Survey: 60% of Priests Dislike New Missal

It’s unclear what the methodology was for this survey, so take it for what it’s worth.


More than a year after the changes took effect in U.S. parishes, a survey of American priests shows that they are more disturbed by the innovations than their flocks.

In fact, the poll, conducted by researchers at St. John’s University School of Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, Minn., showed that almost 60 percent of priests surveyed did not like the new Roman Missal, as the liturgical book for the Mass is known, while about 40 percent approve.

“The high level of dissatisfaction among priests should be a grave concern for the bishops, assuming they care about what their priests are thinking and feeling,” the Rev. Michael Ryan, a Seattle priest who started a petition to rally opposition to the new translation, told the popular liturgy blog Pray Tell.

The clergy critics also have firm opinions on the matter: one-third of priests (34 percent) strongly disagree that the new translation of the Mass is an improvement, and 80 percent say that some of the language is “awkward and distracting.”

That contrasts with polls from last year, which showed that 70 percent of Mass-goers thought that, overall, the first new translation in 40 years “is a good thing.” The approval rating was 84 percent among weekly attenders. (Polls also showed that most Catholics didn’t notice many changes.)

An online survey in February by The Tablet, a London-based Catholic periodical, found opinions among English-speaking Catholics around the world to be sharply divided about the new Mass, with clergy expressing more negative opinions than lay people.

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