A furor has erupted in the South African Catholic Church over the first round of English-language changes in the Mass.
The Southern Cross, a southern African Catholic weekly newspaper, reports that clergy, liturgists and laity are up in arms about some of the new language being used during the constant parts of the Mass, saying the changes are confusing and fail to reflect the common usage of the English language and culture in the region.
Some commentators have said the changes fail to recognize the different ways English is spoken. Many fear that similar confusion and anger will rise up in some of the 10 other English-speaking countries governed by the revisions should there be no recognition of language and cultural differences.
The Southern Cross has reported extensively on the changes and reaction to them in recent weeks. The newspaper also has devoted more space on its Web site to its bloggers, such as Jesuit Father Anthony Egan, and more space in its print version for opinion pieces, commentary and letters to the editor since the Dec. 1 changeover.
The changes, which the South African bishops put into effect the first Sunday of Advent, are among those being discussed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
The first round has been widely discussed by the committee and approved by the Vatican. But there are two more phases to go before the new English missal is finalized.
It seems that the bishops may have moved ahead a bit too quickly as the changes they put in place were to be withheld until the remaining translations are finalized. Those revisions are to be completed by November and submitted to the Vatican for approval then.
Final implementation of all the changes is set for Advent 2011 or 2012.
Bloggers and columnists suggest that the entire English-speaking world and the Vatican take note of what has transpired in southern Africa, lest similar upheavals result around the globe.