I have written before about the iPad app for the Roman Missal (which costs $4.99 through iTunes), iMissal.
Not much reason to write about it again, except for a few details. For example, I wondered what would happen with a new translation. Updating such wasn’t the strong point for the iBreviary app. I grant that the Roman Missal is less complicated, but I wasn’t filled with confidence.
Fellow Minnesota John Thavis of Catholic News Service has an article about this iPad app.
With my emphases and comments:
New iPad application won’t replace liturgical books, creator says
By John Thavis
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Are Catholics soon going to see their parish priest celebrating Mass with an iPad instead of traditional liturgical books? [In short... No.]
That’s the impression left by recent reports about Italian Father Paolo Padrini’s planned launch of an iPad application that features the Roman Missal on its 10-inch screen. [Not from here or most other of the blog accounts I read suggested.] But Father Padrini and church officials say no one should throw the printed books out yet.
“Liturgical books on the altar will never be replaced by the iPad. This is an additional instrument, not an attempt to get rid of paper books,” Father Padrini said in late June. [Getting a little heat?]
“If I went on vacation, I’d take along my iPad and celebrate Mass that way. Obviously in my parish, where I have the books, I’m not going to deliberately use an iPad,” he said.
The application should be ready by the end of July and will feature the Roman Missal in various languages, including English, French, Italian, Latin and Spanish. It loads the missal and breviary, or book of prayers, for a particular day, with the option of pre-loading up to 10 days worth of texts. [That sounds useful. Could the iBreviary have that?]
Father Padrini said that for the English version, he plans to use the missal text as currently approved for use in the United States. But he apparently has not yet nailed down the necessary permissions.
[But wait, there's more!]
Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, executive director of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, said June 25 that Father Padrini currently had not received authorization to publish English liturgical texts as digital “applications.”
“We are trying to find a way forward in this situation and are currently in consultation with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the matter. I imagine that it will take some time to reach a solution which is equally satisfactory to all the parties concerned,” Msgr. Wadsworth said in a statement to Catholic News Service.
Father Padrini did not run his idea past the Vatican’s liturgical experts, presuming that there should not be a problem.
“As far as I can see, there is no liturgical rule saying a printed instrument must be used. The rules do say the liturgy should be dignified and fitting and should not be disturbed,” he said.
In Father Padrini’s opinion, the small iPad would not detract from the liturgical decorum, and would be less noticeable than other objects placed on the altar these days. [Okay.. there are two facets to that. First, it is not to be immediately conceded that the iPad would not detrat from liturgical decorum. Second, many inappropriate things are placed on altars. Should that justify an iPad?]
But Vatican officials were not so certain that an iPad belongs on the altar.
Marist Father Anthony Ward, an undersecretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, said liturgical rules generally refer to “the book,” and there’s been an effort in recent years “to promote the book, and the embellishment of the book.” The idea of having a substitute for the book at public Masses seems to go against that consensus, he said.
Father Ward said the congregation wasn’t specifically considering the suitability of the iPad application, and that there didn’t appear to be explicit rules against such devices. But he added that in this case, one should not assume that if it is not forbidden, it is allowed.
The final judgment on the iPad-as-missal may come with experience. Father Padrini said he thinks the shock effect will disappear as more people carry such devices around with them.
“The liturgy should be beautiful. But personally, I’d rather celebrate Mass with an iPad, which is small and doesn’t disturb the faithful, than with an old, worn-out missal with yellow pages and small type,” he said.
Let’s got back to a point I raised and have a poll.
You remember that last poll.
About the use of the iPad or similar device in the place of a book for Mass….
- Quod Deus avertat! This is an appalling idea!
- Of course! This is the next logical step in the progress of reading.
- Well… perhaps in certain, very limited situations, but not regularly.
- I am indifferent to the source of the text, provided the text is accurate and worthy.
Total Votes: 2116 Started: 18 June 2010
In your opinion, in a regular parish setting, not a camping trip, would an iPad "detract from liturgical decorum"?