By Da Lin
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Bay Area church is now under fire over a
controversial new policy saying only boys can be altar servers.
The new practice is making waves at the century old church Star of
the Sea. Since the ’70s, they’ve used altar girls during masses.
The well-known Richmond District church also has a school serving
about 230 kids. When the new priest banned girls from being altar
servers, it generated outrage among parents and parishioners alike. The
priest admits some parishioners even left the church.
“It’s disturbing,” said churchgoer Connie Porciuncula.
Star of the Sea School parent Tara Widmer agrees. “They’re definitely taking a step in the wrong direction,” she said.
Father Joseph Illo took over five months ago and decided to train
only boys to be altar servers.
He said he has no choice but to exclude
girls because the future of the church is at stake.
“The specifics of serving at the altar is a priestly function,” Illo said. “And the Catholic church does not ordain women...” (continued)