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Survey shows Catholic priests donít like Mass changes
RNS ^ | May 21, 2013 | David Gibson

Posted on 05/22/2013 3:15:26 PM PDT by NYer

(RNS) Nothing upsets the folks in the pews as much as changing the liturgy that they’re accustomed to, and that seemed likely to be the case when the Vatican ordered revisions to the familiar prayers and rubrics of the Catholic Mass.

But now, more than a year after the changes took effect in U.S. parishes, a survey of American priests shows that they are more disturbed by the innovations than their flocks.

catholic mass

Congregants pray during Catholic mass at St. Therese Little Flower parish in Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday, May 20, 2012. RNS photo by Sally Morrow


This image available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In fact, the poll, conducted by researchers at St. John’s University School of Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, Minn., showed that almost 60 percent of priests surveyed did not like the new Roman Missal, as the liturgical book for the Mass is known, while about 40 percent approve.

“The high level of dissatisfaction among priests should be a grave concern for the bishops, assuming they care about what their priests are thinking and feeling,” the Rev. Michael Ryan, a Seattle priest who started a petition to rally opposition to the new translation, told the popular liturgy blog Pray Tell.

The clergy critics also have firm opinions on the matter: one-third of priests (34 percent) strongly disagree that the new translation of the Mass is an improvement, and 80 percent say that some of the language is “awkward and distracting.”

That contrasts with polls from last year, which showed that 70 percent of Mass-goers thought that, overall, the first new translation in 40 years “is a good thing.” The approval rating was 84 percent among weekly attenders. (Polls also showed that most Catholics didn’t notice many changes.)

An online survey in February by The Tablet, a London-based Catholic periodical, found opinions among English-speaking Catholics around the world to be sharply divided about the new Mass, with clergy expressing more negative opinions than lay people.

The new translation, which went into effect in the nearly 18,000 parishes in the U.S. in November 2011, was years in the making but took longer than expected when the process was taken over by Vatican-backed conservatives who wanted to make the language sound more like literal translations of the original Latin.

That resulted in formulations that supporters said were more authentic and expressed a grandeur and mystery appropriate for the sacred rites. Critics said the new phrasings were stilted and often incomprehensible.

For example, where the Nicene Creed once explained Jesus’ relationship to God as “one in Being with the Father,” the new version has believers say Jesus is “consubstantial” with God – prompting comedian Stephen Colbert, a practicing Catholic, to quip: “It’s the creed! It’s not the SAT prep.”

pope francis

Pope Francis issued a powerful call for the protection of the environment and of society’s most vulnerable during his formal installation Mass at the Vatican, while qualifying his papal power as a “service” to the church and to humanity. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini


This image available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In the previous version, worshippers preparing to receive the Communion host would confess, “I am not worthy to receive you.” Now they say, “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”

One reason that priests may take a dimmer view of the new translation is that they have to use it every day, and have many more parts to say than lay people. They were also paying closer attention to the translation process, which may explain why many of them said they were just as upset with the way the revision was undertaken and implemented as they were with the end result.

More than six in 10 of the priests surveyed said they wanted a revision of the revisions, and they are not the only ones. “While we don’t want to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater,’ the new missal needs corrective surgery and this should take place without delay,” Bishop Robert Brom of San Diego told Pray Tell.

Whether anything will happen is unclear. The new pope, Francis, appears to prefer simpler liturgical practices, but it’s also not clear that he would want to reopen this can of worms. And senior church officials in charge of liturgical matters either declined to respond to questions from Pray Tell – which is run by a priest who worked on the survey – or questioned the value of the survey.

More than 1,500 priests from around the country responded to the survey, which was conducted from February to May 2013.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS:
From Fr. John Z's blog - WDTPRS

A priest reacts to priests reacting to the new translation

Over at the Deacon’s Bench, Rev. Mr. Kandra has a great post. A priest wrote to Dcn. Kandra as a reaction to the whiny survey of priests about the new translation. My emphases and comments:

After reading this latest post on how priests reportedly dislike the new Missal, a priest friend dropped me an email to share his impressions:

One of the things going on here is very important, but I suspect most priests have never thought about it.

