The newly-founded Association of U.S. Catholic Priests has called upon the U.S. bishops to address with Roman authorities the problematic prescriptions of the 2001 Vatican document Liturgiam authenticam which brought about the new English Roman Missal.
The AUSCP, which has a membership of over 600 priests, met for the first time this past June in Tampa, Florida. The body also passed resolutions supporting the Leadership Council of Women Religious and giving them financial support during this time of Vatican-imposed restructuring, supporting the Catholic Theological Society of America and theologians condemned by the Vatican, and networking with associations of Catholic priests in other countries.
The resolution on the new English missal asserts that it has “caused disharmony, disruption and discord among many… frustrating rather than inspiring the Eucharistic prayer experience of the Christian faithful, thus leading to less piety and to less ‘full, active and conscious participation’,” and that it “has created pastoral problems, in particular because of its cumbersome style, arcane vocabulary, grammatical anomalies, and confusing syntax.”
The resolution on the new missal is carefully worded to justify, based on canon law, the right and duty of the new organization to express its opionions for the good of the church. In a sign of the desire of the AUSCP to work respectfully and constructively with bishops, the resolution on the missal was sent first to Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, before being issued publicly. The full text of the missal resolution is below.
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The New Roman Missal
- Whereas Canon 278§1 asserts: “Secular clerics have the right to associate with others to pursue purposes in keeping with the clerical state”; and
- Whereas Canon 298§1 includes clerics among the Christian faithful; and
- Whereas Canon 212§3 states: “According to the knowledge, competence and prestige which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons”; and
- Whereas Canon 215 declares: “The Christian faithful are at liberty freely to found and direct associations for purposes of charity or piety or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world and to hold meetings for the common pursuit of these purposes”; and
- Whereas Canon 218 affirms: “Those engaged in the sacred disciplines have a just freedom of inquiry and of expressing their opinion prudently on those matters in which they possess expertise, while observing the submission due to the magisterium of the Church”; and
- Whereas Bishops are guaranteed collegial powers and responsibilities documented in the Vatican II Decree, Christus Dominus, [especially in ¶s 2 through 6], thereby preserving the integrity of their Apostolic Office. A reference from ¶2 points out: “Bishops, therefore, have been made true and authentic teachers of the faith, pontiffs, and pastors through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to them”; and
- Whereas the Missale Romanum, Editio Typica Tertia [herein, New Roman Missal] has caused disharmony, disruption and discord among many, for both laity [including religious non-clerical men and women], and for clerics, in our Church, frustrating rather than inspiring the Eucharistic prayer experience of the Christian faithful, thus leading to less piety and to less “full, active and conscious participation” in the Mass, [cf. Canons 898 and 899 §s 2 and 3 and Vatican II Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium, ¶11 and 14]; and
- Whereas the New Roman Missal, as we have experienced it in our day to day celebrations of the Eucharist with the faithful, has created pastoral problems, in particular because of its cumbersome style, arcane vocabulary, grammatical anomalies, and confusing syntax;
Be it resolved that the Association of United States Catholic Priests urge our Bishops, who are also our Pastors, to exercise their collegial powers and responsibilities by addressing in a collegial way, with the appropriate Vatican authorities, the problematic prescriptions of Liturgiam authenticam which brought about the New Roman Missal.