Fr. Philip Endean, SJ, in “Sense and Sensitivites” in The Tablet, takes up the weighty problem of bishops and priests and lay people who will have to implement a Missal translation they do not believe in.
This week I received an email from a priest on this topic. The email is lightly edited here so as not to disclose the name or location of the priest or his bishop. It reads, in part:
I had hoped that what we got would be basically OK; from what I have seen so far, it’s mostly not OK. Nevertheless, I didn’t even think that stopping it was possible. If stopping it were possible, at this point, I think it would be best for all concerned. I just didn’t consider that as a possibility at this point.
And so I felt I had to operate as if that were not possible because of the responsibilities I have in the diocesan position. I have expressed my feelings and thinking to Bishop X and he seems quite sympathetic and even mostly in agreement; but I think he also feels that there is no possibility for stopping it now, and we need to do the best we can with what we have been handed. I sent him a copy of Ed Foley’s talk to the Catholic Academy for Liturgy and he was very much in agreement with that.
It seems to me that if it is a done deal, and if we are facing a sure implementation of this text, then all we can do is pray it as best we can, give it our best shot, and then if there are texts that jump out at us for their un-proclaim-ability, then hope it will be obvious to enough of the powers that be to move for a change. I also think, perhaps, there may be some texts that sound really off kilter at first, but after praying them for a while, they will become clearer and better. I guess that is my best hope.
In case you’re wondering… No, this is not the same bishop who said “disaster” privately and “blessing” publicly. It’s another bishop.