By a Staff Reporter A PROMINENT member of the National Music Commission has resigned over what he calls "delays, inefficiency and needless secrecy in which its affairs are involved".
Mr. Anthony Milner, a well-known composer, said that he had also resigned from the Translation Committee of the National Liturgical Commission.
It has been known for some time that Mr. Milner was unhappy with the way in which the National Music Commission was approaching its task. He felt that the Commission was lagging too far behind the Americans, who had been singing Mass in English for over two years. Permission for this has just been given in England, and, Mr. Milner said, chants like the Our Father had still not been prepared.
Mr. Miler's charge of secrecy is presumed to refer to the panel which the Commission has set up to judge new vernacular music. Without the approval of this panel, the music may not be printed for use in Catholic Churches in this country.
The names of the members of the panel have not been disclosed, apart from that of the chairman, Mr. Lennox Berkeley. It is understood that the secretary is Mr. John Lowe, and other possible members are Fr. Wilfrid Purney, director of the Church Music Association and vice-chairman of the Commission; Fr. Laurence Bevenot, and Mr. Colin Mawby, master of the music at Westminster Cathedral.
The panel has already judged several Masses. As far as is known, all have been passed except for one dedicated to the 17,000 Young Christian Workers called New World Mass. It is the work of Fr. Thomas Carroll, one of only four priests in this country with a Bachelor of Music degree.
Although this Mass was banned by a secret panel, and Fr. Carroll has no known form of appeal, much feeling has also been aroused by a remark attributed to Mr. Lowe before the panel had seen Fr. Carroll's work. It is understood that Mr. Lowe said: "I would rather have a Mass by the Beatles than one based on Dvorak's New World Symphony."