POST VATICAN II
"The traditional liturgical forms of the Church prohibit women (young
girls, married, religious) from serving* the priest at the altar, even in
women's chapels, houses, convents, schools and institutions. In accordance
with the rules governing this matter, women may (a) Proclaim the scripture
readings, with the exception of the Gospel, (b) Offer the intentions for
the Prayer of the Faithful, (c) Lead the congregation's singing, play the
organ or other approved instruments, (d) Give explanatory comments to help
people understand the services and (e) Fulfill other services, as ushers
and collecting offerings" (LITURGIAE INSTAURATIONED, 9/5/70).
*This refers to acting as an acolyte (altar girl), not to serving
communion to the people.
In spite of these prohibitions, many progressive priests have allowed
women to function as not officially allowed.
From APOSTOLIC LETTER MULIERIS DIGNITATEM, John Paul II, This letter, `On
the Dignity and Vocation of Women' defines motherhood and virginity as the
major vocations of women.
From ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/3/90. "A panel of U.S. Catholic bishops, in the
final draft of a pastoral letter on women distributed Monday, said that men
unable to deal with women as equals should not be considered fit for the
priesthood. But the committee's proposed declaration reiterated the church
ban on female priests.
"The admission of women in all ministries not requiring ordination was
also endorsed by the committee of six bishops.
"Excluding women as lectors or altar servers seems `to contradict our
mandate that women be more visibly involved in the life of our church,' the
"The panel urged that the Vatican soon study whether women deacons may
be ordained and expressed hope that women will not leave Catholicism
because of the church's consistent practice of an all-male priesthood.
"The 99-page document praises `Christian feminists,' women who are
faithful to church teachings yet promote the staus of women as equal with
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