BBC on the “Missal Crisis”

The missal story is moving into the mainstream media! This week’s “Sunday Sequence” from BBC-Ulster has a segment on what they call the “Missal Crisis” here:

The relevant part starts at 55:21 and lasts for about eight and a half minutes.


  1. They certainly did a good job with that reportage, and it was great to hear the important bite with Father Anthony. I believe I heard a similar story on NPR a few months ago. I would hope in the next few weeks that more of the main stream media will pick up the story. I don’t think the various powers will begin to sweat until they hear from the people in the pews. It is no surprise that they would ignore the criticism of the professional liturgists and clerics; but perhaps they will be moved by the outcries of the Catholic people of the English speaking world.

    The degree of academic attainment by Catholics in the English-speaking west is much higher than it was in the mid-1970’s, and thus Catholics were relatively trusting of the authority structure of the church. Now that Catholics are better educated – and have been given ample reason to distrust the bishops – it will be much harder to sell this translation.

    1. Father Blue, When the missal starts to become an object of public ridicule, a punching bag for comedians, e.g. Bill Mahr’s show on HBO, and hits the front cover of “The National Enquirer” , then and I fear, only then, will action be taken to either delay or cancel this missal.
      I’m waiting for the BBC to come up with a sequel to “Yes Prime Minister”. This one called ,”Yes, Holy Father”, with puppets of Vox Clara members defending the final missal text using their most elegant Vaticanize in a series of private meetings with Pope Benedict. Only to have the pope greeted at his Wednesday audience of pilgrims from the English speaking world who hold up their copies and chant in unison, “No Missal Here”! and “Give us 2008 or we’ll retaliate”!!.

  2. Fr Twomey seems to think that the text of the new translation is not “for many” but “for the many”. Is this right? He also says that the German Bishops have not turned down the new translation but are in the same position as bishops elsewhere. Is this right?

    1. People keep telling me that they have heard that the German bishops rejected the project of re-translating the Missal, but I have not seen any actual news story to that effect. What they did do is reject the new translation of the Funeral rites, which, I believe, were translated according to Liturgiam Authenticam.

      1. I noticed that too. Not quite the same thing is it? Irony of ironies is that there was a dust up over the existing ICEL funeral rites translation and the Bishops of England & Wales in the 1970s.

      2. I thought the revision of the funeral rites was in the mid to late 80s and that the problem wasn’t the revised translation but the rites at the beginning of the Funeral Mass, sprinkling with water and white pall, which maybe were additions? And the English-speaking bishops had asked for short rites outside Mass that were not in the Latin edition: first gathering of the family in the presence of the body, last prayer before closing the casket at the end of the wake before leaving for the funeral mass at church. Events that my UK friends tell me don’t even happen over there. Wasn’t the problem over things like that?

  3. 2 letters on the missal crisis in yesterday’s Irish Times (Fr Vincent Twomey vs Fr Dermot Lane); 3 from lay people in today’s.

  4. Sice when does the Vatican listen to cthe outcry of Catholics? After the new Mass was implemented there was plenty of clamouring and outcrying. When abuse after abuse popped up there was plenty of screaming and people leaving the Church. What did they do. I even read a story once of an elderly lady from one parish who was not used to the new vernacular form and when she stayed quiet in her pew a Priest went over to her, opened a Missalette, put it in front of her and shouted “Sing”. This is how implementation was done for “the good of the people”. And I am sure there are many stories like this. Priests should support this new translation instead of formenting dissent and in 10 years let the translation speak for itself at which time a new one will probably be in the works anyways. There is no 2 ways about it. The translation that we have now has been called defective at best and its’ continued permission for use has been revoked. So let’s get on with the new one. If it fails again, and I don’t think it will, then a wholesale return to Latin for the Ordinary is in order with the few changing parts to be said in the vernacular with whatever translation is approved as was in the 1965 Missal. Enough with all the wasted energy and resources on this. For those who do not like the new approved translation, what do you suggest? Another 10 to 20 years to come out with another version which most likely will be protested from a whole new group of people for one reason or another? More money on Missals, education, re-educating, prinintg, committees etc.? Come on already, it ain’t bad.

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