06Aug The Vatican’s Tahrir Square? Fr. Kevin T. Kelly

The Vatican’s Tahrir Square?
Fr Kevin Kelly


Kevin T Kelly is a retired parish priest and emeritus Research Fellow in Moral Theology at Liverpool Hope University.
Address: 31 Arch View Crescent, Liverpool, L1 7BA, England. The author has sent this text to all the bishops of England and Wales.

In 1975 in my role as Director of the Upholland Northern Institute (UNI) I was involved in arranging the very first In-Service Training course for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It was on the theme, ‘The Bishop as Teacher’ and was held at the UNI. When the bishops arrived, they all had embargoed copies of the CDF Declaration, Persona Humana, on sexual issues which was due to be published during the week. Quite a number of the bishops shared with me their deep unease about the Declaration. They were highly critical of it and made no secret of that to me and to each other. I was given a copy and asked to run a special session on it. When I read it, I could see why they felt so critical. Despite its title, Personal Humana was based on a theological approach which failed to do justice to Vatican II’s person-centred vision of moral theology. In my talk I suggested to the bishops that, if they were to be faithful to their role of teachers, they should be prepared to voice their criticism of the Declaration, if they were interviewed by the media. I stressed that we owe it to the truth to be honest and authentic in what we say. Positive criticism is intrinsic to good teaching. As far as I know, none of them followed my suggestion in their subsequent TV and Radio interviews.

What disturbed me even more was the text of a telegram I found in an issue of Documentation Catholique.a few months later. It was sent to the CDF from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and thanked them for their excellent Declaration, Persona Humana! That left a bad taste in my mouth. It suggested a kind of ‘double speak’, as though there was a dysfunctionality in communications within the Church.

That seems to be relevant at present with regard to the new translation of the Roman Missal. I may be wrong, but I have the impression that at least some, perhaps many, of the bishops share the unhappiness about the new translation which is felt by many priests and lay Catholics. Yet the new translation is being promoted as a precious gift. Let me quote from a suggested insert for parish newsletters for the coming weeks sent out by Liverpool Archdiocese. “The new translation brings with it a deeper and more profound meaning of the mystery we have gathered to celebrate at Mass.” This is because “we have grown as a Church over the last 40 years in terms of understanding how to better translate our Latin texts into the vernacular language of the people”. Consequently, “the changes also bring us a wonderful opportunity as a Church to delve more deeply into the mystery of Christ Jesus and the praise and thanksgiving we offer to God, our Father, during Mass”.

I love the liturgy, I really do. I find it a rich source for my own devotional life. But I find those quotations deeply disturbing, arousing the same feeling of uneasiness I experienced with the Bishops’ telegram to the CDF. I simply cannot identify myself with what is being said. It smacks too much of a ‘double-speak’, not the straightforward ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ that Jesus urged us to follow. On the Sunday following Mubarak’s stepping down as President of Egypt, I made the following point in my homily to the community of Notre Dame Sisters with whom I am privileged to share the Eucharist each day.

“Re-reading the first paragraph of Benedict’s 2009 social encyclical, ‘Caritas in Veritate, has helped me to see beneath the surface of what has been happening in Tahrir Square. Benedict writes: “Love is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of Justice and Peace.” He goes on to stress that this force “has its origin in God” and is a “vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person.” The crowd in Tahrir Square were mainly Muslims but also included many secularists and Coptic Christians. They showed “courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace” in their peaceful demands for a peaceful, non-violent transition to genuine human freedom and justice. Benedict’s amazing words applied to them and made me very conscious that what I was seeing on TV was God’s spirit present and active in these people.”

I am sure many people felt that same “extraordinary force” was tangible in the crowds during the Benedict XVI’s UK visit. I certainly felt that at Evensong in Westminster Abbey.

However, I also feel that this “extraordinary force” is also manifesting itself in the growing unease about the imposition of the new translation of the Roman Missal. A grass-roots resistance seems to be growing among ordinary Catholics who are deeply concerned at the impact this new translation will have on their Sunday Mass. They had no say in what is happening. They feel disempowered. To my mind, their instinct is right. The New Missal imposition is just one instance of the abuse of power in our Church. It is just the tip of the ice-berg. I sense a growing discontent among many very committed Catholics who have a deep love for the church. They feel it is losing touch with the Spirit-inspired vision of Vatican II and its hope for the future. They want to mount a protest against this but there seems no appropriate channel for such protest.