I concelebrated at a Funeral Mass with an older priest (about 75) about four months after the new Missal came into use. I was the main celebrant. His parts were reading the Gospel and the sections of the Eucharistic Prayer given to concelebrants.

He did this with real difficulty, the reason being that he kept trying to look at the congregation as he read. This is much easier with the older, easily memorized text. This book keeps you needing to read from it. [It makes you think about what the texts mean, too. One day some of these priests will actually think about the texts and they will realize that most of the time they are not talking to the congregation.]

Most priests do not seem to ever have thought about the nature of ritual at all. The priest who comes out on the altar and greets the folks in his own colloquial way, and then starts the Mass with the text, doesn’t realize that there IS a greeting in the Mass. He speaks in “real life” and then retreats to the formal worship. He does so at the end as well. “Have a nice day!”

This priest I concelebrated with did not seem to realize that in the Eucharistic Prayer we are speaking to God, not the congregation. [There it is.]

I believe that putting the priest celebrant behind the altar facing the people was a very serious, core error. [Do I hear an "AMEN!"?] When I celebrate the Traditional Mass or the Anglican Use liturgy (which is generally celebrated with the traditional altar ceremonies), I come before the altar, face it in the same direction as the people, and begin Mass by addressing Him. I submit myself to the rite; the people submit themselves to the rite. We participate together.

The Novus Ordo has made the priest the focus. He starts by initiating a dialogue with the people. He keeps up this dialogue throughout the Mass. He stands behind the Altar like Julia Child doing a cooking demonstration at her kitchen island. [Good one!]

[...]

A new translation cannot be expected to accomplish everything. Only with time will we recover a sense of the difference between going to the Altar of God and singing around the camp fire.

Read the whole thing over there.

1 posted on 05/22/2013 3:15:26 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 05/22/2013 3:15:49 PM PDT by NYer (¬ďTo one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possibl)
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To: NYer

I learned the latin mass as an altar boy in 5th grade...two years later, after 2000 years or so, they changed it to english...and these guys are pissed?


3 posted on 05/22/2013 3:18:52 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: NYer

Just goes to show you that when fruit goes rotten, it can never become fresh again (rotted fruits of Vatican II).


4 posted on 05/22/2013 3:19:10 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture¬ô)
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To: NYer

It seems to me that the “new” translation is closer to the way my Latin/English missal read forty years ago before all the post-Vatican II changes to the liturgy took place. I understood it then as a 12-year older. What’s the problem?


5 posted on 05/22/2013 3:23:44 PM PDT by Procyon (Decentralize, degovernmentalize, deregulate, demonopolize, decredentialize, disentitle.)
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To: steve86
(rotted fruits of Vatican II)

To which VCII document are you referring?

6 posted on 05/22/2013 3:29:08 PM PDT by NYer (¬ďTo one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possibl)
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To: NYer

The ones that don’t like it, ship ‘em to Rome, burn ‘em at the stake.


7 posted on 05/22/2013 3:29:27 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer
This is "Breaking News"?

Something is wrong in the cerebral cortex.

8 posted on 05/22/2013 3:29:45 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: NYer

None of these liberal priests complained when everyone had to learn the new order Mass. Or when the idiot bishop’s committee and the ICEL came out with an English translation that distorted and mistranslated even those new Latin texts. Or when the parish churches had to buy new paperback missals all the time because the new service was far more variable and complicated.

You can see in that photo a typical remnant congregation from one of those liberal parishes, like several I have been forced to belong to. Many empty pews, many older people headed for funerals, only a few young, and many of the congregants holding up their hands and arms, presumably for the Our Father, in a way that was never authorized but almost universally practiced.

Why so few people in that church? Probably because the dissident pastors over the past few decades drove most of their flock out the doors.


9 posted on 05/22/2013 3:35:29 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: gorush

yeah really, the priests are a bunch of circus performers...it ain’t for them it is for God


10 posted on 05/22/2013 3:36:09 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

You may be right.


11 posted on 05/22/2013 3:38:56 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: NYer
He stands behind the Altar like Julia Child doing a cooking demonstration at her kitchen island. [Good one!]

The Julia Child comparison is indeed a "good one," but I think it originated with Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth (book and 6-part PBS series) back in 1988. (I never read the book or saw the series, but my sister mentioned it to me years ago!)

