Altar Boys and the Priesthood
  • TCJ
    Posts: 607
    It reminds me of what I saw at my own parish. When the altar girls were allowed, the boys dropped out quickly. Within a few years, the majority of servers were girls, but the overall number of them had decreased dramatically. Right this day, about 75% of the servers are girls and they struggled to have servers for all Masses, and quite often there is only one server per Mass.
  • At my parish, there are altar servers from seven years old up to over twenty -- the young people stop when they want to or when they move away. As far as I know girls have been altar servers here for at least ten years, probablt. The balance is about equal: perhaps slightly more boys. There are enough servers for all Sunday Masses, and none at daily Masses (which are at 9am and nowhere near a school, anyway).

    I've heard the "if there are girls, the boy drop out" story many times before, and perhaps it's true somewhere but definitely not at my parish.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    Ours drop out when they get in high school, for the most part. A few have lasted until college age. It's not a matter of gender.
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    I have correlations and anecdotes that confirm my preexisting views too!
    Thanked by 2Gavin MarkThompson
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,565
    When our Cathedral rector made the switch to male-only servers, there was a lot of drama in local media and national Catholic-media/blogging world (Google Phoenix Cathedral Servers and you'll see). Today though we have an army of male servers, some of whom are discerning a future vocation. We also have a thriving girls' prayer group (The Little Flowers / Prayer Warriors) that is growing steadily. Additionally there is a small group of young female sacristans that began this year and seems to grow by the week.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • I have correlations and anecdotes that confirm my preexisting views too!



    Let's try an experiment.

    How do you explain the massive collapse of vocations to the priesthood?
    How do you explain the drive to adopt what had never been done before in Catholic history?
    How do you explain the fact that, although Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II saw a new springtime in the Church, a new Pentecost, the Archdiocese of New York continues to close parishes, and consolidate others?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    Collapse of vocations to the priesthood: The priesthood is like teaching, from which I retired a couple of years ago. Why the "H" would anyone without masochistic tendencies even want to go into it?

    The drive to adopt what had never been done...: Maybe we are like Venerable Bede said of the English - We follow everything novel and hold fast to nothing? Tradition doesn't get much respect in our culture.

    New springtime: New York ... closes parishes: That new springtime quickly turned into another Little Ice Age and many things quickly died. New York, I don't know. But I do know that there is a distressing tendency to elevate windbags with lower levels of competence to high office -a widespread problem encompassing much more than New York.

    Did I mention the wholesale loss of faith?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    Did I mention the wholesale loss of faith?


    Perfect correlation. No other explanation needed. Nations continue on the path to annihilation. Thank you, Charles.

  • We are gearing up for spring here. This is what is looks like. It is as cold as it gets. Every bit of green that is not evergreen is gone. It is icy, with threats of snow. It is dark, wet and miserable.
    Springtime is not harvest time, or even early summer. I think when people hear spring they often think of early summer, with lambs gambolling etc.
    but this is spring. there are shoots on the move, mostly underground. many will not make it, there are still icy blasts and unexpected storms to weather. But some will.
    I believe the autumn will come. I believe there will be a harvest. I believe I will be long dead by that time. But I still believe St John Paul was right. welcome to spring. and put something on the fire. ( I meant turf but that pile of 1970's hymnals will do fine).
    Thanked by 2JulieColl CHGiffen
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    . . . we all better batten down the hatches, that's for sure. That's alright, though, as long as I've got my Liber and some corn for poppin'. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
    Thanked by 1bonniebede
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 640
    I don't follow some of the references given. But surely the all male priesthood is just as wrong as an all male alter-kid routine. (ducking)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    I don't understand your comment, mrcopper (probably being dense).
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    mrcopper:
    But surely the all male priesthood is just as wrong as an all male alter-kid routine.

    Are you saying an all male priesthood is wrong and all male altar boys are wrong too?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    In case anyone is confused, there are ample reasons for the Church's teaching that the ministerial priesthood is reserved to men. (See, for example, Manfred Hauke's thorough treatise Women in the Priesthood?)

    And of course, Pope St. John Paul II declared infallibly in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the Church does not have the authority to confer priestly ordination on women. Notice how he phrased it: the teaching makes no statement about women as unsuitable; it makes a statement about the Church, which has a duty to preserve the effectiveness of the Sacraments from changes that could touch upon their symbolic character and thus their validity.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    For a second there I thought you said Pope St. Joan, and I was like, what?
    Thanked by 2Salieri Gavin
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    That's Ioannes Paulus, not Ioanna Paula.
    Thanked by 3Salieri Kathy Gavin
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,025
    For a second there I thought you said Pope St. Joan, and I was like, what?
    That's Ioannes Paulus, not Ioanna Paula.Johanna.
    Fixed.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    When Pope St. John Paul signed his first official documents, with his name: Joannes Paulus, one of the Latinists sent him a note to remind him that there is no letter "J" in Latin. The answer came back: "There is noẇ."

