
    not preclude other ways that might be deemed more appropriate”

    Trent defined the truth of transubstantiation as a dogma; not, however, the words for that truth. The point the Fathers of Trent were making is that the conversion of the  Eucharistic gifts, though aptly described in the terms used by the Council, is not so bound to the word “transubstantiation” that no other is permissible or possible. The reality they spoke of is a fact – the Eucharistic Gifts are indeed transubstantiated. This truth is a reality which must be understood as the Church has understood it, & must never be falsified by erroneous notions about it; and the word “transubstantiation”, as used and understood in the Church’s Tradition, describes it very fitly.

    Properly explained, there is no reason why the word “transubstantiation” should mislead anyone. Any theological or technical term can mislead: God, person, forgiveness, creation, eternity, omnipotence – all of these, & dozens of others, are often used in a sense that is far removed from what the Church means by them. Are computing terms useless or misleading because not everyone knows what a terabyte, a motherboard, a USB Port, or a  driver is ? It is absurd for Catholic theology to ditch its precise & very serviceable theological terminology, when the children of this world, in talking of far less important things, do not drop theirs. The word was invented because it says  what the Church is trying to say about something of immense importance, & says it very well. No one expects anyone else to drop the language they have found serviceable: so why should Catholics ?  

  • Parasum

    “To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes
    beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its
    kind”

    1. How is it a miracle ? If a miracle must be perceptible to the senses, which is what “approved authors” say, it is not clear that it can strictly speaking, be called a miracle. A great wonder, certainly – but a miracle ?

    2. If is an unique conversion, it cannot be the greatest of its kind, as it is the only instance of its kind.

    So what is the Pope teaching, that I’m not getting :( ?

    Because it goes beyond the laws of nature, the reality of it cannot be proved by methods or processes or their effects that are limited to the natural order. So the sciences have no competence here. It is an “ontological” conversion, a conversion of substance & not of accidents – therefore, a change accessible in no way to the senses, but only to the intellect: & only to the intellect enlightened by faith. It is therefore unaffected by scientific theories about the nature of the material universe, as these deal with what is accessible to the senses, & can go no further.

    “Christ is truly present, sacramentally in the Eucharist.” The sacramental mode of the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist badly needs emphasising – it preserves the Church from believing in the cannibalistic monstrosities too often attributed to her, even by Catholics who aspire to be orthodox, but instead subscribe, without knowing it, to an unsophisticated & verbally orthodox ultra-realism. The dogma is anything but materialistic.  

  • Auricularis

    “According to Stuart Reid, who returns to the subject in this week’s
    Charterhouse, Fr McCoy will comply with this latest protocol if he or
    his bishop receives it direct, rather than at second-hand, through a
    disaffected former member of his Cambridge congregation”

    Is this a joke? The instruction from Rome is quite perfectly clear – for Fr. McCoy to demand that he receives a personalised instruction from the Vatican (who have enough on their plate as it is) is arrogance of the highest order. Fr. McCoy is being plain contrary and now realises his stunt has backfired on him.

  • YoungAussie

    1. Any person of even moderate intelligence or tact must have known in advance that Fr McCoy’s stunt would be outrage the devout sensibilities of his congregation.
     
    2. The law of the Church is clear from Universae Ecclesiae. Communion in the hand is out. Serviettes are out. Extraordinary ministers are out. Liturgical Dancers are out. Bare-breasted wiccans doing the readings are out.  Blind Freddy knew all of that was simply not done, from the get-go, but Fr McCoy had to test the boundaries. Why?
     
    3. This defence of Fr McCoy overlooks, if not ignores, that the PCED has issued an instruction that clarifies liturgical law on the topic. That’s not good enough for Fr McCoy, apparrently. Not for him simple obedience to the public law of the Church. He needs a personal letter from the Holy Father himself, delivered by the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, standing on his head wearing a Cappa Magna, accompanies by two Swiss Guards, on Holy Thursday. In a leap year. Then, of course, he will obey!
     
    Sounds like a spirit of disobedience to me. He doesn’t need a personalised response to a dubium. He just needs to follow the clear words of the instruction UE.

