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The attacks on the new English Missal are the last expiring gasp of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’

The battle is virtually over – and the good guys won

By on Monday, 14 February 2011

American bishops study a draft of the new translation in 2005 (CNS photo)

American bishops study a draft of the new translation in 2005 (CNS photo)

I didn’t intend, until I saw this week’s print edition of the paper (and incidentally, if you don’t take the paper, either online or in print, you should; this homepage gives no more than a taste of what you could have: it’s worth the price of the paper for the columnists alone – do it in two minutes by clicking on to the little square in the right-hand column) to say any more for a week or two about the new translation of the Mass, which we will all be using in church from September. I have made my views clear enough. I think that the new translation is wholly successful, and that if we had been using it from day one, thousands of people repelled by the banality of the ICEL translation now being superseded would still be regular worshippers rather than lapsed Catholics. I really believe it’s as important as that.

I return to the subject, however, inspired by this week’s splash headline: “Battle begins over new Roman Missal.” Now, I have written enough splash headlines myself to know that their purpose is not (mainly, at least) to convey accurate information, but to capture the attention of potential readers. This one certainly attracted mine: but of course, what one has then to do is to read the story to find out what’s actually going on.
The point is that there has already been a huge battle over this (which the good guys won), a battle which began when Pope John Paul published Liturgiam Authenticam, a document which made it clear that Mass translations in future should be faithful to the Latin text (not theologically and devotionally emasculated like the English translation currently in use) and then appointed a commission called Vox Clara, under the chairmanship of Cardinal the great and good George Pell, to make sure that this happened. A new chairman and secretary of ICEL (the International Committee on English in the Liturgy) were also appointed, and all seemed set fair.

But there had been an almighty struggle, the extent of which became clear when the retiring chairman of ICEL, Bishop Maurice Taylor of Galloway, made an astonishing attack on the new dispensation, in which he complained bitterly that “the members of ICEL’s episcopal board have, in effect, been judged to be irresponsible in the liturgical texts that they have approved over the years. The bishops of the English-speaking conferences, voting by large majorities to approve the vernacular liturgical texts prepared by ICEL, have been similarly judged. And the labours of all those faithful and dedicated priests, religious, and lay people who over the years devoted many hours of their lives to the work of ICEL have been called into question.”
Well, of course, he was dead right. The bishops who approved these awful texts had indeed, thank God, at long last been judged and found wanting. And so had the labours of all those “faithful” (but not to the texts they were translating) priests, religious and lay people who over the years had indeed (sniff, sniff) devoted many hours of their lives to undermining the real meaning of the Novus Ordo, leading many to suppose wrongly that the Church had now as good as protestantised the Mass. (Whatever else you say, the English Mass we have is by the skin of its teeth a valid Catholic rite: it just doesn’t, sometimes, seem much like it.)
The fact is that the “battle” now beginning over the introduction of the new translation is little more, by comparison with the warfare of the past few years, than a final skirmish, virtually over before it has started. It is, quite openly, the last gasp of those whose watchword has been “The Spirit of Vatican II” (“Spirit”, in quotes, rather than reality), the final faltering assault of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture. But these people have already lost. If you doubt that, have a look at the comments below last week’s online story headlined: “Irish priests claim new Mass translation is ‘elitist and sexist’.” In the end there were 124 comments on this story, all except a handful from outraged lay people hotly rejecting the complaints of these Leftist and anti-Roman priests. One of them was from me. My comment simply was: “The instant, massive and almost unanimous hostility these elitist dissidents – who ludicrously complain about the elitism of the new translation – have aroused (see below), from the people in the pews who have suffered at their hands for 30 years, says it all. What a massive own goal their ‘urgent plea’ has turned out to be.” Another of those who responded simply but eloquently asked: “Why can’t these priests do what Rome wants, we did not have these problems in the past… it’s getting like they used to say about the Anglicans and probably still do, a Pope in every pulpit.” Well, indeed; but the good news is that the tide has now turned: these dissident priests are ageing and on the way out. If we keep our nerve, we are virtually there: we shall overcome.

  • Josephsoleary

    I see you have given up defending the aesthetic qualities of the new translation’s style.

