Correcting pastoral blunders

Correcting pastoral blunders

Kevin McManus

In your February editorial you very clearly outlined the current Church crisis in Australia. Perhaps you could have added that major causes of this crisis have included some terrible pastoral or administrative blunders made since the Second Vatican Council.

Long avoided, if not denied by all concerned, this matter will surface when a more accurate English translation of the Novus Ordo Missal is due for release.

The authorisation of the presently used translation - if one could call it a translation - was a terrible blunder by the world's English-speaking bishops around 1970.

They knew Latin well, and must have known the approved "translation" was inaccurate, yet they insisted on an obedient acceptance of it. We must hope that their current successors will explain to the faithful the difference between our obligation to believe and obey the Church's infallible teaching on faith and morals and our duty to obey, if not agree with their non-infallible pastoral or administrative decisions.

The Holy Spirit always guides the Church and eventually corrects pastoral blunders. But this may take centuries.

You listed some of these blunders. There are others. Probably the worst was allowing an "open go" for liturgical changes which effectively lessened respect for and belief in the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. We must hope the damage will be addressed during this year of the Eucharist.

Another example of a post-Vatican II blunder was the suppression of Australia's great parish sodalities on the grounds that no part of a church should be reserved for any particular group.

Yet today parts of churches are regularly reserved for participants at funerals, ordinations, marriages, baptisms, confirmations, Law Masses, Naval Masses, Papal Masses, etc.

Meanwhile, the Holy Name Society is needed more than ever amid the present day deluge of blasphemy.

Any mention of such disasters usually brings the stock put-downs: "One must accept change" or "We cannot turn back the clock". Which is to say, in effect, that blunders are not blunders, or that blunders should never be corrected.

If this is the case, what hope can there be of genuine reform and renewal in the future?

KEVIN McMANUS
Ashfield, NSW

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