The following comes from a May 2 Regina Magazine article by Beverly Stevens:
With all the hullabaloo on this topic, I have tried valiantly to avoid having a knee-jerk opinion on altar girls. Now, however, I have actually spent some time thinking about it. And I do have an opinion, based on my personal experience both as a Catholic mother and REGINA’s Editor.
What’s it like to have no priests? Imagine a country where there is one elderly priest for every 10 parishes. Or one where all the priests are ‘rented’ from Third World countries. Or where it’s impossible to have your child baptized — that is, if you are so lucky as to have a child. Or where the churches are closed, shuttered, and filthy from neglect.
What am I describing? Huge swathes of Western Europe today. And I have to say it: no altar boys means no vocations. Where liberal churchmanship prevails and altar girls are the norm, vocations are almost non-existent.
And like it or not, boys don’t like serving alongside girls. Now, feminists would have us believe that this is due to some innate prejudice against girls held by pre-pubescent boys. In any case, it’s a fact.
It’s also a fact that 80% of recently ordained priests in the US were altar boys. I’ll say it again: altar boys = priests.
Of interest is the fact that when you bring these facts up to the pro-altar girl crowd, their eyes glaze over with a kind of righteous fury. Basically, they will inform you grimly, it is their right to have their daughters serve. Never mind that this ‘right’ is driving away potential vocations. Well, they will insist with a triumphant smile, then the Church just needs to let women be priests.
This kind of conversation fascinates me because it is evidence of two distinctly different mindsets — and some would say distinctly different Churches — in Catholicism.
Their mindset is that the priesthood is a job, and that all jobs are opportunities to gain economic and social privilege. Hence, women must be permitted to be priests. Speaking as a former senior vice president of a global bank, I just want to say that this is deeply wrong-headed thinking.
The priesthood is not a job. A priest is not a ‘community leader.’ He is likewise not social worker. He is not a shoulder to cry on or a jovial guy to preside over your family weddings. Also, he is not a facilities manager. He may act in these capacities, but it is a fundamental error to see him as a mere functionary in a collar, because of course a woman can do all of those jobs.
That’s not the point.
For 2000 years, the Roman Catholic priesthood has been understood as a spiritual vocation, wherein the priest stands in persona Christi (“in the person of Christ”). Hence, his hands and indeed his entire person are consecrated; he is a man who exists entirely for his people. He is in fact married to the Church.
It is this understanding of the priesthood upon which the Church was founded, and upon which she has built the civilization of the West. Only those who are clueless about the benefits that this civilization brings which is in fact the mother of all of their liberties would want to destroy this for feminist ideology.
Isn’t it incredibly ironic that the future of the Church should rest upon something that has gone un-noticed through all the high-flown rhetoric of the last 50 years?
The lowly altar boy.
Bring him back. He is the future of the Church — nay, the future of Civilization.