The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has called on the hierarchy to defer for five years the introduction of new wording of the Mass.

It says the style of English used will be so convoluted that it will be difficult to read the prayers in public.

But a spokesman for the hierarchy dismissed the criticism as premature and said it is expected that the wording will be used in full from late November onwards.

For decades, English-speaking Massgoers reciting the Creed have said Jesus is ‘one in being with the Father’. But soon they will be expected to say instead that Jesus is ‘consubstantial with the Father.’

It is one example of what the Irish Bishops have in mind when they say they are ‘very aware’ that the new wording ‘contains changes in prayers that have been …loved for almost forty years’.

However, the association says that because of its literal translation from the Latin, people would find the new text stilted, archaic and difficult to use.

It urges the hierarchy in Ireland to take their lead from their brother bishops in Germany who have objected to ‘good German texts’ being replaced by the Vatican with ‘unfamiliar new interpretations’.

The association's urgent call for a five-year postponement of the changes was dismissed by a bishops' spokesman here as premature.

He said that while concerns would be dealt with sensitively during familiarisation sessions in parishes, the controversial wording would be introduced on the last Sunday in November.