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Beverly Stevens said in August 16th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Huzzah! Once again Father Cipolla has hit the nail on the head.

It's about time we challenged these crazy 60's-era shibboleths. Having girls serve at the altar does NOT enoble them in the eyes of the community, though this has probably not occurred to the mothers who push their daughters forward to do this. Or to Italian lady liturgists like the good Signora.

Rather, it is one more instance of females invading what they think is privileged male turf, only to find that POOF! the boys have disappeared!

And, sad to say, so have the VOCATIONS that were once fostered by the HEALTHY contact between decent priests and altar boys.

Speaking as the mother of both a boy and a girl, I applaud Father's common sense approach.

The cause of women's welfare is not served by this silliness. All female servers have done is contribute to the stripping of the altars and the hollowing out of our religion.

John Anderson said in August 16th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I have to admit to not being entirely convinced by either side on this one. What is needed more than ever is a serious pronouncement from the Holy Father conceraning the doctrine surrounding ministry. What is the nature of ministry? How does it relate to the priestly ministry? Does it relate to the priesthood of the laity? Who may substitute for officially instituted ministers? Is performing the function of an instituted minister actually a ministry? What is the ministerial nature of the choir; is there a distinction between the clerical choir and the congregational choir? These have been questions that have really torn our parishes apart, and the Holy Father needs to lay down the law.

Anonymous said in August 17th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

What I think the Church does not need, pace John Anderson, is the Holy Father pronouncing upon what is clear at all events and what should be easily agreed upon by priests and bishops, diocese by diocese. If the Church cannot arrive at and follow proper norms without Pope Benedict XVI we would have reason to fear something is terribly amiss. The problem of girl altar servers is an artificial one, needless, and intellectually small, without serious warrant from faith, reason, or tradition (cf. the offending article in the L'Osservatore Romano). That it arises from a profound confusion about the nature of the Mass–as Father Cipolla perfectly argues–is no surprise at all. But let the Church rebuild brick by brick from the ground up. As Catholics re-learn the nature of the priesthood and the nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from faithful priests and bishops, they will understand that the necessity of having altar boys is obvious.

Anonymous said in August 23rd, 2010 at 6:58 pm

A sad p. s.: here is the Holy Father with an altar girl present, in 2005, at the altar. http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A367rcAltarGirls.html

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