Vatican II placed collegiality at the very heart of church governance. Implied in that teaching is the involvement of all the faithful through collaborative ministry and corresponsibility. The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales made that abundantly clear in The Sign we Give, the magnificent 1995 Report from their Working Party on Collaborative Ministry. Sadly, these developments in church governance, so central to the renewal of the Church, have never been properly implemented. That continues to this very day. Until recently most Catholics have felt they had no choice but to tolerate of this abuse of power. Now, however, I suspect that the ‘Tahrir Square’ syndrome in the church is a sign that the “extraordinary force” of the fire of the Holy Spirit is beginning to disturb us from our complacency.

The flagrant misuse of power involved in the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just about its pastorally disastrous kind of language. It is also about the serious disregard for Vatican II’s teaching on collegiality in the process leading up to the New Missal. The original International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was set up after the Council and was a fine example of the implementation of collegiality, since it was answerable to the English-speaking bishops conferences throughout the world. ICEL’s only link with the Congregation of Divine Worship (CDW) was the requirement to obtain a ‘recognitio’ (a kind of ‘rubber stamp’!) for its proposed texts and translations. ICEL was also true to Vatican II’s ecumenical spirit since it worked with the liturgical agencies of other Christian churches to ensure that the common texts and the cycle of biblical readings would be shared in common by the churches. Moreover, it tried to avoid as far as possible exclusive language which might be offensive to women. These original ICEL texts were carefully vetted and voted upon by all the English-speaking bishops’ conferences and are still used today throughout the English-speaking world. However, from the start ICEL had been aware that the need to provide English texts as soon as reasonably possible after the Council inevitably meant that their texts were far from perfect. In fact, Archbishop Denis Hurley, a major figure at Vatican II and first Chair of ICEL, immediately set in motion the work of revising and refining these texts. He gathered together a team of liturgical and literary experts to undertake this task. The guiding principle for their work was based on Vatican II’s insistence that the “full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else” (Liturgy Constitution, n.14) Consequently, this team was commissioned to produce texts which, while not being literal word-for-word translations, should be faithful to the meaning of the original, as well as being simple, dignified and easily understandable. In this they were following the guidance enshrined in the Vatican II-inspired 1969 instruction, Comme le prevoit, approved by Paul VI.

By 1998 ICEL’s revised version of the Roman Missal was complete and had been examined and approved by all the English-speaking bishops’ conferences. It was then sent to the Congregation of Divine Worship (CDW) for its formal ‘recognitio’. This was refused, completely disregarding the key Vatican II principle of collegiality! Moreover, without any consultation, the CDW brought out an entirely new set of guidelines, Liturgiam Authenticam, which insisted on a much more literal fidelity in translating and actually warned against any ecumenical involvement in the process. Moreover, it showed total insensitivity to women by ruling out any use of inclusive language! Archbishop Hurley, by then no longer Chair of ICEL, is reported to have said: “I find the attitude reflected in the proposed change in translation practice a distressing departure from the spirit of collegiality in favour of authoritative imposition”. He even wrote to a friend: “At times I find it difficult to understand the attitude of the Roman Curia. It seems to be more concerned with power than with humble service.” (both quotations from Paddy Kearney, Guardian of the Light: Denis Hurley, Renewing the Church, opposing Apartheid, (New York, London, T & T Clark, 2009), pp.292 & 295)

A radically reconstituted ICEL set out to produce a new Roman Missal following the new guide-lines. In due course this was sent out to the English-speaking bishops’ conferences. They could have rejected this new Missal but instead chose to approve it. It looks as though they had given up hope of any genuine collegiality. The earlier revision of the Missal which all the Bishops’ conferences had approved in 1998 was virtually binned, despite being the fruit of years of dedicated expertise and ecumenical cooperation by the commission set up by the original ICEL. A full account of this sad and shameful affair is found in Chapters 4 and 5 of It’s the Eucharist, Thank God (Decani Books, Brandon, Suffolk, 2009) by Bishop Maurice Taylor who was chair of ICEL during the fateful years of 1997 to 2002.

