Scottish Priest Calls for Open Discussion

Ed. note: Last month, Fr. Mike Fallon sent an open letter to the priests and bishops of Scotland questioning the process and content of the new translation of the Roman Missal, stating that “the teaching authority of the Church is being undermined.”  In this second letter, having received no reply from the bishops, he calls again for open debate. In an interview with Brian Morton, printed below, he shares more about his concerns.

A second open letter to the priests and bishops of Scotland

Last month I wrote an open letter to bishops and priests.  My purpose was to raise questions about a way forward for those who have conscientious difficulties with the New Translation and with the process by which it has been adopted.

Having managed to ensure that each bishop had the opportunity to look at my letter and consider my concerns, I have been disappointed that there has still been no response from any of them.  As a result there has been no way of knowing whether all of the bishops have had the opportunity to compare the new translation with the 1998 ICEL version which was rejected by the Congregation of Divine Worship.  I suspect not too many people have had that opportunity since the copyright belongs to ICEL and the present membership apparently do not openly share their work or put it out for consultation and comment.  However it is possible to access a copy of the 1998 version, possibly dating back to the consultations undertaken by the previous ICEL Board.

Perhaps some will believe I was wrong to write an open letter and instead should have written to the bishops themselves personally. It could be that this is one of the reasons why none of the bishops have chosen to respond to me.  However the reason I wrote an open letter rather than a private one was to generate debate about an issue which is so close to our hearts as ministers of Word and Sacrament and allow freedom of discussion which has not been afforded us throughout the long process of change.  It was also my hope that the questions raised in my letter would be addressed.

After thought and prayer I have also decided to share, with those of you who care to read it, a copy of an interview with a journalist which expands on the points made in the letter.   I myself would much prefer, however, if it was possible to debate the issues openly within the church.

Aware that it is Holy Week and that we are all busy about many things, I nevertheless decided to send out this letter given that it addresses how we celebrate the events we are calling to mind in a special way this week.

Mike Fallon


Interview between Brian Morton and Fr Mike Fallon

 

1. Is your primary objection to the new form of Mass substantive or procedural? You make the point that Pope Benedict’s comments about a fresh opportunity for ‘in depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion to the manner of celebration’ was preceded by very important comments about appropriate review and approval of the new texts. Is it your sense that this aspect has been overlooked in Scotland?

I have concerns both about the substance of the new texts and how they came to be produced. In terms of substance, it is not only the Latin-esque English – which is bad enough in itself – but also the regressive shift in theological emphasis which is of concern to me.  The total disregard for half of the human race with a refusal to acknowledge that there is a gender issue is a major deficiency.  It is disrespectful.

With regard to the second part of your question: I believe that there has been a failure on the part of all of the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops.  I just cannot understand how the Holy Father could come to the conclusion that the Diocesan Bishops of Britain should be thanked   “for the contribution you have made, with such painstaking care, to the collegial exercise of reviewing and approving the texts” in his farewell address at Oscott in September 2010.

Rather bizarrely it would appear that, as Pope Benedict, he is unaware of how those texts have been changed and yet, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he seems to have been in the loop with Cardinal Medina during the period of transition in the late 1990s.  This is brought out clearly by John Wilkins in an excellent article “Lost in Translation” for Commonweal in 2005.  In addition, a credible first hand account  surrounding the changes in English Texts is set out by Bishop Taylor in his book,  “It’s the Eucharist: Thank God.” It is very clear from reading that book that such was the pressure from Vatican officials that the board members of ICEL were bullied.  I believe they also felt blackmailed when Cardinal George threatened that the US Bishops might withdraw their support for ICEL.

2. Could you clarify how you believe the new texts should have been examined and approved?

The process for the approval of liturgical Texts demands that they are approved by the competent authority, i.e. the Bishops of the territory concerned.  I set this out in pages 2 and 3 of my letter and Bishop Taylor made a very clear statement about the correct procedures in his book.  The point at issue is that this process has not been followed in this instance.

 

3. Accepting that information from the bishops has not been forthcoming, why do you think this is the case?

 

This is a very good question and it requires a Rabbinical style response: does the reluctance of Bishops of English speaking Conferences to engage in conversations about the new translation indicate an unease either with the wording of the translation or the process by which it came about?  I don’t know the answer.  Only the Bishops can answer that.  I am not aware of any Bishop who has challenged the accuracy of what I have written.  I do know that each Bishop has received a copy of my letter.

I should clarify that my letter was sent electronically to the priests of St Andrews and Edinburgh diocese who have an email address; the Scottish Bishops who have a (publicly known) Email address; and to each Chancery of the other seven Dioceses, asking that it be forwarded to priests.  When I discovered that my letter had not been sent on, I sought assistance in trawling the Scottish Catholic Directory and compiling a list of email addresses of priests in Scotland.   I then forwarded my letter to them.

4. Is there an assumption that the new texts will be accepted without protest or reservation?

Again I don’t know the answer to that:  it is impossible to guess what the Bishops are thinking.  Their coy behaviour leads me to believe that they are uncomfortable.  I suppose I wonder if their reluctance to comment indicates a realisation of their failure to have been alert to their rights and to have exercised their responsibilities in this matter – and that the consequence has been a loss of moral authority.

5. Is there, on the contrary, concern that they will be resisted, in which case the bishops are avoiding confrontation or debate? Is it possible that this is simply a lapse or oversight?

It is extremely difficult to know what the Bishops are hoping to achieve because although this matter has been dragging on for many years they have not to my knowledge made any significant statement until the undated letter from Bishop Toal arrived with priests on 12 March.  Since then Bishop Toal has issued a letter to all priests in Scotland as the President of the Liturgical Commission which I am happy to address at a later stage.  Not all of the current Scottish Bishops were in post during the critical stages of this process – that is, during the late 1990’s when the ICEL text was rejected and their board in practice dismissed; and when Liturgiam Authenticam unilaterally changed the ‘rules’ of translation.  Those who were in post then should know the history:  I would hope that those who have joined the Conference more recently have read Bishop Taylor’s account of proceedings to understand exactly what happened and when.

6.  I wonder if you could attempt to separate two possible problems: that Scottish Catholics are disturbed and dissatisfied by the new texts and/or that they are disturbed by the manner of their implementation. Is the problem primarily doctrinal or political?

 

Yes.  There are two distinct issues: the content and the process.  I believe, and a scan through the web will confirm that I am by no means a lone voice, that both the content and the process are seriously flawed.  The content is flawed both theologically and linguistically and it has resulted from a flawed process.  So yes: there are two issues: doctrinal / theological and political / juridical.  It could be argued that both emanate from the same source: an imperial / Roman mindset in the Curia which the Second Vatican Council sought to challenge and change.

