Catholic News Service reports that the Vatican says allowing girls to serve at the altar as acolytes has ended prejudice and inequality:
Permitting girls to serve at the altar marked the end of a form of inequality in the church and allowed girls to experience the formative power of directly assisting with the mystery of the Eucharist -- the core of the Christian faith, said the Vatican newspaper.
Assisting the priest during Mass is both a service and a privilege and represents "a deep and responsible way to live one's Christian identity," said an article published Aug. 7 in L'Osservatore Romano.
Permitting girls to assist at the altar "has meant the idea they were impure because of their gender came to an end" and has meant girls, too, "could live out this extraordinarily important formative experience," it said.
The article came the same week Pope Benedict XVI met with more than 53,000 altar servers from Europe during his Aug. 4 weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. The majority of young pilgrims, aged 14-25, were female -- 60 percent, according to organizers.
First you let them be acolytes - pretty soon they think they can be priests!