Scottish bishop joins Tablet/A Call to Action rebellion against the revised Roman Missal

Maurice Taylor, Bishop Emeritus of Galloway, has lent his weight to The Tablet and A Call to Action’s rebellion against the revised Roman Missal. The Tablet began its  misguided campaign against the revised Roman Missal, one of A Call to Action’s founding objectives in January 2014. The Tablet reported 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 Tablet/ ACTA campaign isn’t only about their rejection of the new translation of the Roman Missal, its even more about their rejection of the legitimate authority of the Pope and the Holy See over the Catholic Church.

This week The Tablet published the following letter from Bishop Maurice Taylor:

Bishop Missal

Protect the Pope comment: Bishop Taylor ignores two important points in his letter to The Tablet. Firstly, many changes to liturgy were made in the post-conciliar period that are not contained in Sacrosanctum Concilium. Secondly, the Revised Roman Missal contains the Decree of Publication for Scotland from the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland signed by Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien as President of the Bishops Conference and Mgr Paul Conroy, as General Secretary, signifying its official approval by the isn’t only about their rejection of the new translation of the Roman Missal, its even more about their rejection of the legitimate authority of the Pope and the Holy See over the Catholic Church. This second point makes his argument seem altogether silly.





























36 comments to Scottish bishop joins Tablet/A Call to Action rebellion against the revised Roman Missal

  • An Irishman abroad

    And even the Bishop’s first point is, at best, debatable: depending, as it does, on a narrowly literal interpretation of Sacrosanctum Concilium. I think that most canonists would resile from such an approach and would search for what Englidh lawyers call a purposive construction. Paragraph 36.3 of the decree strongly suggests that the Apostolic See was intended to have the final word on translations, in which case the Motu Proprio was (to descend to the vernacular) spot on.

  • thisiscounterculture

    This is really rather unfortunate. Hitherto I had alwys thought that we in Scotland had been blessed with sounder Bishops than England. Thankfully with the present Nuncio the whole of the UK is benefitting from the appointment of sound and strong Bishops.

  • Margaret Allain

    See Catholic Herald letter from another Bishop who attacks Pastor Iuventus whose article soundly decrying the ‘modernist’ approach of ACTA, which he backed by the authority of the Church’s teaching. This is an open schism, brought on by those who did not accept VatII and it’s documents. The agenda is the same as at the Protestant reformation, whether those ascribing to it realise it or not.

    Pope Francis, God keep him, without realising it has given ground to those whose views are opposed to the tradition and safe keeping of the Faith. He will surely surprise and disappoint them. Meanwhile we must all pray for the beloved Church. St Catherine of Sienna pray for us.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Margaret. please could you scan or other wise send a copy of the bishop’s defence of ACTA? Deacon Nick

      • Augustine

        The Bishop who wrote the letter attacking Pastor Iuventus was Bishop Colin Cameron Davies, M.H.M.

        He is Bishop Emeritus of Ngong and is believed to be one of the junior episcopal supporters of ACTA.

        Bishop Davies was born in 1824.

        Going, Going – Ngong!

        • Augustine

          Correction & apologies.

          Bishop Davies was born in 1924, not 1824 – and he attended the Second Vatican Council, not the First Vatican Council.

        • Mersey Mercy

          And yet another one crawls out of the woodwork – this Bishop is 90, Bishop Maurice Taylor is 88; why will they not the leave the Church to move forward organically rather than trying to retreat us back to 1970! And please, as a humble layman of the Archdiocese of Liverpool why, oh why, do we keep getting these ‘has-beens’ retiring here? As I believe Bishop Colin Davies MHM has.

          Liverpool truly is a diocese of the 1970s, which is a tremendous pity as it was once an illustrious diocese within whose boundaries were raised many martyrs for the One True Faith. Their descendants have forsaken their memory; families once steadfast have gone away, allured by the world’s false treasures: abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality, pre-marital sex and co-habitation etc all defendended, even amongst my own family and firends as being enlightened and the way forward. Every aspect of life in the Archdiocese under ++ Worlock and ++ Kelly has become a disaster zone. The only thing that could be said for the former was that he maintained a certain discipline and fear amongst the clergy. Under the latter there has been no discipline whatsoever. Every priest is his own pope.