 

7. Is there a risk that individual priests will defy the bishops and boycott the new form?   Is such a thing desirable, in your view?

 

There is certainly talk of this in other countries.  I don’t know if that will happen or what will happen in Scotland.  But personally, I don’t think a boycott is the answer because we are talking about something that is much bigger than a mere change in language translation.  We are talking about the core issue of the Church’s well established teaching authority.  It has been hijacked from the Local Bishops by Vatican officials who simply do not have the right to determine how a Bishop discharges his Pastoral role in his diocese.

8.   What are your own practical instincts at this point?

I have a concern about the way Rome has re-stressed faithfulness to the Latin language not least because of what one might call the theological mindset behind that language.  I’m certainly not comfortable that the vehicle seems to have become more important than the driver and the passengers: that the container is considered more essential than the contents.

The Liturgy is, by definition, the work of the people.  I wonder who are the people in Scotland who have been consulted in this process?  I’ve never heard of anyone being asked.  It all seems to have happened in a very clandestine manner.  Under the previous ICEL Commission, there was a culture of openness: texts were released for trial and assessment amongst a wide range of priests.  The current board seem to have been much more secretive.

I’m aware that your questions have been asking how priests will respond and react to the changes.  Priests are only the leading coordinators of faith communities.  It seems to me that the changes specifically required of the priest in the new translation are much less radical and demanding than those asked of the laity.  Perhaps the introduction of the new Translation is a real opportunity for the laity to find their voice – by accepting or rejecting the translation being offered.

I should make clear that it is not my contention that the Scottish Bishops have been any more remiss than any of the other English-speaking Conferences.  On the other hand I strongly believe that it is regrettable that they were not more supportive of one of their number who was Chairman of the ICEL board at the time.  My purpose in writing the letter was to raise the issue of what would appear to be a substantial change of direction and policy in the way the Church governs and teaches.  On one level, my attempt to highlight the very questionable way in which the new translation  has been arrived at is a compelling invitation to examine deeper issues about how the Church should teach and govern, and how it is actually doing so.

9.  What response has there been to your letter?

There has been a considerable response to my letter.  Priests from several countries have been in touch with me and for the most part the responses have been positive and encouraging.  There have been only four negative responses.  I have been surprised, pleasantly, by the number of lay people who have written and telephoned me after seeing it on the Tablet website.  Again, with just a single exception, they have all been positive and encouraging and grateful that the matter is being aired.  It strikes me that at the end of the day it may well be lay people who decide how well the new translation will be implemented.

Perhaps we are in danger of misjudging the impact the change will have on ordinary parishioners. The first Document of the Second Vatican Council to be promulgated was Sacrosanctum Concilium.  The Council Fathers believed that it was important to address first of all the Liturgical life of the Church since this is the principal touching point of our faith for all members of the church.  Sunday Eucharist is as they described, “…. the summit towards which the activity of the church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all her power flows.” Simply put, Sunday Eucharist is both the source and the summit of our faith.  Our Sunday gatherings at Eucharist are where the faith of ordinary church members is primarily expressed and becomes real.  It is here that the faith community is initially formed, new members initiated and then sustained in the community’s worship.  It is at the Liturgical Assembly that the sacramental life of the church unfolds and is celebrated.  The liturgy is the catalyst of our faith.

Against this background, I am beginning to wonder if some people are coming to resent the fact that Bishops have been so busy dealing with many other things, albeit in other legitimate areas of life – local, national and international – that they have neglected to ensure that their rights as teacher and Vicar of Christ in their Diocese have been respected and honoured by Curial Officials who are supposed to be their assistants.

10.  Have any Bishops responded?

No they haven’t.  When I had not received a response from any of the Bishops to my emailed letter, I sent a hard copy to the General Secretary of the Conference and enclosed copies for each of the Bishops lest they had not had sight of it and asked for it to be tabled at the Conference meeting on 11 -13 April.  I asked that the Bishops’ attention be drawn to the questions in my letter and in particular to the question at the end about different Rites being allowed to co-exist. I received a reply from Monsignor Conroy, the General Secretary, telling me that he ‘gave copies of the letter to the Bishops, some of whom were already aware of it.’  There has still been no acknowledgement or response to me from any of the Bishops.

You will be aware that the Scottish Bishops have issued a statement from their Episcopal Conference meeting in Edinburgh through Bishop Toal as the President of the Liturgical Commission.  It is in the form of a letter to priests.  The statement did not address any of the questions raised in my letter.   The underlying and un-stated sentiment seems to be that Rome has decided — so we all fall in to line.  No explanation about why or how we have reached this stage. It’s perhaps unfortunate that it is Bishop Toal who is their spokesman because he was not a member of the Conference when the failures in governance occurred and the pass was sold.

A number of issues he touches on in his letter don’t sit comfortably with me, not least the explanation given for responses being changed so that they are more faithful to the Latin.  What is it about Latin?  Was similar trouble taken to ensure that the Latin was faithful to the original Greek?  In particular I have difficulty with the restoration of “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” as being more true to the Latin.  That may be so but it is also a shift theologically.   It changes the focus from salvation and redemption to sin.  It makes Good Friday the key moment rather than Easter resurrection.  As one young Mum said on seeing the new Confiteor, “There’s no way I’m asking my children to say that.”

Another example of a worryingly regressive shift to a pre Vatican 2 ecclesiology is the removal of the option to say “Pray brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable………” and being required to say “Pray brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable…………” The Second Vatican Council did all it could to demythologise the priesthood caste and described the Church as being made up of clergy and laity who are equal in God’s sight, their difference being one of function.  In this change of wording a distinction is made between priest and lay people which is divisive and unwarranted.  As I understand it, the Council sought to foster the view of the priest being a part of the people of God rather apart from the people of God

In regard to the reference to the Liturgy needing a strong sense of the sacred in everything surrounding it and “the necessary human stance of humility and unworthiness before our gracious God:” Did the Incarnation not conjoin the sacred and the secular and the secular with the sacred? I think in writing as he does Bishop Toal nails the Scottish Bishops’ colours to the mast of regression to an unhealthy culture for the Church.  It seems to me to be indicating a return to an overstressing of personal sinfulness which in the history of the Church is often associated with ecclesiastical / clerical control and power.  We all know to our great cost and shame where that sadly took us in terms of its abuse.