  • Josephsoleary

    consubstantial and homoousion are words whose meaning has never been satisfactorily clarified (ask the Fathers) and can easily be seen as dangerously proximate to heresy (the very reason there was such a strong reaction against them for decades after Nicaea — not only from Arians).

  • Josephsoleary

    Yes but did not the Pope condemn as a heresy in 1715 the thesis that Christ did not die for all? And Benedict XVI has said that “for many” or “for the many” here means “for all”.

  • Josephsoleary

    Jeannine, the US faithful are absolutely charmed at the interest being taken just now in their eucharistic culture and education. But an ethically dubious sleight of hand seems to be taking place. The Vatican have pushed bishops, priests and lay employees into an immense activity of putting lipstick on a pig, and the result has been a catechetical spurt that has value in itself but that is not going to allay the sense of deflation when the texts are brought into use. In fact by raising expectations that the Mass is suddenly going to become more engaging and meaningful it may intensify the disappointment.

  • Josephsoleary

    But I say mass for Filipinos and Nigerians in English — the new translation will be even more devastating for them than for the Irish. Some South African English-speaking Catholics, exposed to the new translation prematurely, complained that they had been abandoned by their pastors — a cry that went unheard by Cardinal Napier.

  • Patt

    People can and will learn, just as they can adapt to anything else in life. Those that say no–are not giving the parish much credit.

  • Chris Moore

    “… you seem to be the kind of person who thinks John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is a beautiful song – whereas to me it’s probably one of the most vile, perniciously maleficent things ever written…”
    Interesting that from a discussion which started on the language of the new translation of the Roman Missal, assumptions should be made about my taste in music. Actually, the lyrics probably do run true for the many victims of paedophile priests, 9/11 and 7/7, all of which occurred as the result of the presence of religion (not caused by religion I hasten to add). The video of course is a fluffy statement in a vacant mansion with simply a white piano. It is a statement of love for Lennon and his wife. Much more realistic and true to the lyrics is the version by The Perfect Circle, played in the minor key and with vivid images – see Of course, its not simply about religion but about society as a whole.

    Anyway, I don’t mind you or anyone else disagreeing with my views – its healthy to have a dissenting view for the growth of the Church, whether it’s about the new translation, the Latin rites, women priests etc. etc… John Henry New man himself said “You must bear in mind that, if I speak strongly in various places … against the existing state of things [in the Church], it is not wantonly, but to show I feel the difficulties which certain minds are distressed with. (Quoted in Gerald A Arbuckle Refounding the Church: Dissent for Leadership.

  • Tiggy

    Devastating, is perhaps a little strong. People are not as stupid as our Priests seem to think. Even those who have not warmed to it yet will get used to it. Like our parents had to get used to the Novus Ordo whether they liked it or not, and they did not. But eventually got used to it.

  • Tiggy

    I totally agree Patt. Having listened to the Holy Father when he was here. It is clear that he is a very Holy and at the same time up-to-the-second man. He knows what is what.

  • Tiggy

    Beauty like everything else, is in the eye of the beholder. If the eyes are clouded the beauty will fade. Not sure the lipstick/pig thing works Father!

  • Tiggy

    Like pigs with lipstick you mean Father!!??

  • Tiggy

    Hase anyone read the commentary on the new translation by Fr Lang of the London Oratory? It is superb.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Randy please – one fo these days you’ll realise that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ: House of God and Gate of Heaven – Holy Mother Church has determined which is the best communal way to worship – you wish to follow the words of Christ ? Enter into His Church!

    Not a Loving reply?
    You prefer the comfort of lies?

  • Anonymous

    You create desolation and call it peace…

  • Anonymous

    You mean you prefer a childish discussion where nothing which could ever be deemed offensive is eliminated for the sake of ‘good manners’

    I’m afraid you’re looking from the wrong perspective cjm1957 – Chris is the person being downright offensive!

  • Anonymous

    Yes Chris of course – how could we ever forget?
    Blessed John Henry Newman was an anti-Vatican, anti-papal, anti-Tradition, heterodox dissenter wasn’t he? Appealing for the right to do anything and everything under an appeal to conscience first???!

    Er no he wasn’t!
    Now let’s make this a little more clear for you:
    a] Latin is the first language of the Church – a lingua franca, a lingua prima
    b] Women priests are impossible – the Church has no mandate for them. Petrus Locutus est.

