Thursday, December 18, 2008

Girl altar boys - oxymoronic or just plain moronic?

Our parish priest, despite His Lordship the Bishop of Penang denying approval for this innovation of having girl altar boys in this diocese, has gone ahead and foisted this imported foreign Western practice on our poor unsuspecting parish. May the rebellious and innovating Dutch and German bishops receive what's coming to them.

I was requested to train said girl altar boys and, wanting to teach them what they needed to know (rather than what I was asked to teach), promptly agreed. I taught kneeling for communion, the Real Presence, etc. I also taught that altar boys take the role of acolytes, an instituted role in the Church today and formerly, in both East and West, one of the minor orders.

Using the graphic below, I explained that acolytes were a step towards priesthood and girls who play dress-up might want to go further and get themselves ordained and push for priestesses and bishopesses and popesses and even a goddess.

holy-orders-steps

I explained that the most Blessed Amongst women was not a priest. I explained the difference between dignity which all possess by virtue of being human, created in God's image and likeness and function. We have equal dignity but have different functions and not everyone must carry out certain functions in order to have dignity or equality. Those who are disabled or old or have some other impediment cannot be considered to have less dignity just because they can't DO something.

Our friend responded by asking me is it wrong to serve. Of course it's not wrong, but we need to follow the tradition and teaching of the Church to serve Her and not our own agendas. I always thought that the people who do this should not be blamed by rather those who put them up to it need to shoulder the majority of the blame. I'm reconsidering.

I told them that the Bishop will put a stop to this and when he does, they'd better be angry at the right person, namely the one who asked them to do this and personally trained them for this rather than be angry at the bishop or the Church for doing the right thing and stopping this.

I tried my best to guide them in making the right choices and to freely chooses to distance themselves from this... this... thing.

[PHOTO REMOVED ON REQUEST OF GIRL ALTAR BOY]

It did not stick. One promptly showed up and requested to serve Mass.

Mark lays down the law in his polite and non-confrontational manner as can be seen in the photos.

[PHOTO REMOVED ON REQUEST OF GIRL ALTAR BOY]

The girl altar boy was assigned to be crucifer.

[PHOTO REMOVED ON REQUEST OF GIRL ALTAR BOY]

At the Sanctus, she came up and knelt between the altar boys, freaking some of them out. They found this girl altar boy business rather amusing.

[PHOTO REMOVED ON REQUEST OF GIRL ALTAR BOY]


And then she, in total disregard for everythign I had taught about the Real Presence and the Blessed Sacrament and after showing the videos from His Eminence Cardinal Arinze, received standing, in the hand. Bollocks. I'm extremely pissed.

Addendum
According to the girl altar boy (Comment 32) she says "i did not recieve it with my hand!!!!!! " And will not be further serving.

Addendum2
Let it be known that I never imposed by beliefs at all. And neither did I discourage or say 'Do this' or 'Do that'. I only taught what was necessary and left it to the girls and their conscience to make the right choice. Those who know me and the style I work will know that I never impose, but like the Church, propose and let the final decision be made by the person. All I did was for try to give them the correct facts. There are witnessed to this and let those who say the contrary be prepared to give an account of their misinformation.

Comments?

51 comments:

Rita said...

When I first attended your parish, it was such a joy to see altar boys serving with such reverence. Ahh, the Church is here, we thought, the Church is stable and healthy in Penang and has not been overtaken with political correctness.

Mass is manly. Girls arrive and as nice as they are, they get bossy and the boys don't like this an leave. In an all girls Catholic school and I can accept the need for girl servers. Anywhere else, just doesn't make sense.

I'm upset for you and for your parish community. You do so much to make a straight way for the Lord. Still, no one said it would be a smooth path.....

Prayers for your parish and for your peace of mind are in order,

God bless.

joshua said...

What the hell is wrong with those priests? First the communion thing and now this.

Josephus Flavius said...

One problem among many is that (at least in the US) girls end up being dominant numerically. I have opinions on why this is, but in charity I will keep them to myself. So you end up with fewer boys having eyes opened to the priesthood by participation in the liturgy. In an effort to be more inclusive 'we' have shot ourselves in the vocational foot.

The canons of my sui iuris Church preclude female altar servers at all, but that is of course no solution for your problem. :)

"CCEO: Canon 707 §8. Women are prohibited from serving at the altar."

Mary said...

Stay pissed off. Seriously. In all things, charity, of course, but do not stay silent about why this is NOT a good idea. Let your frustrations strengthen your resolve to do what is right.

In my opinion.

DonAaron said...

Well.. just give them time on the communion thing.... Its a working progress though

Anonymous said...

i pray for your parish and you my friends...

woes to those who support liberalism and feminism ...

sorry but that girl should get a knock on the head by St.Michael...

brandon

DonAaron said...

Oh ya one more thing, why is Mark lookin on the table as if the rules and regs were printed on the table, or... is it just the pic shots LOL

Anonymous said...

i think he dont want to have eye contact with her.....

maybe frustrated

Andrew said...