However, perhaps the most important feature of Bishop Toal’s letter is something which is not commented on specifically and is arguably the most important change in wording: that Christ died for many rather than for all.  Highly credible scripture scholars seem to be in agreement that the meaning of the original wording — which they translate as for the multitude –  is nearer to ‘all’ than it is to ‘many’.  To claim that Jesus shed his blood for many is to imply that there are some people for whom he did not shed his blood.   Where is evidence for this judgement sourced from I wonder?  There is certainly no annotation in the New Translation of the Rite of Mass.  Is such a stance not in danger of limiting God?

The ideal would have been to hear the Bishops making a statement recognizing that there has been a lapse in proper governance and indicating a wish to have a moratorium in order to consult and take stock; and to give an assurance that the matter will now be addressed in a consultative manner.  But that is not to be.  Clearly the Bishops are not for budging.  I can only imagine either that they don’t actually see    –   or that they aren’t  able to accept  –   that they might well have been wrong not to act throughout the long process;  nor to give sufficient support to Bishop Taylor when he was the Chair of ICEL and the whole debacle was unravelling.   In failing to act they allowed their authority to be undermined by ecclesiastical civil servants.

I keep coming back to the bottom line question in my letter: is it not possible for different rites to be allowed in celebrating the thanks we all need to give to the Father in Eucharist?

Surely it would be rather surprising — and inconsistent — if while the incoming Anglicans are being accommodated with their own version of Liturgical celebration, and the Traditionalists are being given increasing permission to celebrate in their particular way, those Catholics who have conscientious difficulties with the New Translation were not afforded similar latitude?

I suppose it is too outrageous to wonder whether the smooth introduction of the new translation might even have been part of an agreement made in securing Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain last September!  I don’t know.  None of us have any way of knowing because it’s impossible to debate or dialogue when there is a wall of silence and no Bishop seems able or is willing to comment on the matter or answer the questions raised.

It is worrying that there seems to be an increasing culture of secrecy both at the ICEL level and with our Bishops.  I even heard of one of our Bishops who was making a pastoral visit to a parish and was asked a question concerning the introduction of the New Translation by a parishioner.   He replied by saying that he was a bit deaf.  When the question was repeated in a louder voice, the Bishop turned to someone else and started a new conversation.  The longer the silence lasts, the more will questions be asked about whether something is being hidden and, if so, why?

63 comments

  1. “The Liturgy is, by definition, the work of the people.”
    The people are being crowded out of the Liturgy by the ‘Deacons,’ some of whom seem to be on an ego trip, particularly the grandfathers presiding at baptisms.
    “Roma locuta, causa finita” appears to be the motto of ‘their Arrogances’ of the Curia and their puppets among the diocesan bishops.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, some scholars would argue that a better equivalent for the term liturgy would be “work ON BEHALF OF the people”. I think that such a definition is less open to manipulation than the one you give in your comment.

  2. Indeed the entire behavior of the bishops can be explained by a summary understanding of Roma locuta causa finita. But remember how that fell flat in 1968. Then there were many episcopal conferences who told Rome, “sorry but the case has not been closed (by Humanaae Vitae), and the use or otherwise of contraceptives remains basically a matter for individual conscience, though we respect the papal guidelines — which are only guidelines.” There are no such episcopal conferences today, due to a gradual and systematic and eventually total undercutting of the theological status and authority of episcopal conferences (as detailed in an article by Massimo Faggioli). So the puppets dance. What happens when the faithful, already cheesed off by the drabness of the liturgy, are expused to this truckload of noisome mediocrity, remains to be seen. And to think that the 1998 translations were close to ideal and would have been received with Joy…

  3. Not all Deacons, Walter. I’ve worked with some who are wonderful ministers and servants of the people. However, I’ve also worked with Deacons who are as you describe. One has even gone so far as to state, “I don’t know what’s wrong with these priests, why they won’t let us Deacons do more. After all, there’s only a class or two that separates our education and formation. We’re practically priests, you know!” Nice, eh?

    1. You raise an interesting question and concern dating back to VII which “recaptured” the diaconate. But is it a “lay” diaconate or a “clerical/orders” diaconate? That tension seems to have started right out of the gate (and as others have said frequently, the fathers of VII laid out principles and then the church/conferences evolved making practical decisions).

      Over the past 25 years, it appears to me that we have constructed another clerical layer – do not think the intent of VII was for deacons to play a “large” liturgical role – their focus on was on serving the sick, the poor, illiterate, etc.

      Yet, what happens so often in church history, is that the role of deacon is now clericalized. And in our diocese over the past 5 years – the deacon (since we have 4 in our parish) is now an essential part of most celebrations. They have 2+ years of training. Rome has changed liturgical (black/red) so that only deacons can “clean the dishes” replacing the EMs (I know, they were only “extraordinary in the first place” – and yet, haven’t things developed beyond “extraordinary” – why does the diaconate development trump the EM development? Inquiring minds want to know?)

      Now the latest – as of Easter, deacons read the prayer of the faithful – replacing lectors (or is it readers – seems to change every year?)

      This is a difficult subject because men/wives who dedicate and give up time to train and serve as deacons have my thanks and admiration. Yet, I also see (about 50% of the time) men who (despite their best intentions) are not qualified to be ministers on the altar e.g. preaching, poor ability to proclaim the gospel; not well educated in terms of catholic theology, etc.)

      We appear to be living with lots of “unintended consequences”?

      Wonder if this couldn’t be a separate post?

      1. Now the latest – as of Easter, deacons read the prayer of the faithful – replacing lectors (or is it readers – seems to change every year?)

        Deacons did not replace lectors in this role. The reading of the intentions of the general intercessions has been the job of the deacon since at least the eighties (see Ceremonial of Bishops 31) and, I believe, since the general intercessions were (re)introduced.

        do not think the intent of VII was for deacons to play a “large” liturgical role – their focus on was on serving the sick, the poor, illiterate, etc.

        Lumen Gentium makes clear that a large liturgical role is intended for permanent deacons. Just read the text:

        29. At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed “not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service.” For strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the bishop and his group of priests they serve in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word, and of charity to the people of God. It is the duty of the deacon, according as it shall have been assigned to him by competent authority, to administer baptism solemnly, to be custodian and dispenser of the Eucharist, to assist at and bless marriages in the name of the Church, to bring Viaticum to the dying, to read the Sacred Scripture to the faithful, to instruct and exhort the people, to preside over the worship and prayer of the faithful, to administer sacramentals, to officiate at funeral and burial services. Dedicated to duties of charity and of administration, let deacons be mindful of the admonition of Blessed Polycarp: “Be merciful, diligent, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who became the servant of all.

