US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Bad news for Catholics who still dislike the new Mass translations

By Scott Alessi | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

It seems like there's been a lot of news in the past few days, but here's an interesting story that has kind of slipped through the cracks: Pope Francis, in a meeting October 18 with members of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), praised them for their work on preparing the English translations of the liturgy.

The Vatican Information Service reports:
"The pope received the members of the Commission in audience this morning, and remarked that the fruits of their labours 'have not only helped to form the prayer of countless Catholics, but have also contributed to the understanding of the faith, the exercise of the common priesthood and the renewal of the church’s missionary outreach...'"

They add that Francis commended ICEL for "enabling the vast numbers of the Catholic faithful throughout the world to pray in a common language … (which) has helped to foster the church’s unity in faith and sacramental communion."

I'm not sure that really matches up with the experience of many Catholics in the United States. As we found out when we surveyed U.S. Catholic readers last year, most were still unhappy with the new English translation, as were many English-speaking priests. Perhaps Francis is unaware of how those new texts have been received at the ground level, and he hasn't heard the concerns of Catholics who were unimpressed with the translations. But at least for now, it doesn't appear that he's on the side of those who still want to revert back to the old translation of the Roman Missal.