The new missal for use at Catholic Mass in Ireland has been blasted as "sexist, archaic, elitist and obscure," by the Association of Catholic Priests.

After their unusually candid dismissal, the association called on the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference not to introduce The Roman Missal as planned next November until it has consulted with both Irish priests and laity.

However, the bishops' conference has replied that the new missal's production is "set in stone."

"The association is gravely concerned that this literal translation from Latin has produced texts that are 'archaic, elitist and obscure,' the priest's association said in a statement.

"Many women will be rightly enraged at the deliberate use of non-inclusive language."

The new translation perpetuated an "exclusivist, sexist language," it added.

In the new missal the phrase "begotten, not made, of one being with the Father," from The Creed, has been changed to "begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father."

Throughout, the missal only refers to "man," "men," and "he."

The new wording of the prayers is planned for introduction on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the bishops' conference observed that it was premature for any group to be critical of the missal.

"Over the next six months the plan is to inform and advise the priests and the people in a sensitive way so that the changes can be fully understood and integrated into the Mass for Advent," the spokesman said.