Feb 102014

Roto Reuters – Today the little known federal agency the United States Fisheaters and Worshiplife Service (FWS) acted in accordance with section Sec.3.6, Sec.4.a of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Secretary Mortain announced that male altar servers would now be protected by the ESA. The Secretary said “While sightings of male altar servers continue to be reported that in many parishes they are being overwhelmed by populations of female altar servers.”

The FWS has previously setup safe harbor agreements in some areas. This policy’s main purpose is to promote voluntary management for listed species on non-Federal property while giving assurances to participating diocese that no additional future regulatory restrictions will be imposed. The agreements benefit endangered and threatened species. The safe harbor agreement with Bishop Bruskewitz the previous bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln have been fruitful where male altar servers were in their native habitat and protected from competing populations.

Secretary Mortain noted the previous safe harbor agreements, but said “While there are thriving male altar server populations in some parishes or even some diocese it is also evident that the species is threatened in the large majority of parishes. We must act now so that future generations will not be deprived of this species and the related endangered species the parish priest.”

News of the FWS decision caused an outcry from many groups within an outside the government. The common thread of these complaints is that male altar servers should just be allowed to die out naturally and replaced. A spokesperson for Greenpax protested “Where will this end? If we start to protest such naturally declining populations will we then also have to protect Catholic men because of their declining populations at Mass compared to Catholic women?”

historic picture of altar servers

Historic picture showing a time when male altar servers were not endangered and could be found in any parish.


Photo credit: Gora Gray via photopin cc

  6 Responses to “FWS assigns endangered species protection to male altar servers”

  1. What I’ve seen recently are old women taking on the role of “alter boys” even when boys are at Mass. I told my wife that there are to be NONE of these yentas doing this at my funeral!!

  2. I am glad you brought this up, as I have been wondering what to do. My rather pretty blond daughter was considering being an altar server, as she was invited by a slightly older boy ( which would be the other reason to say no). I know it is not forbidden, but I am not very keen, and lapsing into the feminine genius and the dignity of women sounds daft to a ten year old. Really I am considering having none of my children, including the boys, serve and just lumping it into ‘things we don’t do’.

  3. My parish is all-boy-servers. We have about 30-40 each year, with 12-14 serving at the 11am Solemn Mass. It helps with vocations. In the last 8 years we’ve had 3 ordinations, with one more this summer or next.

  4. […] – Brad Miner, TCT The Rights of Children: Biology Matters – Melissa Moschella, Pub Disc FWS Assigns Endangered Species Protection to Male Altar Servers – […]

  5. Well, the girls are certainly motivated to out-compete the boys in an environment where wearing sequined sandals is noticed by the whole congregation… perhaps we just have to be true to our Darwinian selves and let natural selection take its course.

  6. We have four children each 2-3 years apart, two older girls and two younger boys. We never had the girls act as altar servers, the boys we signed up. I realize that in our Diocese, girls are allowed to be altar servers, however as their father (4) I had and still have concerns about girl altar servers. Since we are all (not ordained) but priests, prophets and kings, I did not allow it. I will have to stand before God someday and account for everything, including this. I believe my reasons for letting only the boys are sound:

    1.) Being an altar server is an obvious vocational introduction for a boy, and a potential confusion for a girl.
    2.) Boys, on their own, often refuse to do things they regard as girl stuff. If girls become predominate altar servers, the boys will be reluctant or refuse to do it.
    3.) I have observed unhealthy competition between boys and girls, at least encouraged by adults, a man telling his niece that “she is a better altar server than any of the boys”..
    4.) I feel it does grate on the so called progressive idea that women may someday be priests. They can’t obviously, but having girl altar servers if not attempting to promote that idea, seems to make the thought possible, or seems to perpetuate the idea that this is still an open question, of which it is not.

    A concern I had in our not letting our girls be altar servers was that they would be taken back by that, especially when they have seen, do see, other girls as altar servers. They haven’t been taken back at all, it’s just as it is when a man may be a ordained priest.

    I love Kimberly Hann’s joke about the girl and the boy playing Pirates. The boy says “I want to be the Captain”, the girls says “I want to be the Captain”… The boy says “No, I want to be the Captain”, the girl says ok “you can be the Captain… and I will be the Mother of the Captain”.

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