Thursday, June 26, 2003

Amy Welborn asks whether having altar girls decreases the number of boys willing to serve

(Go to her site and scroll down).

In my experience it has. In parishes that have altar servers of both sexes, my informal survey counts at least a 60% female to 40% male proportion. Perhaps it is worse than that. So, I offer the following points for your consideration and then ask you a question:

1) The teaching on the restriction of holy orders to men will never change. Don't believe me? Read my explanation of how this teaching is infallible..

2) No one has the right to serve at the altar. Read 2 Chronicles 26 if you don't believe me: 2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was false to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:17 But Azari'ah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the LORD who were men of valor;
2Ch 26:18 and they withstood King Uzzi'ah, and said to him, "It is not for you, Uzzi'ah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary; for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the LORD God."
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzzi'ah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests leprosy broke out on his forehead, in the presence of the priests in the house of the LORD, by the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:20 And Azari'ah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they thrust him out quickly, and he himself hastened to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
2Ch 26:21 And King Uzzi'ah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper dwelt in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD.

3) Many priests first considered their vocation after serving at the altar.

4) Further, we are suffering from a lack of priestly vocations.

5) Girls are naturally pious, boys need to be taught to be so.

If 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are true, then let me ask you this: What good does it do to have female altar servers? I know that it is allowed, and that there are many wonderful girls and women who serve at the altar, but I want to know what interest it serves. Note, you cannot reply that it is a matter of justice, since (2) no one has a right to serve.

P.S. At my parish (come visit!) we only have altar boys, but we have oodles--almost every boy in the parish serves.

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