Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Loverde to Pians: You Can't Have One Without the Other

Straight off the wires -- most of you'll be able to figure all this out better than I:
Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde announced at a gathering of priests of the diocese today and in a letter to Catholics of the diocese that he will permit the celebration of the 1962 Latin Mass at two parishes within the diocese and is expanding a longstanding diocesan policy on altar servers to permit women and girls to serve at parish and high school Masses.

In the 1980s, the Holy See, recognizing the "rightful aspirations" (Ecclesia Dei, 5) of those drawn to traditional Mass of St. Pius V (as revised in 1962), allowed bishops to permit the celebration of the 1962 Latin Mass in their dioceses. Pope John Paul II encouraged a "wide and generous application" (Ecclesia Dei, 6) of the Church's permission to celebrate the 1962 Latin Mass. Reflecting on these matters over the course of the Year of the Eucharist and wishing to make available to the faithful all of the options which the Church permits, effective April 30 at St. Lawrence Church in Alexandria and August 6 at St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, I will extend the Church's permission to allow the use of the 1962 Missal at one Mass each Sunday at those locations.

With the celebration of the 1962 Mass offered alongside the revised missal of Pope Paul VI, some may wonder whether the Church is opposing one form of worship to another. Addressing that concern, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) wrote, "Different spiritual and theological emphases will continue to exist, but they will no longer be two opposing ways of being Christian. They will be, rather, the riches which belong to the same unique Catholic faith" (Ten Years of the Motu Proprio 'Ecclesia Dei,' 1998). Recognizing the riches which the 1962 Latin Mass offers, I pray that the spiritual needs and aspirations of those drawn to this liturgy will be met.
OK, so that's part one... E poi....
Since 1994, our diocese has permitted girls and women to serve at the altar in several settings: university and college campuses, convents, nursing homes, retreat houses, hospitals, and home Masses. In desiring to make available those legitimate options endorsed by our Church, I am expanding our previous permission to include our parish and high school communities.

Some parishes have actively requested the liberty to allow female altar servers; others have not. The Church's permission in this arena, accordingly, allows for a legitimate diversity of options. The decision to allow female altar servers lies at the discretion of the local pastor, in consultation with his parochial vicar(s), deacon(s), and parish pastoral council.

The Church - which has allowed the use of female servers for over a decade - has stated that girls and women, like their male counterparts, are allowed this opportunity to serve at the altar and thereby deepen their faith, an experience which can facilitate a young woman's discernment of the Lord's call to religious life or a young man's discernment of the Lord's call to the priesthood or religious life.
So, there.... Voila!.... Something for everyone.....


All the documentation's been posted.