The New Missal in Letters to the Editor: Mostly Thumbs Down

The forthcoming English missal is becoming a hot news story, and not just in Catholic publications. As Pray Tell reported earlier, letters to the editor of the New Zealand Catholic have been running solidly against the missal. The trend is confirmed in recent letters to The Irish Times, America, and The Tablet: more than 3 to 1 against the new missal. Here are some interesting excerpts from 26 letters to these three publications. A total of six letters of the 26 are supportive of the missal (although rather weakly in some cases).

The Irish Times carried a letter (2/5) from Kieron Wood defending “for you and for many” – “What nonsense” to claim that this implies that Christ died only for some! Fr. Vincent Twomey also wrote (2/8) to defend this phrase and critique the statement of the Association of Catholic Priests that the new translation is “sexist, archaic, elitist, and obscure.” He writes, “What is of ‘grave concern’ to the association is what gives me hope: namely a language that is not conversational but formal, elevated, and theologically dense – if you wish, arcane. It may help to restore some semblance of the sacred to the celebration of the Mystery.” In the same issue, Fr. Dermot Lane wrote in support of the current “for you and for all”: “‘For many’ as understood in the usage of the English language is a restrictive designation… In Semitic use ‘for many’ is expansive, not restrictive.” The coming translation “loses the inclusive and universal meaning of the work of Jesus.”

Then came a slew of negative letters to The Irish Times – three on 2/9 and three more on 2/10. Tony Flannery told readers that a certain Anthony Ruff has withdrawn support for the missal by stating “I have concluded that I cannot promote the new missal translation with integrity.” Monica Dolan disagrees with Fr. Twomey: “I am fed up with the process that follows a line that keeps Jesus glued to the manger and nailed to the cross and infers all else is a mystery.” Cormac McMahon suggests, tongue in cheek, that everyone “make an honest effort” to “drop into daily conversation” words like ‘consubstantial’ and ‘and with your spirit.’ He concludes, “Few of the Catholic faithful, I fear, will come to love this new variety of Latin-English mishmash.”

Critiquing the coming “for you and for many,” Kieran O’Mahoney wrote to point out that “poured out for many” is used in Matthew and Mark but not in the earlier versions from Paul. And “even in St. Matthew, the words ‘poured out for many’ are preceded by ‘drink from it, all of you.’” Ted Mooney wrote “I had hoped that the new missal would show a willingness to espouse inclusiveness in relation to women,” and “Were Jesus to reappear among us today, he would be unlikely to use many four-syllable, 14-letter words to get his message across – and I can’t imagine him excluding women!” Soline Humber wrote simply this:” The latest Roman missal: a weapon of Mass destruction?” But Leo Talbot wrote, “Fears that such complicated language might be too difficult for the people in the pews are not well-founded… I am under no illusion that the introduction of the new translation will be easy. It will require a lot of work for it to be a success.”

Pádraig McCarthy wrote (2/15), “The simplest of language, used well, can inspire and challenge and instill awe… Using difficult language is not a good way to convey awe and mystery; it can result instead in confusion and frustration.” Dick Reeves compares the missal crisis to the situation in Egypt when he writes (2/16), “Let us have a Tahrir Square moment for Catholics and scare the… pants off Dr. Twomey and his buddies.”

America ran five letters (2/28), four of them negative toward the new missal. Mike Curren sees the new translation as “a great opportunity to explain the Mass.” He believes that it is “an opportunity to engage in catechesis that will not only increase our own faith, but will also – simply because it is a change – increase appreciation of that which for some has become mechanical and stale.” But Fr. Robert J. Mahoney writes that “some of the new revision wording seems ‘precious’ in a way that smacks of religious jargon that merely obfuscates.” Josephine A. Daly regrets that “Father Ruff’s letter comes too late”; much money has already been wasted on this project. “Could it be better spent providing homes and shelters for pregnant women…” in difficult times? She asks further, “Will a more literal translation of the missal bring Christ into our world?”

