I know I'm a little bit late to the party considering he's in second grade, but a couple months ago, I finally enrolled my son in CCD classes at our church. I won't go into the full reasoning behind why I waited so long and/or why I decided now was the right time for him to have religious education in his life -- but I'm more than happy I finally took the plunge. And so is he.
He loves going to class each week. He loves doing his homework and learning about the Catholic faith. And he was absolutely beaming when he took part in the nativity play at Christmas mass this year.
My little guy loves to be right in the center of things, which is why I'm totally anticipating him wanting to be an altar boy when the opportunity arises.
And I know this is such a touchy subject, what with all of the stories that have come out about sexual abuse in the Catholic church. It's been so prevalent, in fact, that the UN panel formed recommendations for the Vatican on how to address child's rights.
But I sat down and thought about it for a bit, and I came to the conclusion that at this point, things that have happened in the church really don't worry me as far as allowing my son to serve as an altar boy goes. So yes -- I plan on letting him do it if that's something he chooses.
Here's the thing -- I love our church. I adore the priest and trust him 100 percent and can't even conceive of him being anything but honorable, devoted to the parish, and genuine. Although, I'm sure many parents whose children wound up as victims of abuse felt the exact same way -- so don't misunderstand my words or think I'm suggesting that they let their sons go with priests they did not trust.
But we can't let the actions of those who wound up being abusers make us assume all priests have bad intentions with our children. What kind of example would I be setting for my son if I taught him to fear everyone because others did not turn out to be decent human beings? I want him to know when to recognize scary situations if and when he's ever presented with them -- but I also don't want him being leery of every adult he comes into contact with. And I also want him to give people the benefit of the doubt and not judge them based on the actions of others.
That being said, if he does become an altar boy and finds himself in any sort of scenario that makes him uncomfortable -- I would hope that he won't be afraid to come to me. But honestly, the same goes for any situation he encounters in the future -- regardless of whether or not it happens in a church. There are sick, evil people everywhere, you know.
Would you let your son be an altar boy? Why or why not?
Image via Jim, the Photographer/Flickr