A Catholic magazine in Italy called 'Jesus' has reported that the Vatican is considering moves to discourage certain practices during mass.
These practices include the participation of altar girls, dancing and clapping in church. According to the magazine, the proposals are contained in a draft of a document due to be published in the next few months.
Reporter Bethan Kilfoil speaks to some altar girls in Macroom, who enjoy playing a part in the life of their church.
I think it'd be very wrong if girls didn't get the opportunity to serve because it's great being up near the altar...
I think that it's unfair to stop the girls serving because actually between the boys and the girls in Macroom, the girls serve a lot more.
Simon Rowe, Editor of the Irish Catholic believes that the proposals will apply more in a cultural context to Africa than Europe.
Many believe that the move is an indication of a conservative trend in the church. A spokesman for the Irish bishops said that they couldn't comment on speculation about a draft document they had not yet seen.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 September 2003. The reporter is Bethan Kilfoil.