      2. I love it when priests speak about deacons who place “too much” emphasis on their role in the liturgy. How would it sound if deacons were having a conversation about priests placing too much emphasis on their role in the liturgy? These roles belong to each in virtue of their ordination. If there are priests and deacons who are giving insufficient attention to their roles as servant leaders that is another issue entirely. Bishops and priests are also too eager to tell deacons what they should wear or not wear, and what they should do or not do. Deacons are part of the clergy despite the fact that nearly all of them are married. You don’t suppose that’s the rub, do you?

      3. Samuel – nice quote from VII. Where specifically does it say that deacons read the prayer of the faithful? Agree that they read scripture to the community; exhort them to prayer but….??

        Notice – it lays out a principle: “At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed “not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service.” — what exactly does this mean? Guess it depends upon the development and your interpretation.

        What a couple of us have noticed in our comments to date is that there is a tendency to make deacons a second class priest; make them clerics. Yet, as you quoted…they are not priests but men ordained to a ministry of service….then, we have a list of which there are some liturgical ministries.

        My point was to say that the development (for any number of reasons) seems to have created some unintended consequences. Plenty of deacons themselves have written and published reflections on their ministry and have asked some of these same questions.

        Why so hostile?

        Fr. Frehily….can you clarify your comment #7 – I am not a cleric. My comments come from my experience only. We all have roles in the liturgy…..my comments are as a PIP.

      4. Without endorsing your statistic, I agree that some deacons are very poor preachers. It’s distressing to encounter bad preaching from a male deacon while sitting next to a well educated woman who could preach circles around him! Of course, the same applies when one hears bad preaching from a priest!

        I’ve known priests who were fantastic at comforting the sick and lonely and excellent at all aspects of liturgy except the homily.
        I look forward to a day when we use all the gifts God sends our communities and don’t insist on specifying the package they come in!

      5. Where specifically does it say that deacons read the prayer of the faithful? Agree that they read scripture to the community; exhort them to prayer but….??

        GIRM 94, 171, 177.

        I should note that since I have been ordained I have very rarely taken this role, since the perception among most people is that I would be taking away a lay ministry (I have sat on the sidelines during the distribution of communion for the same reason). Though I have mentioned, when it has come up, that this is properly the deacon’s role, it’s not the ditch I want to die in.

    2. The original role of the deaconate is most commonly carried out by faithful women within parish settings. Hmmmmm!?!

      1. We had lots of deacons before Vatican II in the form of…nuns, who were in many (but not all) areas the Church’s primary institutional face. Of course, this was a relatively modern innovation, kick-started by the Ursulines and then majorly amplified after the Napoleonic Wars. Turns out it was relatively short-lived.

  4. I’m not sure if it’s naivete or arrogance when he says

    Having managed to ensure that each bishop had the opportunity to look at my letter and consider my concerns, I have been disappointed that there has still been no response from any of them.

    Yes, because even though we so often hear the complaint “Don’t the Bishops have better things to do than X”, they of course are expected to carve out this precious time to follow closely the personal whims and directives of outspoken priests who are playing to the media. It’s just a bit disconcerting that he seems genuinely shocked that he hasn’t gotten a reply. I also like the rather twisted logic that concludes that since he has not gotten a response from the Bishops, they must agree with what he is claiming or else they would have disputed his claims. Just too precious.

    I would love to see what his record has been as a Pastor when it comes to following the directions given to him by letters from parishioners? Perhaps he has even gotten a letter requesting the EF Mass at his parish? Wonder how seriously he would take that?

    1. Now that you’ve done your best to wipe the floor with the man, Jeffrey, was there anything you wanted to say about the issue at hand?

      1. Having often been quick to decry argumentum ad hominem, I must say that I think Jeffrey has not done that here but has pointed out some interesting ironies which affected me also but I was unable to verbalize.

  5. It seems to me that what is implied in what I have excerpted below is that a sense of the sacred requires a strong sense of sinfulness and of humility and that all of these are supported by clerical administration of holy things. Does anyone else see it that way? If so, is this at the heart of many objections to the OF and its present translation?

    In particular I have difficulty with the restoration of “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” as being more true to the Latin.  That may be so but it is also a shift theologically.   It changes the focus from salvation and redemption to sin.  It makes Good Friday the key moment rather than Easter resurrection.  
    The Second Vatican Council did all it could to demythologise the priesthood caste and described the Church as being made up of clergy and laity who are equal in God’s sight, their difference being one of function.  In this change of wording a distinction is made between priest and lay people which is divisive and unwarranted.  As I understand it, the Council sought to foster the view of the priest being a part of the people of God rather apart from the people of God
    In regard to the reference to the Liturgy needing a strong sense of the sacred in everything surrounding it and “the necessary human stance of humility and unworthiness before our gracious God:” It seems to me to be indicating a return to an overstressing of personal sinfulness which in the history of the Church is often associated with ecclesiastical / clerical control and power. 

  6. I have a lot of sympathy with Fr Fallon’s letter. All the points he makes have been said here on Pray Tell before.

    He recommends something that worries me:

    … is it not possible for different rites to be allowed in celebrating the thanks we all need to give to the Father in Eucharist?

    Surely it would be rather surprising — and inconsistent — if while the incoming Anglicans are being accommodated with their own version of Liturgical celebration, and the Traditionalists are being given increasing permission to celebrate in their particular way, those Catholics who have conscientious difficulties with the New Translation were not afforded similar latitude?

    You can imagine parishes ‘coding’ Masses in their schedules: O73AIBC (OF, 1973 English, priest facing the apse, Incense, Bells, Chant), O10XE2XEM (OF, 2010 English, but we never use EP2 or allow EMHCs), ESM2CQV (Solemn EF, 2nd Confiteor, ladies who don’t veil will be snarled at), O10BOZT (Clown Mass with tambourines), ANE34H (Anglican Use, EP3, 4 hymns) etc

    To me this takes us down the road of liturgical consumerism, not a healthy place for the Church.

    The new translation is horrid. But I think we have to use it (those who can do so in good conscience), take the consequences and try to learn from the experience. I also think it’s way too late for open letters or petitions. This turkey is landing fast, dropped from a great height, and we’re going to have to deal with it as best we can.

  7. “Surely it would be rather surprising — and inconsistent — if while the incoming Anglicans are being accommodated with their own version of Liturgical celebration, and the Traditionalists are being given increasing permission to celebrate in their particular way, those Catholics who have conscientious difficulties with the New Translation were not afforded similar latitude?”

