Let girls be servers at Mass

Re: “Priest shortage” (Letters to the Editor, April 6).

Lack of vocations to the priesthood has little to do with girls serving at Mass. Every boy and girl interested in serving at the altar should have that opportunity. For boys it might foster the call for a priestly vocation. But for girls it will more than likely strengthen their faith. Girls and moms are often more faithful than boys and men. Moms are often the leading voice in the family when it involves family prayer and Mass attendance. In training boys and girls for altar serving, it is almost always the mom who is the contact person.

Letting girls have the experience serving at Mass can also make them consider a religious vocation. If their involvement with serving at the altar makes them grow in faith, they can be examples for their peers in Mass attendance and lifestyle. When becoming moms, they will have a great influence in getting their children to consider a religious vocation. Yes, it is a positive to let our girls be in the sanctuary and serve at Mass.

Steve De Jong Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Be counted

Re: “Millions of Catholics ‘uncounted’ in U.S.” (News Analysis, April 27).

It is clear more catechesis is needed for those who won’t commit to a parish. Perhaps before we start wooing the large pool of Catholics who now belong to other ecclesial traditions, we should persuade those non-registered Catholics to step up and be counted.

Christopher Riggs, via online comments

Natural goodness

Re: “By the numbers” (This Week, March 30).

In regard to the question “Can a person be moral while not believing in God?” The answer is yes. Many atheists and agnostics are morally decent people. But non-believers can be no more than naturally good. Following two generations of watered-down instruction, few Catholics know that natural goodness is not sufficient unto salvation; salvation requires supernatural goodness. If living morally decent lives is all we have to offer, then no wonder spreading the Faith is so difficult. Our message must be that only the Church offers us the necessary means for attaining our proper end — sharing in God’s supernatural life.

Kenneth A. Cory, China Township, Mich.

Writer is wrong

Re: “Ties explored between Shakespeare, Catholicism” (News Analysis, April 20).

Author Clare Asquith fundamentally misunderstands Renaissance drama and the complex nature of religion in Elizabethan and Jacobean England — in part this misunderstanding is based on her attempt to read Reformation England as a version of the Cold War. Asquith does not teach English literature, nor does Joseph Shaw. Why don’t you ask someone from within the English literature academy what their research has to say about this subject?

Peter Quinn, via online comments

Fatherhood’s decline

Re: “Speaker draws ire” (This Week, April 20).

The information in “In Brief” has me wondering what triggered the outrage about a correlation between the decline of fatherhood and the rise in homosexuality. If all facts are correctly stated I see three possibilities. The first is that I am no longer capable of reading and understanding American English. The second is that human biology has been completely debunked as science. The third is that the outraged folks are reacting through misunderstanding.

The article does not say that Sister Laurel said or implied that homosexuality was the sole reason for the decline of fatherhood. The cohabiting of two individuals of the same sex cannot generate children. Barring adoption — not a relevant consideration in this context — each such barren union contributes, however minimally, to a decline in both fatherhood and motherhood.

Edward A. Rohde, St. Louis
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