If Not Joy, Then Unity

Günther Simmermacher, editor of South Africa’s Catholic medium, The Southern Cross, offers a reasoned, balanced editorial. His nation’s bishops never received the “don’t implement yet” letter the other sets of English-speaking bishops got. So they’ve had the English MR3 for three years already. “I hate you hierarchy,” remember?

The whole piece is worth a read, but his conclusion about MR3 is food for thought:

The much more complex ecclesiological debate merits respectful debate. For example, whether or not the new missal represents a “scaling back” of the Second Vatican Council is a question of perspective. It is fair to note that the process that has led us to the new missal was not always marked by scrupulous sensitivity. It is likewise fair to note that the reaction to the new translations was not invariably polite.

It would be wrong, however, to accuse those with whom one disagrees of acting in bad faith, of being reactionary or disobedient. When we enter into dialogue on the new missal, however we may feel about it, we must do so in a spirit of respect and understanding. Objections to the new translation cannot be dismissed by reference to authority. At the same time, obedience compels those who object to the new formulae to nevertheless accept them, if not with joy then in a spirit of unity.

Comments are welcome here, but also surf to Mr Simmermacher’s site and offer them there, too.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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