circle of experts'
CANON I. B. O'CONNELL'S review (March 6) of Hugh Ross Williamson's "The Modern Mass" contains several errors of fact.
The new rite of Mass was not "prepared by the most competent body of bishops and liturgists (the Concilium".) It was in fact compiled by a closed circle of "experts" one of whom was reprimanded by Pope John for his unorthodox views.
Far from being accepted joyfully by the bishops of the Roman Rite a version of the Mass substantially the same as the new rite was decisively rejected by the bishops in 1967.
Let there be no doubt about the fact that the new rite has been imposed without any consultation or consideration for those to whom it causes difficulties of conscience, The bishops, to their shame. have accepted this position without question.
During the 400 years of its use no doubt was ever raised as to the orthodoxy of the Tridentine Mass. It is not even questioned today.
On the other hand, no amount of assurances from the Pope or the Congregation for Divine Worship can conceal the underlying unorthodox premises of the new rite.
Canon O'Connell displays both his ignorance and his lack of understanding when he characterises Mr. Ross Williamson's hook as "mischievous". Mr. Ross Williamson's able expression of the genuine doubts felt by many Catholics regarding the new rite commands more respect than the Canon's total unconcern for the spiritual needs of a not inconsiderable number of the faithful.
W. A. Jones Dover.