06 February 2014, The Tablet

Brentwood bishop ticks off his top liturgy official

The Bishop of Brentwood has reprimanded the chairman of his diocese’s liturgy commission after he called for priests to ignore the new translation of the Mass.

In a letter to The Tablet Fr Michael Butler said he felt it was legitimate for the older missal to be used at the present time and hoped eventually that the 1998 translation, approved by English-speaking bishops across the world but rejected by Rome, could be adopted instead.

Fr Butler said that most priests were not happy with the new missal translation – adopted in Advent 2011 – and were avoiding some words and phrases. Fr Butler later sent his letter to priests in the Diocese of Brentwood.

But Bishop Thomas McMahon has said Fr Butler’s views are not those of the diocese. In a letter to priests he wrote: “in my experience even though some people may have their reservations, priests are being faithful to the new translation.”

Bishop McMahon added: “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.”

The new translation of the Mass has been criticised for its awkward phrases, its over-literal translation of Latin and the top-down manner of its introduction.

Fr Patrick Jones, a senior liturgy official in Ireland, has said a review of the new missal was a possibility.

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