Page 5, 2nd October 1964

2nd October 1964
Page 5
Page 5, 2nd October 1964 — Attitudes to the Vernacular

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Locations: Nottingham, London, Rome


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Attitudes to the Vernacular

Sir,—lt has been reported to me that the majority of people (clergy and laity) ordering the new vernacular order of the Mass in this area have been opposed to it. Many of them have' expressed their disapproval at the time of ordering.

It is possible, of course, that the reason for their hostility is lack of preparation, lack of sound liturgical formation and basically a case of asking the wrong questions.

It is obvious that without a sound education in what lies behind the Liturgy itself and the changes in the Liturgy, much of the effectiveness of the changes proposed will be lost.

Naturally, if one has one particular view of what Liturgy is. then it will be difficult to see the reason for having vernacular in the Mass Liturgy which is, after all, the logical outcome of another view of what Liturgy is about. We have seen lately a lobby being mounted against the Proposed changes (letters in the daily press as well as in this paper).

It seems to me that without a spirit of open-mindedness. a ready acceptance of the Council's Schema and decision and a sound re-education very little will be achieved.

What, for example, will be the form of the Mass in the many parishes which even now have not got as far as "dialogue" Mass? There are many churches (even one or two near whole dioceses) in which Mass is still a silent dialogue between priest and server.

Will November 29th bring only a language change in these churches?

In addition, can we hope that the 'new' Liturgy will be enforced in all churches? Previously, any departures from rigid rubrics (such as priests saying the Canon out loud) were forbidden. In future, will active steps be taken to ensure that all parishes conform to the new Liturgy — or will a blind eye be turned to parishes which opt out?

Bernard Tucker, Middleton.

Abp. Makarios

Sir,—As a loyal reader of the CATHOLIC HERALD for eight years, I was surprised to find, for the first time, that you are one of the victims of false information. I refer, of course, to the editorial of the 14th August, entitled "From Vietnam to Cyprus".

The accusations levelled against Archbishop Makarios are most unfortunate and are extremely hurtful to the feelings of the 4,000 Catholic permanent residents of Cyprus, who consider the priestly Archbishop not only as a benign ruler but also as one who looks upon the minorities here with real Christian charity.

I challenge you to consult the representatives of the Armenian, Maronite and Latin minorities in the Communal Chamber and the House of Representatives so that you may receive from them confirmation of the above.

The real cause of the present unrest in this island can be found in "Cyprus Today", published by the Greek Communal Chamber of Cyprus.

If you were indeed one of those liberal minded people who campaigned for the release of the Archbishop from exile, be assured that your cause was just, and that there is no reason at all why you should have a red face now!

Concluding, I dare say that anyone who contradicts the above without proof must be a person of bad faith, and one who, while forgetting Greece of 1940-1945, cannot out of resentment forget the days of EOKA.

V. K. Geodelekian, Famagusta.

Evidence Guild

Sir,-1 am sure my fellowmembers of the Catholic Evidence Guild will join me in thanking you, albeit on my own initiative, for your brief report of the InterC.E.G. conference at Nottingham, and for your publication of Mr. Seymour-Jonas' letter on August 28th.

Mr. Jonas' pessimism is partly justified, though the C.E.G. stand is in use much more often than any other at Tower Hill and Hyde Park. (I was the only Hyde Park speaker on April 18th, 1956. when Messrs. Bulganin and Khruschev passed by — my crowd doubled as a result; and although the main C.E.G. task is to give the gospel message, I took the occasion to tell then of Pope Pius XI's reaction when Hitler visited Rome in 1938.) We have friendly relations with our regular listeners, who have a lively interest in the faith, and who show genuine regret when (unfortunately not infrequently) we cannot maintain our pitches.

But we must face the fact that many golden opportunities are missed because there are not enough speaking and non-speaking members. The importance of an apostolic laity has many times been emphasised by recent Papal and Episcopal utterances and is the concern of every Catholic.

i am not suggesting that the C.E.G. is the best way for all to he apostles. but there must be many Catholics who are doing nothing in this respect. Two problems of the day are teenage boredom and lapsing and the C.E.G. provokes an interest which would prevent the latter.

Whatever improvements in our methods may be necessary, we earnestly hope that there are those who do not begrudge the faith to our separated brethren and who are willing to answer Mr. Jonas' appeal to continue the same work. Alan J. Goody, London, E.7.

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