November 15, 2005

U.S. bishops disagree over changes in liturgy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON -- At a meeting where the sexual abuse scandal was not on their public agenda, the U.S. Catholic bishops repeatedly raised the topic in matters ranging from their budget to an acrimonious discussion about proposed changes to the English liturgy.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago noted that a long-standing division between bishops who prefer standard American English and those who want a literal rending of Latin has become more complex. Some bishops on both sides have realized that the current English text is more familiar and meaningful to many Catholics than the centuries-old Latin text once was, he said.

"There are those who have been quite critical of the present translation, but who are now saying that we don't want to disturb the people, especially in the situation of weakened episcopal authority we have now," he said, referring to distrust of bishops who failed to remove child molesters from the priesthood.

Conference president Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., spoke of different credibility issues related to the scandal. While surveys show that 90 percent of priests love the priesthood and more than 90 percent of parishioners say parish priests do a good job, bishops fare less well. Priests fear that bishops will remove innocent priests.

"Only 42 percent believe they will be dealt with fairly if they are accused; 58 percent do not. Only 27 percent believe that accused priests have been treated fairly," he said.

Posted by kshaw at November 15, 2005 04:26 PM