    But the pope's tomb has his name spelled with an I, so I'm following that model.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    But the pope's tomb has his name spelled with an I, so I'm following that model.
    irony of ironies...
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 640
    In this I remain a protestant, I guess. Seem so silly to a lowly worm like me. In human life the crone is as powerful a figure as the elder. Never will understand why one is preferred over the other.

    BUT I'm a composer not a theologist so save your lightning strikes for better prey. Pray.

    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 640
    And Chonak, much as I respect you, this:
    The author cites copiously from American as well as European sources and presents the feminist position in the words and categories of the leading feminist authors. But, for the first time, the whole question is placed in the comprehensive context of anthropology, biology, psychology, philosophy, and theology. You will find a balanced presentation of the profound consistency of the Catholic Church's teaching and the practice concerning the role of women in the Church and in society. Written in a scholarly, yet very readable manner. "The work was accompanied by an ecumenical concern from the very start, to which I am indebted insofar as I have
    is gobbletygook
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    It's a publisher's blurb. Are you able to read none of the sentences, or are there particular ones that you'd like to see translated into easier language? I trust you speak Polish, so you're used to dealing with language that's not trivially easy. :-)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    I don't think you have to be an expert at something to aim higher in your discourse than mere derision.
  • Gesundheit.
  • Let's try an experiment.

    How do you explain the massive collapse of vocations to the priesthood?
    How do you explain the drive to adopt what had never been done before in Catholic history?
    How do you explain the fact that, although Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II saw a new springtime in the Church, a new Pentecost, the Archdiocese of New York continues to close parishes, and consolidate others?


    You really are one for the scientific method and FACTS aren't you?

    There are literally hundreds of POSSIBLE reasons for everything you just said, many of which likely have very real sociological underpinnings, including population shifts in the US, new attitudes all over the world about religion, etc.

    It's not that it's impossible that the admittance of female servers has anything to do with them; it's that you are making a HUGE LEAP to conclude that without any evidence for or against other factors.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 640
    I am bowing out. In my very very fallible opinion women should be priests. BUT I know so little. Oand O
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    Pope St. John Paul II declared infallibly in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis


    No, he didn't.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 646
    I thought this was a Sacred Music forum. Instead I find a bunch of people more concerned with traditions rather than Traditions, seem to know more about the Church than the Pope, and have very little in the way of Christian charity.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Spriggo
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    what is about the term 'pope' that seems to elicit the uncanny notion of being "all knowing" these days?

    charity is shown to the individual members here on every account. but thinking and posting are subject to all forms of scrutiny and discussion. trust me. i have had it on both sides.

    welcome to our forum!!! where are you also a moderator?

    you will also notice that our theological discussions tend to have many many many more comments than the ones on music (generally speaking)

    we are a passionate bunch. (not sure how many catholics, however)
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    I thought this was a Sacred Music forum.


    Not quite. It's a Catholic sacred music forum, provided by a Catholic organization filled primarily with individual Catholics who appreciate and respect the traditions of the Catholic church.

    I'm not saying that anyone is unwelcome, or that music can't be discussed here if you aren't Catholic, but considering that most of us practice our craft primarily in a liturgical context, you should keep in mind that many of us can't or won't separate the discussion of music from the discussion of liturgy and faith, which is it's larger context.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    you should keep in mind that many of us can't or won't separate the discussion of music from the discussion of liturgy and faith

    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi!

    Performing Catholic music without the faith is like trying to drink a beer without a container. It's simply foolish.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    Pope St. John Paul II declared infallibly in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis


    No, he didn't.


    Well, let me be more precise: the doctrine requires definitive assent. Pope St. John Paul II made a formal declaration of the teaching, which belongs to the deposit of faith and has long been set forth by the Church's ordinary and universal magisterium.
    http://www.doctrinafidei.va/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19951028_dubium-ordinatio-sac_en.html
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    (why did i think posting this here would bring about a great conversation about altar boys?) I was one, and learned the Mass in Latin. If I hadn't become a musician, I would have probably become a priest. One thing is for sure... being an altar boy had a profound impact on my life.
    Thanked by 1JacobFlaherty
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,730
    male alter-kid
    We haven't condoned castration for quite a while now.
  • When Pope St. John Paul signed his first official documents, with his name: Joannes Paulus, one of the Latinists sent him a note to remind him that there is no letter "J" in Latin. The answer came back: "There is noẇ."