    4. The abuse and dismissal of someone as a “disaffected former member” of the congregation is most unfortunate; it smacks of the sort of thing said by former Bishop Morris of Toowoomba when finally dismissed for Heresy by the Holy Father – “the Temple Police / Taliban Catholics are out to get me!”.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    The author of this blog has, more than once, revealed herself to be an extremely confused person. Reading this latest attempt to defend the use of girl altar boys (as some Americans call these females) makes me want to run out and employ a Philadelphia lawyer. Crazy.

    And the cheek of this priest to demand a direct instruction from Rome on a matter spelt out clearly in a Vatican document. Nothing will convince me that this priest didn’t know that girl altar boys are never going to be permitted in the ancient Mass. But the novus ordo clergy are, in the very nature of things, novelty-seekers. Let him (and his brother clerics) keep the fun and games for the new (and getting newer all the time) novus ordo Mass.  He’s caused enough bother and division – time for  him to apologise for his behaviour and draw a line.  Oh and Francis – stop digging.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Many thanks for this, RC – shows clearly that there is always a reason.  The readiness to allow female altar servers – especially at the traditional Latin Mass –  doesn’t just spring out of thin air.  There’s clearly a reason. Thanks for exposing it.

  • YoungAussieTrad

    Correction:

    “1. Any person of even moderate intelligence and tact must have known in advance that Fr McCoy’s stunt would  outrage the devout sensibilities of his congregation.”

    That’s what all this talk of “the question of psychology” is all about. Is what I am about to do likely to shock and offend my congregation without any good, proportionate reason? If so, then perhaps prudence and pastoral solicitude would suggest that I shouldn’t do it.

    At its core, this is a question of humility, common sense, good manners and respect for the traditions of the Church.  How unfortunate that the PCED has to plug every last gap in the edifice of the law because those qualities cannot these days be presumed, even on the part of priests.

  • Nat_ons

    Well, Francis, a via media is not always a distinctly equal division in a halfway house, let alone an equivocation. As the Congregation has plainly done, for all to see - it is to offer an unequivocal middle course between what seem to be coinciding opposites. Accepting that the Acient Rites (Syriac, Greek, Latin, Copt, Slav) have different rules to the New Order (of the Latin West) is that middle way; imposing neither one on the other .. but allowing both to be true (even as opposites); none here, I trust, would think of saying the non-Latin Orthodox Catholics must have female servers because it has been permitted as a resource – where no male assistants are available.

    Servers are wholly irrelevant to the New Order use, at least as this has been developed in the vast majority of cases. They are, at best, a time-passing decoration to please the parents – not an integral part of the divine liturgy. This is not the case of the usus antiquior, where both ordained and assistant minstry have specified roles.

    It is, therefore, no assault on the communal character of the Mass in the Latin New Order to admit new assistance, nor is it an imroper discrimination for the Syriac, Greek, Latin, Copt or Slav Ancient Order to hold to the old standard. What is absolutely impermissible is the turning of either form into a vehicle of rebellion, dissent or self-expression against the living magisterium in Christ – chiefly because this teaching authority alone is not an optional extra to life in the body of Christ. I am saddened that the women, no doubt devout and sincere, who had served at Mass (even as a regular event) may now feel disappointed; disobedience has that effect, even if well intentioned – yet ministry remains fully open, in different ways, to these blessed souls if they humbly obey the actual call of the Spirit (rather than confuse this with the world’s impression of ‘right’ .. attractive in its equivocacy as it may appear); much sighing can thus be avoided, and great joys ensue, in genuinely spiritual submission to this loving oversight of the soul.

    “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing — for that would be harmful to you.” Heb 13 : 17.

    God bless, Nat.

  • Anonymous

    Father McCoy is a proponent of “Cafeteria Religion” I would say,so the Anglican Church where each parish pleases itself on just about everything,would be the ideal situation for him.

  • Diffal

    Did he receive that initial letter “allowing” female altar servers directly from the Vatican? If so then Fr. McCoy should use the same manner of clarification now that UE has been published and since this clarification letter has been so widely disseminated.