Ladies and gentlefolk,

Thanks for the support. Be assured that we are doing all we can and through the proper channels. I'm highlighting this so that you might know what we are dealing with here and so that the accomplishments we have managed to achieve will be better appreciated for the blood and toil that went into it =)

For an apostolic Church, received tradition (small t) should mean something and one should not mess around with elements of said tradition lightly. This is true of the liturgy (which is part of the deposit of faith and big T tradition, in that it is the lived expression of our beliefs) and also of canonical discipline. Screwing around with the liturgy, changing it with the stroke of a pen, abolishing the minor orders, opening the ministries of the altar, removing the biblical requirement of veiling, all of these are serious alterations in the received traditions of the Church. Sure, some of these are not dogmatic. But for an apostolic Church, we sure seem over eager to conform and be held captive by the world.

Andrew said...

BTW, I'll let Mark answer why he was looking at the table.

Mark Tan said...

JUST THE PIC SHOTS! nothing to do with eye contact. =)

Msgr. Raymond said...

Mark,
Relax...It is what it is, and i am sure that even in this, the Holy Spirit is alike and kicking... trust in that the Holy Spirit will work things out for the benefit of the Church, not our preferences, agendas, or traditions.

I do not like it any more than you do, but i keep an open mind.

Mind you, I have worked in the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, and I am currently working in the United States as a liturgical consultant for various dioceses.

Also, in matters of reverent, how reverent do you think it is to be taking pictures during the Mass? Especially during what looks like the Eucharistic Prayer...

Ben Trovato said...

Let this girl thing continue for long and no boys will serve. Why would they?

It's risky enough for boys, opening themselves to the ridicule of their peers, but as long as it's an all-boys thing, they can normally tough it out. Once it's a grily thing, it's nigh on impossible (except for those who like to be thought of as girly). So who is going to go the seminaries in the future?...

Franciscans the past, present and future. said...

What altar girls now in IC Church?!
Thank God i am not in Malaysia. It is a disgrace to do what we like, today we live in a troubled world.

DR. HERBERT R. said...

This altar girls thing is really a disgrace to our Liturgy. I dont know whats in the mind of our parish priests. They are more influenced by Feminism (a worldly philosophy) rather than the values of the gospels. It pains me.

Anonymous said...

are there any proper church documents which give directions as to whether or not female servers are allowed or does it say anywhere that its not recommended to have them?

Josephus Flavius said...

Anonymous, see:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/05/quaeritur-female-altar-servers/

Anonymous said...

it is very ironic...when we asked for more latin or a tridentine mass we are told that we cannot copy the west but when we copy the west on altar female waiters or communion in the hand it is ok ..

hippocricy at it's best..

brandon

Anonymous said...

Dear Monsignor Raymond,

With all due respect there is no such thing as open mind on a subject either you are for it or against it ...

what is so wrong about taking the photos taken at mass especially when it is use to curb the abuses at mass...or you rather have the abuses ....

Brandon

Anonymous said...

Praise GOD for people like your parish priest for courage and initiative for female altar servers. May your parish be the example for all the parishes in the Penang diocese that one day we may see girl altar servers in all parishes.

Anonymous said...

yeah and also praise God for all the feminism and liberalism that is happening ....and everything blame it on God but not the devil..

The anglican church is always open for those like the PP priest ...you guys would be at home..

they call themselves Catholic too ..hehe

brandon

Andrew said...

Dear Msgr. Raymond,

I believe that we need to differentiate between a hearse and a bandwagon. Not every innovation should be a thing to be celebrated. There are many spirits and we must test the spirits to determine which are from God and which are not. I believe the fruits of this zeitgeist is pretty clear and state of the Catholic Church in the countries which have chosen to embrace the spirit of the age is an indication of it's non-Divine origin. Bare ruin'd choirs are all that are left, besides a remnant, of the great temples dedicated to the worship of God and where chant once rose to the Heavens.

Photography during Mass, as our commentators have noted, is not irreverent if done properly and tastefully from afar.

Ben,

You're right of course. In no way must serving at God's altar be seen as the special province of girls. Most of the ministries at my parish are dominated by women, including the lectors and EMHCs.Thank God for their service but where are the men?

Kenneth,

Well, it's the attitude of the institutional Church which is captivated by the spirit of the world.

Dr. Herbert,

I agree with you there.

Brandon,

Yup. I look forward to some real inculturation when the Chinese will prostrate themselves before the Eucharist and during the Gospel readings as in the old days when they prostrated before the Emperor and the reading of his edicts.

Andrew said...

Hi Anonymous 1.10PM,

The courage to be disobedient is not something praiseworthy. This embracing of the spirit of the age, of diluting the difference between the sexes, of radical feminism seeks out in good faith to destroy the Church built by Christ on the Rock of Peter.

This slope leads to gay marriage when the distinction between a man and a woman is blurred, women priestesses, bishopesses and popesses all bowing down before the goddess. Has any good come of the attempts in the places where this is the practice? More vocations to the convents or seminaries, perhaps? Or an increase in the practice of the faith?

By their fruits you will know them and frankly, it's been a rotten harvest.

May Almighty God forfend what you so earnestly pray for.

Anonymous said...

Good one andrew

Brandon

Anonymous said...

I have been to many countries, living,working and going to churches there.
In Malaysia I have seen the most scrued up Liturgy ever.I have not seen it in Germany or The Netherlands.
Do you believe on Santa Claus?
Than you also believe that the Malaysian bishop(s)will help you in anyway?

Blessed Christmas to all of You.

justin said...

