Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One pastor's view

From a pastor:
Letter from the Pastor: Altar Servers at St. Mary's

Of note:
Any young person directly assisting a priest at Mass is implicitly but surely invited to identify with the priest and so encouraged to aspire to a necessarily masculine priesthood. I cannot in good conscience even take the chance of putting our daughters in a situation that leads to false hopes and unreasonable aspirations regarding the Ordained Priesthood. I must add that this is not a theoretical problem but an occurrence that I have encountered in my time as a priest.

Shepherds are to instruct and lead. Leading not to false hopes or down a road that will be incomplete but in truth and continuity.

And from 1994:
Thus the connection of priest and altar boy has always been a vital part of the life of the Church. In 1994, while allowing girls to serve, the Vatican stated the following:

[T]he Holy See wishes to recall that it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has also led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations.
Things have strayed so far from the intended that it will take valiant bishops and priests to right wrongs. Pray that they have courage.
My new term for them is girl altar boys.

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