Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Altar Girls are Confusing... to Bishops

The Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, printed an article in early August in which they praised the use of altar girls: "The exclusion of girls from all of this, for the sole reason of their being female, has always weighed heavily and represented a deep inequality within Catholic education."  They paper also refers to altar serving as an important and informative experience.  As the Catholic News article points out, the L'Osservatore article was printed the same week that Pope Benedict thanked 53,000 altar services, 60% of whom were girls, for their important service to the Church.  

Now fast forward two weeks.  The Cathedral for the Diocese of Phoenix is now barring altar girls from serving at that parish.  This will not affect the other parishes in the diocese and it was made clear that this was the decision of the rector of the Cathedral.  Nevertheless, I cannot believe that a decision like this is made at the Cathedral without the bishop's approval.  The rector states that he wants to have only boys in an effort to attract vocations to the priesthood, but there is not proof that this practice has ever led to more vocations.  In addition, this action is very strange when one considers that the Pope just thanked tens of thousands of girl altar servers for their service.  The rector stated that girls could be sacristans, but that is a slap in the face.  To the rector, all girls are good for is ironing and washing clothes.  Perhaps the bishop and rector in Phoenix should pay attention to the Pope and L'Osservatore Romano.

A Faithful Catholic

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weakland and Sklba called to Bankruptcy Court

Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Bishop Richard Sklba will be called to give testimony in court, under oath, regarding the sexual abuse cover up for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case. Although the judge has said the statements will be sealed, these statements have a way of eventually being made public. In any case, I am glad that there will be some type of official record of the sexual abuse cover up in Milwaukee.

In one sense, this is a strange turn of events. It is speculated that Milwaukee and other dioceses have filed bankruptcy to avoid having bishops give depositions. Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy on the eve of Sklba's deposition in a sexual abuse case. If the primary purpose of the Milwaukee bankruptcy filing was to avoid Sklba's day in court, the plan failed. Weakland and Sklba will be called to answer questions in mid-October.

A Faithful Catholic