Andrew - why don't you just find a more reverent church to attend Mass?

Andrew said...

Justin, Merry Christmas!

Err, this is sad to say, but our parish has some of the most traditional elements of any Catholic Church in Penang, so although there are a number of Churches, I'd be back in square one if I moved around.

Anyway, it's against my principles to surrender the field unfought so I'm going to stick it out to the end. Otherwise, what am I going to blog about? LOL.

justin said...

Andrew:

A very happy Christmas to you and yours as well.

I'm sorry to hear about this predicament, and I commend you for sticking it out. What affects you and your parish in Penang, affects us in London - spoilt as we are with cathedrals, churches and oratories, just as deeply, such is the communion in Christ that we share.

As one who has his roots in neighbouring Brunei this "development" concerns me greatly and I pray that the spirit of true obedience and humility will prevail in your parish this Christmastide.

justin said...

Also - just as an encouraging story that all is not lost in our part of the world, at times seemingly unaware and unaffected by the new liturgical movement that appears to be sweeping across Christendom - in my home parish in Brunei celebrating a new sacerdotal ordination, Bishop Sim wore rose coloured vestments for the first time this Gaudete Sunday. Teased about liking to wear pink on his facebook page, his response: We aren't called to like things, we're just called to be obedient to the Church.

As Fr. Z would say, brick by brick.

I'll say an Ave for the Penang church and trust you'll do likewise for Brunei.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

I spoke to fr.joachim the other day and he is introducing latin soon and he told me vatican 11 is intrepreted wrongly ....and there should me latin in mass actually...

he wants help in the choir ..andrew I many need your help on the schola ..

brandon

Big Benny said...

Congratulations to the female altar server who persisted through your abusive tirade to serve at Mass. You should be ashamed at yourself for your actions and have a serious think about the sins you have committed through this manifest abuse of your power. Do you enjoy privately and publically humiliating women, because that it what you have done here? I hope you remove this highly insulting posting and photograph of this young woman. Rome and your bishop have spoken The decision is not yours to make, just to humbly follow.

Secondly, if this young woman chooses to recieve holy communion on the hand or standing then that is currently a legitimate option, even if you personnally do not like it or approve. It is not up to you to dictate how she should recieve communion or to pass judgement upon her. I hope you yourself refrain from recieving communion until you have gone to confession because without a doubt, you are currently in a state of mortal sin for your delorable actions and this posting which islittle more than a personnal attack on a young women of good faith.

If you were MC in my parish, you would find yourself immediately suspended and publically corrected until you apologise and correct your position. I hope you use this opportunity to calm down and think about what it would feel like to be this young girl and read this sexist diatribe directed at herself on the internet. I hope you are not responsible for her loss of faith.

Anonymous said...

excuse me mr.ANDREW, did you see how i recieved the blessed sacrement? i did not recieve it with my hand!!!!!! one more thing im not goin to serve anymore HAPPY?

Andrew said...

Ms. Jesica, as I reminded you, don't kill the messenger.

It does not please me that all of this is happening in our parish or in the Church in general. I believe that this is all destructive and people are discovering this now. Its reflected in seminary attendance as well as recruitment to the religious life where tradition has been abandoned and the people have surrendered to the spirit of the age.

As I told you before, I had seriously hoped that this would not have started in the first place and have informed you why this is not in accord with the tradition of the Catholic Church. I did not tell you not to serve. I asked you to decide and you did.

I also reminded you that you need to be angry at the correct people and why this should be so. Remember that I told you that you should continue to serve the Church and not be bitter about it and this was not at all about rights and dignity which is inherent from our being born in the image and likeness of God? I hope you remember all this and will not be bitter.

If you're worried about your face, ok, then I will take it down.

JoeyBeatrix said...

let me see

1. what's a girl altar boy?

2. i believe from your picturesque comments, you have never commited a faux. Good going!

3. alotta people have asked when is the 'girl altar boy' serving again. i believe there were excitement and praise. perhaps you've been speaking to the wrong people (as in, only the i-dont-like-this people)

4. if other advanced countries have 'girl altar boys' why cant we, a third world country trying to be as advanced, be like them? This shows, we are not putting our foot forward but in our mouths

cheers
the sister of the 'girl altar boy'

chansey said...

I'd like to ask a few questions:

1. Are you using an example of a new altar girl making mistakes to justify that ALL altar people should only be boys because all girls are going to make mistakes? Stereotyping an entire gender based on the performance of one person is to me counter-intuitive and would be akin to saying that all homosexuals have HIV - they don't.

2. If this is indeed a new altar boy/girl/person then you would indeed expect them to be nervous and make mistakes, especially when put under pressure because they are the first to break tradition. Why write an entire blog post on a person's mistakes? Are we not as Christians taught to forgive rather than to judge?

3. I'm somewhat confused as to why you would choose to include the words "Bollocks" and "Pissed" in what seems to be a blog dedicated to the worship of God. Surely there must be a better way to criticise someone than by swearing.

4. "but we need to follow the tradition and teaching of the Church to serve Her and not our own agendas." The tradition of the Catholic Church is mired in a bloody history of crucifiction, crusades, inquisitons, and the repression of science and technology that has been used to save lives. Should we continue a tradition for the sake of tradition, especially if there is reason to believe that the practice is wrong?

