Archbishop Raymond Burke
Official Summorum Pontificum study
Update - posted by Gregor Kollmorgen, of the New Liturgical Movement
For a while now, a German Canonical Commentary on Summorum Pontificum by the German latinist and canon lawyer Fr. Gero P. Weishaupt has been available online. This commentary has now been published as a book, and the preface to this book was written by H.E. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. The full text of the preface is available at the German website Summorum Pontificum. Here is an NLM translation of a passage of the preface which doubtlessly will raise great interest:
In the second chapter of his commentary, Weishaupt answers a number of practical issues that arise regarding the implementation of Summorum Pontificum and result from recent changes to the discipline of the celebration of the sacraments, such as e.g. those regarding female altar servers or lay people who perform the ministry of lectors or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. To answer these questions , the commentary correctly applies two general canonical principles.
The first principle requires that liturgical norms, which were in force in 1962, are to be diligently observed for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, for these norms protect the integrity of the Roman rite as contained in the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. The second principle states that the subsequent liturgical discipline is only to be introduced in the Extraordinary Form, if this discipline affects a right of the faithful, which follows directly from the sacrament of baptism and serves the eternal salvation of their souls.
The application of these two principles to the cases mentioned leads to the conclusion that neither the service at the altar by persons of the female sex nor the exercise of the lay ministries of lector or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion belong to the basic rights of the baptized. Therefore, these recent developments, out of respect for the integrity of the liturgical discipline as contained in the Missale Romanum of 1962, are not to be introduced into the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite. The commentary presents here in an impressive manner that the mutual enrichment of both forms of the Roman rite is only possible if discipline peculiar to each of the two forms is accordingly carefully observed.
Archbishop Burke is the Church's leading "canonist" at the Vatican and gives his opinion on how the Extraordinary Form of the Mass should be celebrated which he concludes means following the rubrics and canons of this Mass as defined in Missal of Blessed John the Twenty-third in 1962. In his opinion, this would preclude the use of altar girls and female lectors or lay lectors in general.
However, it is Pope Benedict XVI who has stated in a letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum, that he hoped that allowing for the wider use of the 1962 missal that having two forms of the one Mass would exert influence on each. In terms of "organic development" has Pope Benedict set into motion the advent of a third typical missal a few decades down the road or sooner? What does Pope Benedict have in mind in terms of mutual enrichment and organic development? At one point the Holy Father indicated that he felt that the lectionary of the OF Mass could be used in place of the EF lectionary in the celebration of the EF Mass. He stated this three years ago, but since then there has been ambiguous support of such a thing.
At any rate, the writing of a preface for a book even by the highest authority on canon law in the Church is not the same thing as a promulgation from a Vatican Congregation or the pope himself. But what Archbishop Burke writes could in fact show forth a future "promulgation."
I would wholeheartedly support following the norms and laws of either form of the one Roman Rite as making perfect sense. The greatest problem with the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Mass today is the super-creativity imposed upon it by priests and liturgy committees and making it up as you go in terms of extemporaneous comments and fashioning one's own prayers and rubrics. Often times there is more divergence of style in a Mass made up by a priest and/or his liturgy committee and the strict rubrics of the OF Mass. In fact in this case, the OF Mass when celebrated by the book is more in continuity with the EF Mass celebrated by the book than it is with a "creative" Mass celebrated in a non-rubrical way.
But what about the future? Could we see an Ordinary Form Mass option that maintains all of the soon to be revised English Roman Missal and its GIRM's current legislation and Bishop Conference's adaptations of the GIRM along with the modern Roman calendar and lectionary but with an English option for the EF's order of the liturgy for the fixed parts of the Mass and its rubrics?
What are your thoughts on this expanded option for the OF Mass's Roman Missal It would be very simple to do and there would not be the mixing of options. For example if the EF Order of the Mass is used with the OF Roman Missal, the priest would still use the collects, other orations and preface options along with the OF's lectionary but would have the Roman Canon's EF rubrics and the other Eucharistic prayers would have revised rubrics to keep them in continuity with the EF's Roman Canon rubrics, such as double genuflections at the consecration, specific rubrics for the pall and the genuflection that occurs when the chalice after the consecration is uncovered, etc.? Of course as with the OF's Roman Missal the entire Mass could be in English or the option of the Latin if so desired. But keep in mind, that the canons regulating the celebration of the OF Mass along with various bishops' Conferences adaptations would still be in force, thus allowing for lay lectors of either gender, altar girls and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion when needed. Again, comments?