From Heidi Schlumpf: On Banning Girl Altar Servers
I hate waking up to this kind of news: a headline about the rector at the Phoenix cathedral who has decided to ban girls as altar servers, even though nothing in current church law forbids it. Like the church isn't getting enough bad press already!Okay, time out for a sec. The NCD folks live for news like this. I believe they wake up hoping for stories like this so they can sharpen their claws and break out the END MISOGYNY NOW! felt banners. They don't care if the Church gets bad press - because they like encouraging it and developing it and circulating it. It's their bread and butter, and it keeps their subscribers nose-deep in the trough.
Let's read on...
[...]What makes Heidi Schlmupf an authority on what is and what isn't a movement of the Holy Spirit? Who is she to declare such a thing? Maybe promoting boys-only altar servers is a push from the Holy Spirit. And besides, the rector isn't doing anything that the Church prohibits - parishes and dioceses are permitted to allow girl servers, but they aren't compelled to.
They say you can't put the toothpaste back into the tube, but here in the church there are some who refuse to quit trying. Despite consistent moves toward more openness and acceptance (of laity, of women, of gays and lesbians) in both society and the church, these folks fail to recognize this movement as coming from the Holy Spirit.
As to "more openness and acceptance in both society and the church" (notice how she doesn't capitalize Church?) - yeah, open and accepting of everyone except those who are ardent and faithful followers of Church teaching and such. Yes, I know about the 1994 document from the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts that relaxed the norms to allow girl servers. I get all that - but it can (and some believe it should) be withdrawn. But let's face it - when Catholycs clamor for Tolerance, what they want is Catholics like us tolerating Catholycs like them, and if we don't, we're mean-spirited, bigoted, misogynistic, etc.
I'm confident that eventually the Holy Spirit will prevail, but these interim steps backward are horrible PR for a church that is already suffering too much negative ink. Imagine what girls in the cathedral parish who previously served at the altar must think? It's one thing to not be allowed into something; quite another to have it taken away once you had previously been invited.The Holy Spirit will always prevail, but girl altar servers might not. Who's to say? As to "horrible PR" - give.me.a.break. Christ didn't command the apostles to go out into the world and spin a positive image. I say, the more counter-cultural the Church is, the better. Now, as far as the girls are concerned - I'm hopeful the pastor's plan is to no longer accept new girls as altar servers, and let the ones who currently serve do so until they decide they no longer want to. I think a transition period is better than using the cold turkey approach. Still, it's the pastor's decision, and his alone.
I also know that nearly every young, involved Catholic woman under 30 that I've interviewed in the past decade has cited her involvement as an altar server as instrumental to her decision to stay in the church. Whether serving at the altar promotes vocations is debatable, but it definitely encourages young people--male or female--to stay in the church.Quick poll here, for the readers of the female persuasion under the age of 30: how many of you are active in your church or parish as a direct result of having been an altar server? I'm just curious. Leave your answer in the combox.
Conservative/traditional Catholics may be cheering this latest decision, but if we follow the logical trajectory of their thinking, the church will go back to a time when no laity were allowed on the altar and women couldn't vote.Thus she admits what she thinks conservative/traditional Catholics believe.
Of course that won't happen, because the church and the world are moving toward the full equality of women (the world usually more quickly than the church), and there's no going back.Nice backtrack, Heidi. Truth is, you really believe in your heart of hearts that that is what us more traditional-minded Catholics want. Rather than taking a serious look at the whys and wherefores of the rector's decision, your mind was already made up the moment you heard about it.
And you probably wake up every morning looking forward to reading news that support your position.