Ben Trovato said...

Writing from a so-called 'advanced' country where we have had girl altar servers for a long time, I would offer a few observations:

This practice was introduced by disobedience, and subsequently allowed by concession. It was never the mind of the Church, but of a few trendy clerics in Holland and thereabouts;

The result here has been that the altar has been taken over by girls and women. Boys scarcely go near it.

Those most in favour of this are those promoting agendas hostile to the Church: particularly the ordination of women (which we know to be impossible)

Those most against this are those who hold that women do not need to pretend to be men, but have an intrinsic dignity and worth, best exemplified by Our Blessed Mother.

I pity the poor girls who are being used as a pawn in a battle by those hostile to the traditions and teaching of the Church. It is not their fault if, raised in a secular society which has an anti-women version of feminism, and then told that they are being discriminated against by the Church, they do not immediately understand when people point out that they should not be serving at Mass.

Anonymous said...

it is all about being politically correct this days ...

damm it ...so Mr.Anoymous (priest) when are you going to change the masculine characters in the bibles to make it more feminime

brandon

Andrew said...

Hi Joey.

You had several questions.

1. what's a girl altar boy?

A girl altar boy is an altar boy who is a girl, hence, girl altar boy. Let me know if you need further clarification on this point.

2. i believe from your picturesque comments, you have never commited a faux. Good going!

Thanks, but could you point out where exactly you got that impression? I've re-read through my post and I must have missed it. Would you be so kind as to point it out? Thank you.

3. alotta people have asked when is the 'girl altar boy' serving again. i believe there were excitement and praise. perhaps you've been speaking to the wrong people (as in, only the i-dont-like-this people)
Innovation always sparks comment, both negative and positive. Regardless of whether you only speak to the approving crowd or whether I only speak to the disapproving crowd, the question that should be asked is whether the practice is approved and whether it is good, isn't it? Does a thousand disapproving voices make something wrong or conversely, does a thousand approving voices make something right? I'm sure you'll agree that it would not, so let's argue the merits of the case.

4. if other advanced countries have 'girl altar boys' why cant we, a third world country trying to be as advanced, be like them? This shows, we are not putting our foot forward but in our mouths
Why do we need to ape what 'other advanced countries' do? First off, answer me this.

What makes a country advanced, in your eyes?

Does that make all their practices superior to ours? That's a form of cultural colonialism, ie everything foreign is good, despite it's merits.

Does the introduction of the practice in the 'advanced countries' produce beneficial results, as in a growth of the practice of the faith, a growth in vocations to the religious life and to the priesthood?

I stand here justifying why the status quo should be kept. Could you explain why the status quo should be changed? Would not the onus be on you?

Andrew said...

Chansey, hi and welcome.

I'd like to ask a few questions:

1. Are you using an example of a new altar girl making mistakes to justify that ALL altar people should only be boys because all girls are going to make mistakes? Stereotyping an entire gender based on the performance of one person is to me counter-intuitive and would be akin to saying that all homosexuals have HIV - they don't.
No, pls see this post for the reasoning. Secondly, what's this about pointing mistakes? Where are you getting your infomation from?

2. If this is indeed a new altar boy/girl/person then you would indeed expect them to be nervous and make mistakes, especially when put under pressure because they are the first to break tradition. Why write an entire blog post on a person's mistakes? Are we not as Christians taught to forgive rather than to judge?
Read the post carefully and not from a 2nd hand source. This was not the point. Everyone makes mistakes.

3. I'm somewhat confused as to why you would choose to include the words "Bollocks" and "Pissed" in what seems to be a blog dedicated to the worship of God. Surely there must be a better way to criticise someone than by swearing.
Wikipedia defines it as follows: "Bollocks" is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning "testicles". The word is often used figuratively in British English, as a noun to mean "nonsense". And that's precisely my meaning. Nonsense.

Secondly, read the definition: Adj. 1. pissed off - aroused to impatience or anger; Correct again.

Thirdly, this blog is dedicated to my musings and I'm not very amused by this at all.


4. "but we need to follow the tradition and teaching of the Church to serve Her and not our own agendas." The tradition of the Catholic Church is mired in a bloody history of crucifiction, crusades, inquisitons, and the repression of science and technology that has been used to save lives. Should we continue a tradition for the sake of tradition, especially if there is reason to believe that the practice is wrong?
That's not logical.

Premise1: Worship of God is a tradition of the Church.

Premise2: "The tradition of the Catholic Church is mired in a bloody history of crucifiction, crusades, inquisitons, and the repression of science and technology that has been used to save lives." We should abandon the traditions of said Church.

Conclusion? We should abandon the worship of God.

Does that make sense?

Please also read up on your facts. Do you know why you are not studying medicine in Arabic? It's because the Crusades and battles like Lepanto prevented the Islamic conquest of Europe. It was the Moslems who came pouring out of Arabia with fire and sword to subjugate the Western Christian world. And in places where they did succeed, such as Christian Eqypt and North Africa and Turkey and Syria, what happened? Would you have preferred that Europe fell and you were in a Muslim country studying medicine there?

Let's be historically aware and not cry 'Crusades!" whenever we disagree with any of the teachings of the Church.

chansey said...

Hello again Andrew,

I’d like to say first of all that I’m not trying to pick a fight as people often do, but instead I genuinely believe in what I’m saying, as much as I’m sure you yourself do.

