The bishop emeritus of Portsmouth has apologised for approving the new English translation of the Mass.
Bishop Crispian Hollis, in a letter to the Tablet magazine, said he was wrong to endorse the “appalling” texts introduced into parishes six years ago.
The bishop was responding to an article by historian Eamon Duffy calling for bishops to abandon the translation.
Prof Duffy said the current translation should be replaced with a 1998 text that had been approved by English-speaking bishops’ conferences but rejected by the Vatican.
Bishop Hollis said he “regret[ted] deeply” not taking the matter “more seriously” during bishops’ conference deliberations.
He said most bishops were content to “let sleeping dogs lie” and approve the text.
He said: “With the benefit of hindsight, I confess that I was wrong and am therefore partly responsible for the appalling texts with which we have now been saddled. I am sorry!”
The bishop said he believed the motu proprio Magnum Principium gave the bishops the opportunity to revisit the earlier missal. “The matter is urgent – things will not get better and we need to think again,” he said.
The motu proprio, issued in September, gave more responsibility for Mass translations to bishops’ conferences.
Last month, however, the bishops’ conference said in a statement that Magnum Principium could not be applied “retroactively” and that the 2011 Mass text would stay in use.
The 2011 missal followed norms laid down 10 years earlier by the Vatican document Liturgiam Authenticam, which called for more faithful adherence to the Latin. The previous text, introduced in 1973, was described by critics as a prosaic and theologically inaccurate translation.
Bishop Hollis said the task of translation had been so “daunting” that “I think we took the line of least resistance.”
Catholic MP criticises cardinal
A Scottish nationalist MP has criticised a Spanish cardinal for saying there is “no moral legitimacy” to unilateral secession in a democracy.
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia said secessionist movements that ignore the common good are “morally unacceptable”.
Carol Monaghan, a Catholic SNP MP, said it would be “ludicrous” to think Scottish nationalism violates Church teaching.
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