Catholic opinion remains split down the middle over the new English text of the Mass, an online survey by The Tablet has revealed. Although the online survey is non-scientific in that respondents self-selected to respond, it still gives important information about differing views about the new Missal among most Catholics compared to Catholic who favor the Extraordinary Form (according the 1962 Missal before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council).

Some highlights:

Respondents were almost evenly split over the new translation: 47 per cent said they liked it while 51 per cent said they did not. A similar split was evident when asked about the formal style, whether they found some of the language “obsequious and distracting”, whether they considered the new translation more prayerful and reverent than the old.

Traditionalists [who expressed a preference for the Extraordinary Form over the Ordinary Form] overwhelmingly expressed a preference for the new English translation over the old. But among respondents who prefer the Ordinary Form, only 37 per cent of these liked the new translation. Only 36 per cent believed it to be an improvement on the old one and 61 per cent said it urgently needed to be revised.

Seventy per cent of clergy who participated in the survey disliked the new text. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) found some of the language obsequious and distracting. Two-thirds of priests found the new text less prayerful. Fewer than a third considered the new text an improvement, and 70 per cent felt it urgently needed to be revised.

Four out of five – 80 per cent – of vowed religious did not like the new translation and the same proportion did not believe that it was more prayerful and reverent. Given a choice, 81 per cent would opt for Mass in the previous English version.

See a fuller report here.

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