  • SPQRatae

    “Fr McCoy will comply with this latest protocol if he or his bishop receives it direct, rather than at second-hand”.
    This bit makes me disinclined to give him the benefit of the doubt…

  • Catholic of Thule

    To me it reads as if the letter from 2009 was a comment upon an issue not yet settled. It now appears to have been settled. Why does Fr. McCoy need a direct instruction? Is he not in danger of tarnishing his own good name by so insisting? Is a person not in disobedience if an issue of discipline previously uncertain has been settled, he has been made sufficiently aware of it by the presentation  written evidence, and he simply insists on not complying with the latest and thus valid instructions simply because they are not personally addressed to him? Is it not more important  to be courteous enough to comply in obedience with the discipline of the Church on a question as it is settled rather than insist on being addressed personally on the issue just because one received a more permissive, though by no means encouraging, instruction on the issue while it was still not settled? Is there in fact anything to indicate that the latest instruction does not settle the issue so that there is any room for doubt or any need whatsoever for Fr. McCoy to receive a personal instruction to the effect that girls should not be employed for altar service in the Extraordinary Form?

  • Catholic of Thule

    Is Fr. McCoy at the very least actively and as a matter of some urgency seeking a personalised clarification from Rome? This should seem the very minimum action required (and not least the courteous thing to do!) if he insists on a personal instruction, though I cannot quite understand why he should so insist. And I cannot quite understand why he would not rather be safe than sorry and comply with the latest clarification until such time as he receives a personal instruction.I do not believe he will receive a personal instruction to the contrary, but the only reason I can comprehend for why someone would be wanting a personal instruction would be a ‘hope’ that it might differ from that which they have received through a third party.

    He may indeed not have been disobedient by the action he took in the past, but can ignoring the latest clarification because it arrived to him through a third party really be construed as being entirely consonant with obedience? I do not find your argument that it would be courteous of Rome to send a letter directly to him to be sufficient grounds for ignoring the latest clarification. Surely, in order to argue that continuing the practice of having girls serve at the EF does not constitute disobedience at this point, one would need to present reasons for Father should have anything resembling a good cause for surmising that a personalised letter would differ from the clarification he has received through a third party.

    If there is something I am missing here, so that I am doing him an injustice in my comments, please feel free to point it out to me. I am just genuinely confused as to why one should think him justified in waiting for a personal letter.

  • Anonymous

     What you are missing, with respect, is that Fr McCoy is an arrogant priest.

  • Profidebookstore

    This is what I have received from Una Voce

     
     

    A Reflection on Summorum Pontificum and the Role of
    the

    Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei Prior to, and Post,
    September 2007.

     

    Leo Darroch,

    Executive President – International Federation Una
    Voce.

     

    2 June 2008.

     

    Since
    the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum
    in July 2007 there has been great rejoicing from those in the Catholic Church who
    wish to retain traditions, and protect Tradition. There is no doubt that the
    statement from Pope Benedict that the Missal of 1962 had never been abrogated,
    and the freedom he has granted to priests of the Roman Rite to celebrate this
    form of the Mass, has led to a great increase in the celebrations of the
    ancient and venerable rite. However, it is also clear that the promulgation of
    this Motu Proprio has led to many
    questions about the manner of celebration and the rubrics that apply to the
    Missal revised by Blessed John XXIII.  It
    seems that there are some, including many bishops, who deliberately wish to
    create confusion and dissent in an attempt to dissuade priests and faithful
    from benefiting from the Holy Father’s pastoral solicitude, and insist that
    post-1962 developments (such as Communion in the hand, and female altar
    servers) are perfectly valid in Masses celebrated according to the Missal of
    1962. On the other hand, there are others who have genuine queries about what
    is allowed during the celebration of the Extraordinary form of the Mass.
    Questions are being raised more or less on a daily basis and the Pontifical
    Commission Ecclesia Dei [PCED] is being inundated with letters containing
    requests for clarification; to such an extent that a document has been prepared
    that seeks to clarify matters once and for all. We have been advised to wait
    patiently for the publication of this document.

