Put Pen to Paper


 

The Plan in TWO Parts:

Part ONE:

To give people an opportunity to express their concerns regarding the New Roman Missal to their parish leadership.  The “Collection Comment Card” which follows, entitled My Two Cents, may be copied and filled out.  For maximum impact, please place these in your parish’s collection basket anytime during the season of Lent.

My Concerns about the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal…                (My Two Cents)…

Click here to Download a version of this document that you can edit.

I am an active, contributing member of the Church, and I am concerned about the new Roman Missal because:

__   I find the changes to the people’s parts distracting and unnecessary.

__   I find the priests’ texts often awkward, wordy, and difficult to comprehend.

__    I don’t believe the prayers of the new Missal are more reverent, prayerful or that they will bring me closer to God.

__   The emphasis on our unworthiness rather than on God’s love seems very out of balance.

__   The new texts when put to music are not prayerful and create serious issues for musicians.  They just don’t ‘sing’!

__   I question the process by which this Missal was produced, which did not follow the guidelines  laid out by the Second Vatican Council.

__  I question:  Where is the joy?

__   All of the above.

Other concerns:   __________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Out of love for the Church I choose not to withhold my usual contribution;  however, I do respectfully ask you to bring my concerns to the attention of the Bishop.

Signature __________________________

Part TWO:

To have individuals write letters (at least) to…

      1. Their bishop
      2. The Papal Nuncio for their country
      3. The president of their country’s Conference of Catholic Bishops
    • To post their letters so that they might arrive in the above offices during

Preferably during Lent, 2012 but anytime we express our needs is acceptable!

Why?

  • It is important for our spiritual leaders to know our concerns about the Eucharistic celebration and how it is now celebrated in the New Roman Missal.  The Eucharist is the central sacrament of our Church and our celebration of the Eucharist says much about who we are as the People of God, the Catholic Church.
  • One letter arriving at a time usually makes no difference, but our hope is that many letters arriving in the same week will cause our spiritual leaders to take notice!

Why did you not propose this sooner?  

The bishops of the United States (at least) have encouraged their people to experience the New Roman Missal for several weeks/months before coming to any conclusions.  As many would say, change is always difficult and it will grow on you.

The MisguidedMissal Team chose to hold off until three months of implementation had taken place so that people would have some solid experience of the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal prior to any organized critique of it to our leadership.  This happened to coincide with the First Week of Lent. In some parts of the English-speaking Church, people will have had a much longer time to ponder the NRM’s prayerfulness, or lack thereof, for themselves and their families.

What Now?

1.  Share the plan…  Spread the Word!!!

How is change realized in any large institution?  By people speaking up!  There are many in our Church who are dismayed, at the very least, by the New Roman Missal’s translation; some are downright angry.  This is one opportunity for each baptized Roman Catholic with concerns about the 3rd Edition to make those thoughts and feelings known to our leadership at the same time as many others!

Spread the word about this plan of action, this opportunity to share our experience of the New Roman Missal with our leaders.  Without your help, any future change is NOT possible!

2.  Write your letter.

Four Sample Letters are given for your convenience below.  You may use these as starters for your own letter’s composition or you may copy one letter verbatim into your document program, print, sign and send.  We know people lead very busy lives so we have tried to make this as easy as possible.

Please Note:  We are asking you to leave us your name, email address and diocese for our follow-up purposes ONLY!  We’d like to be in contact with you to find out what, if any, response you received!  PLEASE REGISTER!

  To Register Click Here.

3.  Send your letter.  

Please send your letter on or near the date below the First Sunday of Lent,  February 26, 2012, if at all possible.  Anytime during Lent is acceptable.

    • To your Bishop
    • To the President of your country’s Conference of Catholic Bishops
    • To the Papal Nuncio for your country.

Each Papal Nuncio is the prime papal contact in a country/area of the world. Any comments that cross his desk, especially if they relate to one issue, are likely to receive greater attention in Rome.

    • To Pope Benedict XVI – if you wish.

Addresses

For your convenience:  Below the Four Sample Letters are the addresses for the Pope (if you wish to write His Holiness directly), the Papal Nuncios for each English speaking country in the Church as well as the address for the President of each Conference of Catholic Bishops.

You will need to double check your Bishop’s address 

(Please double check locally for accuracy – some conference lists have not been recently updated!  And please note – on many of these websites to get to the Bishop’s address you have to click on either his name or the name of the Diocese.)
  

For Australia click here.

For Canada click here.

For England and Wales click here

For India click here.