You’re right about points 1 and 2, I assumed somehow that you were criticising the altar girl for making mistakes. My apologies as it appears that this is not the case, and thank you for clarifying.

However, I still maintain my position in points 3 and 4.

Concerning point 3:
I’m quite aware of the meaning of these words, and I am a bit taken aback by how annoyed you seem to be at either the situation of having a girl serving as an altar boy, or that she made a mistake (I assume this from your sentence “And then she, in total disregard for everything I had taught about the Real Presence and the Blessed Sacrament and after showing the videos from His Eminence Cardinal Arinze, received standing, in the hand”). In either case, I’m certain we can find a slightly more civilised way of making our points known.

Concerning point 4:
Firstly I am certain the Catholic Church has abandoned some of its more unsavoury traditions (such as the crucifixion of those it deemed heretics including the Grand Master of the Order of The Knights Templar) without adversely affecting the worship of God. What I mean to extrapolate is that tradition may not at all be related to God, and may even hinder our search for Him. I also understand (do correct me if I am wrong) is that Judaism is regarded as an outmoded belief because the Jews at the time were so mired in tradition that it prevented them from truly worshipping God, to the point that the worship of God had to be ‘restarted’ in the form of Christianity.

Secondly I actually would not mind learning Medicine in Arabic, because I do intend to go where doctors are needed the most – and certainly the Middle East and Africa need many more doctors than the West does. Islam has also made great contributions to medical science, without which medicine may still have remained in the dark ages (eg Al-Razi, Avicenna, etc). I also believe Muslims worship the same God we do, but in a different way – the Quran acknowledges that Jews and Christians worship the same God as Muslims do, and we must consider the possibility that this is correct and that Islam is the ‘restarted’ version of Christianity in the same way that the latter is the ‘restarted’ version of Judaism. Therefore, it may not be the Muslims who are wrong, but instead us. I should like to state that this is merely a possibility that I am considering, and that I am not encouraging anyone to join a religion that they do not want to, nor am I trying dissuade anyone from worshipping God in whichever way they choose.

With regards to history, I should like to point out the injustices that occurred under the Crusades (which I consider to be un-Christian in the first place) for example the persecution of Jews in France and Germany, the wiping out of almost all of Jerusalem’s population (men, women and children of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths) during the first crusade, and the sacking of Istanbul (at the time, Constantinople) during the fourth crusade. The Catholic Church of today is very fortunately not the same one as that of the Middle Ages, but nonetheless the Popes at the time sanctioned, organised, and funded the Crusades that would lead to the deaths of tens of thousands, Christians, Muslims and Jews alike. My point remains however that the ‘tradition’ of waging war against Christianity’s enemies has been shown to be counter to the purpose of the Church, and instead has brought down war and suffering to thousands of frequently innocent people.

But returning to my question in point 4, I would like to know what your reply is to the maintenance of traditions within the Church that may indeed not benefit Christians. My apologies for the lengthy post.

Andrew said...

Chansey,

As Josleyn's friend who's trying be impartial, I hope you can also inform her that her statements such as myself being "big ego-ed", thinking that I'm "holier than the Pope", portraying a "Male Only image", "implying heavily that every single mistake on the altar is to be severely punished" is not true and not fair. And if you know her sister Jesica, then perhaps you can also tell her it's not nice to send sms'es to people bad mouthing me behind my back.

As I've explained in detail in another post and in comments I posted in reply on her blog, I do not insist any of the above nor on "protecting [my] self-implied masculinity of the church". That's not a fair statement of what I think and I believe a retraction is in order.

Her specific purpose in publishing her post is "tembak-ing this fella". So the tenor of her post is not surprising. But if you're surpised at my tone of annoyance, what do you think of this?

"im not judging you.
I wont judge you. you have prepared texts and even have the freaking bible to return the pointing fingers.

you fucked* my sister. you have everyone fucking* my sister.
That's the problem.

*fucked = wronged; for the lack of a 'strong' word."
See the source of this here, on her blog.

I hope, since you meet up with her for dinner and all, that you'd be able to advise her that such language accomplishes nothing.

Since you said "I'm certain we can find a slightly more civilised way of making our points known.", I hope you'll convey the same message to your friend Josleyn.

I know that there's no point in discussing this matter further with Josleyn as her statements show that she's not really interested in the faith but in her beliefs she made up and the ones she chooses and picks in a self assembled religion.

For example, in response to my reasoning, which you've chosen to interact with, she says "well, yabba dabba do to you."

She brought up the Bible by saying things like "I believe the church had always been refered to as a bride (female counterpart of a wedded couple) and the term used was 'She' and 'Her'." But when I explained the context of the verses she responded with a:
"one truly know wad God's up to n who He really is. Bible-schimible."

But then, contradicting her "no one knows" she asserts that "My image of God might not be about fiery-avenging angels nor prostration before altars and figurines and i'm not going to change that because other scholarly people say so." How does she know that her image is correct then if no one knows? You see the irony?

That's why with the cafeteria religion, meaning one picks and chooses what one wants to believe and assembles their own religion, there's no point in arguing really. But I wish she were honest enough to come out to her parish and priest and family and say "I don't accept what the Church teaches and believes. I have my own religion and part of my beliefs coincide with what the Church teaches." That would be honest.