     

    As
    I made clear in my Report to the PCED on 29th April 2008, I believe
    that Summorum Pontificum (and Quattuor Abhinc Annos [QAA] and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta [EDA] before it)
    should be interpreted according to the mind of the Legislator in his desire to
    redress, among other things, what many traditional Catholics believe to have
    been abuses of their legitimate aspirations. I believe those who seek to modify
    the directives of Summorum Pontificum
    to incorporate the changes post-1962 should be informed that they may freely avail
    themselves of the Novus Ordo in Latin
    where most of the various adaptations are already available, or can be adopted
    without any difficulty. The 1965 Ordo and the 1967 Missa Normativa were,
    by their own nature, only transitory and temporary stages and lost any particular
    significance once the 1969 edition of the Roman Missal was published by Pope
    Paul VI.  There is, consequently, no
    sense in encouraging the adoption of elements of those ordos as somehow being
    natural and genuine evolutions of the 1962 Missal, which remains the only
    legitimate expression of the Extraordinary form of Roman Rite as defined by His
    Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

     

    Recently,
    there has been much publicity given to a letter that was issued by the PCED in
    1997 and signed by the then President, Cardinal Felici, and by Monsignor Perl,
    the Secretary. This letter permits a number of modifications to celebrations of
    the Missal of 1962 concerning the Epistle, Gospel, Gloria, Credo, Pater Noster,
    and Prefaces from the appendix of the 1965 Missale Romanum and from that of
    1970.  They, therefore, are superseded by
    the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.
    For if the Supreme Pontiff wished prior liturgical provisions to be observed,
    he would have stated as much in his Motu Proprio of 7th July
    2007.      

     

    In
    the midst of all this confusion there is, perhaps, a single question to be
    posed, the answer to which may make the responses to all the many queries
    irrelevant. But first it is necessary to set the scene.

     

    The
    Holy Father could not have been clearer in stating what he means and meaning
    what he stated. He constantly refers to the Missal of 1962 OR the Missal of 1970. There is no ambiguity; it is a straight
    choice between one or the other. There is no in-between.

     

    With
    the full authority of Peter, the Supreme Legislator stated “We Decree”.   He then states that the Missal of Blessed
    John XXIII:

    ● “must be given due honour for its
    venerable and ancient usage” [Art.1];

    ● that the priest may use “the Roman
    Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 OR (my emphasis) the
    Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970” [Art.2];

    ● In parishes a pastor may “celebrate
    the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962” [Art. 5].  

     

    The
    only concession granted by Pope Benedict in the Motu Proprio itself is in Article 6 when he states: “In Masses
    celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Blessed
    John XXIII, the readings MAY (my emphasis)
    be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.”

     

    Thus,
    the mind of Pope Benedict in the Motu
    Proprio is clear – it is either the Missal of 1970 OR the Missal of 1962.  His
    Holiness remains true to this theme in his Letter to Bishops which accompanied
    the Motu Proprio. He states that, “the
    last version of the Missale Romanum
    prior to the Council…..in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be used as
    a Forma extraordinaria of the
    liturgical celebration.”   He also states
    that, “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal”,
    thus indicating, once again, that, while there is no contradiction, there is a
    distinct difference between the two Missals.

     

    And
    now I come to the crux of my argument. An indult
    is a permission, or privilege, granted by the competent ecclesiastical
    authority – the Holy
    See or the local ordinaries as the case may be – for an exception from a particular
    norm of church
    law in an individual case. Both Quattuor
    Abhinc Annos of 1984, and Ecclesia
    Dei Adflicta of 1988 were granted on the widespread opinion that the Missal of 1962 had been abrogated –
    abolished – following the publication of the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970. The
    motives for QAA and EDA would have been very different. EDA (after the
    commission of cardinals had reported) may have been pro bono pacis but this
    would not have applied to QAA.

     

    In
    his Letter to Bishops Pope Benedict states:

    “As for the use of the 1962 Missal …I
    would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically
    abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.

     

    In
    Summorum Pontificum he repeats this
    with the full force of law and states:

    “….It is therefore, permissible to
    celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman
    Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated (my emphasis) …………The conditions for the use
    of this Missal as laid down by
    earlier documents ‘Quattuor
    abhinc annos’ and ‘Ecclesia Dei’ are substituted as follows:”[Art.1]

     

    In the case of both these indults they were substituted
    as from midnight on 13th September 2007 and ceased to have any force
    of law.  They are redundant, obsolete.

