Christine Schenk, director of FutureChurch, a national coalition of parish-based Catholics that advocates opening ordination to women and married people, called the move misguided and the program sexist.
"I think to deny a young woman the opportunity, the privilege of serving at the altar is basically to send a message that you're not as good as the boy," she said, adding that the change "damages little girls."
Schenk agrees with Markey that boys and girls should be able to join separate clubs. "But why does it have to be altar servers?" she asked. "There are a number of ways that need could be met. I don't know why we have to build up boys at the expense of girls."
Many others, though give their support to the priest, with both parents and girls welcoming the change. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the beginning of a trend.