How to "bring up" a liturgical abuse


I posted about this a while ago. My pastor, continuously refuses to use the new translation of the Eucharistic Prayer. I am unable to determine if he is doing so because he doesn’t realize the texts have change or he is refusing to recite them properly. In fact, when asked if he knew the text to the Eucharistic doxology had changed, he was surprised and said “i’ve been saying the old one this whole time”…this is because he doesn’t have his eyes on the missal while he is saying mass. The questions I have are (1) Have i been attending valid masses since the change of the texts was adopted (2) is there a proper course of action to bring this matter up without it resulting in a very awkward conversation?

Lately i’ve just been attending different, more liturgically conservative churches whose masses are free of abuses. Any input would be appreciated.


The Church teaches that the faithful have a RIGHT to the proper liturgy. The liturgy is not the private prayer of any individual - including the priest - it is the very prayer of Christ which the Church makes her own. In this case, assuming that the priest is still saying the words of consecration (this is my body… this is my blood…) that mass would be valid, but the priest is using an illicit text. This is a very important matter. I would discuss it politely with the priest, awkward or not, and then if there is no change, write a letter to the bishop expressing your concerns.


The OP has already broached the subject with the priest.

If the priest continues to ignore the revised Missal, the OP should write a letter to the bishop, telling him he has brought the matter up to the priest. The OP should sign the letter, but I suggest that to protect his relationship with the priest, the OP request that the diocese not disclose his identity to the priest.


The accused have the right to know their accuser, even priests. The bishops will decide what is their procedure to follow and will try to maintain the dignity of both sides of the issues. Not willing to put your name “on the line” so to speak, won’t help your cause.

I more concerned by the priest’s response of surprise – what does that even mean? We’ve only been using the new texts for over a year and it should not be a revelation to anyone.


One last thing to try before you pen a letter to the Bishop…Most parishes have a Liturgy Committee or Council that is a standing committee to the Parish Council. I would recommend that you approach this council with your concern first and then if nothing changes, go to the Bishop.


Just some friendly advice… At my parents’ parish, there was a family that always had a tendency to point out things that they felt were wrong or nitpick about the liturgy. I remember the blow up over lady foot washing one year in particular. Everyone was really happy when the family in question moved ( or decided to attend another church.). So I think that you must ask yourself is this really worth getting upset over. Do your fellow parishioners feel the same way that you do about this? Is the priest in question well liked? If the respective answers are no and yes, then you will just end up upsetting people in your parish. Nobody likes what they perceive to be tattling; it is similar to the kid who always reminds the teacher to assign homework over the weekend.

My advice is that if this is truly upsetting to you, you should find a parish more to your liking. I prefer attend Mass at more liberal parishes and would likely switch if a more conservative priest came to my local parish.


All priests must use the approved text for Mass. This is not about preferences such as the music, the altar cloths, the Crucifix, the altar servers, the homilies, etc. This isn’t even about conservative priests versus liberal priests. This is about reading from the approved Catholic Missal (a licit Mass versus an illicit Mass).


And so all the Masses that took place under the old text were illicit… Good to know. The poster is more than welcome to bring this up with the bishop. I’m just pointing out what is likely to happen in the parish itself. People don’t like busybodies. If the priest is well liked or people feel that someone is tattling on them, then the parishioners are likely to be very upset at the poster. It could lead to quite a bit of disquiet in the parish. What I’m asking is if it is worth it to create such tension over minor wording changes? Sometimes the big picture is more important than the details.


The previous translation was licit until it was replaced. Since the old translation is no longer approved, any use of it is illicit. If a priest does not used the currently approved translation, the Mass is illicit (not to mention, he is disobeying the Church if he is doing this intentionally).


To answer the question about if the priest is liked, he very much is. I’m not trying to say he is a bad priest. And to also answer the question regarding his surprise, he was “surprised” when somebody told him the doxology had changed because he hadn’t been keeping his eyes on the missal during that part of the mass so he was unaware that the wording had even changed even after a year.


In that case, maybe you could nicely to point out the Missal changes since he had no clue about them. :slight_smile:


If that is the case, then I’d let the whole situation slide.


Agreed. It also sounds as if he’s reciting the EP from memory. I wonder if he’s using the correct translation for the rest of the Mass?

Priests are human too. Changing something recited from memory for many years if not decades, is not often easy. Routines are hard to re-establish. I’m in my 50s and understand this all too well. This calls for charity and patience, not confrontation.

In the French missal, there were no major translation changes. The only change in fact was, after the OT reading and epistle, we now say “nous rendons grâce à Dieu” instead of “nous rendons gloire à Dieu” to more accurately reflect the “Deo gratias” of the Latin.

It’s a tiny, tiny change compared to what anglophones have had to go through yet even now myself and monks at our abbey occasionally get caught out with the old response. I’d been saying it all my life until the change which occurred when I was 53…and some of the monks are in their 80s and 90s; imagine re-wiring your brain for saying something as complex as the EP from memory.