    Yes, Liturgical diversity is the way forward.

    The Protestant Tradition(s) in the USA for the period for which we have evidence in the General Social Survey (1972 – 2010) are doing a fine job of competing for the diversity of the religious market place through their own diversity. Yes, during that period some denominations (the evangelicals largely as a reaction to the sixties) did better than others (the Mainstream denominations) but Protestantism with it’s diversity is well positioned to react to continuing changes in the religious landscape (e.g. the rise of those who dissatisfied with institutional religion).

    Catholicism has a similar diversity within itself in terms of Rites, Religious Orders, spiritualities, and an abundant diversity of saints. We should emphasize and grow that diversity, not continue fighting amongst ourselves trying to impose upon each other a one size fits all model. Have a variety of Missals and let them compete in bringing the people to church, not for the approval of Rome so one group can impose its liturgical tyranny (of whatever shape) upon other people and drive them away.

    The reality from the GSS data for the USA is that Protestantism continues to be vibrant while Catholicism is dying off, not just in favor of Protestants but to no religion at all. This should be a matter of concern for Protestants, indeed our entire nation. If the USA goes the way of Europe toward increasing secularism at the personal level, it will be former Catholics who have led the way!

  8. Jack – sorry, but what you propose feels to me a version of what we in history call “Balkanization” rather than organic development.

    Liturgy comes from the local community and is an expression of their ecclesiology.

    Your approach feels too much like “marketing 101; what repels me about most evangelical churchs you see on TV or what I feel when I flip through EWTN”.

    Your suggestions sounds reasonable and likable but the unintended consequences in terms of our sacramental church would be significant.

    Haven’t thought through all of the ramifications but, at the core, your suggestions bothers me.

  9. This interview underscores that complaints about the process, word choice, and the last minute changes to the new translation are frequently secondary to the theological objections some progressives have with the text of the Roman Mass itself.
    Fr. Fallon complains that it is “the regressive shift in theological emphasis which is of concern to me, ”
    “The content is flawed … theologically,” “I have a concern about the way Rome has re-stressed faithfulness to the Latin language not least because of what one might call the theological mindset behind that language.” Father Fallon wonders “What is it about Latin (anyway)?”
    An uninformed reader might wonder whether Father fully realizes that we are talking about a “translation” from the Latin?
    He goes on to say that “In particular I have difficulty with the restoration of “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault (because) it is a shift theologically.”
    If it is a “shift” Father, it can by definition only be a “shift” back to Vatican II theology because it is a more faithful translation of the post V2 Roman Missal produced by the consilium and published by Paul VI.
    “Another example of a worryingly regressive shift to a pre Vatican 2 ecclesiology is the removal of the option to say “Pray brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable………” and being required to say “Pray brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable…………”
    It seems to me that his premise is flawed. He creates his own new theology built around a paraphrased translation, he then labels his personal theology as being defacto Vatican II theology and then criticizes the new translation as being pre (his own personal definition of Vatican II theology) V2. I guess it is a point-of-view but maybe, just maybe, it is the post V2 Roman Missal that best reflects the theology of Vatican II.

    1. Sorry, Daniel…you are entitled to your own theology but don’t label it as the theology of Vatican II.

      Not sure where you are coming from but your current and prior comments do NOT indicate that you understand Vatican II theology at all.

      Some examples come to mind:
      – we all appear to differ on how much to value and put weight on a MR version 1-2-3 in latin as a benchmark. Keep in mind that most experts might agree with this approach but not the slavisly illiterate approach of LA applied to the latin MR version. Your comments reveal an inadequate understanding of the various MR versions; who translated them; the missing 1998 version based on MR, etc. Finally, some of us deep down question the whole approach around the “original” latin – do you know how Jerome translated his version?
      – Father takes two quotes from the new translation….again, there can be differences of opinions about what this means theologically (yes, it is more faithful to at least one of the gospel writers – but all the gospel writers? so what is the point?). Theologically he has articulated the VII priniciples in terms of movement away from an over-emphasis (Jansenism) on sins and he has merely re-echoed the earlier statements on All vs. MANY that were published in the 1970’s in the notanda. So, we have a change but obviously even Rome supported the other theological expression 30 years ago

      So, your knee jerk reaction to a “new” VII theology makes little sense nor is it consistent.

      1. Bill,

        You begin by addressing the theology of V2 but neither of your numbered responses show any specific grounding in V2 itself. A more refreshing retort would be: “The new translation does not correspond with my favored hermeneutic of V2”. Who would debate that kind of statement?

  10. Bill,

    Think more deeply about community.

    The community of my family has celebrated liturgy across several dioceses, in two different states and in many parishes, a monastery and a cathedral.

    In the county where I have worked and which has been my community for the last two decades, I have celebrated liturgy in a least four parishes in a somewhat regular fashion. My original ideal was to have celebrated in all the parishes of all the people who as taxpayers were my employers.

    The mental health system in which I worked had a variety of meetings and “liturgies” i.e. public expressions of the deep values that shaped our lives.

    The Catholic community of people whom I know simultaneously through the internet and personal meetings stretches across the diocese, the state, and the Northeastern Midwest part of nation, a lot of our “meetings” being held in coffee shops, libraries, restaurants as well as through e-mails.

    One of the deepest prayerful experiences of community was my pastoral staff experience in the eighties where we all took turns each meeting sharing our very different prayer lives.

    Some of the most “hateful” experiences of non-community have been parish meeting in which a one size fits all method of scripture sharing dominated (no Jack you cannot mention scripture scholarship in your faith sharing) or one brand of prayer dominated, e.g. conversational prayer (no Jack you are not allowed to bring pre-composed prayers inspired by liturgical models). We are communities of diverse persons, not of robots or ants serving the interests of a few. Deep freedom is essential to human and spiritual life.

    I have no problems with marketing. All of life consists of markets, i.e. of exchanges among people. Liturgy is an exchange. I have no problem with consumerism. The people of my county who are severely mentally ill often call themselves consumers. I am honored to have served them.

  11. Jack – here is an article from the April First Things:

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/03/memories-of-a-catholic-boyhood

    I reference this because it tells a good story about how our experience is colored by cultures, etc.

    Yet, when I think of community and church I think of an experience that is more than just cultural or ethnic expressions.

    Here are my concerns:
    – in the late 19th and much of the 20th century, the US church experienced ethnic parishes. For their time, this might have been a good decision but it had unintended consequences that we deal with today – too many buildings, churches, schools in one area that can no longer be sustained; it created enclaves that actually diminished the notion of “catholicity”; it weakened the body of christ by substituting safe and secure national parishes.

