Some time ago, one of our English readers emailed to ask if I would consider posting a discussion thread on the fact that there are a lot of Masses in the Polish language in parishes across the UK: this irks him, somewhat, because it seems to contradict the Vatican II concept of Mass in the vernacular, meaning the language of each country. If there are to be Masses in Polish everywhere, where Polish is not the everyday language of a nation, why not other languages as well? Should there be Masses in French, in German, in Gaelic – you’ll get the idea. OR should those who move to the UK to live and work, simply “do what the Romans do” (so to speak) and attend Mass in the vernacular here – which is English? Is it right to “exclude” those who do not speak Polish?
It does seem to be the Polish community, uniquely, which requires Masses in their national language. Yet, I’ve met quite a few Poles – all of whom speak fluent English, so why is it that they seek Masses in their native tongue? And why do the clergy accommodate them?
Being a regular attendee at the traditional Latin Mass, this is not an issue which affects me personally in any way, although I can see the contradictions inherent in the arguments for abandoning the Church’s official language (Latin) in order to make Mass available in the vernacular, only to find that parishes are providing Masses for the Polish community – in Polish. IS there a contradiction? If so, does it matter?