Girl altar server: unfair attack
From Catherine Shields, Cape Town
I am an altar server at my school, Springfield Convent in Cape Town, and my parish, Ss Simon & Jude, Simon’s Town. I found Cardinal Raymond Burke’s views on female altar servers (January 14) very unfair.
Reading the article, I thought about the feelings I have towards altar serving and what it means to me to serve, and I came to the conclusion that it is a great privilege.
I have also always understood from the gospels that God made us all equal and he gave us talents which we should use.
Now, according to Cardinal Burke, I should give up my role as an altar server because some boys may feel threatened and may not follow a vocation to become a priest because they did not become altar servers.
Firstly, when you are an altar server, you are there to serve God; you shouldn’t be worrying about anybody else around you.
Secondly, what if I developed a vocation to the priesthood? The fact that I could not pursue that is not my fault, I did not make that rule.
Apart from this, serving on the altar does not have to be linked to a vocation. It is a very special experience which draws you closer to God, and this should be available to anybody willing to serve.
Cardinal Burke spends a lot of time, it seems, in analysing male and female roles. In our parish people simply get on with what has to be done, so it is a happy environment where people feel welcome.
I would have thought that the Church needs the involvement of as many young people as possible.