It was in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s that the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ began to spread like wildfire; both among the laity and even the clergy. The ‘Spirit of Vatican II” is the very notion that the Catholic Church and the ideas of the world can co-exist in the light of the Second Vatican Council, thus the heresy of modernism that His Holiness Pope Pius X has condemned because of the very fact that modernism involves questioning revealed truths that Catholics are bound to accept, such as the miracles in the bible, dogma, the existence of God, etc. henceforth Pope Pius X’s statement that “The evolution of dogmas is only the corruption of dogmas” since this is exactly what the modernists push for; the change in church teaching. Not only has the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ been praised by the modernist clergy – in which has later corrupted the faith among many Catholics including seminarians -; it has also corrupted the liturgy which aims us towards the very center of our faith, the worship of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated in 1977 the following:
“I am convinced that the crises in the Church we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy”.
Since the corruption of the liturgy was coming from the modernist hierarchy in order to ‘please’ those who belong to false religions as a result of false ecumenism so they would ‘convert’ to Catholicism (watering down truth in order to convert heretics and those outside the church is the Heresy of Americanism that Pope Leo XIII condemned), many abuses were later initiated into the liturgy and heresy began to be taught from the pulpits. This explains why in the year of 1965 Germany began to allow females to serve at the altar in order to have ‘equality’ among both genders and so that nobody would feel ‘excluded’ which only resulted in scandal, thus the collapse in priestly vocations. The practice of allowing females to serve at the altar was condemned by Rome several times including the year of 1970 in the document titled “Litugicae Instaurationes”.
Because many began to ignore the instructions of Rome; the practice of altar girls began to spread as one of the many liturgical abuses, which later lead more innovation to creep within the Church after the release of Pope John Paul II’s 1983 Code of Canon law. Since the new code of canon law in Canon 230 #2 stated that “Lay persons can fulfill the function of lector in liturgical actions by temporary designation. All lay persons can also perform the functions of commentator or cantor, or other functions, according to the norm of law.”; it later lead those who support liturgical feminism to interpret it in such a fashion that it validates their abuse since this canon does not specifically address that males are to be the only ones that play this role in the liturgy.
Since there were many interpretations upon this very canon, the Pontifical council on June 30th, 1992 had to investigate upon this matter. The conclusion was that this canon allows females to serve at the altar, which was later given perfect approval as a correct interpretation by Pope John Paul II a month later on July 11th. (I would even argue that it was pressured upon him since he openly spoke out against the practice..)
In 1994 a document from the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts gave some room for the novel practice of “female altar servers” under political pressure from the U.S., but nevertheless insisted that “the obligation to support groups of altar boys will always remain…” (Another reasoning for my belief that It was forced).
Since we are not bound to accept His Holiness Pope John Paul II’s decision, and because it contradicts Catholicity in itself, we are obliged to critique innovation, even when it comes from the Pope himself since he is not infallible in his actions that contradict the true faith. The practice of allowing young boys to serve at the altar is to help them discern their vocation to the priesthood since they are witnessing and even assisting the priest at the altar. To allow females to serve at the altar is to say that females can also become priests, which even Pope John Paul II infallibly prohibited in his Apostolic letter ‘Ordinatio Sacerdotalis’.
Let us not also forget His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV’s statement in his encyclical Allatae Sunt of 26 July 1755 which states the following:
“Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: “Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.” We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21.” (The role of allowing lay males to serve was approved in the 10th century to substitute for Acolytes – a minor order before becoming a priest.)
(Warning! Jimmy Papist moment ahead!)
“Oh come on TAB, you’re being a Pharisee! Allowing females to serve at the altar helps them discern their vocation to the religious life!”
This is an absurd argument since nuns were never given a role to assist the priest at mass as acolytes, nor are they dressed in masculine clothing anymore than a priest is dressed as a nun in a habit. If one really wants to discern a vocation to the religious life, my advice would be to visit different convents and to pray that the Holy Spirit guides you in the right direction.
I will close with a few quotes to keep in mind.
His Eminence Cardinal Burke:
““If we are not training young men as altar boys, giving them an experience of serving God in the liturgy, we should not be surprised that vocations have fallen dramatically”
1970 Pope Paul VI said in Liturgicae Instaurationes, “In conformity with norms traditional in the Church, women (single, married, religious), whether in churches, homes, convents, schools, or institutions for women, are barred from serving the priest at the altar.”
And in 1980 Pope John Paul II stated in Inaestimabile Donum, “There are, of course, various roles that women can perform in the liturgical assembly: these include reading of the Word of God and proclaiming the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers.”
“They knew only too well the intimate bond which unites faith with worship, ‘the law of belief with the law of prayer,’ and so, under the pretext of restoring it to its primitive form, they corrupted the order of the liturgy in many respects to adapt it to the errors of the Innovators.” – Pope Leo XIII, Apostolicae Curae, September 13, 1896
Pope Saint Pius X
“But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those ‘who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind . . . or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church’. . . . Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: ‘I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church’.” – Pope St Pius X, Encyclical Against Modernism (Pascendi)
“The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but men of tradition.” – Pope St. Pius X
Second Council of Nicea
- “If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the Church, let him be anathema.”
- “Let everything that conflicts with ecclesiastical tradition and teaching, and that has been innovated and done contrary to the examples outlined by the saints and hereafter at any time be done in such a fashion, be anathema.”