The Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei agreed at their recent meeting to use the UK translation of the Roman Missal in Latin.

JOHOR BAHRU – The bishops of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei have agreed to use the United Kingdom’s version of the Roman Missal in English once the translation has been officially approved.

The Church leaders made this decision during their Jan 3-7 meeting at Majodi Centre in Plentong, Johor Bahru.

The bishops say they will also send to Rome for approval Mass texts not found in the UK version, such as for the celebration of the Lunar New Year, National Days, the Ponggal festival, the Gawai Dayak Harvest Festival of Sarawak and the Kaamatan Harvest Festival of Sabah.
All agencies involved in the distribution of liturgical texts in the region are not to order any new English Roman missals until the bishops’ conference has received its own officially approved text, according to the minutes of the bishops’ meeting.

The bishops say they recommend that once they receive this, proper catechesis should be given before introducing the new English Mass translation in the region.

The regional Liturgical Commission will oversee this formation programme and provide the necessary materials.

Meanwhile, Jesuit Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor has taken over from Archbishop Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Archbishop Pakiam was president from 2007-2010.

Bishop Tan started his term of office this month.

Some Malaysian Catholics say they hope that the new conference head, who is known to be outspoken on interreligious issues in the country, will address some of these issues.

Catholic lay writer Terence Netto wrote in Malaysiakini, an online national paper, that under the 70-year-old prelate’s leadership, the bishops’ conference “is likely to make its presence felt”.

Meanwhile, some changes have already been made in the conference. Its secretariat will move from Kuala Lumpur to Majodi Centre. The new conference secretary is Fr Michael Teng Woon Pheng, a priest of Melaka-Johor diocese, who takes over from De La Salle Brother Augustine Julian.

By Vincent D’Silva

(Right: Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor is now the president of the bishops’ conference. Photo by Vincent D’Silva)


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