12 posted on 05/22/2013 3:41:34 PM PDT by maryz
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To: NYer

Not a survey. Respondents were a self selecting group, not representative.


13 posted on 05/22/2013 3:44:19 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: gorush
Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam...

The endings in the Confiteor were a bit of a problem to keep straight (first a bunch of datives, then a bunch of accusatives, although I had never heard of those terms when I memorized the prayers), and the excessive number of silibants in the Suscipiat, but the Latin had a beauty that is missing in the translations.

The first Christians in Rome were Greek-speakers...they probably had the same complaint when the Church switched from Greek to Latin.

14 posted on 05/22/2013 3:45:52 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

I still win bar bets by being able to recite the “Suscipiat”. :{)


15 posted on 05/22/2013 3:47:08 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: NYer

How did they manage to write an article on this subject without consulting Bishop Troutperdaughter?


16 posted on 05/22/2013 3:59:10 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: NYer
The devil is in the details.

1536(respondents)/42000(number of Priests in the United States) = 3.657%

32(number of Dioceses that responses were received from)/178(total number of Dioceses in the United States) = 17.977%

The only Bishop that responded is Brom from San Diego. Brom has a suspect past in Duluth, MN and has never come clean on his role in the disappearance of Emmanuel Omemaga. Also, a Coadjutor was appointed in San Diego in January of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. That occurred over 20 months prior to Brom having to submit his resignation to the Holy See.

Put as much stock in this as you would those unscientific exit polls on election day.

17 posted on 05/22/2013 4:02:30 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: gorush; steve86

I travel 22 miles just to get the Latin Mass with traditional music done WELL from the loft in the back of the Church (built 1985).

The Mass is Novus Ordo, post Vatican Two, that is, as you know, and where the priest delivers a sermon about the readings often pertinent to current events. There has never been a female on the altar and Communion is via procession and then on the tongue with tincture by the priest and deacons, no EMs.

This pastor is very reverent to VatII and yearly travels to Rome with a willing group from the congregation and school and visits with the Holy Father.

I went to mass last week locally and was subject to a priest who was late due to the “Basketball Game, you can understand”. Oh yes, everyone applauded. I cannot applaud at Mass nor can I take the sea of denim- and shorts! and Flip flops!

The music is vapid. It takes 3 minutes after consecration first for hugging and shaking hands and another for the procession of “extraordinary” ministers - (devised originally for Naval deployment at sea) to do whatever it is they do and them charge back to get communion out, as we are all in a rush to get out of there? That’s what passes for extraordinary.

None of this has anything to do with Vatican II. It was used as an excuse. The new interpretation goes nowhere far enough.

For every one of me, willing to overlook, for the sake of the Eucharist, how many have been lost? How many men can’t take the emasculinization and the lack of reverence - the hand holding, the girls pushing the boys off the altar, women oh what I had last week were two women, sleeveless, lecturing. They couldn’t pronounce the geographical places from the second reading of Pentecost, no problem giggles, “uh, uh”.

If they want to take over, they’d better do it as well as a self respecting man would and that wasn’t it. It’s GOD’s WORD.

Huff!

No one EVER asked nor took a poll to find out how the congregation liked the New (1970’s) Mass. Not anyone.

And not many churches (one in 10,000?) offer any kind of alternative.

Here’s a hint: The men, and the men attending Mass alone, attend the Latin Mass with Gregorian Chant, procession of properly attired men and boys, NO hand holding, No peace greeting.


18 posted on 05/22/2013 4:08:18 PM PDT by stanne
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To: gorush
thank you... bring back the Latin Mass
19 posted on 05/22/2013 4:11:57 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

Don’t thank me, I’ve been a card carrying agnostic for half of a century now...I am appreciative of the training and the culture absorbed during those formative years, it certainly hasn’t made me a worse person.


20 posted on 05/22/2013 4:20:10 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: NYer

But, but, but the people (me included) love the new translations that are truer to the Latin.

May the Lord, open the hearts of these complaining priests and allow them to hear the beauty of the words!


21 posted on 05/22/2013 4:20:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: gorush
I learned the latin mass as an altar boy in 5th grade...two years later, after 2000 years or so, they changed it to english...