No one is forcing her to be a member of the Catholic Church, but honesty demands that when one voluntarily professes the Catholic Faith and recites the Creed every Sunday Mass without blinking, then one is obliged to believe the Faith in totality. Correct?

Now, to address your points. There are 3 issues but first, the background. Jessica was my student at Sunday school and Confirmation class last year. I have taught her before. Furthermore, just before she served, I had a class for the 3 prospective girl altar boys in which I went through a lot of material and data in great detail, showing photos and videos and explanations galore. BUT my main emphasis, the part on which I spent a majority of my class and my time repeatedly stressing was on this point, on Communion and the proper method of reception. This is true for all altar boys as well. Understand my annoyance about her mistake since so much teaching went into it?

Now, about the prospect of having girl altar boys. Yes, I am annoyed. Very annoyed, as I explained in my class. First, this practice violates the proper understanding of ministry and roles in the Church. It's a complete innovation born out of disobedience of the Dutch bishops. I know you support gay marriage. But the institution of marriage, if undermined, would undermine culture and the underpinnings of society. Gay marriage does not procreate. With the low birth rates in Europe a greying and aging society where gay marriage is prevalent is suicide, which is exactly what is happening. The small number of young now pays for the retirement of the old, as in Japan. A society in which the birth rate exceeds the death rate dies off. So, before I digress, the rebellious Dutch bishops introduced this as a means of having women priestesses and bishopesess, or blurring gender roles, etc. This is the purpose of the introduction. And this blurring has happened. And so I've informed them.

No one is forced to be Catholic or to remain Catholic, but if one voluntarily joins the Church, it means adhering to the traditions of said Church and the disciplines associated with it. Or one can leave. You are not bound to our beliefs because you're not Catholic, but if you were, you'd be.

Furthermore, to have girl altar boys, the local bishop needs to give his approval. He has not, so this is an illegal act, which I have duly informed them.

Thirdly, I'm annoyed because, as I've duly informed them, this illegal practice will be stopped once word gets out. And it has been. But I've informed them to be mad at the right person, the one using them as pawns in a political game, knowing this would happen, rather than the one warning them against it. And, as I expected, their anger is directed towards those in the right and those doing the warning rather than the one who is wrong and using them in a political game. Am I annoyed? Yes.

And this is not about being chauvinist but holding on to our beliefs. Commenters Rita, Mary and other women I know oppose this innovation as well.

Point 4 will have to be addressed in detail in another post.

chansey said...

I await your response regarding point 4, and if I do end up writing a post about my opinions on religion you shall be one of the first to know.

BTW, I've relayed your message concerning language to Jocelyn. Unfortunately though I doubt the odds are with me on this one.

Anonymous said...

dear andrew, yeah u taught us me during sunday school but you didnt teach me bout kneeling down or not receiving it with our hands, i dont remember you teaching us that, n you say the boys freeked out when i knell beside them? i wanted to knell at the far right but ur "student" ask me to knell on his left n so i did.
in the morning my younger sis asked you izit wrong to serve? you answered no its not wrong, if you had answered yes n its againts the rule ,i would back off because its a rule, nobody came up to me and said i was doin something wrong, people came up to me n say well done, when are you serving again? why not serve in the other masses? you as my teacher should tell me wats right and wats wrong, you show me those pictures n videos for what? i only understood the part tat reciving it on hand n wearing the vail n not wearing to sexy, you say u were pissed because i recive it with my hand? are you sure you saw the correct person coz i kneld down n recieve it with my mouth, thats the part i dont understand why you say that i recive with my hand and i got so pissed alright, and i didnt print this blog out n show it to father aso, maybe i was in a midst of doin so but one of your student stoped me. Anyway i might come back to serve or i might not but for sure ther will be other girls who wants to serve and if father ask you to teach them plz tell them straight to the point tat its againts the "rule"

the "girl alter boy"

Andrew said...

>>has gone ahead and foisted this imported foreign Western practice on our poor unsuspecting parish

Isn't black cassock an imported and foreign western practice too? Isn't our Mass of the Roman rites also a foreign and western practice? Hasn't JPII told the Church in Asia to be more asian? Doesn't the prefect for divine worship constantly state on such trivial matters: it is preferred this way but with the approval of the diocesan bishop and parish priest you can do this is way?

Andrew said...

The black cassock, like the Roman Rites we have inherited together with the belief in the Divinity of Christ and the Gospel from those who preached the Good News to our ancestors. The black cassock is common to all apostolic Christian traditions, be they Orthodox, Coptic, Syriac, Assyrian, etc. It can therefore be considered an apostolic tradition. There is meaning in the black. And as Latin Catholics, the Roman Rite is part of our heritage, our Tradition. As Latin Catholics, we are all Roman, according to the Holy Pontiff.

Similarly the reservation of ministry to males is an Apostolic Tradition as well, common to all the Apostolic Christian traditions both East and West.

But this girl altar boys thing is something totally new, invented by by the rebellious Dutch in the 60's as a means to advance the cause of womens ordination, a Dutch innovation which was imported here. This was foisted on us. And the consequence of this innovation, together with a dilution of the faith can be seen in the devastated Dutch Church, the closed buildings, the empty pews.

What good has come of it?

