Clerical Whispers reprints the article “A ‘Young” Priest’s View” by Paul Dempsey from the current issue of the Furrow. The entire post is worth reading. We reprint here two exceprts likely to be of interested to Pray Tell readers – on the revised translation and the celebration of the sacraments.   -Ed.

Revised Liturgy:  The introduction of the revised liturgy, we are told, is imminent.

This is a significant decision that will influence the way every priest and faithful parishioner (many who are clinging on by their fingertips) will celebrate the liturgy.

Personally I am somewhat embarrassed that I will have to explain to educated, faith filled people that they have uttered the incorrect responses at mass over the past forty years.

Further to this no priest or parishioner I know has been asked or consulted about these impending changes.

Does anyone with responsibility in this area of Church life want to listen to what many ordinary people and priests might have to contribute to this “discussion” around the liturgy?

Further to this are those leading the way in this process really serious when they tell us this is going to contribute to a great renewal in the Church?

I just find this a staggering claim in the context we find ourselves in the Irish Church engulfed by so many serious problems.


Sacraments: This is a huge area that deserves an article of its own.

Many ministering in parishes are worried about how we are celebrating the sacraments.  We seem to follow the same pattern every year.

Archbishop Martin in his address on The Future of the Catholic Church in Ireland (10th May, 2010), outlined that sacraments are more than something you automatically receive when you reach a certain class in school.

I agree wholeheartedly with the Archbishop, but I would go further and ask; what are we doing about it?

If we take Confirmation for example, we continue to celebrate this sacrament in the exact same way as we have done for decades, totally ignoring the fact that our cultural context has changed and changed utterly.

When a pupil comes to 5th or 6th class they are automatically in “Confirmation Class.”

Could I ask why we are still doing this in a more or less identical fashion as fifty or more years ago even though we are at a totally different place as Church?

Is it not time to reflect seriously on this?

Can someone with influence and leadership, such as an archbishop, listen to this, and at least start a real discussion around new possibilities in this area?

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