I had the same experience but with me it was about two weeks later.

22 posted on 05/22/2013 4:20:52 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (People are idiots.)
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To: gorush; steve86; Cicero

I focused on the emasculinization of the Mass as only a girl like myself is allowed to in this time of PC.

I meant to say pretty much what Cicero stated so eloquently in post 9.

The rant is a bit held over from a response to the presentation we had at Mass last wknd from the Archbishop who is now, for the moment, off the subject of telling us the USCCB gave a ton of our donated? money to the cause of the illegal aliens here, and that the latino community is the future of the Church (but they need our money, though they have the buildings our ancestors (and theirs) built?, and is now onto the subject of plans for the future.

One aspect they want us to focus on ? ok is bringing some of the 750,000 Catholics in the Archd to Mass as there are only 150,000 attending.

I think it comes from the Holy Father, bless him.

Not sure.

They can start with getting back to the language of the Church - Latin. It’s a dead language, so no misinterpretation can easily occur. Fr. Groeschel says the enemy hates hearing it.


23 posted on 05/22/2013 4:25:27 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Verginius Rufus
"The first Christians in Rome were Greek-speakers...they probably had the same complaint when the Church switched from Greek to Latin."

True. The gospels were in Greek with a few Aramaic quotes included to dispel some translation ambiguities that occurred in some of the all-Greek translations from Aramaic.

There is a book "Did Jesus Exist" by Bart D. Ehrman that discusses the actual documents and copies that exist to prove his contention that he did exist. Of course...but it's an interesting book nonetheless.

24 posted on 05/22/2013 4:51:12 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: gorush
I think Ehrman is an agnostic but tries to deal with the material in a fairminded way, not in service of an ideological outlook. There were two Loeb volumes of the Apostolic Fathers which were published in the early 20th century--recently he did a revised edition of the two volumes.

One of the notable scholars in this field died very recently--Geza Vermes, who started out Jewish in Hungary, converted to Catholicism when his family did when he was about 6, became a Catholic priest, then re-converted to Judaism.

25 posted on 05/22/2013 5:53:01 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: NYer

I REALLY miss the old “Gloria” at the beginning of the mass. Oftentime when singing it, I would become very emotional, it is just such a beautiful prayer.


26 posted on 05/22/2013 6:16:10 PM PDT by diamond6 (Lord, please have mercy on us!)
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To: NYer

“To which VCII document are you referring?”

Make that “documents” (plural).


27 posted on 05/22/2013 6:37:18 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: NYer
One thing I've noticed (especially at the Daily Mass) is that many of the older "regulars" still tend to say certain parts of the Mass the older way. They generally use the new "cheat sheet" cards for longer parts, like the "Penitential Act", and for special days when they have to say the "Gloria" and the "Nicene Creed", but many do not seem to use those cards for the shorter parts of the Mass, and many of them often get those parts wrong.

For example, during the "Sanctus", many still say "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of power and might" instead of "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts". Many of the older regulars also tend to clobber the various replies to "The Mystery of Faith" with older versions blended with the newer ones.

I've even heard some of our older priests say those same revised sections of the Mass the old way a number of times also. (Then again, one older priest here sometimes still says "...for Benedict our Pope...".)

I used to know the "Gloria" and the "Nicene Creed", but I'm still trying to memorize the newer translations of them. (Maybe I shouldn't bother trying, if they're just going to change them again in the near future.)

28 posted on 05/22/2013 6:48:56 PM PDT by Heart-Rest ("You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:32)
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To: NYer

“Congregants pray during Catholic mass at St. Therese Little Flower parish in Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday, May 20, 2012.”

What a strange choice of parish for a photo about the new translation. Their early Mass is a gospel Mass and their later Mass is an Anglican Use Mass. Not exactly your typical American parish. The pastor is a married former Episcopalian priest.


29 posted on 05/22/2013 6:52:43 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: gorush; Verginius Rufus

Bart Ehrman? I don’t agree with the following author’s own personal views on Christianity, but I know he’s right about Ehrman on a number of points: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1468145606/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER


30 posted on 05/22/2013 6:55:53 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: NYer

Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but it occurred to me that the new translation, being truer to the Latin, was formulated partly as a lure to bring those pesky SSPXers back into the regularized fold. See, the NO is just like the TLM! Whether the Society did wrong by not accepting BXVI’s invitation remains to be seen. Pope Francis’ leanings wrt the Latin Mass are not yet apparent, though I understand in his previous post he was not a fan of tradition.


