Conducted by Fr. JOHN SYMON
Question—What exactly has happened to the new calendar of saints we heard about last year? Some observances have been dropped but other feasts, which were going to be transferred, seem to be continuing on the same dates as before. It is all very confusing to the layman and 1 wonder if you can give us some explanation.
Answer Last year a new calendar of feasts was published by the authorities in Rome responsible for the revision of the liturgy. As many readers will recall, this particular reform created quite a storm and at the time many voices were raised to deplore the apparent disrespect with which certain popular saints were treated.
As is clear from some of the letters I receive from readers, if many worshippers were unhappy about the changes planned in the cal endar, some of them were even more disconcerted to discover this year that the whole reform is going to proceed, not in one fell swoop, but in several stages. For the moment at least, the cycle of feasts and seasons seems to many devout Catholics to be much more confusing than, say, the thinned out post-Beeching railway time-tables.
The reform of the calendar is not as philistine or outrageous as some critics have suggested and the whole scheme is quite logical. To understand what is being done, we need to make a few important distinctions. There are not merely two calendars, an old one which was used for the last time in 1969 and a new one which we have adopted this year; the mystery is a little deeper and in actual fact there are three calendars altogether.
First, there was certainly the old calendar which has just been abolished. Second, —and this has been the