Today, I want to offer my sincerest Christian compassion to the people at ICEL, and those scholars who have worked with ICEL to hammer out the translation.
I do this because of comments I have received as a publisher. When I have described how we have had to go back to the drawing board, at significant cost, with many of our resources—due to the changes in the translation—people have said things to me like, “I really feel sorry for you publishers,” or “You folks have really been put through the wringer.”
I always respond by saying that we are here to serve the singing and praying Church. But the Church that we are committed to serve—at least institutionally—is operating in ways that are unlike the past. I have to be honest and say that as we move into the future, I will need to be much more cautious, much more skeptical when the institution puts a stamp of approval on a liturgical document; and perhaps this, in the end, will be the wisest move.
I think what publishers have gone through is nothing like what those who worked for years on this translation must be going through. Those priests, bishops, scholars, secretaries, translators, chant experts worked on behalf of all of us in the English-speaking world. Many of these people I hold in the deepest respect and admiration.
I, for one, will always feel a sense of gratitude for their work, which has been much more intense and much more involved than the work that a publisher does. Along with that sentiment comes a sense of disappointment with this whole process.