In my mail today was what appeared to be this season’s first Christmas card. It was not. Rather, it is a Thank You card along with the letter reprinted below (person unknown to me, personal elements deleted to preserve anonymity). I have no idea how widespread in our Church the writer’s sentiments are. If these are the concerns of only a few, our Bishops can count on a relatively smooth implementation of the new Missal. If the concerns are held by many Catholics, I pray that our Bishops take account of it. awr
November 14, 2010
Dear Fr. Anthony,
Thank you for your postings on the Pray Tell blog concerning the new Missal translations. I am praying that those of you who are liturgical leaders and educators can somehow persuade our bishops to halt the implementation of this translation, as I believe they are about to do great damage to the very heart of our church. I have no faith at the moment that the bishops will listen to the voice of the laity.
I have been an oblate of [deleted] for several decades. I was blessed to have the monks of [deleted], and the sisters from [deleted], as my teachers for part of my education. I am so grateful for the spiritual foundation they gave me, and for many wonderful experiences of liturgy in their midst. It is heartbreaking for me to think of going into those beloved monastic churches in the future and hearing these mangled words of worship that Rome is planning to force on the English speaking world.
I am now in my 60’s. In my lifetime, I have lived on both coasts of our country, and several places in between. I have endured parishes where the clergy clearly didn’t bother to prepare their homilies, music that was badly done, untrained lectors, the recent scandals in the Church, and much more. I have continued to be there in the pews because I am part of the Catholic “tribe” we belong to, good or bad. But, nothing has upset me like this upcoming Missal. The process seems dishonest. I question how I will manage to go forward if this language is dumped on us. Words matter…
Many of my Catholic friends, and some of my family, have left the Church. They are part of that one third of the Church who have just quietly walked away….our “silent schism” …a loss that seems largely unacknowledged by those in leadership positions of the Church. These people who left are not bad people, or people who somehow don’t know their faith. There are a variety of issues that finally drove them away. My husband says if the new Missal is used, he isn’t sure he can go to church with me anymore. That causes me a great deal of pain. My brother-in-law is trying to convince himself that maybe it won’t be too horrible. Some of my friends are looking for “house church” possibilities. One friend quit her job as a parish liturgy coordinator, rather than lead parish education on the new Missal.
Two weeks ago, I heard a young priest of the [deleted] Diocese tell a congregation that the new Missal translation was coming, and how it was going to be more holy, lofty, and faithful language. It sounded like a dishonest ploy. I know he has been instructed to say such things, but I didn’t know whether to scream it him…..or sit there and cry. I just sat there in profound sadness. The “People of God” deserve better.
Thank you for your work for the Church.