He states, first of all, that he thinks it's a mistake. He also states the language in which this indult was given clearly states the preference of the Church, which expressed the mind of the Church. With this sentire cum ecclesia which is being trumpeted, why do we not think with the mind of the Church?

Next, as I've stated, the Bishop has not given his approval, so this is totally illegitimate.

Andrew said...

Chansey, ok, in reply to the points you raised:

Concerning point 4:
Firstly I am certain the Catholic Church has abandoned some of its more unsavoury traditions (such as the crucifixion of those it deemed heretics including the Grand Master of the Order of The Knights Templar) without adversely affecting the worship of God.
Firstly, a historical error. Jacques de Molay was not crucified, he was burned. Secondly, as all historians agree, unless you read Leigh and Baigent who write fiction, the dissolution of the Knights Templar was a monetary and political affair rather than a religious one. You can read it at the Wikipedia site as well. In short, it was King Phillip of France who, having owed them lots of money, decided to try them for heresy and pressured the Pope into dissolving the Order under threat of war. We have to get our historical facts straight.

Secondly, crucifixion is not a tradition of the Church and neither is burning at the stake. The Church did not arrogate to itself the power to take life for reasons of heresy. It was always the state which did that because heresy upset the civil order as well and the state found it much more convenient to just simply execute the heretics by burning, etc to make them an example. The harshest penalty the Church deals out is excommunication. This is a strong warning from the Church that a person has cut himself off from the Communion of the Church and is therefore barred from the Sacraments. It's a penalty designed to bring the wayward back to the Church. Unfortunately it is regrettably getting rarer, despite the increase in heresy and all forms of dogmatic deviation leading the deviants to believe that they are actually on the right path.

Thirdly, in Catholic thought, big 'T' Tradition means the teachings of the Church which were passed down by word of mouth or by practice that pertains to faith and morals and the practice of said faith and morals. Small 't' traditions means customs, some universal, some local, and some may even pertain to the way the faith is expressed in a certain locale but does not influence the tenets or understanding of said faith. Customs can change but Tradition cannot. This distinguishes Catholics from Protestants who believe in the Bible Alone or Tradition handed down by letter only.

Big 'T' Tradition cannot be changed or abandoned and Tradition includes a belief in God as Trinity, the full Deity of the Son, marriage between male and female, a male priesthood which acts in persona Christi, the Real Presence, etc.


What I mean to extrapolate is that tradition may not at all be related to God, and may even hinder our search for Him.
Christianity is a revealed religion with claims of objective truth, meaning it's not some belief some people came up with that can be further refined to perfection. Instead, Christianity's self understanding is that it's teachings are revealed by God and are therefore immutable. Our understanding of those teachings may change, but the gist may not. In all humility, the Church receives and practices those teaches, but does not arrogate to Herself the power to make it up as She goes along or modify a received Apostolic teaching. Her duty is to hand down the Faith She has received from Christ Her Head and Spouse.

So, as Catholics we believe that big 'T' Tradition comes from Christ and the Apostles and are matters of faith which comes from God. Since they come from God, adherence to these Traditions actually help in getting to know God better and to serve Him better by knowing His will as taught by the Church He founded.


I also understand (do correct me if I am wrong) is that Judaism is regarded as an outmoded belief because the Jews at the time were so mired in tradition that it prevented them from truly worshipping God, to the point that the worship of God had to be 'restarted' in the form of Christianity.
I'm sorry, but your belief is incorrect. Judaism teaches that from the beginning, God promised a Saviour, all the way in Genesis 3:15. Through the Prophets, God clarified this promise with many specific requirements which the Saviour, the Messiah or Anointed One will fulfil and things which He will do that He may indeed be recognized as the One sent by God. The time and place of His coming was foretold as well. Christianity believes that Jesus was the promised Saviour who fulfilled all these things, from his place of birth (in Bethlehem which even Herod's Jewish priests knew from the prophecy. Bethlehem means House of Bread btw and Jesus claims to be the Bread of Life and the Bread from Heaven), manner of birth (Isaiah's a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son), ministry (eg giving sight to the blind, giving the good news to the poor etc) and death and ultimately resurrection.

Judaism disagrees that Jesus is the one foretold and looks for another Saviour. Christians think the Jews wrong.

Christianity is not a re-start of Judaism but rather a fulfillment of Judaism and the promise of God to the Prophets.


Secondly I actually would not mind learning Medicine in Arabic, because I do intend to go where doctors are needed the most – and certainly the Middle East and Africa need many more doctors than the West does.
That's good for you.

Islam has also made great contributions to medical science, without which medicine may still have remained in the dark ages (eg Al-Razi, Avicenna, etc).
May I ask then why if the Muslims has such great contributions of medicine, they were mired in ignorance and all their medical discoveries led to naught? Only when these discoveries came to the Christian West was it's full potential realized.

They might have been geniuses, but were not recognized during their time and their learning, because of the cultural and religious context they found themselves in, amounted to nothing.

In fact, because of our indoctrination against the Catholic Church and the aggrandizement of so-called Muslim achievements, we forget that the Dark Ages were caused by the collapse of Catholic civilization and the fall of Rome to the barbarians. The barbarians caused the Dark Ages, not the Catholic Church and most certainly not Her traditions.

