This just in from The Arizona Republic:
Girls no longer will be allowed as altar servers during Mass at the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, SS. Simon and Jude.
The Rev. John Lankeit, rector of the cathedral, said he made the decision in hopes of promoting the priesthood for males and other religious vocations, such as becoming a nun, for females.
Made up primarily of fifth- through eighth-graders the altar-server corps in American churches has included girls since 1983 in many places. Girls and boys regularly serve together at churches throughout the Phoenix Catholic Diocese.
Rather than discuss the merits of this decision, let’s consider these questions instead: How aggressive should the Episcopal Church be in promoting itself–explicitly–as an alternative to what some of us see as the discriminatory, authoritarian aspects of Roman Catholicism? Do you see many disaffected Catholics in your newcomer programs? What is the best way to reach out to these folks?