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Back to Freqently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
(and Their Gender)
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Q. 1. Has there always been boys and girls as Altar servers?

A. 1. No. It was not until 1994 when the Vatican allowed female Altar servers.

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Q. 2. Is the number of boys and girls evenly distributed in most parishes?

A. 2. As sad as it is to say, in many parishes around the world, there are more girls than boys as Altar servers. In some parishes, you no longer see boys as Altar servers. This function has been taken over by the girls.

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Q. 3. What consequence can this have on the Catholic Church?

A. 3. Over the centuries, the Church has recruited many of its priests from the rank of male Altar servers. With the depletion of this male human resource in many parishes, this has added to the concern regarding the shortage of priests. It is now becoming more and more difficult for the Church to identify potential candidates for the priesthood.

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Q. 4. Is there a solution to this problem?

A. 4. Parishes are encouraged to promote male Altar servers to ensure that there is a balance in gender and an availability of male human resource as potential candidates to the Sacrament of the Holy Orders.

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