But I want to explain our decision to phase out altar girls to you who believe in the Church and her teachings. Altar girls have been permitted for the last 20 years, but for the previous 1900 years they were not permitted. Even now this decision is up to the local bishop.
Fr. Driscoll and I asked and received Archbishop Cordileone’s blessing to train only boys going forward. In fact, girls are still serving at our parish, but we are transitioning into a boys-only program for two reasons. First, in a mixed altar-server program, boys usually end up losing interest because the motivation to excel and compete with male peers is removed in a mixed program. Rather, Fr. Driscoll and I want to develop the leadership potential in our boys, for which single-sex programs are clearly more effective. We want to nurture our altar boys to become strong men, sound in their faith and open to the priestly or married vocation God may be calling them to. Why is CBS not hassling the boys’ academies, the boy scouts, or the male fraternities of San Francisco? Why do we support female-only programs like all-girls schools, sororities and the girl scouts? We approve of other single-sex programs for a good reason. Second, and much more importantly, altar service is intrinsically tied to the priesthood and serves as jumping off point for the seminary. If the Catholic Church ordained women, altar girls would make sense, but the Catholic priesthood is a male charism. Nothing awakens a desire for the priesthood like service at the altar among the brotherhood of young men. At the risk of generalizing, I suspect young men might just be distracted from the sacrifice of the Mass by young women serving with them.
I know change is hard, but I’m asking you all to trust me on this one. Buying into certain socially-bankrupt principles , like co-ed everything does not help us in the long run. We are Catholic, and we think differently than non-believers!
To read our official statement on the altar boy policy, click here.