    Having had a cousin murdered on 9/11 and an ex-student blown up on 7/7
    I take VERY great offence that you shoud make an obscene appeal to the fallacy that ‘religion is to blame’ Evil was the source – and man-made religions came about as an attempt to give an answer to it and a means to fight against it.

    Pray: Stay trapped in you little circle goin nowhere very fast – dissent as much as you wish – but don’t expect the rest of us to listen to you…

    The thread topic was dissent against the new translation – having just listened to that odious Myra poole of Radio 4′s beyond belief I’m more and more inclined to agree with Dr Oddie that you are all on your way out…

    Jack Valero of Opus Dei said to me last year “They are nothing – just old people waiting around to die!”

    What else can a busted flush dissent do?
    Go and get itself buried!!!

  • Anonymous

    er No – it’s about the dissent against it…the attack upon it – hence my point that the attack is more anti-sacramental than anti-liturgical – one is the disease, the other is merely the rash

  • Esnofla

    Thank God for Willie! He hit it right on the head. These poor folks are throwing a fit at the last minute and their fake cries that this translation will divide rather than unite is so hypocritical considering their dividing tactics are dividing Catholics just as we speak! There is an old saying, “What comes around, goes around.” Now, they are the ones that must say, “Ok, let’s give it a chance. Let’s see how it goes. Let’s trust in the Lord!” The same words they used over 40 years ago with their outdated, uninspiring and ridiculous translation.

    Finally, I am appauld at how Fr. Ruff ties in the abuse of children with the magisterium of the Church, the authority of the Holy Father and the centrality of Rome. How tragic. How pathetic it must be for someone to open up wounds in order to muster support for liturgical reforms.

  • Lhosking

    The only difficulty I have with some of the paternalistic reasoning is that it based on the assumption that Jesus created the Roman Catholic Church. Jesus is the reason we have the Gospel values to live by and not the reason we have a Church dominated by and decreed over by males who supplant the Church created by the powerful and rich over the Church created by Jesus for the poor and marginalised

  • Boutros

    The changes were supposed to clarify some so-called theological errors in the current translation. Well, this new translation is a clear theological error, because it is dogma that Jesus Christ died for the redemption of all mankind. The Latin certainly is “pro vobis et pro multis” (for you and many), and so it should be changed to “ pro omnibus” (for all). The Magisterium is responsible for giving us prayers true to the doctrine – remember “lex orandi, lex credendi” (prayer and belief must co-incide). As “…pro multis” is not a dogma of faith, it can and should be changed.

