A Call to Action have escalated their campaign to get the bishops to drop the revised translation of the Roman Missal by starting a letter writing campaign among parishioners to ask Archbishop Longley to revert to the old version of the Roman Missal. The Parish Newsletter of St Peter’s Parish, Bromsgrove contains the following announcements:
This letter-writing campaign is the next phase of ACTA’s campaign announced in The Tablet four weeks ago posted on by Protect the Pope at the time:
The Tablet reports that ACTA has written a letter on behalf of its 1,500 members calling on the bishops of England and Wales to drop the new translation of the Roman Missal with a news report and an editorial. The original 2012 letter in The Tablet from the seven priests that founded the dissent movement A Call to Action expressed hostility to the new translation of the Roman Missal. The seven priests wrote:
‘While we support our bishops in their desire for the renewal of our Church, we recognise that certain basic teachings of the SecondVatican Council seem to be bypassed by the Roman Curia so that real collegiality is not fully exercised and much of the responsibility of the local bishops has been abrogated by the Curia. The recent imposition of the new translation of the Mass texts is an obvious example of this.
Sarah MacDonald and Christopher Lamb’s news report on the recent letter from ACTA to the bishops states:
‘In England, the group A Call to Action (Acta) wrote last month to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales saying that dissatisfaction over the new Missal continues to surface at meetings of its 1,500 members. It says that a perfectly good translation of the Mass was produced in 1998 but was suppressed by Rome Acta’s letter calls on the bishops’ conference to consider adopting the 1998 translation for use in England and Wales. It points to the German bishops who are delaying the implementation of their new translation due to opposition from Austria and Switzerland.
“The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales recently showed strong leadership and confidence in the people, when it promulgated the synodal questionnaire on family life so widely and so fast…Please may we ask, therefore, that the Mass translation should be back on the agenda?” the letter says.
It adds that action by the bishops would be in keeping with Pope Francis’ views on collegiality and subsidiarity where bishops govern the Church with the Pope and local churches are given considerable autonomy.’
The editorial also expresses hostility to the Holy See and support for the resistance of the German bishops:
‘And because of the insistence on using English words as close as possible to their Latin equivalents, substantial parts of the new rite in English are ungainly, long-winded and obscure. One surprising aspect of the process by which the new translation was introduced was the apparent docility of bishops’ conferences in English-speaking countries. Unlike their German counterparts, they seemed to shrink from any public criticism of what the Vatican was trying to impose. Pope Francis has signalled that he is ready for bishops’ conferences to play a larger role in the governance of the Catholic Church, and liturgical reform and translation is one area where this would make perfect sense.’
ACTA’s campaign against the Revised Roman Missal led to Fr Butler, the chairman of Brentwood Diocese Liturgy Commission, writing to The Tablet and all the priests of the diocese to encourage them to drop the authorised Missal and revert to the old version. Fr Butler’s act of rebellion forced Bishop T McMahon to write to his priests to state Fr Butler’s letter did not reflect diocesan policy.
Protect the Pope comment: The failure of the Bishops of England and Wales to deal with the dissent of ACTA and the co-operation of some dioceses in assisting ACTA has resulted in this first phase of them fomenting rebellion in the Church. If the bishops continue to fail to acknowledge that ACTA is a dissent group that seeks to challenge the doctrines and discipline of the Catholic Church, this problem will only get deeper and more widespread.