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:
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.