The retired director of the National Centre for Liturgy in Ireland has indicated that a review of the new English translation of the missal is on the cards though the mechanism to bring about such a review about remains unclear.
Fr Paddy Jones has just finished 21 years of service as secretary for
liturgy and director of the National Centre for Liturgy in Maynooth.
Writing in the Summer/Autumn/Winter 2013 issue of New Liturgy, a
bulletin for the National Secretariat for Liturgy, he states that such a
review is “necessary” if we listen to what is being said and what is
He acknowledges that there has been both scholarly and pastoral
criticism of the new translation and the instruction on the translation.
Elsewhere in his commentary, Fr Jones, who has been a prominent
advisor to the Irish bishops on liturgy for 21 years, referred to the
translation’s “non-acceptance by some” as well as the “use of a mixture
of old and new translations” by others.
He also highlighted the “disturbing quietness of congregations to the new responses” and other parts of the Mass.
Fr Jones recalls that, “During my 21 years as secretary for liturgy, the main preoccupation has been the Roman Missal.”
He also states that the Congregation for Divine Worship was “very
dissatisfied with the structures and work of ICEL” and this lead to the
structures of ICEL being “radically” changed.
“The change (in ICEL) from being a commission mandated in its work by
eleven conferences to a newly constituted commission in 2002 is a story
to be told elsewhere, but it will make unsettling reading,” Fr Jones
Elsewhere, in his article, the liturgist says that “The translation
of the third edition of the Roman Missal was produced. Its merits and
demerits are well known. It is a fuller and more literal translation but
its style often has an awkwardness that in many cases can be overcome
by careful preparation – a very good thing in itself.”
Speaking to the international Catholic weekly, The Tablet, Fr Jones
said questions were being asked at the level of national liturgy
agencies about the translation and the process by which the 2001
instruction on translation was included.
He said questions were also being asked about the level of
consultation throughout the process, and the implementation of the
translation through the publication of the actual texts of the Missal.
He added the possibility of a review of the Missal was being talked
about at a number of levels and was “generally accepted as useful and
The Association of Catholic Priests, which has a membership of over
1,000 or a third of Irish priests, has been one of the leading opponents
of the new Missal in Ireland.
Separately, in his article, Fr Jones states that several have
commented very favourably on the (English language) texts for the Irish
Proper in the Missal.
“They display a freshness that comes from their composition in the
vernacular. Such composition is needed if the vernacular is to be the
‘praying voice of the Church’, to use the words of Pope Paul VI,” Fr