31 posted on 05/22/2013 9:46:45 PM PDT by informavoracious (We're being "punished" with Stanley Ann's baby. Obamacare: shovel-ready healthcare.)
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To: NYer

The problem with me is that, I never knew what was the Latin words, growing up under the shadows of VC II. Well if I have to get use to the changes, so do the priests.


32 posted on 05/23/2013 2:53:33 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Cicero

But remember, in the catacombs, the early Christians were often portrayed being shown with their hands rasied in prayer.

As I have said in a previous post, I grew up under the shadows of VC II and not knowing anything of Latin. From time to time, the parish choir I sing in, does a hymm in the Latin, mostly during the special liturgical seasons of the Church year.


33 posted on 05/23/2013 3:01:06 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Cicero; Biggirl
many of the congregants holding up their hands and arms, presumably for the Our Father, in a way that was never authorized but almost universally practiced.

Only the improperly catechized engage in the orans position and its practice is far from universal.

At the Lord’s Prayer, the priest stands with arms outstretched in a gesture of supplication, the orans or “praying” position, on behalf of the people. The deacon, whose posture is governed by the liturgical rubrics, is instructed to stand with hands folded together in the same manner as the congregation. The faithful fold their hands, in a traditional posture of petitioning, to signify the humility of our congregation before God. Other gestures, such as extending arms or holding hands, are not found in the norms of the Mass. That our gestures are different does not mean that one role is more important than another—rather it points to a diversity of parts to the body of Christ.

34 posted on 05/23/2013 3:36:18 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

A starter explaination:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orans


35 posted on 05/23/2013 3:50:20 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Also does say about the early Christians in prayer with raised arms.

http://www.arsmar.com/ce_art.htm


36 posted on 05/23/2013 3:56:04 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Could that be one bishop’s opinion?

My view is to leave the folks alone, in order to keep the peace.


37 posted on 05/23/2013 3:57:30 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: informavoracious

It could be because Pope Francis wants to focus on working to “rebuild” Jesus’s Church, just as Jesus called his namestake to do the same.


38 posted on 05/23/2013 4:00:27 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Yes, they imitate the Priest, which they are not supposed to do. But the problem is that all too often the priest never tells them in a kindly way to stop doing it, so they don’t generally know any better.

And I’ve also been in a couple of parishes where the priest INSTRUCTED everyone to hold hands during the Our Father. I haven’t heard that from the pulpit in recent years, but it was common earlier, and no one is telling the congregation to stop doing it.

This wouldn’t be happening now if so many priests, bishops, deacons, and nuns hadn’t allowed or encouraged it over the years.

It’s still the Catholic Church, and the sacraments are still valid in almost all the parishes, but it’s really a shame, and it’s a primary reason why the pews are so often empty.

There are, of course, wonderful exceptions, and those churches are generally full. Our Lady of Victories Church down near Wall Street was one, and it was a real pleasure to go to Mass there, or to confession.


39 posted on 05/23/2013 10:05:21 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NYer
The clergy critics also have firm opinions on the matter: one-third of priests (34 percent) strongly disagree that the new translation of the Mass is an improvement, and 80 percent say that some of the language is “awkward and distracting.”

I'm thinking the numbers would have been similar 50 years ago when the English version was implemented, over the Latin, and again, 30 years or so ago, when the 'New' English translation was introduced.

It is a little awkward for folks who knew the old prayers by heart, like the priest, and regular Mass goers. I still have to use the cheat card, because I haven't memorized the new form, yet.

40 posted on 05/26/2013 12:32:54 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Procyon
It seems to me that the “new” translation is closer to the way my Latin/English missal read forty years ago before all the post-Vatican II changes to the liturgy took place.

You're right, and that's the way it was explained to the gatherings in our Parish, where one of the priests involved in the changes presented it, before it was implemented.

41 posted on 05/26/2013 12:36:05 PM PDT by SuziQ
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