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August 19, 1994     The Message
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August 19, 1994

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19, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 n 10 exception was tle Dio- Peoria, Ill., where p John J. Myers said and girls may wear robes, but only certain may wear cassock and and only boys are to as masters of cere- detailed dress code is- zs part of Peoria diocesan July 16, Bishop Myers :the long tradition of altar and a concern for priestly as a basis for the rules. their policy announce- bishops consistently that the tradition serving at the altar not be abandoned with acceptance of female HAUBSTADT ELECTRIC i --ustrial, Licensed, Bonded, Insured ions. Commercial and Residential P.O. Box 405 Haubstadt, IN 47639 1-800-766-2787 Some of the first guidelines published -- identical policies issued last spring in Los Ange- les and several other dioceses in southern California -- said, "Pastors should see that the face of the server ministry re- flects the face of their parish and maintain an appropriate balance as far as male and fe- male servers are concerned." Bishop Dale J. Melczek, apostolic administrator of Gary, Ind., wrote, "While fe- males are eligible to serve at the altar, care must be taken to retain male servers to the degree that at least 50 percent of the roster of servers includes males." "Symbols speak more power- fully than words," he said. "In some countries religion is per- ceived as something that per- tains only to women. We must model at the altar through our roster of lectors, eucharistic ministers and servers that reli- gion and active participation in the liturgy is for men as well as women, boys as well as girls." In Chicago -- where Cardi- nal Joseph L. Bernardin had been the target of a long, pub- lic campaign demanding that he enforce a boys-only rule in all parishes -- three boys and three girls served the cardi- nal's Aug. 7 open-air Mass in Grant Park before about 50,000 Catholics celebrating the 150th anniversary of the archdiocese. Before the issuance of the of- ficial Vatican ruling that church law does not prohibit female altar servers, altar girls were common in many U.S. and Canadian parishes. Pas- tors permitted them in part for pastoral reasons and in part because many pastors, canon lawyers and liturgists had al- ready reached the conclusion, now officially confirmed by Rome, that the law no longer prohibited it. There were altar girls in many parishes in the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., where Bishop Matthew H. Clark had said in 1987 that "all ministry that does not require ordina- tion should be open to all qual- ified persons, regardless of sex." Rochester Auxiliary Bishop Dennis W. Hickey said the Vatican ruling helped settle confusion in parishes but sur- prised a lot of priests and bish- ops because "many of us felt that the Holy Father was op- posed to female servers." In the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., when Msgr. Thomas J. Harrington celebrated the weekly televised Mass July 31, 10-year-old Elizabeth Sullivan of Taunton served at the altar along with her brothers, Jere- miah and William. The first-ever appearance of a female server on the dio- cese's TV Mass provoked no complaints or surprised com- ments. "She just served and her pastor, the Mass cele- brant, didn't comment," said diocesan spokesman John E. Kearns Jr. J The decision on:aPapi i trip to the besieged Sarajevo this Vinko Pulj Pope John Paul II has ex  pressed the desire to make the trip and a papal p or- ganizing team Sunday, AugUStHwy./asper$6 West 21, 1'0094 $0,I00 SlO0 Hourly At between 2:00-7:00 pea must be present towtn Cox0000xtCx/Store" 00}ames " Hamburgers . oft" All Activities Start by 11:00 a.rr00. - said 118 jured. Witnesses said that up to 50,000 Catholics had congregated around Braz* zaville's church of St. Peter Claver, drawn by claims that an abbot would work mira, cles. Catholic killed A 20-year-old Catholic man was brutally murdered in Belfast Aug. 15 by the