QUAERITUR: Parish priest will not implement the new translation, schedules General Absolution

From a reader:

I’m living in Ireland and my parish priest … has, under the influence of the new Association of Irish Catholic Priests, decided to make a stand against the new Missal and has simply refused to introduce it at Masses. He has made no mention of it as the dates approached, hasn’t explained anything to our parish, and only from knowing a priest colleague of his, did I learn that he has a number of grievances against it and is just refusing to adopt it at Masses. I am distraught, I am praying hard for him, me a sinner myself of course. But I don’t know how I should respond to the situation. Add to that our bi-ennial General Absolution is available after all Masses this weekend – he instructed parishioners that they don’t need to mention any specific sins, but will be absolved from all their sins on receiving his absolution. God help us! I’m a secular Carmelite so one aspect of our vocation is praying for priests – I’m praying very hard for him and offering up trials and suffering that his eyes will be opened, but wonder if I should be doing something more concrete? I’d be grateful for your advice.

I am sorry you have to put up with this nonsense.  Not nonsense, really… the issue of the General Absolution is serious business.

I understand that, at the time of this writing, quite a few dioceses in Ireland are without a diocesan bishop.  That might complicate matters.  There will be, however, a diocesan administrator in charge.  Also, there will soon be a new nuncio in Ireland, Archbp. Charles Brown, who worked for many years in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The matter of the new translation of the Roman Missal: I would write to the bishop or diocesan administrator, sharing the facts of the matter.  FACTS.  I repeat: FACTS.   If the parish priest has not implemented the new translation, inform him of that FACT without speculation about why.  Send a copy of the correspondence to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome.

General Absolutions: Inform the local bishop or administrator about the FACTS of what is taking place.  Send a copy of that correspondence to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  CDF handles matters of validity of sacraments in concrete situations.  General absolution is for emergencies.  Emergencies can’t be scheduled in advance.  People cannot receive General Absolution regularly, avoiding auricular confession of all their mortal sins in kind and number.  Repeated General Absolution is invalid.  That is why you would bring this to the CDF.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Han says:

    What we have here is a founding member of the Society of Servant of God Paul VI bravely holding the line to defend a half-century of tradition against novelties like formal equivalence translations. I feel like a European power reacting to the belated cries of independence by Venice in 1948–having abandoned her liberty to the Austrians in 1798, what right have they to demand it now? Likewise, I would be far more sympathetic to this Association of Irish Catholic Priests had they not been defending against change a liturgy that itself swept away centuries of Catholic tradition.

  2. Sounds like the Rev. father needs to have his faculties suspended along with with his salary!

  3. Veronica says:

    This spirit of disobedience in some priests saddens me. Let us pray for them and entrust them to the Immacualte Heart of Mary.

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