    To me one of the significant struggles we still have are parish structures that continue economic, racial, and language barriers…..how often do you hear words about immigration; how well are bilingual celebrations done or attended; is the eucharist just about the style of rite we like? Is that the point? (thus my hesitancy about a marketing approach). Studies actually indicate that barriers have been best broken down through shared educational efforts – unfortunately, not through our common parish worship…what does that say?

    Finally, one of my reservations is that VII and over 2500 bishops directly intended to REFORM our western liturgy – they did not intend to have different latin rites.

    Your comment – one sizes fits all – seems too easy and flippant. Agree, do not want one size fits all but also feel that our church is more than an experience that we might call “congregational” – that has been rejected throughout our tradition. In some ways, it is easy to set up multiple, diversified rites (but where do you limit this and how?) – the hard, difficult work is growing and building a community that is diversified.

  12. I have a problem with the Confiteor being used regularly in Mass with either translation. In my view its use has contributed greatly to the decline in the use of the sacrament of penance–especially confessions of devotion. It’s very structure appears to be that of a public confession of unspecified sins followed by absolution. To avoid that appearance I consistently use the third form and make clear in the brief introduction that we are being invited to renew our sorrow for sins forgiven and to seek God’s grace for continuing conversion.

    1. I’ve noticed that many priests avoid the confiteor too. It is unfortunate because the 1st option is highly traditional and much loved by the people because of the way it includes Our Lady & the saints. Still, I agree that it is a legitimate choice for the celebrant to use whatever option he wishes.

      I don’t think it is helpful to second guess the liturgy and presume it misleads the faithful. The confiteor does forgive venial sin just as the other options do. The sermon is the place to educate the people on the nuances you mention. I recommend allowing the parish to use the confiteor frequently as it remains the 1st option and we all know that placement does mean something. Lastly, I doubt we can presume that the confiteor contributes to a decline in the sacrament of penance because the use of the sacrament continued to run high when it was the only option for the penitential rite.

      1. All of your comments are dead wrong:
        – confiteor does not forgive venial sin – the pentinent’s faith and God’s mercy (not the role of the confiteor – it is to express our faith in a merciful God – this was Reformed at VII)
        – sermon (we have homilies now)
        – sermon place to educate (homilies are about insights, experiences, and reflections on the breaking of the word of God and breaking of the bread that we are experiencing)

        Finally, your comment about penance running high has little documented fact.

      2. On Good Friday I was thinking about how wonderful and simple the entrance rite is for the Liturgy. It is the oldest we have dating back to the 4th century. My teacher Dr. Ralph Kiefer used to always talk about the “Cluttered Vestibule” when speaking about the need to reform the entrance rite. The new edition of the Roman Missal would have been the perfect opportunity to reform that which still needed to be reformed in our current Liturgy.

      3. Bill,

        You tell me that my assertion is “wrong” but you’ve not provided any evidence to sustain your opinion & my presumed error. I would have no difficulty with your saying “I disagree with you because ….” but to declare me wrong without any evidence? The contemporary Dominican order seems to agree with me when they write “The penitential rite offers forgiveness for all
        venial sin” in their recent publication titled “Preparing for the new Translation” by Fr. Pius Pietrzy. The rubrics even refer to the “absolution” of the priest. (Then) ++Theodore E. McCarrick also seems to disagree with you when he writes “Even at the beginning of every Mass we find a penitential rite. It is not part of the Sacrament of Penance nor does it forgive us from our serious sin, but like every act of goodness and grace, it helps to pardon the minor faults, the venial sins of our lives” (Pastoral Letter on Penance, Pentecost Sunday, 1995). Bill, given what the Dominicans of the St. Joseph province write and given ++McCarrick’s view of the matter I can’t help but presume you are mixing up your personal opinion on the matter with what V2 actually said and did.

    2. The Confiteor was in place a long long time without having its supposed negative effect on recourse to the sacrament of penance.

      Yes, its position in the Mass is certainly a confession of sin — quite rightly, in view of what its reciters are about to undertake. But there is no absolution following. What a curious claim.

      1. Are you arguing that the prayer which follows lacks efficacy?

        Now, if that is so, that is a curious claim.

    3. I have the sense that more recently ordained priests are being taught, or at least encouraged, to use it regularly. Actually, that’s a surmise based on an observation. It’s not universal but definitely a trend around here.

  13. I think we can have variety without getting into competition or consumerism. I think the problem is based on geographic parishes and dioceses and the equation of uniformity with unity.

    If an ordinary were to allow a fourth of his priests to write statements of liturgical direction and leadership and merge geographic boundaries so as to free church buildings for them to use to gather and shape a worshiping community while explicitly and repeatedly freeing people from their geographic parishes, then we might have some places where there were no problems with one-size-fits-all or lowest-common-denominator liturgies. It could be up to the members of the parish after the first three years of vision implementation to amend the vision and up to the ordinary to only appoint succeeding pastors who would accept the vision of the people and be willing to work to further it or maintain it while offering other talents.

    Alternatively, we have interpenetrating Roman and Eastern Rite dioceses already. Could we not reduce the number of “auxiliary” bishops and form overlapping Latin Rite and Vernacular Rite dioceses based on polling the PIP as to what are their liturgical desiderata might be in terms of atmosphere, approach, language, and sense of community, in order to determine how many buildings each rite would need?

    Again, the problems are ecclesiological and institutional. If we abandon uniformity being equated with unity and try to serve the liturgical needs of a diversity of people in a US economy where transportation makes very many church buildings within reach many people, then we can more consciously teach in each community the theology and tradition and scholarship which support FCAP in that form.

    We need to abandon the external structures in order to build and support vibrant communities.

    1. It would create more self-selecting communities, it would destroy the concept of liturgical rite, it would imprison the elderly, the poor, and many religious in worshiping communities that do not reflect the Roman tradition of their baptism. You’ve not considered the impact this kind of thing would have on rural parishes, religious houses, or heterogeneous parishes.

      1. Of course if you continue to see yourself as a persecuted minority and focus on special circumstances you will continue to reject any ideas other than those you already hold.

        How about considering it as a hypothetical good idea and offering ways to make it better?

  14. Bill deHaas :
    All of your comments are dead wrong…- sermon (we have homilies now)- sermon place to educate (homilies are about insights, experiences, and reflections on the breaking of the word of God and breaking of the bread that we are experiencing)

    Bill, I think you’re wrong about the homily. The GIRM says this about the homily: (65) The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.”