For Ireland click here.

For New Zealand click here.

For Pakistan – Found no internet listing for Bishops.

For Philippines click here.

For Scotland click here

For South Africa click here.

For United States click here.

Sample Letters:  [There are Four]

Letter #1  [Short and sweet bullet points.]

Click here to download a version of this letter that you can edit.

Your Address

Date

Address of Bishop/Cardinal here

Your Excellency or Dear Bishop <last name here>,

Your Eminence or Dear Cardinal <last name here>,

It is with sadness and disappointment that I write to you today about the New Roman Missal which is now the central prayer of our Church!

I find the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal…

  • lacks prayerfulness…   The words, especially those proclaimed by the priest, often seem out of order and are not easily understood by the average person.  The Mass is prayer, not a catechism lesson.
  • is difficult to sing…  “To sing is to pray twice.”  This music doesn’t sing or pray!
  • dwells on…  our human sinfulness much more than on the abundant, infinite mercy of our loving God!  This seems totally out of balance.
  • limits the saving action of God through his Son, Jesus Christ, when the priest says…  says ‘many’ instead of ‘for all’.
  • values accuracy over… the “full, conscious and active” participation of all.
  • poorly expresses our Eucharistic celebration, the Paschal Mystery…   I want to be drawn into the celebration of the Mass, not repelled by it.

I question whether the 3rd Edition…

  • will bring people closer to God.
  • will encourage people to repent and change their ways because God loves them.
  • is the best prayer for our Church in the 21st century.
  • is not a throwback to the pre-Vatican II days of our Church.  This is not a step forward!   Again, the Mass is prayer, not a catechism lesson.

The Mass, the Eucharist, is the central prayer of the entire Church.  As such, it should inspire, comfort, heal, forgive, nourish and send forth the People of God into the world to be and bring the Good News to all.  I am grateful to know and worship a God of unending mercy, who continually calls me to become the best that I can be.

This 3rd Edition is woefully lacking from what I have experienced thus far.  Please, please reconsider!  [Optional – Out of love for the Church I have chosen not to withhold my contributions at this time.]

Thank you for your patient reading of my concerns!  I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

<Your Signature Here>

Letter #2  [Emphasis on text and process.]

Click here to download a version of this letter that you can edit.

Your Address

Date

Address of Bishop/Cardinal here

Your Excellency or Dear Bishop <last name here>,

Your Eminence or Dear Cardinal <last name here>,

I am writing to express my deep concern about the third edition of the Roman Missal, which has been introduced in my parish after an extensive program of preparation.  I have concerns both about the texts themselves, and about the process whereby they were produced.

While there are some beautiful prayers in this new edition, and some improvements on the Sacramentary of 1973, the text is filled with obscure language that has already created confusion for the faithful.  The prayers are difficult for priests to proclaim with grace and clarity, and even more difficult to understand, especially in the diverse Church of today, when English is not the native language of the entire assembly.

I am also concerned about the process whereby this translation was produced.  The texts approved by our bishops were substantially and secretly altered after they had been voted on.  This is a clear violation of the rights of bishops’ conferences as laid out in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

I write to request that this translation be returned to the Bishops’ Conferences for review and revision in a transparent and collaborative process.  I suggest also that the faithful and beautiful translation approved by the English-speaking Bishops in 1998 be re-evaluated and re-considered.

Thank you for your attention.  May the Holy Spirit guide you and all the shepherds of the Church.

Towards greater unity in Christ,

<Your Signature Here>

 

Letter #3  [Challenge to Bishops to speak out.]

Click here to download a version of this letter that you can edit.

Your Address

Date

Address of Bishop/Cardinal here

Your Excellency or Dear Bishop <last name here>,

Your Eminence or Dear Cardinal <last name here>,

I am deeply concerned regarding the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal which we have been using since the First Sunday of Advent, 2011 (or whatever date your country implemented NRM).  I am familiar with the 1998 text, created by ICEL over 15 years and approved by the English speaking bishops throughout the world.  I know that many of the texts for the 1998 translation were shared with local and regional diocesan commissions.  The consultants, and ICEL, listened to our concerns and were collaborative and consultative.  The resulting texts were beautifully constructed, understandable, scripturally and theologically sound.  The sense lines were concise and flowing, easily spoken out loud and understood by both the presider and the assembled People of God.

