Thank you Bishop T McMahon for affirming the authority of the revised Roman Missal against Fr Butler’s rebellion

Protect the Pope would like to thank Bishop McMahon of Brentwood diocese for affirming the authority of the revised Roman Missal in response to Fr Butler’s attempt to incite rebellion among his priests. Fr Michael J. Butler, the chairman of Brentwood’s diocesan commission for liturgy, had sent his letter in The Tablet to every priest in the diocese telling them it’s legitimate for priests to ditch the new translation, and use the previous missal.

Bishop Thomas McMahon sent the following email to the priests of Brentwood:

‘Dear Father,

I am aware that you have received a letter from Fr Michel Butler on the Revised Translation of the Roman Missal and a part of that letter has been published in The Tablet. I wish to make two comments:

1. Since this letter was written in his capacity as Chairman of our Diocesan Liturgy Commission, the views expressed could well appear to be those of the diocese. I hope you will appreciate that this is not the case. In my experience even though some people may have their reservations, priests are being faithful to the New Translation.

2. When the Revised Translation was launched I made it clear that this was approved by the English-speaking Bishops’ Conferences and was therefore mandatory in all dioceses. I would wish to point out that this still remains the case.’

Fr Butler also made the allegations that some priests within Brentwood, and in other dioceses, were changing certain words on the Revised Missal and one priest had even reverted to the older version of the Roman Missal. Fr Butler wrote:

‘I am Chairman of our Diocesan Commission for Liturgy and have had much discussion with clergy, both within the diocese and without. Most priests have got on with it but grumbled about it. Not only grumbled but also changed or avoided some words and phrases that they found somewhat difficult to say with meaning. Some avoid words like ‘dewfall’, ‘oblation’, ‘consubstantial’, ‘many’ (and prefer ‘all’), some refuse point blank to use the Roman Canon ever again. Others reject the Sunday Collects and have returned to the previous translation’s Book of the Chair. Another has said that he has returned fully to the previous translation ‘in order to preserve his sanity’

Mgr David Manson, the Vicar General of Brentwood Diocese, has written a letter to The Tablet disputing Fr Butler’s allegations of rebellion:

It is with great hesitation that I enter the fray over the merits or demerits of the revised translation of the Roman Missal. However, I am concerned lest the letter of Fr Michael Butler (25 January) be misinterpreted. My impression is that, whatever individual reservations, the clergy are being faithful in implementing the new translation. It is also important to remember the lengthy discussion which led to the publication of the revised translation and that it was promulgated on the authority of all the bishops’ conferences which constitute the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.’

Protect the Pope comment: Three weeks ago The Tablet published A Call to Action’s request to the Bishops’ Conference that they drop the Revised Roman Missal and resort to the older version  that has been superseded and is now illegal. Fr Butler jumped on the bandwagon of ACTA’s campaign and attempted to instigate a rebellion in Brentwood. No doubt this is just the first of many headaches that ACTA is going to cause the bishops of England and Wales. Thank you Bishop McMahon for defending the communion of the Church expressed and enabled through the liturgy.


9 comments to Thank you Bishop T McMahon for affirming the authority of the revised Roman Missal against Fr Butler’s rebellion

  • Rifleman819

    Fr Butler needs to jump from his bandwagon into a cold shower to bring him to his senses.

    A bit old to be a wannabe Luther ,isn’t he?

    And no diocesan functionary is indispensable either.

  • Michael B Rooke

    There is an article in todays digital edition of the Catholic Herald by Madeleine Teahan who is Associate Editor at the Catholic Herald entitled ‘Liturgy Official to Priests : reject Mass Text’ repeats and gives prominence to the Tablet article.
    The article later says Fr Sean Finnegan said Fr Butler does not speak for all priests.
    Fr Finnegan is not otherwise identified in the article and is perhaps Parish Priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Ardur Valley.!_files/12th%20January%202014.pdf

    The prominence given in the article of the dissent by Fr Butler can only cause distress to unsuspecting readers.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Now please Bishop, fire Fr Butler from the liturgical commission. Better still, let him see Fr Volpi.

    • Lynda

      Yes, put Fr Volpi after the apostate or heretical clergy – something tells me he wouldn’t take up the task with such vehemence as he has suppressed the FFI without cause.

  • Augustine

    So both Bishop Thomas McMahon and Mgr David Manson, his VG, have sent Fr Butler to the naughty step.

    Brentwood has been waiting almost 3 years for a new bishop: Bishop Thomas McMahon will be 78 in June. A new bishop is expected to be named immanently.

    It is unlikely that the new Bishop of Brentwood will decide that Fr Butler should continue in his post – especially as Fr Butler is 87.

    • Augustine

      Corrections and apologies to the above. Fr Michael Butler (thought to be one of the younger supporters of ACTA) is not 87 – he is in fact only 78.

  • Charles

    Michael B Rooke – I completely agree with your comments as regards the “Catholic Herald” article which is unfortunately misleading – a rarity for this paper in my experience – what a pity they did’nt wait a few days before publishing, in which case they could have included the Bishop’s prompt and firm response to Fr Butler’s arrogance, pride and stupidity!

    Augustine – I presume you mistakenly typed an ‘a’ instead of an ‘i’ in the last word on the second line of your 9.43pm 7 Feb post? “Immanently” is actually quite amusing….maybe rather worrying in this context! More seriously, yes, Fr Butler needs to be “put out to grass” immediately and the whole ethos of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission thoroughly investigated and restructured – a “new broom” is urgently needed for liturgical matters in this diocese most particularly with regard to sacred music (the desperate lack of it!). I very much hope that the new diocesan shepherd, once appointed, will follow the example of Bishop Egan in Portsmouth and some notable American bishops in this respect.

    • Augustine

      Charles – thank you for the correction. I was never very good at spelling.

      But, from my limited experience, I do not agree with you about the Liturgical Music in Brentwood.

    • Augustine

      Charles you mentioned elsewhere (February 9, 2014 at 1:35 am) that you are a 2012 convert.

      But you also write “the whole ethos of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission thoroughly investigated and restructured – a “new broom” is urgently needed for liturgical matters in this diocese most particularly with regard to sacred music (the desperate lack of it!).”

      So were you involved in Liturgical Music before you became a Catholic?

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