Sunday, October 7, 2007

How the Modern American Church will Dodge Saying No to Female Altar Boys

A bishop recently asked the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments whether a Diocesan Bishop would be able to obligate his priests to admit women and girls to service at the altar. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments considered it opportune to send this letter to the Bishop in question, and given its particular importance to publish it [in Notitiae].

An excerpt from the letter reads:

". . . the non-ordained faithful do not have a right to service at the altar, rather they are capable of being admitted to such service by the Sacred Pastors (cf. Circular Letter to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences, March 15, 1994, no. 4, cf. also can. 228, s.1, Interdicasterial Instruction Ecclesiae de mysterio, August 15, 1997, no. 4, see Notitiae 34 [1998] 9-42). Therefore, in the event that Your Excellency found it opportune to authorize service of women at the altar, it would remain important to explain clearly to the faithful the nature of this innovation, lest confusion might be introduced, thereby hampering the development of priestly vocations."

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments clearly explains the use of female altar boys as an "innovation" and further stresses concern that female altar boy programs may hamper the development of priestly vocations. Now we've touched on the heart of the matter. Beginning in March 15, 1994 there was introduced the modernist agenda and real drive behind the use of female altar boys. Its purpose was clear a decade later when priestly vocations were at their all time low. The devil hates Christ and the priesthood so it is his intent to discourage priestly vocations at a young age by turning young boys off from serving alongside girls. For young boys serving at mass no longer becomes a manly occupation together with, say being a fireman. The agenda is obvious yet some bishops (like the one addressed to above) and pastors are either too naive or too afraid to point it out and say one simple word - "no".

St. Pio of Pietrelcina once told a woman in confession that her son's soul was lost because she never said no to her children as a parent. A bishop and pastor to care for the souls in their care is no different than a parent who cares for the family in his/her care. Both need to lead their parish and family manfully through the lies, deceits, and false promises that the prince of the world throws at them. Just as Adam should have said no to Eve in the Garden so must a bishop and pastor say no to Eve in the Temple.

However, once some of the modernist bishops and pastors figure out that they must say no to girls they will simply dodge the issue. And here is how they'll do it. Since altar serving is a long standing tradition, pastors and bishops know that they just simply can't do away with it completely, so they'll devise, in vain, other methods to attempt making the issue insignificant. Here is the issue: since girls serving at the altar is fueling rebellious groups like Call to Action and We Are Church to pressure the Holy See to ordain women, the bishops and pastors will find a way to make both sides happy. However, making both sides happy is never the real outcome whenever this philosophy is attempted. The GIRM will probably be updated or pastors will probably innovate mass serving manuals that find a way to continue allowing girls to serve alongside boys, thereby pleasing outspoken feminist groups like Call to Action, while simultaneously sending a message to the Vatican and the Universal Church that they are 'doing their part' in keeping girls out of the sanctuary and disinterested in the priesthood. The new server manual could look something like this:

"Altar servers (boys and girls) will no longer sit in the sanctuary but rather in the front pew with the Congregation. They will no longer wear altar serving attire as they will now be considered the worshiping Congregation with altar serving status. They will receive training that would notify them when it is opportune to approach the sanctuary and perform their functions. They will not process in or recess out with the priest but rather take their proper position in the front pew of the Church before mass begins. They would respond to the prayers and exchange the sign of peace with the Congregation while remaining in the front pew. The front pew will be reserved for altar servers and the elderly will be placed in the rear of the Church. The front pew will have various initiation ceremonies at each altar server graduation in order to instill the sacredness of altar serving so that altar boys may still show interest in the priesthood."

So now that I've loosely predicted what the USCCB will attempt in their next GIRM revisions let's hope and pray to St. John Berchmans that we cut them off at the pass and that manhood in the Church may be preserved with service in the sanctuary reserved for males.


Anonymous said...

Well thought out article.
I don't know if the USCCB would ever do something like that but we can dream, can't we?
Bea G.

Anonymous said...

Loved those pictures
Bea G.