Thursday, March 23, 2006

Altar Girls and Ordinations

The news this week is that Arlington, Virginia's Bishop Loverde will permit 2 Traditional Latin Masses for those on the right side and altar girls for those on the left or wrong side. Is this an attempt to innoculate himself from criticism for allowing the Latin Mass?

This capitulation means that the only remaining diocese that will not permit altar girls is (drumroll please) Lincoln, Nebraska. This diocese holds another, not unrelated distinction and that is having the most vocations per capita of any other American diocese. Article here. With a Catholic population of only 82,000 the diocese has ordained 19 priests in the last 5 years, has 46 seminarians and since 1976 not one priest has left the priesthood.

Contrast this to the "vocations collapse", nationwide as discussed in this article here.

From the Catholic Herald article:

Now, according to Bishop Loverde, women and girls may also have the opportunity to deepen their faith through serving at the altar at their parishes – “an experience which can facilitate a young woman’s discernment of the Lord’s call to religious life.”

That seems like a leap. How many girls connect being an altar girl with becoming a nun? And if they do what kind of nun do they want to become? A nun who is on the altar?

Father Paul deLadurantaye, director of the Office of Sacred Liturgy, said that he doesn’t believe allowing women to be altar servers will diminish vocations to the priesthood.

And if it does?


WriteWingNut said...

I live in the Arlington Diocese. I had always been so proud to be part of the most conservative diocese in the country.

I do think the bishop is trying to please both sides, which really surprises me.

And I'm even more shocked by Father DeLaurente's (sp?) comments. I've spoken to him on the phone a few times and he's always been wonderful.

Our church was previously anti-homeschool and really gave me a hard time for teaching CCD (a word they refuse to even must say "Faith Formation") to my kids at home.

When it came time to enroll my son into second grade CCD for his first communion, the director wouldn't allow me to enroll him because I had taught him at home the previous year.

I phoned Father D. and he said that was ridiculous, that it was fine that I'd taught him at home, and to tell the director to talk to him if she had a problem.

The same thing happened again with my daughter for her confirmation the next year and he helped me again.

He seemed very pro-homeschool, which is usually a conservative position, so I'm surprised to see his statement on altar girls.

By the way, I've always admired Bishop Louverde, too. He, of course, did the mass for my daughter's confirmation. Each candidate had written a letter to him about their chosen confirmation name.

My daughter chose the name "Monica" because my sister (who is the same age as my daughter) has fallen away from the church, and my daughter has been trying to bring her back (hence her choosing St. Monica).

Anyway, the bishop remembered her letter and told her he was praying for her intentions.

He struck me as being very kind and caring.

Tradcatholic said...

Well, I do believe that homesteading in Nebraska is the way to go - back to the land, back to the tradition of the Church. But then...if the bishop is changed all bets are off. What a sad state of affairs this is.
By the way, the seminary in Winona MN (SSPX)is stuffed to the gills with 60 candidates. Their bishops are secure.:)