From Fr David Ackerman SIR — Having recently been criticised in The Tablet for my support for the new translation of the Roman missal, and, more irritatingly, not being allowed a reply, I am slightly hesitant about joining the debate again. But here goes. It is puzzling why Tom McIntyre (Letters, April 16) is so supportive of the present translation of the missal. Even if Rome had not intervened, a new translation would have been published anyway by ICEL. A new translation is coming and by the new year parishes could be preparing for its use. From what I have seen of the new Missal, I am enthusiastic. However reluctant he is to embrace the new translation, Mr McIntyre will have to accept that English-speaking Catholics will soon see remarkable and perhaps quite stunning changes to liturgical language. It is an opportunity for all of us to remember that such language should elevate our hearts and minds, and draw us into the mystery of faith. It is never good enough for liturgical language to simply “capture” spoken English. If you want to know what spoken English can be like walk around the centre of Gloucester when the pubs close.
Perhaps the debate needs now to move to the reception of the translation in the parishes, rather than debating the translation’s merits.
Yours faithfully DAVID ACKERMAN St Peter’s Church Gloucester