          The clergy are mostly to blame – those between their late 50′s and death! Those lukeward in their reception of Pope Benedict are now positively wetting thesleves over the current pontificate.

          In my humble opinion, some of this car crash is worth a read!

          if only for the adulation heaped upon the Archbishop of Canterbury for his ‘English’ way of doing things (there will be no Rome here!)

          “To me, our “Mother Culture” would mean our English way of doing things. I came across a beautiful homily preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Justin Welby. last Sunday in Sandringham, in the presence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. I reproduce a little of it below to give a flavour of it….”

          Also worth noting from the blog:

          “At this point one is forced to ask the question – “Why the complete change?” and all of this without decrying Pope Benedict, and the many pious and holy men holding this highest office, by even one iota. Perhaps, God perceived the need to bring the papacy more into line with modern thinking, modern methods, modern ideas, but without losing any of the Church’s tradition, in terms of faith and morals. We do not know God’s mind and so do not know the answers to some of these questions – only time will tell.”

          Just read it – it is completely doo-lally (again that’s my opinion) because they are trying to infer the current papacy is breaking down dogma and doctrine, which clearly (at the moment!!!) it is not.

          The recitation of this prayer by the English, most surely can do us no harm at all!

          O MERCIFUL God, let the glorious intercession of Thy saints assist us, particularly the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy only-begotten Son, and Thy holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, to whose patronage we humbly recommend this country. Be mindful of our fathers, Eleutherius, Celestine, and Gregory, bishops of the Holy City; of Augustine, Columba, and Aidan, who delivered to us inviolate the faith of the Holy Roman Church. Remember our holy martyrs, who shed their blood for Christ: especially our first martyr, Saint Alban, and Thy most glorious bishop, Saint Thomas of Canterbury. Remember all those holy confessors; bishops, and kings, all those holy monks and hermits, all those holy virgins and widows, who made this once an island of saints, illustrious by their glorious merits and virtues. Let not their memory perish from before Thee, O Lord, but let their supplication enter daily into Thy sight; and do Thou, who didst so often spare Thy sinful people for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, now, also, moved by the prayers of our fathers, reigning with Thee, have mercy upon us, save Thy people, and bless Thy inheritance; and suffer not those souls to perish, which Thy Son hath redeemed with His own most Precious Blood, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

  • Steve

    In these parishes respond in Latin.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick,

    I wish to nominate Bishop Taylor to be the first to receive the 2014 John Knox Award to contribution and loyalty to the Holy Roman See and to the Faith.
    It comes with a Magnum of sour grapes from the shady slopes of Chateau Zimmer … A real vintage label .

  • Joseph Matthew

    I think that with the in-fighting going on with the ordinary rite, why not make the extra-ordinary more ordinary?

  • Chrysostom

    At the front of my DAILY ROMAN MISSAL of 1959 it says this about the use of Latin:
    “If the liturgical books were to be edited in various modern languages for official use, it would be difficult to ensure an exact and satisfactory version. Life is a process of change and living languages are no exception. Words in daily use constantly undergo changes of meaning, and the use of changing terms in the liturgy could lead to misunderstanding and doctrinal error. Furthermore, the universal use of Latin bears witness to the unity and the catholicity of the Church. Throughout the world the language and rites of the Mass are identical. No matter where he travels, a Catholic will always feel at home as the Mass he assists at is everywhere the same, not merely in its essentials but in its rites and ceremonies.”

    I hope, too that American men, will not get their suspenders in a twist at my pointing out that the varieties of English used throughout the world are different. Anyone who thinks that the words used in hymns do not change can try singing the fifth verse of the Hymn LORD FOR TOMORROW as published in 1968: remember it?

    “Let me in season, Lord, be grave,
    In season, gay.”