  • Cecilia

    If we really are serious about wanting to be ‘faithful to the origins’ of our faith, why stop at the Roman Missal? Do the bishops (aka the good guys) seriously think that many Catholics have become lapsed because of the ‘banal translation’? The simplistic explanation does nothing to convince faithful believers and regular participant of the Mass; what it does is to insult the intelligence of those who understand the full richness of the eucharistic rite in communion with all who are present and not present. As a person in the pew I have not suffered from the change to the vernacular. Instead it provided the meaning that was once not there because I conld not understand Latin. The reasons for many leaving the Church are many and they include the demeaning way in which lay people such as myself are treated with the paternalistic and very elitist stance of many clerics who consciously or unconcsiously deem themselves to be special and apart from the people of God that includes, yes, little simple me. And if those who hold such simplistic views, bishops not withstanding, and by implication think that the numbers will increase in the pews, in English Speaking Countries, then they are not any wiser. If people go to Mass, it is because they are convinced through experience and through the loving nuture of parents and good and reasonable priests and a supportive community that the wonderful Mystery of the Mass is so wonderful, it goes beyond words, or particular types of music. Every translation whether literal or not, will gain some and lose some in terms of meaning and relevance for worhsippers. I am open to the changes in the missal, not because it will be more ‘faithful’ to the Latin Rite but because through my own personal journey I am convinced that there is only one way for me that includes the Eucharist. But it has been a long journey of exploration and asking and finding out. People will continue to find the mass irrelevant even if we decided that the Mass should be celebrated in Aramaic (Jesus’ language), set around a table where worshippers sit on cushions on the floor, eat middle-eastern unleaven bread instead of the wafer we use, and drink wine from clay cups…oh an not forgetting, when it is offertory time, bring up our chickens or goats, or homemade bread etc that comes from the work of our hands. The reason whu people are tuned off is because as Church especially in the Western context, those in charge of transmitting the faith have been lacking in actively and lovingly educating and sensitizing the people about what it is all about. If the argument goes that finally, the brave men(and women) who took John XXIII’s challenge and ran with them (these are the ‘bad’ guys according to this article) many would not find so enriching the beauty and the sacredness and the meaning of worshipping in the vernacular. Words and meaning by themselves are always organic and change over time, history and culture. There is a reason why Latin is a dead language. The original meaning of the Latin may be well appreciated by those scholars of Latin, but for the uninitiated, it might as well be an alien device. For those schooled in Mozart or Bach or Handel, will truly appreciate the music because they have an indepth understanding of the music of these great composers. For those who live in the flood plains of India for instance, or even in Australia where the indigenous peoples have their own depth of spirituality and expression, Bach, Handel, and Mozart would be incomprehensible and not lift them to heights of worship like the sounds of the deridgeridoo. What is meaningful comes first and formost from our experiences and what we have been taught to appreciate and value. As someone not from a native -speaking tradition, it becomes such insensitive comments from the writer is both insensitive, paternalistic and egotistical. It suits those who think that the sheep can be ruled from a distance. I challenge the bishops to first and foremost, be and live and truly know the kind of lives the people of God are living, and work from there, and see what is important, what is real for them and what is meaningful and get down to the business of truly being pastoral, instead of seeing themselves as princes of the Church or those who know better, and connect with the people if they are truly serious about wanting to spread the good news of Jesus. I remain a faithful and dedicated member of the Church and am a very proud Catholic. These expressed sentiments and the many views that do not consider the factors of people in different circumstances makes me even more convinced to remain a Catholic because, I believe, as part of the people of God I too can live out my vocation that can sometimes mean being a ‘bad guy/gal’ . The only thing ‘we shall overcome’ a very triumphalistic statement, send shudders down my spine. So who are the ‘we’? what will be overcome? At this moment I think the ‘we’ are not the whole people of God but some in their righteous position in the church hierachy, and the what is the subjugation of people by a religious ‘purity code’ that enslaves rather than free, no different to what Jesus himself would have spoken up against. God help us all!

  • Michael Leek osb

    I fear poor William’s eyesight and judgment have been clouded by the smells and bells of the past…….it is not the “dissidents” who will disappear – in so far as they speak with the voice of the great Council – they will survive and flourish. It is those so sadly threatened by that Council who will ultimately disappear – and while wishing them no harm – it can’t come soon enough! So much meaningless noise from that quarter! Michael osb

  • MalcolmR

    ” There had been an almighty struggle, the extent of which became clear when the retiring chairman of ICEL, Bishop Maurice Taylor of Galloway, made an astonishing attack on the new dispensation, in which he complained bitterly that “the members of ICEL’s episcopal board have, in effect, been judged to be irresponsible in the liturgical texts that they have approved over the years.” Where has collegiality gone?
    As a fellow countryman of mine, but now living in British Columbia, Canada, I subscribe to the view of Maurice Taylor.
    Even the sentences of Oddie are in conformity with the new translation( 95 words in first sentence) We learned in Scottish schools not to begin a sentence with, and, but, or so! This list goes on and on.
    Mary Mackillop stood up for truth, and we should follow her example with this ‘new translation’

  • MalcolmR

    Say that to the congregation, and wait for a response

  • Jim Boyle

    What subservient waffle!

    There is no attempt here to recognise, let alone justify, the overturning of the ICEL structures, organisation and work supported by all the bishops’ conferences of the english-speaking world in favour of the reactionaries whose attitudes the bishops of Vatican II so soundly rejected.

    Yet, who would see it appropriate to spend the time and energy on details of translation when more urgent issues are not addressed?

    Rome fiddles while the church burns!

  • VG

    “I think that the new translation is wholly successful, and that if we had been using it from day one, thousands of people repelled by the banality of the ICEL translation now being superseded would still be regular worshippers rather than lapsed Catholics. I really believe it’s as important as that.”

    I can only respond to the above quote by saying that Mr. Oddie is looking for simple solutions to complex problems by blaming the present translation of the Mass for the thousands of people who have left the Church. I can’t believe a “Dr” (someone of considerable education) would try to sell that perspective. Although, I suspect it betrays his agenda and as he says…it’s his “belief.”