    But the pope's tomb has his name spelled with an I, so I'm following that model.


    image
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    It occurred to me: If anyone should have been acceptable to the priesthood as a woman it would have been His Mother, the Virgin Mary herself. Yet Christ did not do this. He chose lowly, frail, weak and common men. Mystery? Yes.

    God's ways are higher than our ways.

    Non enim cogitationes meae cogitationes vestrae neque viae vestrae viae meae dicit Dominus. Quia sicut exaltantur caeli a terra sic exaltatae sunt viae meae a viis vestris et cogitationes meae a cogitationibus vestris.

    Isaiah 55:8-9
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    Women can not be priests! Priest is a male term in English, and a woman would be a priestess. As I mentioned to an Anglican friend, I don't care if Episcopalians ordain cats. I do object if they try to screw up a perfectly beautiful and precise language in the name of political correctness. A plague on their houses.

    JP II did make an infallible declaration. It is no longer open to dispute. He was quite precise and clear on what he meant.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    JP II did make an infallible declaration.


    No, he didn't.

    It is no longer open to dispute.


    Correct.

    He was quite precise and clear on what he meant.


    Apparently not clear enough.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    As I read it, the Apostolic Letter contains a formula that in referring to the Petrine office and invoking the constant practice and teaching of the Church states that the doctrine already is infallibly taught and that the practice will never change.

    Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

    Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    No, he didn't.


    You are mistaken. See Kathy's quote above.
  • there was a lot of drama in local media and national Catholic-media/blogging world

    Drama is good.
  • It's a Catholic sacred music forum, provided by a Catholic organization filled primarily with individual Catholics who appreciate and respect the traditions of the Catholic church.


    Wrong. According to this page: http://musicasacra.com/about-cmaa/join-the-cmaa/

    "The Church Music Association of America (founded in 1874) is an association of Catholic musicians and others..."
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 640
    comprehensive context of anthropology, biology, psychology, philosophy, and theology
    I ran away from this discussion but backtracking: surely this is incomprehensible and incomprehensive. My Polish is so rusty I began speaking bad Italian to a Polish acquaintance not that long ago. It proved hard to communicate.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 640
    And back on topic:
    In the 2010 survey 70 percent of the 339 respondents had been servers.
    Isn't this a bad use of statistics? I believe it is very like this (made up) statistic: 80 percent of the people who like pizza have ordered pizza delivery.

    But I won't deny that single-gender activities for the young may often serve the young better.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    But I won't deny that single-gender activities for the young may often serve the young better.


    I found that to be true in my years of teaching middle schoolers.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    In 1963 Bl. Paul VI erected the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae. By the 1964 merger of the Society of Saint Gregory of America and the American Society of Saint Cecilia, CMAA was created as the U.S. affiliate of CIMS. That connection may be enough for us to consider CMAA a Catholic organization.
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    You are mistaken. See Kathy's quote above.


    You are mistaken. See Kathy's quote above where she explains that JP2 didn't speak infallibly but merely spoke about the infallible.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    He met all the conditions necessary for an infallible pronouncement. He defined, by virtue of his office, and tradition that the church has no authority to ordain women. Also, "this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." Just what do you think constitutes an infallible decree? Were you expecting heavenly trumpets, thunder crashes, and dancing angels? I don't think it has ever worked like that. LOL.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    Charles, you're accustomed to having a laugh at us Latin Catholics making fine distinctions, right? Well, it will not surprise you that we even make distinctions among infallible teachings.

    The Church presents some teachings as dogmas revealed by God Himself: e.g., the propositions in the Nicene Creed; or the proposition that the most Holy Theotokos was assumed to Heaven body and soul.

    In some cases, the Church definitively holds a doctrine, and teaches it, and requires Catholics to hold the doctrine, but doesn't take the step of saying that God Himself revealed it. That is the case here.

    For most of us, it's not a very important distinction: the doctrine is correct and is a permanent part of the Church's teaching.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen hilluminar
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    mrcopper found this part of the publisher's blurb incomprehensible, and I don't blame him:
    comprehensive context of anthropology, biology, psychology, philosophy, and theology

    I ran away from this discussion but backtracking: surely this is incomprehensible and incomprehensive.


    Here "anthropology" probably is meant in the philosophical sense: philosophical anthropology is the branch of philosophy dealing with man and human nature. Nothing to do with researching ancient bones, etc.

    So the book treats the question in the various contexts: in relation to philosophy of man, to biology, to psychology, etc.