Roman published a post in the not too distant past in which he posted a couple of quotes I provided him with from the Popes on the matter of female altar severs. In case you are one of those people who wonder what the deal is I can assure you it does not proceed from a biased "sexism." The question is: provided they are all devout and display a sense of decorum what difference does it make if the servers are male or female?
From the outset one must admit as a matter of principle that whether you are male or female can certainly make a differnce in some situations. Otherwise we could have priestesses or sodomite marriage (to choose some obvious cases). It can't be dismissed a priori with a PC wave of the hand. So does it make a difference in the matter of altar service? We've already seen what Gelasius, Benedict XIV and Innocent IV have to say (explicitly in written documents) on that. But what is rationale behind it all?
Here is a well worthwhile link that will explain the matter in much more detail:
I think there are some main points that need summarizing or adding to:
1. The importance of place. In the old liturgy when there was no server for the responses a woman was permitted to perform that function if necessary but from outside the sanctuary.
2. Altar service is in potentiality to priesthood. The potency is not always realized but it is directed towards it nevertheless.
3. Altar servers are a priest's "extra arms and legs." What does it say about the priest's own identity when the servers are female?
The particularly good aspect of the above article is the recognition of the distinction between practical arguments for male only servers and substantial ones. It is often argued (not invalidly) that a strong cohort of altar boys will help lead to an increase in priestly vocations. But as the article notes there is a lack of finality with this argument as it still seems to beg the question somewhat.
One point that I don't think the article addresses (not that it needs to given the substantial arguments it puts forth) is altar girls will lead to an increase in religious vocations (i.e nuns). Even if this were true it would not be sufficient in itself given the jarring theology it involves (i.e what is intrinsic in this matter rather than any extrinsic results). And given the decline in altar boy numbers that always results from the introduction of girls any gain in nuns is off set by a loss in priests. Of course, one only need point to the glaringly obvious fact that we now have more altar girls than ever but declining numbers of nuns !! How's that supposed to w0rk out? In any case, such a result is not in the least surprising given the confusion engendered by altar girls. Altar service is quite simply not in potency to the religious life being a kind of "minor seminary" after all.