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,

    Does this whole thing show us how “generational” and stratified dissent is in the Church?
    The Hippy generation -having brought the Church in North America and Europe to its knees, are now using their croziers and music stands for self-support.The “Mayhew Warblers” are folk -Massing themselves into the history books.
    A self -congratulating generation of outstandingly mediocre calibre is shuffling off-stage.
    Auf-wiedersehn , Adieu , ta-ra, cheers, Valete……..
    The future is tradition .
    Lex orandi , lex credendi , lex vivendi

  • Adam

    Don’t worry, the Conti, O’Brien, and Taylor generation are all done and dusted. I am acquainted with or know personally several of the scots bishops and they are, the ones I’ve done across thoughrly Ratzingerian

  • polycarped

    Hasn’t Bishop Emeritus whatsisname got enough knitting to do or something..? Whether he is technically/canonically correct or not, it’s just plain old dissent and, as Pope Benedict told us, it should be called by its real name. Bishop thingy doesn’t like it, that’s all (perhaps he struggles with some of the longer words…poor thing). I recently crossed swords briefly with another Emeritus Bishop of a similar ilk on a ‘related’ matter who, to make his point, also criticised the new translation (mainly the process). After counting to 10 (several times) I cut to the chase and challenged his orthodoxy; he persistently replied using slippery, round-about, ambiguous language full of hypotheticals – a hallmark of many liberal dissenters I tend to think. It’s amazing how some of these Emeritus Bishops are saying these things so smugly now when they didn’t have the guts (intellectually or otherwise) to put their heads above the parapet (on anything!) before they were retired. It just stinks of dissent and, given the connection with Pope Benedict, armchair revenge. Maybe they should take a leaf out of Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI’s book and stick to prayer (they can just say the easy ones)!

  • Anne Foley

    I have read and can recommend Bishop Maurice Taylor’s book ‘It’s the Eucharist, Thank God’ and especially chapter five ‘A cold wind from Rome’.

    It’s the Eucharist, Thank God – Maurice Taylor
    Published by Decani Books (
    ISBN 978-1-900314-19-0
    Chapter five can also be found here

    As you know for more than ten years Bishop Maurice Taylor was a member of the Episcopal Board of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), representing Scotland on that body. From 1997 until 2002 he was chairman of ICEL.

    He writes with authority and both his book and letter to the Tablet continue to give expression to the concerns regarding the translation of the Missal.

  • Alba

    Religion is on the way out in Scotland. All the old “churches” are in rapid decline. The wasteland that is Scottish Catholicism being a sterile fruit of that “spirit of the Council” fits the blasted landscape perfectly.

  • Sixupman

    I am able to attest that +Taylor looked forward to the demise of the ‘ordained’ priesthood and the ascendancy of the ”lay’ priesthood – in his own words ” — you have seen nothing yet!”.

    This was opined, with hardly subdued glee, during a sermon preached to the congregation, of a parish church, where Mass was being celebrated for the 25th. anniversary of the parish priest – friend of mine. I was present.

    +Taylor was once the rector of a seminary!

    The statistics would support the theory, that in Dumfries & Galloway, he created a veritable “devastated vineyard”.

  • laudator temporis acti

    The paragraph of Sacrosanctum Concilium referred to (36 §3) says: ‘the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority … is empowered to decide whether and to what extent the vernacular is to be used. The enactments of the competent authority are to be approved, that is confirmed, by the Holy See.’ (This principle is enshrined in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, 838 §3: ‘It pertains to Bishops’ Conferences to prepare vernacular translations of liturgical books … and, with the prior review [recognitio] of the Holy See, to publish these translations’). Review cannot mean unilaterally changing the rules of the game in order to forbid the excellent beautifully English 1998 version of the mass approved by the English-speaking bishops in order to impose the present ghastly Latinate farrago.

    How odd that Bishop Taylor should be accused of taking ‘a narrowly literal interpretation’ of these official statements when the typical contributor to blogs like this one will usually say that the documents of Vatican II are to be understood strictly au pied de la lettre. Perhaps “an Irishman abroad” would prefer ‘a purposive construction’ to make the statements mean something other than what they clearly say. As always those who say we should follow ‘the teaching of the Church’ mean by those weasel words what I and my tribe want the teaching to be.

    • Rifleman819


      Can ‘t quite figure. Your game.
      You use a Latin handle to praise these disjointed times…… John McEnroe…….”You can’t be serious, man”?

      • laudator temporis acti

        Why cannot I be serious? There is no game to figure. I quoted the official statements which Bishop Taylor is being faithful to – and for which he is pilloried on this blog. Who is being disjointed? You might address that rather than resorting to ad hominem disparagement. LTA means ‘one who praises past time.’ The times I would praise are those when the Church is open and confident in professing its faith and not shrinking back into a pharisaical exclusivity as parts of it are today.

