Press Release: Missal Wording

PRESS RELEASE 25th September 2017
Association of Catholics in Ireland

The ACI welcomes the decision by Pope Francis to return the authority for liturgical translations to bishops and urges the Irish bishops to move quickly to restore the pre2011 vernacular Mass liturgy.

The Association of Catholics in Ireland has welcomed the recent decision of Pope Francis (Motu Proprio 3.9.2017) to return to local conferences of bishops the responsibility for determining the wording and responses of the Mass liturgy. This decision is in line with the intention of Vatican II to develop a spirit of creativity, freedom and collegiality in local churches.

As Ireland’s bishops will have this liturgical authority from October 1st 2017 and are set to meet on October 3rd, we strongly urge the Irish Bishops’ Conference to approve an immediate return to the wording of the vernacular Mass liturgy used before 2011 – a wording with which so many had grown familiar following Vatican II. This will resolve the tensions that have arisen out of the current Roman translation- ‘the New Missal’- that many Massgoers still find alienating, allowing all to answer as they remember doing for so many years and ending the awkward silences that so often still follow the 2011 wordings.

If it should be decided that this pre-2011 vernacular wording needs updating for the more distant future, we strongly recommend that such an update begin with the wording of the rejected ICEL recommendations of 1998, rather than with that introduced in 2011. The latter followed a principle of literal word-for-word translation from the Latin that made meanings unclear and fervent proclamation impossible – principles that have proven not to be viable in actual liturgical use.

The Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) is committed to the pursuit of a reform and renewal agenda in the Irish Catholic Church based in the spirit of Vatican II. It is committed to helping to re-build (through words and deeds) a united Church based on the teachings of Jesus Christ – a Church that is inclusive, compassionate, accepts the equality of all believers by virtue of their baptism and acknowledges its failures.

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