In February, Eureka Street published an article titled 'Time to repeal "ugly" Mass translation'. It was written by Gerald O'Collins, an Australian Jesuit who has been one of the most recognised and respected theological voices in the English speaking Catholic world of the past 50 years.
He welcomes the news that Pope Francis has appointed a commission to revisit the Vatican document that shaped what he calls the 'ugly, Latinised translation foisted on English-speaking Catholics' by the 'clumsy, difficult' 2010 Missal.
The 2010 Missal that is currently in use replaced the accessible English of the 1969 translation. It opts for 'supplication' over 'prayer', 'wondrous' over 'wonderful', and 'oblation' over 'sacrifice' or 'offering'.
Such terms do not have currency in today's spoken English and I believe that their use in the liturgy amounts to a winding back of one of the major breakthroughs of Vatican II.
Gerald O'Collins is arguing in favour of instituting an 'incomparably better' translation from 1998 that was never used. But my view is different. I would prefer to see a reinstatement of the 1969 translation, largely for selfish reasons.
I accept his expert assessment that the 1998 is a better translation. But the 1969 is what my generation grew up with. And I am a member of what is arguably the most significant generation of Catholics that has been largely lost to the Catholic Church.
I say that not just out of baby boomer arrogance. I believe that, for various reasons, we are the ones who are the most likely of any generation to return to regular Mass attendance at this time. Yet the new translation - any new translation - alienates us as soon as we walk in the door and Mass begins.
Sometimes I even tell myself that it was intentional. We rejected the Sunday Mass obligation, so they don't want us back.
I know that's not true, but paranoia feeds my sense of alienation from the Church, as if it is a sect like the Exclusive Brethren, where you're either in or out. Cardinal Pell always criticised what he called the 'smorgasbord Catholics'. He was referring to those who wanted something from Catholicism but were not content with accepting all the teachings and rituals of the Catholic Church as a 'package deal'. That's me.
In common with many of my generation, I resented being forced to go to Mass as a child. It made me 'hate' the Mass. So I deal most effectively with my childhood trauma by choosing not to go to Mass as an adult. It's that simple.
In fact, often on a Sunday morning, I will pause briefly to give thanks to God that I have been mature enough to make an adult decision and not go to Mass. How perverse is that? The fact is that I cherish my self-given freedom from the Sunday obligation and it feels good.
The tragedy is that we all need public ritual in our lives, and the Catholic Church is the most powerful and significant source of ritual and community that is easily available to people like me. I do think about going to Mass. My local parish is blessed with one of the most gracious and creatively intelligent priests I know. But I know that the moment I enter that beautiful stone church, I will hit the brick wall of the unfamiliar Mass translation.