In the 3rd Edition, now promulgated, Rome has substituted this 1998 translation- approved by bishops’ conferences throughout the English speaking countries- with an inferior product.  This “New Missal Translation” is often poorly translated, indeed, at times mistranslated, difficult to speak, let alone comprehend.  In doing so, Rome has dismissed the concerns and expertise of experienced liturgists, linguists, scripture scholars and theologians, to say nothing of the bishops’ conferences throughout the English speaking countries of the world.  I’m sure you already know all this.  And I understand the hesitancy of the bishops to speak out, given the current atmosphere of today’s Church.  The fact that even the 3rd Edition texts were secretly altered after the bishops voted on them speaks loudly of Rome’s disregard for the rights of the bishops’ conferences as laid out in Sacrosanctum Concilium.  Where have the doctrines of collegiality and subsidiarity gone?   This should give you and all bishops pause for concern.

I have been a Catholic for ____ years.  I have valued the Church, served it faithfully and shared my love and faith.  Like many, I have come to believe that we are that which we receive:  Eucharist, the Body of Christ.  The new texts, rather than addressing us as the assembled People of God, emphasize our sinfulness and unworthiness.  Where, then, is the emphasis commanded by the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy : “the full, conscious and active participation” of all the people?   Furthermore, the use of exclusive language often leaves women out of the picture;  and women are equal members of the Body of Christ, as so clearly proclaimed by the apostle Paul (Galatians 3:28).  And finally, by excluding your own consultation and collaboration, the Curial Office of Divine Worship has denied your important roles as teacher and shepherd.

I expect more from our spiritual leaders.  I expect more from you.  The language we hear and speak in the central prayer of the Church, the Eucharist, deeply effects what we believe about God, our relationship to God and to each other.  This is a time for courage, not silent compliance.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.  May the Holy Spirit guide you and all the shepherds of the Church.

Sincerely,

<Your Signature Here>

 

Letter #4

[Emphasis on 1998 Translation/Principles of translation.]

Click here to download a version of this letter that you can edit.

Your Address

Date

Address of Bishop/Cardinal here

Your Excellency or Dear Bishop <last name here>,

Your Eminence or Dear Cardinal <last name here>,

I am a faithful Roman Catholic who loves our Church and its liturgy.  In particular, I have been deeply nourished by the changes wrought in the Second Vatican Council: the many opportunities for “full, conscious, and active participation” facilitated by the use of the vernacular and uplifting song.  I have appreciated the “noble simplicity” of our prayer and have often been moved by our sacramental celebrations.  These include Communion under both forms, baptism by immersion in a font large enough to accommodate an adult, and the lavish outpouring of perfumed oil.  All of these and many more point us to an abundant, effusive God, who loves us beyond imagining.

Because of this, I am deeply saddened, disturbed, and even angered by the introduction of the 3rdEdition of the Roman Missal in our country.  First and foremost, not only is the language often difficult to understand, but it is cumbersome, and seems to point us to a God who only sees us as sinners.  This is not the God I know!  The God I know is both profoundly merciful and continually challenges us to work toward right relationships with the most vulnerable in our midst.  Second, I have read a great deal on both the process and the language used in this newest translation.  And I know that the Vatican “pushed the delete button” on the beautiful 1998 Missal, completed after a 15 year process of collaboration between liturgical experts and bishops.  I know that all the conferences of English speaking bishops readily approved this Missal.  And I have read many of these prayers, which are no longer hidden, and found many of them to be stunning in their beauty.  Third, I know that the Vatican changed the rules of translation in 2001 through the document Liturgiam Authenticam, and then refused to sign onto the 1998 Missal the following year.  I know that a self-described conservative chant historian and Princeton professor, Peter Jeffery in his book Translating Tradition, dismissed this Vatican document (LA) as  “the most ignorant statement on liturgy ever issued by a modern Vatican congregation,” (Part 4, p. 320) and strongly urged that it be “summarily withdrawn.” (Part 4, p. 322)  Fourth, I know that the Vatican pushed ahead, nonetheless, with little regard for the collaboration required by the Second Vatican Council.  I know that many of the bishops’ concerns were ignored.  Even after the bishops’ approval of the NRM in 2008, some 10,000 other changes were made, without their approval!

As a member of the Catholic faithful, I am exercising my right and responsibility (according to Lumen Gentium #37 and Code of Canon Law #212, Sect. 3) to address you, my pastor, with these concerns about the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal.  I applaud any of your brother bishops who have addressed similar concerns with the Vatican.  And I urge you to seriously reconsider the 1998 Missal.  This is the one we deserve, for the “full, conscious, and active participation” of all the people.  How can we pray with stilted, overly literal language?  Rather, we need language of noble simplicity, as the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy requires.  And, we need language that will truly focus us on the mystery of our lavish, loving, and challenging God in words that reflect our experience today, in English that says what it means, understandable to all without any explanation needed.

