Is the Catholic Church serious about promoting priestly vocations? Then it needs to get rid of female altar servers.
Now don’t get me wrong: The girls who have stepped up and served (especially in my parish) have been a real blessing. We have troubles getting enough altar servers period, using both sexes. If we didn’t have the girls, we wouldn’t nearly have enough altar servers.
Because here’s the thing: Boys are boys, and boys like to be with boys, and boys like to do boy things. As soon as the Catholic Church started inviting girls to be altar servers, it told the boys, “This isn’t a boy thing.” Then poof! One of the natural draws to altar serving vanished. I know this for a fact, because I used to be a normal boy, with lots of boy friends (not “boyfriends,” loyal reader), and we liked to do boy things. We liked girls (heh heh heh), but we liked, first and foremost, to be boys and we, first and foremost, pursued boy things (as we got older, we pursued girls, heh heh heh). And I still remember being an acolyte at my Lutheran church. There was something special about it because only my guy friends and I were allowed to do it.
Once girls were admitting to that club, boys lost interest. As boys lost interest, vocations suffered. Now, I have no doubt vocations have suffered for other reasons as well, but as pointed out in this story, altar serving is the biggest common denominator background fact of today’s priests.
Of the 365 men surveyed this year, a whopping 80 percent had been altar boys during their formative years. In comparison, only 52 percent of ordinands had been lectors, less than a third had been youth ministers and only 15 percent had ever attended a World Youth Day or a Steubenville Youth Conference.
By weakening interest among boys to serve, it weakened interest in vocations.
The decision to admit female altar servers is an example of what Russell Kirk called “defecated rationality.” The bishops didn’t see an obvious and compelling reason to keep them excluded, so it knee-jerk admitted them, based on the rationale that both genders should be treated equally. It was rational, no doubt, but it was also ham-handed thinking that failed to take into subtleties.
It was also arrogant. Only a proud man thinks that, if his mighty mind can’t see a reason, then there is no reason.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList
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