On behalf of the Portsmouth Diocese, Paul Inwood has interpreted the results of a survey about the new translation of the Mass.
Rather than question the statistical validity of the survey, let's take take the figures he provides as absolutely representative of Catholic opinion in Portsmouth and what do they tell us? I think they are saying three things:
First, that after only four months of a new translation and new Mass settings, fewer than half of those surveyed had negative attituides towards the new translation. I wonder what the equivalent figures would have looked like in April 1971. (By the way, why has it taken so long to publish this survey, which seems only to have been uploaded on 12 December?)
Second, that there was a major failure by the previous Bishop, his Vicars General when he was ill, and by the diocesan clergy, to ensure that the faithful were prepared to welcome the new translation enthusiastically. Given the reasons for adapting the translation, and the years of work that have gone into it, isn't it insulting both to question the need for it, and to suggest that the faithful of Portsmouth could have knocked something better up themselves. (Should there be signs saying "Welcome to Portsmouth, the Home of Good Translation" in the same way as there are signs saying "Welcome to Oldham, the Home of the Tubular Bandage".)
And third, what tolerance of a sort of congregationalist pervision of Catholicsm has led all of these people surveyed to think that, in this case, their views count as though they are votes, and that because they have opined, the Church should "listen" (ie do what they want)? What sort of leadership has characterised this diocese for so many years if this is a fruit?
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