February 21, 2011
Fr. Anthony Ruff

Fr. Anthony Ruff


WASHINGTON — Saying he “cannot promote the new missal translation with integrity,” the former chairman of the music committee of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy has withdrawn from all speaking engagements related to the missal.

Benedictine Father Anthony Ruff, a professor of liturgy and Gregorian chant at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., made the announcement in “an open letter to the U.S. Catholic bishops.”

The letter was published in the issue of America magazine dated Feb. 14.

Ruff said his involvement with the ICEL music committee, “as well as my observation of the Holy See’s handling of scandal, has gradually opened my eyes to the deep problems in the structures of authority of our Church.”

He called the missal “part of a larger pattern of top-down impositions by a central authority that does not consider itself accountable to the larger church.”

“When I think of how secretive the translation process was, how little consultation was done with priests or laity, how the Holy See allowed a small group to hijack the translation at the final stage, how unsatisfactory the final text is, how this text was imposed on national conferences of bishops in violation of their legitimate episcopal authority, how much deception and mischief have marked this process — and then when I think of our Lord’s teachings on service and love and unity . . . I weep,” Ruff said.