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Priests don't like new translations for mass ceremony, St. John's survey says

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • May 22, 2013 - 11:12 AM

It looks like not all Catholic clergy are crazy about the new translation of the Roman missal used in mass ceremonies.

That’s according to a survey released Tuesday by St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, Minn. It found 59 percent of priests surveyed do not like the new mass translations, which began to be used in fall 2011.

“Eighty percent said they agreed with an assessment that the Latin to English translation is 'awkward and distracting,' according to the St. John’s study. Sixty-one percent also said the new language needs to be revised “urgently,” according to the National Catholic Reporter

“The study was conducted by the school’s Godfrey Diekmann, OSB Center for Patristics and Liturgical Studies. It invited all 178 U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses to ask their priests to respond to online questions regarding their experience with the new translations.

“According to the school, 1,536 priests in 32 U.S. diocese responded. The survey took place from Feb. 21-May 6.

“The translations, which were first indicated in a 2001 Vatican document, include small and large changes from previous versions of how priests say prayers and celebrate the Eucharist. They also affect ways Catholics respond throughout the ceremony.

“In one of the most obvious changes, Catholics are no longer to respond “And also with you” when the priest wishes them peace, but rather “And with your spirit.”

“This survey shows fairly widespread skepticism about the new Missal by U.S. Catholic priests, with strong differences in opinion between the majority of priests who do not like the Missal and the minority who do,” the school said in a release.

“Among findings highlighted by the school:

•Priests surveyed did not like the new texts by a 3-2 margin, with 59 percent saying they do not like them compared to 39% who do.
•More than 1/3 of priests surveyed said they “strongly disagree” that the new missal is an improvement over its predecessor.
•80 percent of those surveyed said they agreed with an assessment of the new language as “awkward and distracting.”
•61 percent of those surveyed said the new language needs to be revised “urgently,” with 43 percent strongly agreeing."
 

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