Of the 365 men surveyed this year, a whopping 80 percent had been altar boys during their formative years. In comparison, only 52 percent of ordinands had been lectors, less than a third had been youth ministers and only 15 percent had ever attended a World Youth Day or a Steubenville Youth Conference.By weakening interest among boys to serve, it weakened interest in vocations. The decision to admit female altar servers is an example of what Russell Kirk called "defecated rationality." The bishops didn't see an obvious and compelling reason to keep them excluded, so it knee-jerk admitted them, based on the rationale that both genders should be treated equally. It was rational, no doubt, but it was also ham-handed thinking that failed to take into subtleties. It was also arrogant. Only a proud man thinks that, if his mighty mind can't see a reason, then there is no reason.
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