     

    The
    Pope has given us two clear statements: that the Missal of 1962 was never
    abrogated, and that the Apostolic Letter Summorum
    Pontificum given Motu Proprio replaces the indults QAA and
    EDA. All the various permissions/modifications granted by the PCED were granted
    during the periods of the indults. Logic dictates, therefore, that if the
    Missal of 1962 was never abolished and the Holy Father states that the conditions
    laid down in earlier documents [QAA and EDA] for the use of the Missal of 1962
    are substituted with effect from midnight on 13th September 2007,
    then all permissions, interpretations, relaxations, modifications et al that flowed from QAA and EDA must
    also be ‘substituted’ with effect from midnight on 13th September
    2007 and no longer apply. The Pope has clarified the situation that has existed
    since 1970 and has wiped the slate clean concerning the indults of 1984 and
    1988.  The 14th September 2007
    brought us a new beginning in the understanding of the law, one which is based
    on juridical principles and not on the granting of a privilege.

     

    If
    it is accepted that all the concessions and privileges that were granted under
    QAA and EDA have been superseded by the new law, what, then, is the current
    position? Quite clearly we start with a clean slate. From 14th
    September 2007 we start once again with the Missal of 1962, untouched and
    without modification or adaptation. In his Letter to the Bishops, Pope Benedict
    recognises that some change will take place but he is very specific; and he
    speaks in the future tense only, not
    in the past. He says:

    “new Saints and some of the new Prefaces
    can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The ‘Ecclesia Dei’ Commission, in
    contact with various bodies devoted to the usus
    antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard.”

     

    In
    effect, no changes can be made to the Missal of 1962 until the Ecclesia Dei
    Commission implements the will of the Holy Father and consults with the
    “various bodies” devoted to the usus
    antiquior. One would imagine that the first action of the Pontifical
    Commission would be the establishment of a list of ‘bodies’ to be consulted.
    Only when the various bodies have been identified can the process begin of
    studying the practical possibilities of inserting new Saints and new Prefaces.
    We should be entering a period of quiet diplomacy and consultation during which
    the Missal of 1962 should remain untouched. Engaging in this properly-structured
    process will have a number of benefits. Those who fear that the Missal of 1962
    will be adulterated bit by bit, as happened during the 1960s, should be
    reassured that nothing will change until serious debate has taken place between
    the PCED and those who are attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition,
    and the PCED will be able to address itself to the task entrusted to it by Pope
    Benedict XVI without being inundated on a daily basis with requests for
    clarifications on various matters, many of which are trivial and serve only to
    overwhelm the staff in the Commission and divert them from the important work
    they are there to do. ●

  • AgingPapist

    Some of them go so far as to assume he is engaging in a conspiracy to
    undermine the Extraordinary Form by deliberate Trojan horse tactics or
    that he is secretly in favour of women priests.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Anything Father can do to undermine the EF and advance the cause of women priests would be wonderful.
     

  • AgingPapist

    The law of the Church is clear from Universae Ecclesiae. Communion in
    the hand is out. Serviettes are out. Extraordinary ministers are out.
    Liturgical Dancers are out. Bare-breasted wiccans doing the readings are
    out
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Glad Hosannas and Te Deums will be going up  too when at long last the SSPX, neolithic Catholics with their Fuehrer Pontiff will also be OUT.  I count the days until the next papal conclave.

    So, order your chips, crackers and cheese, and your pints, for it will be a very long session.

  • AgingPapist

    the tradition of the Church was ALWAYS that women , the eternal
    servants, should not be required to serve their servant, the priest. 

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    What a pile of  medieval rubbish!  You and this pope should be ejected and sent into exile to do penance for the rest of your days.

  • Catholic of Thule

    That would hardly be something that would indicate that I was doing him an injustice.

  • Anonymous

    I know – I was just being naughty.

