I thought the question of altar girls had been settled twenty years ago. In the face of mass disobedience by pastors and parishes in the United States and Europe, abetted by bishops who either quietly encouraged the practice or turned a blind eye to it, the Vatican allowed altar girls in the early 1990’s. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by conservatives at the time, but it quickly died down.
Now, however, the question has appeared again, in the form of a clarification to the recent relaxation allowing greater use of the Tridentine liturgy: girls are not allowed to serve at the altar for the the extraordinary form. This seems preposterous, and it really does seem to suggest that proponents of the old rite really do want to turn back the clock in all ways. Would anyone care to defend this decision, or at least provide a rationale that goes beyond “altar girls were forbidden in 1962.”?