Action Alert!

trying to answer Dom

By Antigone (articles ) | Oct 07, 2003

I can't fit my answer into 500 characters to Dom's queston (below). He asks if the fact that altar servers represent the congregation doesn't make it fitting to have girls serving.

Here's the thing: the roles are not meant all to be enacted in the sanctuary. By definition, the laity are not in the sanctuary. We must learn to see that as a gift!

As Phil says, "being in the bark of Peter doesn't mean crowding the engine room."

If we, following tradition, limit servers inside the sanctuary to males, we simply make more clear the incredible yet hidden truth of the need to sanctify the rest of life! If not, then we will all go on thinking that expressing our faith is restricted to the very narrow activity of "church", ultimately represented by the priest and his "power." The reality is that the priest serves US in love, so that we (the laity, the Bride) may receive love in order to return it fruitfully.

Our little girls need to learn this: "Mary is 'Queen of the Apostles without any pretensions to apostolic powers: she has other and GREATER powers.'" (from footnote 55 of the Pope's letter, my favorite footnote ever)

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2003 8:47 AM ET USA

    As a convert but raised protestant fundamentalist, the entire mess about the headship of the male came to the fore again when I was faced with the rad femmes in the Catholic Church. After many months of struggling with it and for a couple of reasons, I came to the conclusion that the headship of the male is spiritual. Of course, it does have temporal responsibilities but it is primarily spiritual. But it seems to me that this spiritual headship is a primary reason for only males at the altar.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2003 4:20 PM ET USA

    Dear Antigone: In a functional Church what you say is very true. But we live with a very dysfunctional Church here in the U.S. Having male servers is only one part of a whole structure that needs to be restructured. Am tempted to say that we need to go back to the Tridentine mass. But that might just not happen in our lifetime. Liturgy in most parishes today is a parody of the true Roman Liturgy and Tradition.