I have just received a copy of Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales' Without Sunday We Cannot Live: A Pastoral Letter on the Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist. The letter is signed June 14, but is being disseminated only now.
I still have to thoroughly study the pastoral letter (36 pages long), and for now I would like to refrain from commenting on it, except to note that it is totally silent on both the Forma Extraordinaria and the modest "reform of the reform" that Pope Benedict XVI is promoting by his example (no surprise there). However, the letter does have at least one bit of very good news, and it can be found in no. 28. page 17:
Altar Servers28. From antiquity, the altars (sic) servers have exercised their ministry within the assembly and they have helped to enhance the quality of the celebration by taking part in processions and by ensuring that all the requisites for the celebration are available at the appropriate time. (GIRM, 100)
- It is a proven fact that many ordained ministers developed their vocation to the priesthood because of their membership in this ministry when they were young. We therefore wish to continue the practice of reserving this ministry to young boys, in order to introduce them to the life and ministry of the Church. (Redemptionis Sacramentum)
Female altar servers are becoming more and more common in Philippine parishes, although not yet to the same extent as in the West. It remains to be seen whether this directive from Cardinal Rosales will be strictly implemented in all the parishes of Manila, but it is encouraging to see that, at least, he has decreed this.