    Studies are very clear that thousands are leaving the Church for fundamentalist Christian Churches. They certainly didn’t make the move for bells and smells, loftly and archaic language. Fundamentalist Churches are quite the opposite where they experience services which are contemporary in language, music, and powerful preaching. The fact is, thousands have left the Church because of the Church’s teaching (at times), its scandals, and a ritualistic liturgy that no longer feeds them or inspires them.

    “Mr” Oddie, your spin that the “good guys have won” and that all will better once this new translation is out is ludicrous. I can’t believe someone of your intelligence really believes that. When it comes to what you believe…do always put reason aside?

  • KM Young

    As a 64 year old, female, Australian, parishioner, who has worked within Hierarchical circles of the Catholic Church on a local, national and international level for many years, I’ve come to the conclusion that commonsense and the very simple, but all powerful, Gospel value of “love God, love your neighbour”, the very hub of Christian belief, has long been thrown out with the bathwater. The trivia of clerical liturgical ruminations, conformity to non-essentials and preservation of false gods has for too long taken precedence over “Go now to love and serve the World”. If we concentrated on what our belief is all about, the basic call to love your neighbour, if we really lived the Christian life and worked together for the good of humankind, if we stopped navel gazing and looked to the Light of the World, we’d have the answer as to how to increase God’s presence, and be the body of Christ in the World. The answer doesn’t lay within the confines of the parish church walls, nor within the walls of Rome, the answer lays with educating & equiping laity to live our vocation in the real world as Christ taught. Liturgical change – no matter in what variety/form – is not going to do this. Living Gospel values is the only hope of the Church – and Church means people – not clergy/heirarchy/Rome – who have so frequently and blatently got that wrong – most recently, longstandingly and publicly in it’s failure to care for victims of clerical abuse. Liturgy cannot stand on it’s own – what we do within the walls of the Church has absolutely no relevance if we don’t live the Word outside those walls. They will know we are Christians by our love – not our liturgical compliance to one form or the other. God, bless your Church! Amen.
    KM Young

  • Maureenhastings

    Charity is obviously dead too in some quarters

  • Cinderella

    Good Pope John XXIII pray for us!

  • John Doody

    “you could have possibly won a “Best of Inwood” CD”
    Can you enter me please, but I’d prefer Boyce & Stanley of CJM Music.
    “over two thousand fewer priests than in 1961”
    The Vatican reports the number of priests has been growing steadily since 2000, and in October 2010, the number of faithful stood at 72,950,000 – an increase of 8,025,000, the Diocese of Westminster has seen an increase in the number of vocations since 2002.
    There may be a decline in Mass attendance and church going in general in the West but with so much wealth, what need have people of God? This will change as the economic downturn begins to bite hard – it’s merely nibbling at most people so far.
    The Spirit of Vatican II is very much alive, spring is here and summer is just around the corner, you’ll see …!

  • Chris Moore

    Hi Judith,
    I agree with you. The translation will be strange to many of us; one classic example is the inclusion of the word ‘dewfall’ in Eucharistic Prayer II:
    “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray,
    by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall”

    Dew does not ‘fall’ it forms. The original word was dew but the Americans changed it because ‘dew’ is pronounced ‘do’ in their tongue and this means something that dogs leave behind after being exercised in the park.

    There’s absolutely no theological explanation for change here, a word has been invented to satisfy our brothers and sisters on the other side of the pond!

    I also agree that through the great prayer of Pope John XXIII – Renew your wonders in this our day as by a new Pentecost – Vatican II did indeed open the windows of the Vatican and allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to breathe new life into the Church. Co-incidentally, shortly after the close of the Council, the Holy Spirit blew breath into a small group of students on retreat in Duquesne University and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was born.

    Quite where the Church is going, I don’t know, but whilst it is absolutely imperative in maintaining our sense of community that we Catholics celebrate Mass together in whatever form is takes, this amounts to only 1 hour a week of the time we can spend with our Saviour, Jesus Christ. There are many additional opportunities to share the Word of God, to pray and share our faith with one another and to listen to excellent teachings from clergy and lay alike.

