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Clarification on the Implementation of the new English Mass translation in South Africa


On Wednesday 28 February 2009 the President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Buti Tlhagale OMI received a letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The letter asked that the current implementation of the new English Text of the Roman Missal be halted until the process had been finalised internationally and all English-speaking churches could implement the new translation at the same time.

Normally  a recognitio given by the Congregation approves a text for implementation at a time determined by the Bishops’ Conference. In this case, the recognitio approved the text but only for Catechesis of the people and the preparation of music for the Rite and not for immediate implementation.

The Bishops’ Conference has explained the situation to the Vatican and has requested that their decision be allowed to stand. They await Rome’s response.

In the meantime the President, Archbishop Tlhagale, and the Bishop in Charge of Liturgy, Bishop Risi, have requested that Churches that have implemented the changes should continue to use them until a response has been received from the Holy See. Churches that have not implemented the changes should not do so until further notice.

The Bishops regret the confusion that may have arisen. They ask for patience and they pray that the misunderstanding that has arisen will not take away from the prayerful and joyful celebration of the Mass in English. They wish to point out that the only issue in dispute is the date of implementation, not the text itself.

                                                   Fr Vincent Brennan SMA
                                                   Secretary General.


Issued by Fr Chris Townsend, Information Officer (SACBC) - Tel: +27 (0)12 323 6458
Hits: 1609
Comments (6)Add Comment
Diocesan Bishop
written by Bishop Teixeira, OFSJC, February 05, 2010
Unfortunately, we are still moving backwards and forgetting the people we ministry everyday.
Subsidiarity and the "new" English translation of the Mass
written by Douglas Racionzer, March 23, 2009
The social teaching of the Church which includes the SACBC promotes the principle of subsidiarity but has invariably failed to practice what it preaches. Sibsidiarity is the principle where; "A community of a higher order should not interfere with the life of a community of a lower order..." The "new" translation is just one small example of this ironic failure of Church governance... Consubstantial welcomes under our roofs and with your spirit indeed...have these people never heard of the simple English campaign?
Backwards in Time
written by Jose Vieira Arruda, March 21, 2009
Very sad indeed! Here we are again, moving backwards in time. Fidelity to our Faith and the way we express it today or fidelity to a dead language (latin). This whole thing is a mess. And, worse, the lack of courage from our part to respectively and lovingly tell Rome: Enough is enough! Our Bishops, our local Church, is old enough to decide on its own. In any case, I am quite sad about this whole affair...
...
written by Richard H, March 19, 2009
"Fidelity, fidelity fidelity". Hmm. The Catholic liturgy is really about "faith, faith, faith". The liturgy expresses our faith. Having the Mass in an English that is obscure and antiquated, however "faithful" it is to the Latin, is not helpful. The eucharistic prayers that we're not using yet are real shockers in terms of their goofy English. Anyway it is quite probable that even the parts of the Mass that have been approved (2 out of 13), of which we in SAfrica are using 1 could change still before the publication of the full missal. The whole thing is a divisive mess and not worth wasting time over. The church in SA has many more pressing issues to deal with. Why we're tinkering with the Mass to make it "worse" beats me.
The old mass is new again
written by Joni, March 17, 2009
I was around 10 years old when they changed the mass from Latin to English. The English mass we used, at first, was closely translated from the Latin, and the phrases I read in this article are all very familiar to me. Gradually over the years the English deviated from the Latin more and more, till we have the mass we use today. But the proposed translation, closer to the original Latin, is not new. It's what we said right after Vatican II, when mass in the vernacular was first authorized.
Oi
written by Arthur Williamson, March 09, 2009
Sad, really. Some 'progressive' parishes in Joburg (and elsewhere?) have vociferously resisted and postponed implementation. Now they feel vindicated, though they're in the unfamiliar and comfortable position of siding with Rome. But they are wrong on the much more important issue of obedience and fidelity to the bishop. This whole fiasco could have been avoided if Catholics - hierarchy, clergy and laity - cultivated a greater regard for the authentic Christian virtue of informed holy obedience in faith. The real issue can be summed up in three words: fidelity, fidelity, fidelity. It's perhaps no accident that this whole episode is emblematic of a much larger and more endemic confusion. Our pastors must act quickly and decisively by emphasising that the new ICEL translation will be implemented. They must also frankly and humbly admit that they jumped the gun, and use this opportunity to renew their own fidelity to legitimate Christ-given authority, and in this holy lenten season, exhort the faithful to do the same. We are all in need of serious metanoia.

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