From Mr John Holland Sir, In pleading the principle of universality in his defence of the Latin Mass, John Kearney (Letter, Dec 19) may, I feel, have finally sold the pass.
Of course, the Universal Church needs a universal language and, of course, that language must be English, spoken increasingly throughout the world in most political settings and by most classes in a way Latin never was.
There will be considerable initial resistance, but, in the end, only the mindlessly perverse will continue to reject the overwhelmingly positive case for a new universal tongue to give expression to the word of God.
Its introduction must be patient and considerate, requiring the use of dual language texts, as was the case in my youth, with the vernacular being reserved for sermons and other addresses. English pronunciation will differ from language group to language group in ways which may irritate, but it will always be more familiar and generally more intelligible than a minor foreign language.
The case for the occasional retention of Latin will remain as at present. Nothing is more suited to sacred chants than Latin and surely no one could contest its continued use at sung Masses and other high services.
Yours faithfully, JOHN HOLLAND London W13