    I would highly recommend a Celebrate Weekend – see – – which have seen gifted speakers such as Abbot Christopher Jamieson, Lord Alton and Charles Whitehead and offers a spiritually filled opportunity for the whole family which will help sustain you all in your faith. God bless you.

  • Anonymous

    It is wasn’t such a tragedy your words would be comical…

  • Anonymous

    It is wasn’t such a tragedy your words would be comical…

  • JM

    “JP2 himself is well known as someone opposed to almost every agenda at the Council.”

    Mark Johnson, could you be more detached from reality?!

  • weary convert

    Having been away until recently, I have only just seen this article and the explosion of wind that followed. William Oddie sneers again at “The Spirit of Vatican II” which took place when he was an Anglican priest and has only a hearsay knowledge of what that Spirit was really like. I appreciate that he likes to play to an audience of the like-minded but it would be nice if, for once, he would shut up on an issue of which his understanding is the square root of nothing at all..

  • jorge

    First, please be more respectable.

    Second, William Oddie sides with the Magisterium of the Church.

    The grave crisis that followed the Vatican II was a grave departure of Church teaching. Heresy abounded. Some clergy started to teach sexual sin. Some started to say the sacraments were not really supernatural and necessary. People abandoned their faith (Including priests and nuns). Vocations diminished. The situation was so horrible that the Pope said “through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God”.

    Now, the Vatican Council II is here to stay, of course; it was an ecumenical council. Also, pope Benedict XVI was part of it, and pledged obedience to it in numerous times (an it is no surprise that the Pope supports an ecumenical council).

    The problem was that crazy people, who wanted to turn the Church upside down, used the Vatican II as an excuse to do it; since the Council’s documents did not support what those maniacs were doing, they came up with the “Spirit of Vatican II” theory – their theory was that the Council fathers did want to turn the Church upside down, but were not brave enough to put it in writing; therefore the crazies had the duty to implement what they THOUGHT the Vatican II was about – what the Council fathers “really wanted” – and this supposed “hidden intention” of the Council fathers was called “Spirit of Vatican II”.

    William Oddie simply wants people to be faithful to what the Church really teaches (including what the Vatican II really said). He sides with the Magisterium and therefore with God.

  • Patt

    The “spirit of Vatican II” was a disaster — and a test for most to keep their Faith. I have seen the before and after, and there are statistics on what followed. Most Catholics today know nothing about the Faith and believe anything the media tells them about the Church. So I side with Mr. Oddie in his evaluation.

  • jorge

    > “a test for most to keep their Faith”
    Absolutely. Read

    This is the story of a Brazilian prelate that was anguished by the liberation theology in his seminary. On his words, “I came very close to abandoning my priestly vocation and even the Church.”

    Thank God, he was rescued by Focolare.

    Something similar happens to other people. When the priest makes the Mass into a marxist theater, ignores the love of God and focuses on his hatred of the bourgeoisie, and downplays the importance of the sacraments and of the personal fight against evil (focusing instead on the collective battle against “unjust structures”), many parishioners go away.

  • Mclom

    Come to Birmingham and learn about years of abuses, at least for as long as I’ve lived here: Please attend a Mass where the altar servers are Muslim boys …; or a parish where the congregation roars out the Doxology with the PP’s conivance…; or hear a visiting priest ask the congregation to pray for women priests and not hear the PP later contradict him…; and be greeted by a Legionary of Mary (in 2003) with the “wonderful news that the Pope says we no longer need to evangelise people from other faiths!”! or hear a Legionary of Mary say in 2010 that Catholics have no right to tell others that our religion has the full Truth …; Be invited by a nun to consider that Hell does not exist! I’ll finish with the parish that holds Vigil Masses for Sunday at 12.30 MIDDAYon Saturdays…; The vision IS bleak but a little brighter than it appeared to be for the Apostles because the Internet is now exposing the rubbish that has oppressed ordinary Catholics in Britain for too long. During his many years of tenure, Vincent Nichols was “unable to stamp out the abuses” (I quote his assistant directly). How long would it have taken Sts Peter and Paul to end idiotic abuses within the Church, bearing in mind the slow communications of their times? And now I hear that VN has made no move to stop the scandal of the Soho Masses in which gays in relationships that are not intended to be permanent (by their own admission) may receive Holy Communion. How I pity the gay who wants to be chaste and wants his efforts to be recognised, while he sadly observes the rest of his tribe absolved from responsibility for its collective soul. I never had a problem with Gaydom, never was rude to a gay person, until they told me via my country’s law courts that my Faith is “inimical” to children! I cannot guarantee my future courtesy. Indeed, I do hope I now may actually tap one on the shoulder and ask him to consider whether his lifestyle will bring him eternal life or death, a question I have never dared to pose before to any of the gays I meet. Those judges have fired my mettle! From where I stand and look out today, the view is thick with the mist of further sorrows. Dear Mr. Oddie, I may not concur with your optimism, but I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong because the weight of my indignation is very heavy. I would like to be relieved of it.