        • Rifleman819

          No …you are wrong.if you are as good at your Latin as you are at other things……don ‘t give up the day job.
          Your English paraphrase of the Latin is simply that …….not the actual grammatical one – so don ‘t please come over all snooty and condescending.
          Yes the Church should indeed be confident about its teaching- you know – the same teaching that the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales were strung up for and disembowelled . That teaching.

          • laudator temporis acti

            What am I wrong about according to you? You do quite a good line in snooty and condescending yourself. And by the way I did not paraphrase the Latin: I gave an accurate translation of it. Sorry if you find that condescending.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      LTA: You say the word “review” apparently translates the word “recognitio” which one might translate as “recognise” or approve. If the Holy See does not approve of a version then it is surely under a duty to say how the translation should be done. As for Latinate farrago I think you will find that all translations from Latin (a very compact morphological language) end up much longer in English (a verbose syntactical language). Just look at translations of the Latin Classics. If you make the translation shorter you inevitably lose much of the meaning. I recommend you read Father Z’s article each week in the Catholic Herald on the translation. It is clear that the 1998 version lost much of the meaning of the Latin.

  • Terry

    Oh dear. All these old fossils think the new, fluffy Pope Francis is so open to change that they can all come out of the woodwork now and realise their dream of a new church. I feel they will be sadly disappointed and deeply shocked when the axe finally falls on them from dear Francis. Me thinks there’s someone in the Vatican tasked with keeping tabs on all these dissenters, letting them have their voice now to see who they really are, after years hiding in the shadows. It should be quite a bloodbath. In case anyone doubts Pope Francis, last I remember, that Australian priest is still a non-priest now.

  • Dominic MacCarthy

    I was sorry when Pope Benedict XVI declined to use the title “Patriarch of the West”. In the eastern rites, the respective Patriarch (or Major Archbishop) has responsibiity for the Liturgy in that rite, and so presumably for any translations made into more modern languages e.g. from NT Greek into modern Greek, from Church Slavonic into Ukrainian or Russian.

    The title “Patriarch of the West” was a reminder that we are Latin-rite Catholics, and that the Roman Pontiff has direct responsibility for translations from the normative language of our rite (Latin) into the vernacular.

    As regards the Old Guard:

    Bishop Maurice Taylor
    Date Age 87.78 Event Title
    5 May 1926 Born Hamilton
    2 Jul 1950 24.2 Ordained Priest Priest of Motherwell, Scotland, Great Britain
    4 Apr 1981 54.9 Appointed Bishop of Galloway, Scotland, Great Britain
    9 Jun 1981 55.1 Ordained Bishop Bishop of Galloway, Scotland, Great Britain
    7 Apr 2004 77.9 Retired Bishop of Galloway, Scotland, Great Britain

    Bishop Colin Cameron Davies, M.H.M.

    Date Age 89.69 Event Title
    Born 10 Jun 1924 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
    13 Jul 1952 28.1 Ordained Priest Priest of St. Joseph’s Missionary Society of Mill Hill
    9 Jul 1964 40.1 Appointed Prefect of Ngong, Kenya
    9 Dec 1976 52.5 Appointed Bishop of Ngong, Kenya
    27 Feb 1977 52.7 Ordained Bishop Bishop of Ngong, Kenya
    23 Nov 2002 78.5 Retired Bishop of Ngong, Kenya

  • Rifleman819

    Laudy ,
    No you didn’ did not give a an accurate grammatical translation of the Latin.
    And you are a mite thin-skinned too.

    • laudator temporis acti

      Riflemanny, let me spell it for you. Laudator – a praiser (one who praises) temporis – of time acti – that has been gone through, spent, past. Go back to school and learn some Latin before you start telling others they have got it wrong. Is that being thin-skinned? And you are so intent on picking holes in others that you have not bothered to address the issue I raised in the first place, the fact that what Bishop Taylor said was in accord with official statements, which contributors to this blog usually say should be followed exactly.

      • Rifleman819

        Laudy ,
        Thanks for the instruction…bit of a frustrated RSM , aren’t we?
        I bow to your supreme Dalekness.
        Ooh …and I did Latin to Final BA Honours level…having started at age 11.

        Do you cart your own Magisterium then?

        • Rifleman819

          Laudy ,

          Forgot to add-how’s your “Pharisee Watch” going?

          Like “Neighbourhood Watch” ….is it, except you are the Gauleiter?

