Controversy over new missal


Madam, – I have long been an admirer of Dr Vincent Twomey’s trenchant pronouncements on various matters – most especially, the crystal clear expression of his position after the publication of the Murphy report. However, his latest defence of the new translation of the Roman Missal (February 8th) fills me with despair.

How can it be that our understanding of mysteries is enhanced by cloaking them in mysterious language? “After all, the object of theology as a scholarly discipline is truth”. These are not my words. They are Dr Twomey’s own. (See his The End of Irish Catholicism?page 164). How is the advance of truth assisted by a reversion to more obscure words?

The new Missal may indeed be more faithful to Greek or Latin texts. So what? We communicate in English, which is developing and changing in 30-year cycles never mind 300! Take, for example, the meaning attributed today to the word “awesome”, compared to 30 years ago.

If Dr Twomey is right that Fr Lane and his buddies, with whom I fully agree, are threatened by Jansenism, then I must be too! So, maybe Dr Twomey is wrong and Jansenism has not been put paid to.

In any event, let us have a Tahrir Square moment for Catholics and scare the anti-Jansenist pants off Dr Twomey and his buddies. – Yours, etc,


Kilcroney, Co Wicklow.