This new Missal has provoked widespread dismay and disquiet, especially among many clergy, fearful of its negative impact on parishioners. For instance, in January of this year the eminent US liturgical scholar, Anthony Ruff OSB, withdrew from a commission given him by the US bishops to help prepare people for the new translation of the Roman Missal in dioceses across the US. In his letter of withdrawal he wrote:“…my involvement in that process, as well as my observation of the Holy See’s handling of scandal, has gradually opened my eyes to the deep problems in the structures of authority of our church. The forthcoming missal is but a part of a larger pattern of top-down impositions by a central authority that does not consider itself accountable to the larger church. When I think of how secretive the translation process was, how little consultation was done with priests or laity, … how unsatisfactory the final text is, how this text was imposed on national conferences of bishops in violation of their legitimate episcopal authority…—and then when I think of Our Lord’s teachings on service and love and unity…I weep.” (America, 14/2/11)

Anthony Ruff is not a lone voice. On 3 February the Irish Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) issued a press release entitled “New Translation of the Missal Unacceptable”. They described the texts as “archaic, elitist and obscure and not in keeping with the natural rhythm, cadence and syntax of the English language” and say: “from the few available samples of the new texts, it is clear that the style of English used throughout the Mass will be so convoluted that it will be difficult to read the prayers in public.” Moreover, they continue: “It is ironic that this Latinised, stilted English is being imposed on Irish people who are so blessed with world-renowned poets, playwrights, and novelists.” They ask the bishops to follow the German bishops who have objected to similar texts being imposed on them and urge them to defer the Missal’s introduction for five years to give them time to “engage with Irish Catholics with a view to developing a new set of texts that will adequately reflect the literary genius and spiritual needs of our Church community in these modern times”.

Two years earlier, an article appeared in America (14/12/09) entitled What If We Said, ‘Wait’? The case for a grass-roots review of the new Roman Missal, by Fr Michael G. Ryan. He spoke out of his experience as Pastor of St. James Cathedral, Seattle since 1988 and board member of the national Cathedral Ministry Conference. He tells of the reactions of “disbelief and indignation“ of his friends to some of the translations; and of “audible laughter in the room” at a diocesan seminar for priests and lay-leaders. One reaction will strike chords with many:

“with all that the church has on its plate today—global challenges with regard to justice, peace and the environment; nagging scandals; a severe priest shortage; the growing disenchantment of many women; seriously lagging church attendance—it seems almost ludicrous to push ahead with an agenda that will seem at best trivial and at worst hopelessly out-of-touch.”

He also notes that when the new translations were mistakenly introduced ahead of time in South Africa they “were met almost uniformly with opposition bordering on outrage”. Fr Ryan makes a gentle “What if?” challenge to his fellow priests:

“What if we, the parish priests of this country who will be charged with the implementation, were to find our voice and tell our bishops that we want to help them avert an almost certain fiasco? What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright? What if we just said, “Wait, not until our people are ready for the new translations, but until the translations are ready for our people”?”

I recommend Ryan’s article very highly, especially to priests. Many Catholics seem to have mixed feelings about the church at present. At one level they really do love the church and, in the UK at least, felt boosted by the Pope’s visit. Yet they also agree with Tina Beattie’s comment that the problems have not gone away. A lot of these problems are related to the way the authority of God is being used to shore up teaching which, at the very least, is open to debate and, in some instances, rejected as inadequate by many theologians and most people in the church trying to be faithful to the spirit of Vatican II. I am thinking, for instance, of the rich understanding of human sexuality found in current Catholic and Christian theology, revealing to women and men, gays and lesbians, the depth of their God-given dignity and the ultimate foundation for their sense of self-worth. The same is true of developments in liturgical and Eucharistic theology with its emphasis on full participation, so crucial to the spirit of Vatican II. Using authority to close down these legitimate debates paralyses pastoral imagination from exploring new ways of coping with such down-to-earth issues as the sacraments to the divorced-remarried, Eucharistic hospitality in an ecumenical context, general absolution’s highlighting the social dimension of sin, as well as stifling the much-needed debate on contraception, the ordination of women, and the presence of God’s love in the faithful love lives of gays and lesbians.

It seems to be increasingly recognised that abuse of power is also a key factor lying at the heart of the scandal of clergy sex-abuse and Episcopal cover-up. The eradication of this horrendous abuse of power seems to lie not just in dealing with the actual perpetrators but also in a radical conversion of the organisational pathology of the church itself. I cannot get out of my mind the telling words of Brendan Callaghan SJ: “The faces of this tragedy are always the faces of the hurt and betrayed children, and we must somehow find the courage neither to turn away from those faces nor to diminish what they show us of death and destruction.”