  • Invictus_88

    The evidence is stacked up a-plenty, in the blog post itself, and in the echoed horror-stories people have lived through and shared in the comments section here.

    It looks like there is certainly at least some understanding here, though if not – perhaps you would supply a helpful correction?

  • AgingPapist

    The late Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ predicted the Catholic Church will not be on the road back until it becomes “the suffering church”, or the “church of the catacombs” once again. Persecution will be the test of Catholicism’s durability and relevance to the times, and not the restoration of a top down liturgy in Latin by hopeless romantics, led by corrupt bishops who rule and go their jobs through secrecy and a wall of silence. Those who today want to take everyone in the Church back to the Ultramontanist world of 16th and 17th century Catholic Europe.

  • NevilleDeVilliers

    I suppose the loonie traditionalists are going to blame the widespread and enduring underground culture within the pope’s own diocese of male, teenage, gay prostitution run by pimps from the ranks of priests and seminarians on “The Spirit of Vatican II” bunch. Or upon others who worship at the Novus Ordo mass each Sunday? Catholics had better wake up and smell the coffee burning on the very back burner of their stove. The Church they see blowing up in their faces is Benedict and John Paul’s Church Pope Paul VI warned has the “smoke of Satan” in it.

  • jorge

    I realized that you like non-sequiturs. But will you please refrain from dishonesty?
    It surely does not help your cause.

  • Keith Fawkner

    How refreshing to read this article. The inaccuracies in the translation and the banality of so much of the English used for the (too many) past decades have been an unnecessary source of distraction and irritation. I eagerly await the introduction of the new translation. As for the dissident priests reportedly resisting its introduction, have they forgotten their vows of obedience?

    Keith Fawkner

  • Frankie

    Sure,  let democracy decide what religion is to be.  The problem has become that the very terms of discourse cannot be agreed upon.

  • Chris Castell

    Why is there such dissent over the introduction of the new Roman Missal when its language is more faithful to the original Latin-more musical in its construction and more poetic. The existing Mass in English has been a disaster, the language banal and removed from creating an aura of mystery and awe in the presence of God. As a Catholic attending Mass I am delighted at the new translation-I can’t help thinking that if the job of translation had been done better in the first place the sadness and upset caused to those who campaigned for the Tridentine Mass would not have been so acute. The decision has been taken and we lay people of the Church should accept the new translation in a spirit of obedience and faithfulness.
    There is no doubt that the Church has lost many many Catholics as a result of the translation of the Mass following Vatican 11; let us hope that this new translation inspires many to return.

  • janet

    It is all well and good saying that the new text is true to the original but why now? I found it hard to concentrate on the service as I spent the time trying to read rather than absorb the meanings. I don’t think for one minute I will be able to remember it from week to week – I’m only 42, but it is unrealistic. How is “of one being with the father” less understandable than the work consubstantial? Well I’ve decided to stick with the original words that I know the meaning of and can think about as I’m saying them. Why not think about changing more important things like rules on contraception.

  • Invictus_88

    Spare a thought for the hard study of the old monastics. Perhaps the mental struggle of coming to understand the new translation will help to bind you more closely to the eternal Church?

  • Anonymous

    Rules on contraception?  Are you referring to God’s law about contraception–as “rules”? You are mistaken to think that they are mere rules..
    Long ago Protestants (like King Henry, the fat one)  broke away form the Catholic Church  because they did not like the “rules” of the Catholic Church. The devil didn’t like God’s “rules” either.
    We all have a free choice.

  • John Bowles

    Fuck off.