The Perils of Criticism: Fr Alan Griffiths

What is the most important commandment? For Catholic priests, it often seems to be “Thou shalt not step out of line.”

Fr Alan Griffiths took the bold and unusual step some months ago of criticising the procedures that have been followed in producing the new translation of the Missal. In this he is not alone – there is much to criticise, and many others have done so too. For Fr Griffiths, the difference was that he was speaking with an insider’s knowledge, as one who had participated in the process. For his honesty, he has now been sidelined, and told that his services are no longer required.

From the Tablet:

ICEL sidelines priest who criticised Missal changes

A PRIEST who worked on the new English version of the liturgy but publicly criticised the way last-minute changes were made to the new Missal has been sacked by the body in charge of the new translation, writes Christopher Lamb.

Fr Alan Griffiths has been told by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (Icel), that he will not be asked to do any more work for them. A priest in the Diocese of Portsmouth and a respected translator, Fr Griffiths is a longstanding advocate for a new translation of the Mass to replace the one prepared by Icel in 1973, and has been extensively involved with preparing priests and laity for the new version. However, he became critical of the final text after comparing it with the version approved by the Bishops of England and Wales in 2008.

The final text was then re-edited by the Vatican and appeared earlier this year. In a letter to The Tablet (30 October), he wrote: “The differences are so extensive as to argue that the 2010 text is not that which was approved in the first place.” He added that the new changes “are simply not correct English”, that they contravene agreed Holy See guidelines on how to translate texts and that whoever made the latest changes did not communicate with Icel. Fr Griffiths said he was “neither upset nor surprised” by Icel’s move and “guessed” that it was because of his letter to The Tablet. A spokesman for Icel said he did not wish to comment on the matter.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: