Cardinal Burke has been in the news for his claim that the problems of the Church can be blamed on the “feminization” of boys – and allowing girls to serve on the altar.
“I think that [the introduction of female altar servers] has contributed to a loss of priestly vocations. It requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar boy in service at the side of [a] priest, and most priests have their first deep experiences of the liturgy as altar boys. If we are not training young men as altar boys, giving them an experience of serving God in the liturgy, we should not be surprised that vocations have fallen dramatically.”
It’s all too easy to guffaw at the idea of Burke, of all people. claiming with a straight face that altar boys learn “manliness” by observing priests saying Mass.
Here’s a more thoughtful assessment of what’s wrong with the whole idea of attempting to force – feed boys with arbitrary conceptions of “manliness”.