WELLINGTON — Archbishop John Dew of Wellington has ruled out the use of a small spiral-bound version of the new missal by priests at Masses in the archdiocese.
A “compact mini-sacramentary” for use on the altar has been produced by the Catholic Publications Centre in Puhoi, north of Auckland. Among its contents are the Order of the Mass (including eucharistic prayers for Children’s Masses) and the Prayers of the Mass from May 28 to December 1 this year.
In a July 12 newsletter to Wellington priests, lay pastoral leaders, directors, principals and congregational leaders, Archbishop Dew wrote that only the formally approved missal for New Zealand is to be used in the archdiocese. This missal came into use in April.
“The [bishops’] conference agreed that nothing was to be used other than the [official] missal,” he wrote, adding that a different monthly Mass text publication could be used for Masses in homes or classrooms in the archdiocese.
The much smaller book from CPC typically sells for about $26, whereas the official version, with companion volume, costs about $235. Archbishop Dew wrote that anyone who found buying the official books too expensive should contact him.
He wrote that the CPC does not have copyright from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) to print the other missals. The CPC missal mentions ICEL as a source of text and states “all rights reserved”.
A New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference spokesperson told NZ Catholic that the conference declined, on August 4, 2011, to give CPC permission to use the text of the new missal.
NZ Catholic offered CPC’s Bernadette Straka a right of reply to the archbishop’s newsletter, but her response was “no comment”. The Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Patrick Dunn, also declined to comment.
NZ Catholic understands the matter will be discussed at the bishops’ conference meeting in Wellington in November.
No other New Zealand diocese has yet issued a formal message to priests stating the CPC book is not to be used, NZ Catholic understands. The official version contains texts in Te Reo Maori alongside the English texts, whereas the CPC book only uses English language texts.
The CPC missal is similar to those used by priests before the new missal was introduced. CPC has been publishing such missals since 1975. Advertising for the 2012 version states it is “back by popular demand”.
The CPC website says the book is spiral-bound so pages stay flat on the altar, is printed in large font, and is laid out so celebrants don’t have to turn pages in the middle of prayers.
Some New Zealand priests have criticised the official missal for having page turns in awkward places, text too closely aligned to the book’s guttering and capital lettering that makes the text hard to read in places.
Earlier this year, the bishops’ conference ruled out the use of iPads and similar devices by priests at Mass.