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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Change in Catholic church for the better

The Catholic Church has a history of marginalizing women. For centuries, altar servers in Catholic churches around the world were exclusively male by church law, a reflection of the priesthood itself.

An altar server, or acolyte, is an assistant to the priest.

The same was true in the United States until 1983, when the Code of Canon Law, c. 230.2, was interpreted so as to allow female altar servers at the discretion of the local bishop.

In March 1994, a clarifying letter was issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. There was another letter in July 2001 reaffirming that, making clear that bishops were under no obligation to allow female altar servers.

Today, several archdioceses in the U.S. have bans on female altar servers, including ones in Arizona, Nebraska and Virginia with the rationale that a boys-only ministry would encourage interest in the priesthood.

St. Thomas More was one such parish for the past seven years.

I first attended St. Thomas More as a transfer student this past fall. Altar servers there were exclusively male, a rule that bothered me.

I was raised in a Catholic household. My mother made no bones about her disdain about the ban against female ordination and female servers.

From an early age she urged me to differentiate between laws of God and laws of man. According to an article by The Washington Post, one mother of two serving daughters at Corpus Christi Church in Phoenix was so upset by her church’s 2011 decision that her family and many others left to attend elsewhere.

She “burst into tears and ran into the bathroom,” which sounds like what I would do. As a [possible] future mother, I could not look my daughter in the eyes and tell her that such a decision is right. Keep disenfranchising women and pretty soon there won’t be a congregation to minister to.

The new pastor, who assumed priestly duties on July 1, has reversed this decision, opening up the lay ministry to include not only college-aged females but younger ages as well.

While the decision has been met with disagreement from some in the parish, it also has its fans. I wholeheartedly commend and thank the new pastor for reversing this decision.

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