It was Catholic monasteries and monks who preserved the knowledge of the ancients, preserved learning and culture. The Church also established universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and the Sorbonne and actively promoted learning and the sciences. Copernicus, Mendel and scientists of many disciplines were Catholic clerics. The Church, because of it's tradition and liturgical year adjusted the Julian calendar and mandated the Gregorian while the noble and advanced Muslims still use the lunar calendar which drifts by months.

Check out who came up with the theory of the Big Bang when most scientists believed in the steady state theory of the Universe which conveniently does not have a moment of creation.


I also believe Muslims worship the same God we do, but in a different way – the Koran acknowledges that Jews and Christians worship the same God as Muslims do,
Nope, I disagree with you and I do not think this is true. Let's do basic logic.

Muslims believe in a god who specifically states that he has no child and is most certainly NOT the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians, on the other hand, know of no other God except He who is the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Either the Muslims are right or the Christians are (or both are wrong) as they hold 2 mutually exclusive understandings of God and both cannot be right at the same time. Yes?

Though we use the same word to describe something, it does not mean that the same object or subject is meant. So, I posit that the Muslim god is in fact not the Christian God.

A deeper treatment of this can be found in my blog post
here.

http://andrew4jc.blogspot.com/2007/04/there-is-only-one-god-and-jesus-is-his.html

and we must consider the possibility that this is correct and that Islam is the 'restarted' version of Christianity in the same way that the latter is the 'restarted' version of Judaism.
As mentioned in the Judaism section, this is not true.

If one accepts the truth of the Muslim position, eg Allah who has no kids and who declares that he is most certainly NOT the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ is, in fact god, then we are Muslim.

If one rejects this and believes that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is in fact the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, then one is a Christian. There's no possibility at all that a Christian can accept the Muslim position to be true.

Neither can a Christian accept the current Jewish thinking that Jesus was not the promised Messiah. If one believes this and simultaneously accept the God of the Old Testament, the roll out the scissors cos there's some snipping to do because that person is an adherent of Judaism.



Therefore, it may not be the Muslims who are wrong, but instead us. I should like to state that this is merely a possibility that I am considering, and that I am not encouraging anyone to join a religion that they do not want to, nor am I trying dissuade anyone from worshipping God in whichever way they choose.
For the reasons stated above, those who adhere to the Christian faith cannot even consider this a possibility.

As for the worship of God, Catholic Christians believe that the way in which we are worshipping now is the way God desires us to worship Him and that the Mass, the un-bloody re-presentation of the Sacrice of Christ on Calvary beginning from the Last Supper is the fulfillment of the Passover, the Sacrifice of Abraham our Father in Faith and the culmination of the sacrifice of the Bread and Wine offered by the Priest Melchizedek.

Basically, it's not something we just made up.


With regards to history, I should like to point out the injustices that occurred under the Crusades (which I consider to be un-Christian in the first place) for example
The Crusaders fought Muslims in Egypt and the Holy Land. Where, may I ask you, did the Muslims in Egypt and the Holy Land come from? Aren't the Muslim invaders the aggressor?

They are invaders who came pouring out of Arabia, sword in one hand and Koran in the other subjugating and conquering and spreading their newly minted religion at sword point.

Great historic Christian cities at the heart of Christendom such as Alexandria, the 2nd See of the Church, Antioch, the 3rd See and Jerusalem itself were now subjugated under the turban of the Sultan. Places where Jesus walked and the Apostles preached and the martyrs gave up their lives were now under the sword of Islam.

When they closed the Holy Places to the Christian pilgrims, the local Christians, oppressed, not allowed to build new Churches, paying the jizya and humiliated appealed to their brothers and sisters in Christ to come to their aid. Constantinople, under the Eastern Orthodox Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, worried about the advances of the Turks, who had reached as far west as Nicaea, asked for Western help in the defence of the great city. And so, after many appeals, the Pope asked the Kings in the West to leave behind their comforts and kingdoms, to tax their people heavily (resulting in rebellion), to lead their armies (leaving their countries undefended from the barbarians and other assorted vandals) to bleed and die in a foreign land. The same, to a lesser degree, was true for the many nobles who went. Why? For the defence of the Faith and of the Holy Places, including the Holy Sepulchre.

Point out the injustices committed by the Muslim side as well while you're at it. And the common response? These things happen in war. Does this disprove Islam?

We need to be fair.

More on the other points soon. Lack of time now.

big benny said...

i notice you ignored my earlier comment.
may i just add, that whatever your gender is that you tourself have acted like a big girl altar boy in your over-reaction to this issue.

chansey said...

Thanks for your reply, I'll respond once my exams are over in a few days. In the meantime I've posted my blogsite here.

I've challenged a certain anonymous person who's been appearing on Jocelyn's blogsite to a discussion, and I'm uncertain if they got her page from your site but if they are then this is an open invitation to discuss the issue, on the condition that said person at least provides a user identity so I can tell who's who. Thanks.

http://chanseylim.blogspot.com/

chansey said...

Hello again Andrew. Apologies for not conversing with you sooner, but my life has been going through some major rethinking recently. I have written a recent post whichh you may be interested in, though it does not directly adress what we have discussed here.

chansey said...

And here is the post. I welcome your opinion.
http://chanseylim.blogspot.com/2009/03/agnosticism-now.html

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