Can’t follow 1993 version of Tamil Missal as court says it is unbiblical
In a judgment that could have far-reaching consequences on the Roman Catholic Church here, a civil court has restrained churches from using a 1993 Tamil translation of the Roman Missal, terming it “unbiblical and ultra vires” of the Canon Law.
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book of the Catholic Church, which details procedures for the celebration of Holy Mass in churches.
The court took the view that the 1993 Tamil translation was “unbiblical” as it was released without the approval of the Vatican, a necessity under the Canon Law.
The present suit was filed by three faithfuls who claimed to be members of the Roman Catholic Church. In their petition, G Alex Benziger, Leonard Vasanth and J V Fernando contended that the defendants, consisting of Archbishops and Bishops numbering 15, revised and released a new version of the Missal in 1993. But, the translation was not placed before the Holy See, the episcopal jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome for approval, which is mandatory under the Canon Law.
The 1993 translation had multiple flaws and carried “unwarranted and improper” changes to the liturgy, which were misleading the faithful who attended Mass. “The translated versions have diluted and denied the doctrinal teachings of the Truth that were received and being received by the faithful,” the petition alleged. So, it demanded that the court issue a permanent stay on the use of the 1993 translation.
However, the Archbishops and Bishops questioned the court’s jurisdiction in adjudicating the matter as it was religious in nature and involved rites, rituals and spiritual matters, which are the exclusive domain of the church. If the plaintiffs had issues with the translation, it should be taken up with the church and not the court.