Maybe now that he’s aware he’ll be more careful but you can be sure he’d have to READ it now instead of recite it from memory, so some sense of flow will be lost, at least until he’s rewired his brain for the new EP. Please folks, let’s cut our overstretched priests some slack.


Who says they have that right? The issue should be the priest’s lack of fidelity to the rubrics.

Unfortunately, the reality is that too often the issue becomes “who is the troublemaker?” – and there are repercussions for the reporter of abuse.

It’s not the reporter’s “cause” – it is the “cause” of the Church. I did not suggest that the reporter not sign his or her letter to the diocese, but for practical and valid reasons, request that his or her identity be protected. There is no good reason for the priest to know who reported his liturgical abuse.


I prefer to attend a Roman Catholic Church who practices what the Church preaches; if the Church has decided that something is to be done this way, without question, that’s how it is to be done. If a group of people wants to practice differently, it needs to be outside of Catholicism, or work to change it behind the scenes before applying it to Mass.

We moved to this area, and were told we had to join the nearby parish. Okay, sure, all Catholic churches I had attended before had been the ‘same’. Ummm, not this one. There were a number of liturgical abuses, including unapproved scripture, changing words to prayers, incorrect distribution of Communion to the EMs, standing/kneeling at wrong times, and more that I cannot recall. I visited with the Priest first, and he told me that they would continue doing it that way. I was very friendly about it. I was going to be a Lector, but declined when I realized the Scripture problem (I thought it sounded different, but didn’t realize it was unapproved until I went to purchase the Lector Handbook, and the Catholic retail shop asked for which parish, and then explained to me the difference). I then visited the Archdiocese Liturgical Head, and he said he would look into it. Much to my dismay, nothing changed. Nothing. We eventually left the parish, and unfortunately, this gave the devil a chance, and we succumbed and didn’t attend Mass for many years. We now have a new parish in the same Archdiocese. There are no liturgical abuses, although there are a couple things that some parishioners do that aren’t ‘kosher’ :wink: so to speak.



First, I just love how the laity feel they know more about the Mass or how to run a parish than a priest who has trained for years and been ordained. You’d probably hate my parish considering that the priests violate so many of the precious rubrics. Second, I was just stating the fact that people don’t like tattles and busybodies in general. The people who “nitpick” about the way that the Mass is conducted are on par with the kid who reminds the teacher to assign homework over the weekend and the co-worker who sucks up to management. The priest is well liked in the parish and he is likely reciting the Eucharistic Prayer from memory. Why would the original poster want to open an investigation against a good priest and cause that harm and discord within the parish? It is a wording change. There are more important things in life to be concerned about.

As for switching parishes, I’m all for that. In fact, if one dislikes the practices of a certain parish or a certain pastor, I’m all for the person in question finding a parish where he or she is more comfortable. (The only caveat would be in a rural community like where one of my friends lives where another parish might be quite a drive.) I’d probably find another parish if the one I’m currently attending became more traditional. However, for me, the most important thing about a parish is how the priest reacts pastorally. My parents’ parish is similar to the one that I attend, very liberal in terms of the liturgy. However, the priests aren’t very “pastoral.” I remember vividly that the pastor was dismissive of my father when he wanted to discuss his mother’s terminal illness. For me, that is a bigger issue than the wording of the Mass.


Kag1982, since I was quoting your post, I was not advocating the same path for the OP; I even gave examples of my own experience. I was not responding to the OP; he had already had a lot of good advice. I completely understand the difficulty of changing prayers you’ve said every day for decades; in fact, I had that exact thought while at the last Mass I attended. Your post seemed to give more of, “whatever goes, as long as the priest is popular” vibe to me. It is a blessing to have a priest who has good ‘pewside’ manner, that is true, but not at the expense of respecting your Faith and Church. Both can be had, but if you have to choose one or the other, my heart and Faith leads me in a different direction than yours.

I took a break and literally just came across this passage minutes ago in a book I’m reading, and I was NOT looking for anything regarding this thread.

If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.
St. Augustine, Fourth Century.


I believe that applies to the Faith one chooses to practice as well. If I had misinterpreted your intention, please accept my apology.

God bless you. :slight_smile:


I couldn’t agree with you more. After reading all the posts advising the initiator to “go tattle to the Bishop, find a new church, etc.” I’m just very dismayed that this parishioner (tattletale) is more concerned over words rather than substance.


I think that most people agree the OP is making a mountain out of a mole hill in this case and probably has too much time on his hands. Also, it is against the rules to criticize a priest or parish, which this clearly does. It also is against the rules to criticize the novus ordo liturgy, which this gets close to doing.

Therefore, I think this thread should be locked.



A valid consecration occurs if:

(1) A validly ordained minister (i.e. priest or bishop);
(2) with the proper intent (to do as the Church does);
(3) says the proper words: “this is my body” and “this is … my blood”
(4) over proper matter (wheat bread and grape wine).

The priest can use the old translation, the current one, or one he made up himself. However, as long as the four conditions are met, you have a valid consecration. The consecration might be illicit but it is valid.

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