For some readers this article might seem too negative and disturbing, especially as coming from a 77-year old retired priest and emeritus (“past it”) moral theologian. I hope and pray that what I have written is empowered by the same “extraordinary force” of God’s love referred to by Benedict XVI which I mentioned in my opening paragraph. God alone can judge that. Certainly it is what I pray for each morning with the words, “Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in us (and in me) the fire of your love”.

At the opening of the 2nd Session of Vatican II, Paul VI spoke of the church as “the Bride of Christ looking upon Christ to discern in him her true likeness” and reminded the bishops that: “If in doing so she were to discover some shadow, some defect, some stain upon her wedding garment, what should be her instinctive, courageous reaction? There can be no doubt that her primary duty would be to reform, correct and set herself aright in conformity with her divine model”. Yves Congar, Hans Kung & Daniel O’Hanlon, Council Speeches of Vatican II (Sheed & Ward, London, 1964) p.51. Paul VI was not encouraging a spirit of negative criticism at the Council. He was inviting the bishops to show their love for the church by facing up to its need for healing and renewal. Positive criticism should be loving, inspiring and life-giving. I believe, with many others, that the church needs this kind of love more than ever at this point in time – not a soft love but a courageous reforming love. Henri DeLubac is reported to have said: “If we do not learn to love the church in its sinfulness, we will not love the church loved by the Lord but, rather, some figment of our romantic imagination.” cf. George B Wilson SJ, Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood, (Collegeville, Liturgical Press, 2008) p.x. As members of this sinful church, each of us, myself included, needs to ask the Spirit to help us discern how we are part of that sinfulness and especially in this Lenten season ask for forgiveness and healing.

Kevin T Kelly

16 Responses

  1. Christine Gilsen

    Fr Kevin

    You have expressed what many of my friends and I are experiencing in our church at this time. The imposition of the New Missal is an overt abuse of power and is symptomatic of a church that is concerned with artificial prestige.

    I am a member of a group of people who come together from all over Ireland, to meet God in our relationships with each other and with the world. Over the years, I have heard many stories of how both overt and covert abuses of power have led to the disempowerment of individuals and of several parish communities. Some of these stories are heart breaking and the tragic thing is that the harm caused to both the individual and their community, has been perpetrated by just one person, who is a man (because women are excluded from the priesthood).

    I hear stories of individual parish priests holding entire parish communities to ransom, over matters such as refusing to implement Pastoral Councils; sacking of Eucharistic Ministers without justified reason; refusal of Communion under both species – even for special occasions, and other more alarming incidents that continue to come to light in some parishes around Ireland. It is wrong to continue to allow the actions and inactions of one person to abuse and deprive an entire parish community. These concerns may appear minor compared with the effect of the abuse of power on the victims of sexual abuse, but they do highlight the need for structural change in the church.

    Many of us will have exclaimed, “They just don’t get it!” in reaction to the church cover up of child sexual abuse and the imposition of the New Missal. This has been replaced by, “I don’t get it! I just don’t get how the church is meant to be Christian yet it seems to act in a way that is the antithesis of everything Jesus valued! I just don’t get how Jesus said … yet the church … and so on!”

    The Good News is that there are countless stories of priests who selflessly seek to build up the Body of Christ with all the people of God. All of us can emulate Jesus and be inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit to listen respectfully and lovingly to one another, both to those whose views we agree with and to those we do not. Each one of us has our own story that has contributed to our actions/inactions and sinfulness. Perhaps the time has come for some of us to get together and work out how we can listen to our sisters and brothers in a way that demonstrates our desire for authenticity before God?

  2. Peter

    What a wonderful article.

    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1. Imagine what would happen if huge numbers of priests simply refused on principle to implement the new texts? Would the bishops suspend them all?

    2. I wonder how much of this is a delibrate ploy by some in the Church to create a smaller Church composed solely of those who are entirely obedient to the voce of Rome on every issue, small or great, those for whom there can never be a conscientious objection to the teaching of any church authority, local or global. Get rid of the liberals, the questionners, the gays, the moral relativists, the contraception users, the single parents, the non-contributors, the occasional attenders, the no confession folk, the critics, the disobedient, the democrats.

