“A week ago, on this day, and at this hour, an atomic bomb fell on the Church. I have felt physically unwell for most of the time since then - a visceral reaction to this wound that has been inflicted on us.
“A priest is never more so than when he stands at the altar and offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and for the past thirty-one years since my ordination that experience for me has been overwhelmingly enlightened by the Church’s ancient liturgical forms. To be told that this is undesirable, or that the provision of this liturgy is a remedial concession for those who are yet to find their way to the true Roman Rite is both crass and cruel.
“In addition to the importance of the liturgical character of my almost sixty years in the Church, my academic and scholarly contribution has majorly been in the realm of the translation of Latin liturgical texts, a task which I would never been able to undertake without the formation, and continual sustainance of the older forms of the liturgy.
“Suddenly, all this is called into question, and I find myself somewhat like a person under a death sentence, awaiting news of when his sentence will be carried out. Both the diocese of my incardination and the diocese of my current residence and work are yet to concede what recent legislation suggests is the necessary permission for what former legislation had established as an indisputed right.
“Please pray for me, and the many like me, whose continuation in the active ministry of the priesthood has now been rendered contingent upon these decisions. We wish to continue to serve the Church we love, nourished and sustained by that liturgy which of its nature must be ever old, ever new.”
- Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth
Monsignor Wadsworth is a priest of the Oratorian community at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Washington and is executive director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)