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Columnist suggests return to all-male altar servers

August 25, 2011

British Catholic columnist William Oddie argues that the decision to allow female altar servers was an error, and should be reversed.

The 1994 decision to allow girls to become altar servers was a "puzzler," Oddie says, in light of the fact that Pope John Paul II had earlier indicated that he would oppose such a move. The practical effect, the British commentator argues, has been to discourage boys from serving--and perhaps from considering a priestly vocation.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 26, 2011 12:53 PM ET USA

    Just for the flip side of this situation: I have been trying for years to interest younger women with intact eyesight and nonarthritic hands in laundering, pressing and making new altar linens. No cigar. What is it about traditional women's work that is so demeaning? Men and women can read, walk around, and pick stuff up and put it back down. How many men can do a drawn thread hemstitch with mitered corners?

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Aug. 26, 2011 6:30 AM ET USA

    Blaming little girls for a decline in vocations to the priesthood...I think we should all pray on this a bit. I read the original column and the reader comments that followed...there is something terribly wrong when our discourse stoops to this level...

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 25, 2011 9:27 PM ET USA

    Not at all unreasonable.