    Yeah, I must just be paranoid: the Church is an open welcoming community for all in accordance with the mind of Christ, ut unum sint.

  3. Andrew Harper

    I think we have to be careful here and while I have some concerns with the new translations, I do not think it would be appropriate for priests to boycott them or use them as a vehicle for protest. The Eucharist should be a source for unifying the community not dividing it – we have to be very careful at where we draw the line.

  4. Peter

    While I understand Andrew’s well founded concerns, I am of the personal view that Rome has not been bound by any such consideration and is freely using the Eucharist via the new texts to get the troops back in line. I suspect this will be on those new litmus tests as altar girls were in the past? Is HE sound? Did he adopt the new texts? Did he question or query Rome’s fiat in this matter?
    There is also the matter of material cooperation by adoption of these texts in the Roman meod of ignoring the people. There are very legitimate grounds to boycott these texts without doing damage to the Eucharist.

  5. Gerard Flynn

    If Summorum pontificium allowed or tolerated two forms of the same rite, a precedent was set thereby. The way is now clear for two forms of the Ordinary Form, the new interlinear ‘translation’ and the current missal.

  6. Soline Humbert

    What fruit do we expect from Eucharistic celebrations infected by that pathological addiction to power and control, that very temptation Jesus warned his diciples most strongly against? What happens when the Eucharistic gathering is where and when spiritual abuse takes place and wounds most deeply ? What happens when so many are excluded. Where is the Communion? Is it a case of “Woe to you…”

  7. Kyle

    To Peter, No, if priests refused to implement the texts I doubt very much that they’d be suspended by the hierarchy. After all, the same member of the hierarchy did little or nothing to prevent children suffering the most dreadful abuse.

  8. Association of Catholic Priests

    I have been wondering, in all the debate about the proposed liturgical text changes, why nobody (or has somebody?) suggested appealing to the old and time-honoured principle of Epikeia.
    Epikeia can be described as “a subjective norm of conscience, which, by its own private judgement, considers itself excused from observance of the law in particularly difficult cases and circumstances that would make observance extremely burdensome” (L. Chiappetta, Prontuario di diritto canonico e concordatario, s.v. “Epikeia”, Rome 1994, p. 523).
    It is also explained: ” The principle of Epikeia, in fact, is not only a moral principle but also a fully juridical one: by it we determine that the law in question does not oblige in a particular case.”
    Epikeia was defined by Aristotle, and later by St Thomas in his comment on the text, as
    a correction of the law when its application in a given case proves unjust.

    One of our highly regarded modern theologians understands Epikeia as follows:
    “Where an authority is unwilling to change a grossly unjust or unreasonable law, rule, or practice, a person is entitled to act on the basis of what would have been a reasonable response by the authority.” ( Donal Dorr – “ Time for a Change”, 2004, p. 245 )
    Put simply, church authorities are limited in their powers. They may not make arbitrary use of their authority.

    Well, that is good enough for me! Causa finita est. What thinkest thou?


  9. andrew Harper

    I notice that cardinal burke is coming back to Ireland again in september – he is a frequent visitor to these shores – does anyone know why this should be?

  10. Theresa

    Kyle, unfortunately my experience causes doubt to that comment: our bishop was asked to mediate in a parish dispute where the priest was completely intolerant of parishoners,causing many of them to leave, and was told “that’s between you and the priest”:in the next breath he was queried as to number of “mass in honor of” at one mass as we have reduced numbers of priests and Masses: the bishop replied he would certainly speak to “that priest” if doing more than one.

  11. Erwin

    I live in Germany.

    In 1983 I bought a Sunday Missal in German. In the forward of that missal (which I still possess today) it was explained that Vatican II had transferred independent authority to local bishops’ conferences to promulgate liturgical texts, and that therefore the German texts in that missal should not be understood as translations of the Latin texts, but as independent creations.

    Many years later, I asked an expert working at the Congregation for the Liturgy about this. He confirmed that indeed in the years following the Council there had been much enthusiasm for the newly won “responsibility” of local bishops. After all, the Vatican was hardly able to control the quality of translations for all languages in which mass is read – they even did not take much care in the case of world languages like English and French. Meanwhile, however, the situation has changed. There is growing awareness that many of the texts currently in use are of very poor quality, both theologically and linguistically. It was for this reason that it has now been clarified that all vernacular texts must indeed be translations of the Latin texts.