    There is nothing here to suggest that the homily cannot be educational.

    You say that “homilies are about insights, experiences, and reflections on the breaking of the word of God and breaking of the bread that we are experiencing.” Where did you get this definition. It certainly did NOT come from an official Church document. I’m always amazed that so many people (on both sides of the liturgical divide) think they know what a homily is and yet their definition has nothing to do with anything said in the liturgical documents. There’s nothing wrong with sharing insights, experiences and reflections, but that does not exclude education.

    Some people also claim that a homily must be on the readings of the day. This too is wrong, as can be seen from the text of the GIRM.

    Bill, perhaps you are “dead wrong.”

    1. Sorry, Michael – you are so rigid and literal…..this is a blog so I did not drill down and expand on every word.

      You used the term…SERMON….you won’t find that anymore…it is a homily…yes, you have quoted one relevant definition and nothing I said differed from that definition you found…I put it into my own words (which you are unable to understand because your outlook is so narrow).

      Homily should be on the readings of the day especially Sundays. In some settings, daily eucharist and the presider may have alternatives but it would never be the norm.

      Education – again, you did not understand what I said. Education can be defined many ways but catechesis is not the purpose of a homily. Breaking open the word of God can be a form of education but homilies are not intended to be didactic or another form of classroom teaching.

      Anyone who has taken homelitics, scripture classes, or liturgy would understand perfectly when I said: “homilies are about insights, experiences, and reflections on the breaking of the word of God and breaking of the bread that we are experiencing.” Unfortunately, you haven’t a clue to what I mean by a homilist using scripture to share stories with insights, experiences, and reflections.

      Try reading the gospel story on the road to Emmaus. That is an image of a homily.

      Tom – instead of playing “gotcha” with these other two; you might want to read the complete document; how liturgists have defined and expressed this. Their pattern of “mis”quoting and taking one or two phrases/sentences and then applying their own interpretation based on what?? Above he wanted me to rephrase and say: “if you choose this hermeneutic” then what I say is fine….except that some hermeneutics are not interpretations based on facts; what the fathers of VII really did or intend; they have clearly rewritten history to meet their own subjective goal. Agree that I now live in a new world and the constant fine tuning of GIRM since 2000 has completely dismayed me. GIRM is a tool – it is not the gospel; and it is actually an opinion – a lesgislative opinion and nothing more. GIRM (black/red) changes with the wind.

      To the editors of PrayTell – I find Barnett and McKernan to be tiresome in both their comments and their attitude. This blog is meant for those with an adult faith…these two need to move on.

      1. I guess we can pick and choose our documents. The USCCB document Fullfilled In Your Hearing: The Homily In The Sunday Assembly might shed some light.
        1. The very meaning and function of the homily is determined by its relation to the liturgical action of which it is a part. It flows from the Scriptures which are read at that liturgical celebration (p.22)
        2. The liturgical gathering is not primarily an educational assembly. Rather the homily is preached in order that a community of believers who have gathered to celebrate the liturgy may do so more deeply and more fully-more faithfully -and thus be formed for christian witness in the world. (p.18)
        3. The goal of the liturgical preacher is not to intepret a text of the Bible as much as to draw on the texts of the Bible as they are presented in the lectionary to interpret people’s lives. (p.18)

        So, I don’t think what you said was dead wrong at all.
        My best!

      2. Can’t tell you how many times I have read the GIRM or bemoaned the fact that pastors never seem to have read it at all.

        Usually Bill and I are on the same side of an issue. In this case I think this is the relevant GIRM text and appropriately cited.

        Just this once, these two annoying guys seem to have found something I can agree with and I want to show my open mindedness by saying so.

      3. Bill deHaas writes, “Education can be defined many ways but catechesis is not the purpose of a homily.” Absolutely right! Recall the Pew Forum statistics that show the greatest percentage of Catholics leaving the church because they do not find the spiritual resources they need to actualize the gospel in their secular lives. The homily is the point at which such resources should emerge, and when it becomes catechesis and–much worse–instruction via bishops’ letters in how to vote and whom not to vote for–it is a travesty. A good homily should give the hearer something to think about for a week or longer and something to discuss further as insights accumulate around the theme.

  15. Daniel McKernan :
    “The penitential rite offers forgiveness for venial sin” …The rubrics even refer to the “absolution” of the priest. .. like every act of goodness and grace, it helps to pardon the minor faults, the venial sins of our lives” (Pastoral Letter on Penance, Pentecost Sunday, 1995).

    These are some long jumps you are taking to does forgive venial sins. Note qualifying words like “offers” and “helps”.

    1. If you want to take me to task – fine….but the primary purpose of the “penitential rite” is not even forgiveness of venial sin….it is to center ourselves on what we are about to do as a community (note – not focused on the individual much less the individual’s sins and sorry, there really is no “absolution” at this time. Your hermeneutic isn’t based on anything factual – only your imagination) It is a time to express our faith in a merciful God….if anything, this is an area in the liturgy in which we never achieved the goals of the new Order of Mass and its principles. Presider after presider has mis-read this part of the liturgy and knee jerked back to an over-emphasis on individual sin (think of those priests who draw attention to this by an elaborate display of crossing themselves at this time).

      1. Bill, I’m not sure that I agree with your statement that there is no ‘absolution’ at this time, if by absolution you mean forgiveness.

        When the presider prays ‘May almighty God have mercy on us forgive us our sins….’ how is that so different from what happens in sacramental reconciliation?

        Perhaps the 2010 translation with its literalist translation of the Ablative Absolute ‘dimissis peccatis nostris’ as ‘and with our sins forgiven’ – thus avoiding an explicit prayer that God would forgive us our sins, intends to diminish the similarity between the two – in case people thought that God had forgiven them their sins and that therefore they did not need to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.

      2. Mike Burns – thanks for your excellent insert _ sorry, should have quoted that. Also, I had a course with Ralph….he inspired me; challenged me especially in terms of a celebratory style that I understood – no action could be taken that I could not explain with documented resources; thinking; research, expert opinion.

        Yes, the cluttered entrance rite is exactly what came to mind as I read those comments above.

        Daniel McKernan – number #27 – carefully read what Mr. Burns has cited. Quoting from a Dominican (so what) doesn’t make it correct? Shoot, he thinks the new translation is the best thing since sliced bread. Quoting from that retired cardinal even more so (don’t get me started – that specific cardinal should be in a monastery doing penance)

        Joe – did a number of MA papers on eucharist as the primary sacrament of reconciliation…too long to go into here.

        Thanks, Fr. Flynn.