Thank you for your serious consideration in this important matter.

I am, your (brother/sister) in Christ,

<Your Signature Here>

 

Addresses and Contact Information for Writing 

Forms Used in Letter Salutations

When addressing a Bishop:              Dear Bishop His Last Name  OR  Your Excellency

When addressing an Archbishop:  Dear Archbishop His Last Name  OR  Your Excellency

When addressing a Cardinal:            Your Eminence (is the easiest)

When addressing the Pope:              Your Holiness  or  Most Holy Father

THE POPE

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

PAPAL NUNCIOS

Australia

Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto

Apostolic Nuncio
2 Vancouver Stret
Red Hill Canberra, ACT 2603

Canada

Archbishop Pedro López Quintana

Apostolic Nuncio
724 Manor Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1M 0E3

England, Scotland & Wales

Archbishop  Antonio Mennini

Apostolic Nuncio
54 Parkside
London SW19 5NE
Tel: 020 8944 7189
Fax: 020 8947 2494

India

Archbishop  Salvatore Pennacchio

Apostolic Nuncio
50-C
Niti Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi-110021
India
Phone: +91-11 2688.9187

Ireland

Archbishop Charles John Brown 

Apostolic Nuncio
183 Navan Road
Dublin 7, Ireland

New Zealand

Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo  

Apostolic Nuncio
112 Queen’s Drive
Lyall Bay
Wellington 6023
New Zealand
Phone: (04) 387 3470
Fax: (04) 387 8170
Email: nuntius@ihug.co.nz

Philippines

Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto                         

Apostolic Nuncio
2140 Taft Ave.
Manila 1004
P.O. Box 3604
1099 Manila
Philippines
Phone: +64-2 521.03.06/7

South Africa

Apostolic Nunciature                       

4 Argo Street
P.O. Box 95200
Waterkloof Ridge
Pretoria 0181
Phone: 012-346-4235
Fax:  012-346-1494
E-mail: nunciosa@iafrica.com

United States

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano

Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

PRESIDENTS OF CONFERENCES OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS:

[We recommend sending your letter to each
Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal at their home diocesan address given below.]

Australia    

Archbishop Philip E. Wilson

President

Australian Conference of Catholic Bishops

39 Wakefield Street
Adelaide
SA
5000
Australia
Phone:  08 8210 8108
Fax:       08 8223 2307

Canada      

Archbishop Richard Smith

President

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

8421-101 Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T6A 0L1
CANADA
Phone:  780-469-1010
Fax:    780-465-3003

England & Wales  

Archbishop Vincent Nichols

President

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales

Vaughan House
46 Francis Street
London  SW1P 1QN
Phone:  020 7798 9033

India    

Cardinal Oswald Gracias

President

Conference of Catholic Bishops of India    

Archbishop’s House
21-Nathalal Parekh Marg
Mumbai – 400 001. MAHATARASTRA
Tel: 022-22021093, 22021193, 22021293(O)

Ireland

Cardinal Sean Brady

President

Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Ara Coeli
Cathedral Road
Armagh BT61 7QY
Tel:  028 3752 2045
Fax: 028 3752 6182

New Zealand

Archbishop John Dew

President

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference

Catholic Centre
22-30 Hill Street
Wellington 6010
Tel  (04) 496 1766
Fax  (04) 496 1728
OR:
PO Box 1937
Wellington 6140

Pakistan       

Bishop Joseph Coutts

President

Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference

Mian Mohammad Shafird
P.O. Box 909
Lahore 54000
Pakistan
Phone:  (042)6366.137

Philippines  

Archbishop Jose S. Palma

President

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

Archbishop’s House
234 D. Jakosalem St., (PO Box 52)
6000 Cebu City
Tel: (6332) 2540951, 2533382
Fax: (6332) 2554458

Scotland     

Cardinal O’Brien

President

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland

Archbishop’s House
St. Bennet’s
42 Greenhill Gardens
Edinburgh
EH10 4BJ
Tel:  0131 447 3337
Fax: 0131 447 0816

South Africa         

Archbishop Buti Tihagale, OMI

President

South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Private Bag X10
Doornfontein 2028
Republic of South Africa
Phone: +27 11 402 6400
Fax:     +27 11 402 6406

United States

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

President

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone:  212-371-1000