Champion of the Gaeilgeoirí: John Charles McQuaid and the Irish-language mass.

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    • Abstract:
      In 1963 the Second Vatican Council voted overwhelmingly to introduce the vernacular into Roman Catholic worship. The Irish hierarchy decided that both Irish and English speakers should be catered for in the reformed liturgy. Within a few years John Charles McQuaid, archbishop of Dublin, had gained a widespread reputation as having gone further than his fellow bishops in the provision of masses in Irish. At the same time he was criticised for his lack of enthusiasm towards other areas of liturgical reform. This dichotomy stemmed from McQuaid's deep dismay at the church's new ecumenical direction and the possibility that it would lead to shared worship between Catholics and Protestants. Yet, as a senior prelate in the Catholic Church, he was obliged to implement each of the Council's decrees, including those concerning the liturgy. McQuaid's response was to introduce Vatican-approved changes to the mass, while simultaneously protecting the traditional liturgy he cherished. So he tried to re-establish the Latin rite on the same terms as those he had arranged for the Irish mass. Had he succeeded, the result would have been a reduction in the use of an English vernacular which he found offensive to his Catholic sensibilities. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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