Cardinal Burke: Women’s Libber?

[Our daughters’ daughters will adore us, and will sing in grateful chorus: Well done, Cardinal Burke!]

Kevin Symonds at Catholic Stand jumps in on the controversy surrounding Cardinal Burke’s interview with the New Emangelization project (I never tire of typing that!). Specifically, Symonds defends Burke’s insistence that “the introduction of girl servers also led many boys to abandon altar service.”

But check out the angle Symonds takes: girl altar servers are pawns to a regime of political correctness, and Cardinal Burke is merely trying to liberate them from that role. Women and girls should be thanking Burke, he says, for fighting for their freedom!

I kid you not!

Check it out:

This hostility is most surprising because it is possible to argue that, in a way, and despite his “conservative” credentials, Burke just might be closer to liberalism on this point than one could see at first glance. Given the history outlined above, women have been used by men as tools for political correctness, and Burke’s comments consider them “freed” from this yoke. Females are no longer victims that are oppressed by the regime set for them by the domination of the male patriarchy.Why are women not singing this man’s praises?

In conclusion, despite his apparent solidarity with the plight of women, Cardinal Burke stands condemned in many of their eyes. There are many mysteries of history. This is just one of them.

That, my friends, is one of the funniest passages I’ve read in a long time.


[Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!]


By the way, I’ve written before that I never would have become an acolyte in my Episcopal church if the church hadn’t decided to allow girls to serve the year I was eligible. At that age, if you wanted to get me to do something, your best strategy was telling me that a pretty girl would be there.

So Burke’s claim that “young boys don’t want to do things with girls” made my eyes pop out of my head. Maybe it boils down to age differences: in my church, acolytes were only eligible to serve after confirmation, which meant about age thirteen. Some quick research suggests to me that maybe Catholic churches allow altar boys to serve after first communion. Is that the norm?

Also by the way, that decision at my church was not without controversy. I went to a very conservative, traditional Episcopalian church (yes, they exist), and the congregation was deeply divided over girl acolytes. But I remember one day after a service, listening to two older, very conservative ladies, members of the altar guild, talking about the change. “At first I was against it,” said one, “but my mind has changed. The girls are just so graceful.”

Of course, any creature on earth is graceful compared to a thirteen-year-old boy, but the exchange stuck with me because of the other meaning of “graceful.” After all, what are we supposed to be getting in church?

2 thoughts on “Cardinal Burke: Women’s Libber?

  1. Hello, I am Kevin Symonds–the self-same whose article you have written about above.

    Sir, it seems that you have misunderstood my article. Would you allow me here to clarify?

    • Hi, Kevin. Thanks for visiting! Of course you’re welcome to comment here, and to try to clarify your thinking. Your article was pretty straightforward, though, and doubt I misunderstood it.

      Glad you wrote,

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