Another Retired UK Bishop Comes Out Against the New Missal



Another UK Bishop Comes Out Against the New Missal

Pray Tell previously reported that  Bishop Crispian Hollis apologized for the new missal translation, and that Bishop Thomas McMahon added his own mea culpa for the bishops’ approval of the missal. Now another bishop has chimed in.

Bishop John Crowley, bishop emeritus of Middlesbrough, Harpenden, and Hertfordshire, has written to The Tablet to “repent” of the bishops’ decision to approve the 2011 Roman Missal.

Bishop Crowley writes of a “strange and deeply uncomfortable situation” because of a “stand-off” between the bishops’ conference in England and Wales and many priests and people.

The bishop says that “the difficulty faced by those charged with presiding at the liturgy is hard to overstate, such is the convoluted nature of many of the prayers…” In a key passage he writes, “Like a number of my fellow bishops I have had plenty of time to repent of our original decision to vote this translation through Conference.”

Bishop Crowley says that leaders within the bishops’ conference are “pastoral men” who will realize that if this issue is “left to fester, [it] could damage relationships of trust and confidence within the Catholic community of England and Wales.”


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  1. Why, oh why did they not have the gumption to say all this when they were still in post and had the authority to do something about it. The excuses really do not convince me. But, I suppose better late that never.

  2. William Herlihy says:

    I have grown somewhat tired of all the talk about the new Missal, at best it is preaching to the converted.
    I am in my declining years and as I see it, we are fast becoming a secular society.
    The people that matter for the continuity of the church, are the parents of the next two generations i.e. one to five and five to eighteen.
    Presently, neither are going to church.
    Consequently, if we do not think outside the box and make church interesting to them, it simply will die.

  3. John setright says:

    Can someone call a halt to the debate on the issues of the New Missal?

    Surely there are more important social issues to think about? – I am thinking of homelessness, various addictions, abuse of children and adults- the list goes on.

    The Missal debate is like two bald men fighting over a comb.

    Get over it and address the daily issues with which people struggle.

  4. John at no. 3
    Why call off a very valid debate. Your call sounds very much like a classic deflection when you don’t like what you are hearing. The logic of your call is that a priority “problem’ should be focused on to the exclusion of all others. In fact many are related. The detached “sacral” language of the missal implies that religion and worship have nothing to do with the reality of the problems you list.True Christianity would state otherwise.
    In effect Pope Francis has told us how to end the debate, if only serving non-retired bishops would listen.

  5. iggy o'donovan says:

    A bit of gridlock now on the road to Damascus. The shambles of the new translation was obvious to all from day one. Well done the German bishops who showed some backbone. As for the Irish and English the less said the better.

  6. Ian Evans says:

    It is lamentable that the qualities of leadership and personnel management at even its most basic is not regarded as a pre-requisite quality for those identified as possible episcopal candidates. On an institutional and organisational level, we remain amateurs.

  7. Martin Clitheroe says:

    With respect I think John setright misunderstands the importance of good liturgy. If we are to become a missionary church rather than one which is inward looking we have to welcome others to our Christian fellowship. Central to our Catholic faith is the Eucharist and if our Eucharistic liturgy is sterile and hard to understand how can we hope to enthuse others?

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