Logistical problems with the New Missal in the UK

on the website of The Tablet today:

CTS bars US missals as UK stocks run low

The Catholic Truth Society (CTS) has blocked attempts by bookshops and parishes to buy chapel editions of the new English translation of the Missal from America after its own supplies sold out. The CTS told Columba Press and Books Services in Ireland that they were forbidden from selling an American version of the chapel edition of the Missal – which is half the price of the £230 altar version – in the UK. CTS has sole authority to supply the altar and chapel editions in Britain and Australia but it has run out of the chapel version and will not have copies available until February.

The decision to restrict the publication of the new text to one publisher has caused some ill feeling: see here.  CTS’s justification arises from the quite extraordinary care being taken with a book designed to be physically durable (in a way that it’s UK predecessor notoriously was not): see here and here. One suspects that the price and weight of the altar missal caused more people than anticipated to settle for the chapel edition.

CTS may be able to stop Veritas in Ireland–but they surely won’t be able to prevent UK and Australian purchasers from going to Amazon.


  1. Ah, so it is all about the money. In this church that should come as no surprise, but there you have it, tied up with a bow.

  2. Of course it’s about the money (and power)! CTS have the monopoly on selling the new Missal, a very nice earner for them given that every church needs one. Out of principle I am going to boycott their publications, where possible.
    I read about this some months ago in The Tablet, other Catholic publishers were not happy with this but could do nothing about it.
    It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth that a Catholic organisation can act in this “bullying” way.

  3. Church-affiliated publishers seem to work hand in glove with the Vatican in its abuse of power — they are to the fore in silencing good theologians and promoting bad ones. Their role in the current missal debacle will merit close analysis.

    1. What has this got to do with the Vatican?

      The USCCB allowed several publishers to publish the Missals and Rome didn’t bat an eyelid.

      On the other hand, the Bishops Conferences of England and Wales, Scotland and Australia authorised only one publisher.

      There seems to be a silliness among some posters here to blame the Vatican for every thing they don’t like or disagree with, based on their own subjectivities. That is so naive, unthinking and childish behaviour.

      1. I was speaking of the behavior of Vatican- and Bishop-controlled Catholic publishing houses on the front of theological publishing. It does not surprise me at all if their behavior on the liturgical front shows a similar seaminess.

      2. I don’t happen to agree with the opinion that the Apostolic See and the Bishops have been coming down hard on good theologians. Those they have been coming down on are really not good theologians; and there are others out there that I pray and hope the Bishops would do something about.

        But this is not the focus of this thread, so I will just leave this at that.

      3. Simon Ho, I know an impeccable orthodox Catholic theologians whose books have imprimaturs in Poland and who for no good reason is forbidden by the Vatican to teach Catholic theology. And if you consider, say, Charles Curran as not a good theologian, I respectfully suggest that you are poorly informed.

  4. Interestingly, in my region, the Bishops have declared that using new Missals published by any other publisher (other than the appointed one) renders the Mass illicit. I doubt even the Bishop would know if Mass is illicit unless he looked at the title page.

    But on the bright side, they also said attending Mass at the SSPX chapel is illicit. The SSPX is as serious as using the wong edition of th altar Missal that has exactly the same texts.

    1. That sounds awfully close to simony to me – “the prayers only work if you read them from this book, not that book!”

      1. Isn’t simony the sale of grace or articles which have been blessed and set aside for liturgicl/sacred purposes?

  5. For many years priests in the UK bought and used the American Sacramentary, so nothing new here. The print was a lot clearer, for one thing.

    Legibility is also going to be a factor today. I have just brought back to England a new chapel edition of the Missal. The first thing I notice is that the typography is miles better than the CTS chapel edition. Much easier for priests to read. Priests with varifocals using the CTS edition complain, quite rightly, that it’s not easily usable at the altar.

    And the ICEL music graphics, which are virtually unreadable in the CTS edition, are halfway legible in the Liturgical Press edition. (Of course, the problem is with the ICEL graphics themselves, but let’s leave that to a separate thread.)

  6. Meanwhile, the ordinary people of the UK are finding it very difficult to get hold of any Sunday missals at all. Amazon.co.uk offer two versions, one by Collins and one by CTS, whose publication dates have both been successively delayed, in the CTS case well into the new year!

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