  • David Armitage

    It`s hard to find the original text of the PCED protocol, so I sympathise with Fr McCoy’s refusal ro act on garbled hearsay.  My own translation of the text rendered as “female altar servers”  reads “Girl alter boys” .  Delicious, but there is a hint of transvestite in the way girls are made to dress like altar boys, or women anglican priests stick a piece of white plastic on a black soutane necklline. Francis Phillips raises but doesn’t answer the question of the psychology of the  traditionalists. I ‘m not  so much scandalised by the prospect of pretty girls dressed as altar boys as by the sight of men in frocks, frilly lace and silly hats  floating around as though in a trance.  Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin rite, as depicted in the photo heading the article  is anything but a commemoration. The altar boys look like penguins, and the cardinal looks daft. Talking of Latin, Jesus didn’t use the language of the occupation forces, but spoke in terms readily and easily understood. Whatever aesthetic value the Latin Rite has, it is understood by an infinitesmal proportion of Catholics,

  • David Armitage

    I’ve no idea who FrZ is but clear he isn’t.To say that the church echoes the voice of Christ in its doctrine of  transubstantiation is epistemic, hermeneutic and exegetical nonsense. My problem is: how the Larin rite can be a commemoration of what Jesus said, did and meant. What Jesus said and did was clear. What he meant  became horrifyingly clear later. Pace Latin apologists he wouldn’t have dreamed of using the language of the forces of occupation or philosophical concepts  foreign to his culture The Latin rite is comprehensible to an infinitesmal number of catholics, who after being steeped in Latin for years couldn’t order a loaf in a baker’s shop.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t be daft. An Instruction from the Vatican is not “garbled hearsay.”  You really are quite a cookie, Sugar Plum – with respect, of course…

    And, again, with respect, allow me to share with the world my opinion of your entire post, which I consider to be about as Catholic as an Orange Parade.  No, let me not mince my words. Your post is nasty in the extreme, and ignorant. With respect, of course.

    Your (false) assertion that Jesus didn’t speak Latin is irrelevant but I’ve no intention of wasting my time giving you a theology lesson on the nature of the Church and/or the history of the Mass.  Someone who can describe in the disgusting way that you have done, the beautiful, ancient Mass, the Mass that nourished saints and gave us martyrs for centuries, is irrelevant to any Catholic discussion.

    Take a hike.  Just don’t take it in Scotland.

  • Mary Kelly

    Why are EF preferrers so incensed about Fr McCoy?  After all, he is celebrating their preferred  “form.”

  • Charles Martel

    Ah, AgingProtestant, good to see you back again with your powerful and erudite interventions.

  • Charles Martel

    Fr McCoy, it is clear, is guilty of the kind of self-indulgent, infantile and petulant posturing that seems to be de rigueur at Britain’s universities nowadays. Altar girls are wrong whichever way you cut it and you don’t need a document from the Vatican to understand that.

  • David Armitage

    I didn’t say that the  PCED protocol is garbled hearsay. I was referring to the versions of Ecclesia Dei available in the media, which are not the proper channels.
     Save proof to the contrary, Jesus spoke Aramaic. Why would he use the language of a foreign force of occupation?
    Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (aka Jeromr) wrote the text on which the Roman rite is based some time before September 420,a bit after Jesus’s time by around 4 centuries.
    Why do you hide behind the pseudonym smokescreen of EditorCT?
     

  • Anonymous

    Well, whatever language Jesus spoke, it sure wasn’t English.  What a daft argument – please stop building up straw men. It’s silly.

    And so is your ridiculous claim that I am hiding behind a “pseudonymn smokescreen of EditorCT.” If you object to the convention of choosing usernames in blogging, don’t blog.

    But, of all the usernames on this blog, I think you’ll find that mine is the LEAST “pseudonym smokescreen.” I am the Editor of Catholic Truth – http://www.catholictruthscotland.com (linked to many of my posts, if you notice – I don’t pretend to understand the mysteries of Disquis but when possible, I see to it that my name is linked to our website) and if you check out the About Us section and read the Press Complaints Commission letters, you’ll find out my name, no problem. I’d tell you right now, only I can be an awkward so & so when I wannabe and right now, I wannabe.  If the convention was to use baptismal names, I’d use mine.  I like to conform to modernity when it is permissible, and I also like to select the battles to fight so as not to waste time with nutty causes. Talking about crazy things like blogging conventions where an academic argument should be, doesn’t fool anyone.