    I believe that this is necessary, otherwise the diversity of texts would slowly lead to a diversity of faiths…

  12. Gerard Flynn

    There was great diversity of texts in the early Christian centuries. Before written text were deemed necessary, prayers were composed impromptu. Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy have more than 100 eucharistic prayers. At least one of these doesn’t have an institution narrative.(Addai and Mari.)In the Roman rite for centuries we were impoverished by the use of only a single anaphora. The enculturation of the gospel, the earliest form of which involved a movement from a Jewish/Semitic base to a Hellenistic/Greek milieu, is an on-going necessity and highlighted by the Second Vatican Council.
    Yes the vernacular translations are from the Latin. While some of the prayers were composed originally in Latin, Latin is not the original language of Christianity. Aramaic and Greek have stronger claims. A translation from the Latin is only partially accomplished if it retains the syntax of the original. The English language does not require imported Latin syntax to convey an elevated style. It’s perfectly well capable of elevation of style using its own linguistic structure. Importing Latin syntax into English, mimicing the Latin order is pseudo-elevated, pseudo-literary pseudo-sacral and ultimately, pseudo-English.
    If a text sounds like a translation it’s a failure.

  13. Paul Burns

    Many thanks for a thoughtful and intelligent debate. My concern is not just about the top down diktat on the liturgy but on the confusing impact it will have on people like my father, aged 90, who are already dismayed by the current state of the church. The younger generation will pay no attention whatever. Deck chairs and Titanic come to mind.

  14. carole young

    I have found my way to this website having just read today’s copy of “The Tablet” which is full of the despair of so many clergy and lay people at the state of the Church today. The new translation imposed from above is clearly appalling from a linguistic point of view, but what is worse, and we are all recognising this in this discussion, is that it’s symptomatic of the blatant abuse of power by a hierarchy which is seriously wrecking the church and the lack of courage of bishops to stand up to the bullying and abuse. Images abound this week of the collapse of the Twin Towers in New york ten years ago and I can’t help seeing in that image a church imploding on itself. My life experiences have resulted in my being a complete misfit in the church and the straw that finally broke this partucular camel’s back was the sight a few months ago of a smiling cardinal showing Mr and Mrs Mugabe of Zimbabwe to their seats at the canonisation of the last pope. The Austrian clergy are showing signs of saying enough is enough and I wish the Irish clergy well as they too begin to show courage and defiance in the face of what for too long has been a tyranny of rule by an elite group of men who are crying out for a mature, educated laity and priesthood to force them to look at themselves and have the courage to show humility. I’ve had my courage and energy knocked out of me and for the sake of my personal integrity and self-esteem I have now walked away from the church. We were always told the Holy Spirit would never leave the church but the church seems to have drifted very far from the Spirit and is hurting so many people so deeply that they will never return. Perhaps the church whas to implode so that something more honest and true can emerge from the ashes.

  15. am i psychic

    am i psychic…

    […]The Vatican’s Tahrir Square? Fr. Kevin T. Kelly. Association of Catholic Priests[…]…

  16. Frank Milller

    I am leaving this message and wondering why! I have been a catholic since birth and I can only remember once refusing to go to mass despite an often poor faith. That occassion was the first Sunday in September when the new mass translation was introduced.
    I had two reasons for my protest. The first was the way the new translation has been introduced including the sad lack of laity involvement. The second is the constant reference to a better translation of the latin mass which causes me a lot of concern. I do seriously wonder that, if there is no major protest about the changes, there will soon come a time when we will have the latin mass imposed on us.
    I do find mass rather sad now. Not only are the responses muddled and some of the liturgy sounding rather unintelligible we aren’t even allowed to sing Gloria and other parts of the mass unless they use the ‘correct words’. I know that after Vatican II there were many who found the new translation then very difficult and maybe, just maybe, we will grow to know it and love it. However, it is going to be very difficult to overcome the hurt caused by the method and reasoning behind the changes.
    I don’t know what to do really. Do I grin and bear it or should I make a more vocal protest?
    I did let my bishop (of Lancaster) know that I was making a protest and he replied that I was the only letter of protest. That’s a shame.

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