      3. The GIRM describes the penitential rite as an act of penitence in which the assembly makes a general confession. The rite concludes with the priest’s absolution which however lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance. I would argue that if there is absolution it would have to be from sin. Since mortal sin can only be absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation the sin would be venial. The lacking efficacy would be the grace of the sacrament as well as any acts of penitential restoration.

        51. Then the priest invites those present to take part in the Act of Penitence, which, after a brief pause for silence, the entire community carries out through a formula of general confession. The rite concludes with the priest’s absolution, which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance. (GIRM)

      4. “Your hermeneutic isn’t based on anything factual – only your imagination)”

        Bill, I’ve offered you the opinion of a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a representative of the Dominican province of St. Joseph, the existing GIRM, and we could add the unbroken tradition of our people’s perspective on the Penitential Rite. You’ve offered your opinion, and that is fine, but I see nothing substantive beyond that. You go on to tell us how wrong the various presiders (sic) are but still nothing substantive. It seems to me that the weight of the evidence still maintains that the confiteor (and the other penitential options) assist in the forgiveness of venial sin.
        You go on to reflect the difficulty that many progressives continue to have with the Entrance Rite of Holy Mass. One of the wonderful things Pope Paul VI did probably in keeping with the collegial requests of the 1967 Synod of Bishops was preserve the Entrance Rite of the Mass along with the offertory. This was one of my major difficulties with the proposed 1998 translation – the way it sought to modify the Entrance Rite with all those rubrical changes and the near elimination of the Act of Penance with the Gloria, compelling us to choose one or the other.

  16. Here are four short video clips produced by the RC bishops in Ireland to prepare for the new translation. The first is by John McAreavey, the Irish RC Bishops’ representative on ICEL.

    The focus of the presentation is on the necessity for the new version of the missal, mostly to accommodate the additions to MR2. The question of a new translation is dealt with very cursorily. There is no reference to the 1998 translation. It is as if it has never been produced.

    http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2011/04/14/the-new-translation-of-the-roman-missal/

  17. I looked at 4 minutes of the first video — it makes no effort to defend the new translations or to quote them but instead offers repetitive and boring comments on the new propers of saints (Padre Pio, Edith Stein) — this is very ineffective communication. Of course that is what happens when you try to put lipstick on a pig.

  18. Fr Patrick Jones talks about catechetical preparation:

    “the catechesis will continue to be extended to all who are part of our congregations, whether regularly on Sundays, on weekdays and occasionally. If it is sometimes said that the changes in the 1970s were introduced with catechesis or
    explanation [I THINK A “NOT” IS MISSING HERE[ , that should not be the situation today. It might be more difficult to change
    from English to English now rather than the dramatic change from Latin to the vernacular”. Again there is no recognition that a change from drab English to good English would have been warmly welcomed.
    forty years ago.”

  19. Gerald – agree with your comment but again there are various options and you focus on one option and I don’t think that absolution is the focus.

    Tom – you want to re-read Mike Burns above and reconsider your even-handed comment?

  20. Bill deHaas :
    What a couple of us have noticed in our comments to date is that there is a tendency to make deacons a second class priest; make them clerics.

    But they are clerics, Bill. Look at the Code of Canon Law.

    1. Canon law says lots of things that are not necessarily clear or even desirable.

      Your quotation is correct and is acted upon …..my questions go beyond that in terms of intent, development, and original principles.

  21. #10 Fritz Bauerschmidt
    For some reason I cannot respond to this post above. So I will respond here. Where exactly does it say that the deacon reads the prayers of the faithful?
    Paragraph 71 of the GIRM includes the deacon as one possible reader of the prayers of the faithful.
    “The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.”

  22. Deacon Fritz (aka Dean) – thanks for your response. Agree that I have experienced the same reality that you describe.

    Example – as we made this change Easter Sunday, the next parish over with an auxiliary bishop as pastor (our old pastor) did not make that change. Two different ways of applying an interpretation of GIRM…and our change was explained carefully by the current pastor in person – he used your words also….did not want this to appear as a take away from the lay lectors. Of course, he used a poor story saying how most priests would prefer to read the gospel themselves (rather than the deacon) especially when they preach so they have to give to the GIRM also…..quoting some liturgists who feel that the one who preaches should be the one who proclaims the gospel. It worked for most of the lectors – just not me…what I call a “limping analogy that limped badly”. Sounded like a cheap marketing trick.

    Sorry, along with other changes since 2000, it appears to be a “reclericalization” of the eucharist.

  23. It is the Prayer (singular) of the Faithful and it is appropriate that it be pronounced by a member of the faithful. Yes of course deacons, priests and bishops are also part of the faithful. However since it is the point at which the faithful get to have their prayer articulated, why confine the articulation to the ordained faithful?

    It’s bad enough that the faithful may not preach without excluding them from another liturgical function.

  24. “The contemporary Dominican order seems to agree with me when they write “The penitential rite offers forgiveness for all venial sin” in their recent publication titled “Preparing for the new Translation” ” D.McK.

    This must be the largest-scale generalisation ever recorded on PT, given the thousands of sisters, nuns, friars and Dominican third-order members worldwide.

    One member of the order has expressed an opinion.

    1. Gerard, you obviously haven’t been paying attention, and learning how the minds of the nasties who have hijacked this blog think – it goes like this: “a Dominican said it, therefore all Dominicans say it” and this leads logically and naturally to “I said it, therefore the magisterium and tradition say it.”

      (It might well have started during the last pontificate when, whether on the subject of the Divine Mercy devotions started by the madwoman Faustina, or views expressed about ordination, we learnt “the Pope said it, therefore all popes say it, and indeed God says it.”)

      As Professor Rindfleisch said at a recent Roman symposium “Pray Tell has now become the Lite version of the America or National Catholic Reporter blog.” Please try to stay on the page, Gerard. It will soon be 1950.

  25. Daniel McKernan :
    It seems to me that the weight of the evidence still maintains that the confiteor (and the other penitential options) assist in the forgiveness of venial sin.
    You go on to reflect the difficulty that many progressives continue to have with the Entrance Rite of Holy Mass. One of the wonderful things Pope Paul VI did probably in keeping with the collegial requests of the 1967 Synod of Bishops

    Note how you used “assist” so correctly above and how much difference that makes the statement from your original one to which many objected which stated flatly that the penitential rite forgave venial sins.

    Note also how much the value of the second citation above depends on the very subjective word “probably”.

    It seems that your general statements often ignore nuances which you know and which others here consider very important and undermining of the generalizations.

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