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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
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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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