    Oh and if my name were ‘David Armitage’, I think I’d take advantage of the blogging convention to pick something shorter and sharper – with respect, of course…

  • http://catholicofthule.wordpress.com/ Catholic of Thule

    It seems to me perfectly natural to expect people who prefer the EF to be particularly eager to protect the liturgy they love best, and which is on the whole least affected by liturgical abuses and (in the opinion of myself and others) questionable options.

    Even to a person who disagrees with the latter part of that statement, the first should suffice to explain the reaction to Father’s actions, and not least his apparently persisting in those actions when it is clear and settled that his practice is not one permitted in the EF.

  • David Armitage

    Lucky me. You’ve set me on the right track.Editor of Catholic Truth. Smacks of the venerable Catholic Truth Society on which I was brought up. Authoritative sort of gives credibility until one actually reads your publication.  Biased? No more so than Attila. Pretty strong on vituperation, attacking people for what they haven’t said or expressing beliefs they have never held.
    The early Christians recognised each other in the breaking of bread; outsiders marvelled at the way they loved each other.
    For the record, I dearly love the Roman liturgy, Love of the liturgy leads one to long for it to be open to all races and cultures,  not the reserve of elite Latinists, of whom I am one. I hate the happy clappy substitutes, and now that I’m retired I spend Lent on retreat in a Benedictine Monastery. In the Valais, an overwhelmingly Catholic Swiss Canton, Gregorian Plainchant is used in drug rehabilitation therapy.
    As for priests being called “Father”, paradoxically if they are, they shouldn’t be!  But like St Peter’s mother-in-law I’m in favour of married priests.  As was Jesus, not to mention the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles positively recommends choosing presbyters from respected family men.
    Sorry about my name, Blame my parents
      

  • Profidebookstore

    To say: “To say that the church echoes the voice of Christ in its doctrine of transubstantiation is epistemic, hermeneutic and exegetical nonsense” –  is total and utter nonsense, because the New Testament is not, like Quran, a copy of heavenly text, but the book written in the Church, by the Church, for the Church, accepted by the Chuch as an inspired articulation of her faith as received from Christ; the Church, like any other author, is the sole authentic interpreter of her own book. And, of cause, by the Church I mean the Catholic Church, and the voice of the Church is most authentic in teaching of the Magisterium.

  • CM

    If the in the Church in England & Wales refuses to accept female altar servers at a Mass in the Traditional Rite when it accepts them in the New Rite, then sooner or later someone will challenge this discrimination in the courts – just what the Catholic Church needs when it is still reeling from child sex abuse scandals. I seem to remember Jesus calling the little children to Him, not just the boys.

  • CM

    Well said! And not only did Jesus not speak in Latin, but the Holy Spirit at Pentecost so filled the disciples that those who listened to their message heard it in their own tongue!

  • CM

    ‘I am the Editor of Catholic Truth’ – Truth? What is truth? (Probably spoken in Latin by Pontious Pilate) 

  • David from Oz

    The solution is obvious. The Church holds and teaches that girl altar boys are a “second best” alternative in the New Rite, and, and allows them only as a concession. Accordingly, the problem is solved by simply banning them outright.

    Of course, there are good reasons for not allowing girl altar boys – the sacredotal symbolism of the role and the like – the role of the Priest as alter Christus – but then for modernists submitting to the spirit of the age, even if it be the spirit of Lucifer is more important than holding fast to divine truths.

  • David from Oz

    And the Tower of Babel fell because …

    What an asinine analogy!

    In the Old Rite, I can worship side by side with Catholics from all over the world, but buggered if I can understand the Chinese or Vietnamese or Sudanese Novus Ordo down the street….

  • Irenaeus minor

     If any of you had done a scintilla of the work that Alban McCoy has done for the faith, not least in his sensible promotion of the EF of the Roman Rite, I doubt that you would be sitting pulling your wire in comm boxes like this. Cop on.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/ EditorCT

    “Alban McCoy” has no right to disobey the rubric. That’s not “sensible promotion” of the Traditional Latin Mass – it’s a darned cheek.