You may recall that a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Fr. Michael Taylor of Corpus Christi Church in South Riding, VA, made a decision in favor of male-only service at the altar (not against girls, but in favor of boys… there is a difference). He was fully within the bounds of his authority to do this. No injustice or anything outside the Church’s law was imposed. As we have seen happen more and more frequently, those who disagreed with this decision moved their protests beyond the community of the parish or or the diocese or of Holy Church and into the mainstream media.
This is a common tactic of the left.
More and more often, we are seeing that the kuroko of the mainstream media are happy to help the protestors shift their props and complaints into full view of a secularized public for the sake of undermining the Church’s doctrine and structures. With Alinkskyite tactics they make the issue of service at the altar into a “have v have not” issue, “us against them”, a class struggle against injustice against those who have “power”. Fr. Taylor was attacked, personally, even by CNN.
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” – Saul Alinsky (Rules for Radicals – dedicated by the author to Satan).
The National catholic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) has dredged up the altar server situation in Arlington, which by now should be fairly old news. Here are a few choice excerpts with my emphases and comments.
Catholics protest altar server policy
Left up to pastors, more than half of Arlington parishes disallow girls
Dec. 03, 2011
By Alice Popovici
ARLINGTON, VA. — A few dozen people [How many Catholics are there in the Diocese of Arlington?] walked along North Glebe Road in front of the Arlington diocesan headquarters Nov. 20, holding bright signs that called for justice and change.
“Pray for our diocese,” read one sign, handwritten on fluorescent pink cardboard. “Dignity for our girls,” said another. [Pink and “dignity”… remind you of anything?] And another: “We support female altar servers.” And another: “Bishop we need your leadership.” [In other words, the bishop is a “leader” only if he pressures Fr. Taylor to change his decision. But, according to the Church’s law, a pastor is within his rights to make a decision for male-only service. Furthermore, any priest can opt for male-only service for a Mass. They are, therefore, “freezing and personalizing” the person of the bishop, asking him to do something he cannot actually do, unless he does it with behind the scenes…. what… threats? negotiations? Which he is unlikely to do if he knows the law and is just in proper sense of justice. A bishop cannot officially oblige a priest to allow altar service by females.]
What the women and men [but not “men and women”] — most of them Catholics from area parishes [not Fr. Taylor’s parish… so.. where are they from?] — specifically asked for during the hourlong afternoon vigil was that Bishop Paul Loverde require priests in his diocese to allow both girls and boys to serve at the altar. [“require”, right? They are unaware that lay people have no right to liturgical service of any kind? The possibility under law for lay people to serve in some liturgical role is permissive. Lay people have no “right” to serve. But many people today reassign “active participation” to the sphere of rights. They move it into a political category, and act accordingly when they think they aren’t getting their way.] Though the Vatican has officially allowed female altar servers since 1994, the Arlington diocese has left the decision to individual priests since 2006; as a result, nearly half of the parishes allow girl altar servers while the rest do not.
“What are we saying to young women as they attend Mass?” Jim FitzGerald, executive director of national Catholic organization Call to Action, [Surprise!] asked in an interview. Call to Action, which works for justice and equality within the church, [What they think is “justice and equality”.] counts Arlington as one of two dioceses in the country currently known to exclude girls from serving at the altar. (The Lincoln, Neb., diocese has banned girl altar servers throughout the diocese since 1994.)
“To me, it’s a message of sexism and discrimination,” FitzGerald said. [Using a narrow and distort lens, it would appear that way.]
[Watch this…] “We are Catholics who want to go to Mass on Sunday, but also be involved with the community,” said Zickel, who taught religious education classes at Corpus Christi [Fr. Taylor’s parish] and enjoyed watching her 7-year-old and 4-year-old daughters play sports and attend Brownie meetings with children from their church. [There seems to be a moral equivalence here, no? She “enjoys” watching her children do things. Watching her daughter play sports is something she enjoys. Watching her daughter serve at Mass is ….]
“We really like to instill in these children a sense of virtue,” Zickel said. “It was just so interesting to see that seep into the community and into the schools.” [“instill in these children a sense of virtue”… they have to serve Mass to acquire a “sense of virtue”?]
One father who walked along North Glebe Road said he came to the vigil because the issue is “a matter of simple justice.” [No, it isn’t, because lay people don’t have a right to serve at the altar.] Another man carried a sign that read “Dads for Altar Girls = Love.” [There’s a position. I love my daughter, therefore she should be allowed by Fr. Taylor to serve.]
Thea Rossi Barron, who attends Our Lady Queen of Peace, said, “Christ did not give an example that excluded women.” [Yes, He did. Most notably, none of the Apostles (first bishop/priests) were female. Jesus excluded women from being His Apostles (bishops/priests).]
Zickel’s parents, Michael and Kathi Piehler, who live in Rochester, N.Y., visited Arlington specifically for the vigil. [Interesting, no? They came in from New York!] Michael walked with a sign that read, “What is so wrong with this?” next to a large photograph of one of his granddaughters, taken when she served as a cross bearer at a relative’s funeral.
“The presence of altar girls is not a stumbling block to priestly vocations, and if it were, that’s a pretty fragile vocation,” Piehler said. “I think the Holy Spirit’s much stronger than that.” [On the other hand, grace builds on nature. It is not merely a matter of what the Holy Spirit can or cannot will in this matter, which he cannot know, but there is also a question of human nature. The Church expressed a clear that vocations be fostered also through male service at the altar. The sensibilities of boys at different stages of development must be considered when service at the altar is in question.]