Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"...Omnibus Sanctis, et tibi, Pater"

Fr. Jim was at the announcement of the now-sanctioned Tridentine Mass and regularization of the altar girls and posts his thoughts on it. I agree with practically everything he says.

"The Novus Ordo already has female readers and female extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. If you allow a woman to give out the Host, I really don't see a logical reason to prohibit her from serving the Mass."

Anyone who's reading me right now will think I'm the most vehement sexist. I'm not. As my favorite Catholic Apologist, Tim Staples, points out, we dudes can, and indeed, need to learn a lot from women. Blessed Theresa of Calcutta...need I say more?

But it's a false dichotomy to say that in order to prove I'm not a sexist, I need to take the side that radical feminists would take here.

With the quote above, the natural consensus is that yes, if you're going to allow women to give out the Sacred Host or Precious Blood, there really is no reason why they shouldn't serve the Mass.

However, the question falls back to whether women should be distributing the Sacred Host and Precious Blood in the first place. Women reading the epistles...I really don't have any gripe there. But I think that while in some cases it is necessary for women to distribute the Blessed Sacrament just because they're so strapped for willing people, if at all possible, it should be given to dudes.

The priesthood is reserved to males because the ordination of women is not possible. What a priest, in my humble opinion, should look forward to most in his day is the Consecration of Bread and Wine to the Son of God, coming to us in an unbloody form. Second only to that, it should be distributing Communion to the faithful. If the cleric(s) alone can't fulfill the responcibility of distributing Communion (and there are a number of reasons why they might not), then I think it should fall to men acting in persona sacerdos.

There are some parishes where the congregation is the size of my own parish's children's Bible study troop. They're streched for parishoners let alone extraordinary ministers of communion. Then, and in my opinion, only then, should women be called on to distribute the Blessed Sacrament.

On that note, I also believe that the use of girls as altar servers should be implemented the same way. That is, only as a last resort when all other options are gone.

But why? Because at The Last Supper, Jesus told the command to "do this in memory of me" to a bunch of dudes, and it has been the unwavering tradition of the Church that in cooperation with that fact, the Holy Altar should be served by men whenever possible.

Narrow and intolerant of me? Look, I can walk into the most liberal of convents out there and they'll still not let me join. Some things, some practices, believe it or not, just hindge on gender. That's all there is to it.