[quote="sasg, post:1, topic:283875"]
Before I pose my question, let me first say this: the priest at my parish is an extremely devoted, reverent, and humble man, very pastoral, who shows a great deal of reverence for the church and for the Mass he celebrates, and I have a great deal of respect for him as a priest and as a person. Please, after reading my question, refrain from launching an attack on my priest's character or motivations. He has given literally his entire life to the church (and he is not a young man!), and he deserves our respect.
Here is the issue I am facing: during the Nicene Creed, when we say "for us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven ...", the priest in my parish omits the word "men", so that he says "for us [pause] and for our salvation he came down from heaven ...". He has done this repeatedly since the new translation was introduced. Please note that the printed text of the Creed in our weekly order of Mass contains "men", and our priest has never made any effort whatsoever to induce people into omitting "men".
I have a great deal of respect for the Creed, and there is a certain magnificence in all Catholics throughout the world making the exact same statement of faith in unison every week. My priest's omission bothers me because it seems to be intentionally separating him and our parish from the rest of the church. It has also caused a minor confusion, for example most of the choir do not say "men" out of deference to our priest.
Here is my question: I am looking for advice about what, if anything, to do about this. Do you think I should tell Father that his ommission bothers me? Should I approach him after Mass, or perhaps in private? Should I write a letter? Conversely, should I do nothing at all? On the one hand, intentionally changing the text of the Nicene Creed is not good, and as I said, the choir (and potentially other parisioners) also recite the Creed incorrectly as a result. On the other hand, who am I to notice the speck in his eye without taking care of the log in my own?
Please, I am not looking for anybody to excoriate my priest for this, or tear into him for his perceived faults or supposed disobedience. I am not defending his action, and I am not looking for additional reasons why intentionally misstating the Nicene Creed is wrong. I am merely looking for advice as to what (if anything) I should do.
Thank you for your help.
I do believe it is only right that you bring it up with your priest, in some private channel. Try sending a humbly-worded letter to him, or meet with him after Mass to have a quiet word. Do not attempt to start a confrontation and do not lose your temper, but do patiently insist on the issue. It is true that we are all sinners, and sometimes we are worse sinners than others, but it does not mean that everything we say is invalid. The priest has an obligation to give us correct liturgy and Tradition, and you are merely helping him achieve it.
I believe your priest has good intentions to not appear chauvinist, but they are wrong and misplaced, causing even more problems as a result. It is inexcusable to omit anything from the Creed as given to us by our Church Fathers, and it causes the sentence to take on a different meaning, giving the impression that Jesus died just for us Catholics and not for mankind. Its potential for disruption also shows in the fact that it changes the Creed as memorised and recited by the congregation, disrupting the reverence and flow of the Mass all because the congregation trips themselves up over a single word.
As is often said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Do not let it lead your priest and his flock to ruin. :)