          • laudator temporis acti

            Riflemaniac, you have a BA Honours in Latin, do you? Fancy that! It didn’t do you much good though, since all you can do is descend to vulgar abuse. I can only imagine you are really an advanced case of invincible ignorance, which can only be pitied – and then ignored, which is what I shall now do.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,

    Whilst hoping in all sincerity that we never approach the elasticity of the Anglican approach to theology….perhaps to our brother cafeteria Catholics we could award one of two accolades:-

    a. A Baskins-Robbins-32 flavors (sic)

    b. A Heinz-57 varieties

    The fellow travelling weasels merely rate a “Baskins”…but Satan’s own pied pipers of dissent …the real enemies…..are without a doubt “Heinzes”.
    We are in this state because we deliberately ditched formal catechesis-like formal everything in the 1960s and 70s.
    The little Penny version of 1889(Burns and Oates) was clear, concise and covered most aspects of Catholic belief. It was effective too-one could reject all or none of it …but at least you knew with authority what you were believing or rejecting.
    Now? A sorry mess of fudge.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,
    The reason our nuancing dissenters or dissenting nuances ……. Call them what you will….. On a
    Latin and catechetical are very “anti” ………… Is quite simple.
    Latin is stark, stripped and pretty precise in its own terms and along with the transmission of sound Catholic doctrine …..that neatly hems in the heretics.
    We should aim to be the Ronseal Catholics ……. We do exactly what it says on the tin.

  • Rifleman819

    Thanks ………..I have been ignored in my life by far , far better people than you.

  • Paul

    ACTA gets a response to its dissent

    This is to acknowledge your letter of 29 January 2014 to Archbishop Nichols
    concerning the publication in 2010 of the English translation of the Third Typical
    Edition of the Roman Missal. His Grace has asked me to respond on his behalf.
    Most changes to the Church’s liturgy elicit a wide range of views and opinions.
    This is not surprising given the centrality of liturgical worship to Christian life
    and prayer. This was as true in 1970 with the publication of the First Typical
    Edition of the Roman Missal as it is today.
    The concerns raised by those who were unhappy with the current English
    translation were debated and considered in full by the members of the
    International Commission on English in the Liturgy (“ICEL”) before, and at the
    time of, the introduction of the new English translation of the Missal.
    The complete text of the current English translation was reviewed twice by the
    Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, once in draft text for comment then
    in preparation for voting and received the approval of the Conference. Those
    who worked closely with both the current text and the 1998 translation would
    suggest that the consultation on the 2010 text was more extensive and that it
    received a greater scrutiny by bishops. There is reason then, to suggest that the
    present translation was ‘imposed on us’.
    Whilst some have expressed concerns about the new translation, it is only fair to
    balance that with the fact that others have expressed a far more positive and
    enthusiastic reaction to the new texts and to their reception by clergy and
    faithful alike.
    There is therefore no intention that the Bishops’ Conference will be considering
    producing another English translation of the Missal, at least until there are any
    further revisions to the Latin Typical Edition which may require this. The
    Bishops will continue with the task of reflecting on, and reviewing, the
    translations of the liturgical rites which are still currently being prepared by
    You will appreciate that Archbishop Nichols receives a great many requests
    from different individuals, groups and organisations who wish to meet with
    him. Clearly, as President of the Bishops’ Conference and with his new position
    as a Cardinal in the service of the Holy Father, Archbishop Nichols is regarded
    as a leader and representative figure for the Catholic Church in England and
    Wales. However, as the elected President of the Conference of Bishops he is not
    the leader of a national Church but of a body which exists to give expression and
    practical implementation to the Bishops’ collegial spirit. Each Bishop is fully
    responsible for his own Diocese. As such, the dialogue that various groups and
    organisations seek is often more appropriately jnd practically met at a local
    diocesan level. From the information in your letter, I understand that this is
    something which you are already pursuing.
    Assuring you of my prayers and very best wishes, I remain
    Yours sincerelv in the Lord

    Mgr Marcus Stock
    General Secretary

    Reading this I take it as a very clear rejection of ACTA’s aims in this instance. It is encouraging to see such a strong response from Mgr Stock. The idea that the new translation was imposed on the faithful is a laughable assertion. I hope and pray that ACTA’s subsequent responses are as clear and direct.

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