Expert Answer Forum

Altar BOYS and Vocations QUESTION from Terry Boyle June 6, 2000 I would like to know the names of two or three diocese in the USA with the largest number of boys / young men dicerning vocations to the priesthood. I am curious if they have altar girls, and if there is a statistical information suggesting having altar boys exclusively serving at Mass increases the number of men in seminaries. Any ideas? Thank you.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on July 5, 2000 Dear Mr. Boyle:
I am not aware of any specific statistics being kept or research on the relationship of vocations to the priesthood and the presence of altar girls. That would be an interesting study.
I do know that, in general, those diocese that are orthodox and loyal to the Pope and Magisterium, who have the least amount of liberal politics tolerated by its bishop, have vocations coming out of their ears.
There are several diocese that come to mind: Lincoln, Neb; Omaha, Neb; Peoria, Ill; and there is one in the Virginia area I think, I can't remember which one that has actually barred altar girls.
There is without question a connection between diocese whose bishops refuse to get entangled in liberal politics and who insist upon orthodoxy and loyalty and the prevalence of vocations.
Although there might be exceptions, one might say, that if your diocese has problems with vocations, then your bishop isn't doing his job as a loyal and obedient servant of the Church.
I might add that in reality there is NOT a shortage of vocations -- that is, there are not a shortage of men wanting to be priests. The contrived shortage is caused by the lack of leadership of bishops and vocations directors who turn away good men because they are too orthodox.
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