Fr. Harry Behan is very critical: “The imposition and the straightjacket of a dead language, Latin, on a living modern culture is ridiculous; and the Latin is low Latin, later than the Greek and not as beautiful. The lack of inclusive language is outrageous in this day and age.”  Nicholas Narloch is equally critical: “Perhaps top-down decision making in Rome worked in the Middle Ages, but it does not work for American churchgoers in the 21st century… This archaic, self-selecting, celibate male club has proven its dysfunction in many ways.”

Charles S. Krawzewski writes to The Tablet (Letters Plus online, posted for the current week), “As a Latinist (and not a theologian), I must say I do welcome the tightening up of the translation of the Canon so that the Latin words ‘pro multis’…will finally read in English ‘for many,’ instead of the very curious ‘for all,’ which is nowhere found in Scripture, in the normative Latin texts of the Mass, or in any other vernacular translation of the Mass of Paul VI outside of our English version.” (He’s mistaken about other languages – per tutti, por todos, für alle, voor alle all mean “for all.”) Krawzewski also states, “I believe it matters less what translation of the Mass we use, than how we use the translations that have been approved for our use,” and he calls for “respect and prayerful awe for the great miracle that is transpiring among us.”

Pádraig McCarthy, who also wrote to The Irish Times, writes to The Tablet, “The stock of the hierarchy with the public is at low ebb due to recent scandals and other reasons…” He believes that the new missal will confirm for people “their sense of the hierarchy and the Vatican as autocratic, as the new translation is introduced without any attempt at consultation beforehand with the people.”

Somewhat supportive is the letter to The Tablet (2/26) of consecrated hermit Sr. Sandra Thérèse: “There are very few truly arcane expressions, and may it not be that such as there are might serve to remind us of the true solemnity of the liturgy in which we share and that sadly is so often celebrated in a casual manner nowadays?” But even she states, “I greatly deplore the manner in which the new text has been imposed, and the disrespect shown to our bishops” by the Vatican. Still, she concludes, “We have had long enough to air our grievances; it is time to express our faith by humble obedience.”

But the other three letters in this issue (2/26) of The Tablet are all negative. Pray Tell reader and commenter Chris McDonnell writes, “How many parishes will be made aware of the machinations in Rome that curtailed the excellent work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and gave rise to the text from Vox Clara that is now on offer? Or will all that be conveniently disregarded as we near the date for the use of the new text? Collegiality, one of the central gifts of the Second Vatican Council, has been gradually replaced by the dissemination of centralized opinions that all are expected to follow without question. Which is a pity.”

With few leaders giving public support for the new missal, Andy Bebington wonders whether such supporters “are few and/or that their belief in this new text is weak? And, if we can so assume, what can we infer from this ongoing silence?” Bernard Harrison writes, “When the subject of the new Mass was raised at our annual meeting of my own parish council, one highly respected parishioner asked on simple question: ‘Why?’ That was greeted with an immediate round of loud applause.”

The three “Letters Extra” to The Tablet a week ago (no longer online) were all negative. Angela Hanley wrote, “This disastrous translation whould neither be accepted nor implemented for the reasons outlined in various national papers and in The Tablet… The heart of this matter is not about translation, but about power and control.” Fr. Edward Butler wrote, “Despite the protestations of the committee of Vox Clara, there is, throughout the English-speaking world, widespread aversion of the new translation of the Roman Missal and many indications that those priests who have the gottle to do so will reject its utterly insensitive imposition. The latest group to speak out are the clergy of Ireland and they are to be commended for this. Not even Bishop Olmstead (member of Vox Clara – Ed.) is going to excommunicate all of them.”

And John Green wrote, “I see…that, according to Vox Clara, the Roman Missal has been ‘welcomed throughout the English-speaking world.’ … You report that Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, will not be able to deliver lectures supporting the new translation because he cannot support the translation. Surely, the proof of who is right will be the reaction to its introduction by members of native English-speaking parishes as it is gradually released into the wider world from September this year. Preliminary discussions with some of my fellow parishioners are not encouraging.”

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117 comments

  1. I suppose we have to take into account cultural predispositions towards doom and gloom, but I wonder how people would respond if they had a study guide such as Rev. Paul Turner’s before they began to offer opinions one way or the other. I mailed this guide to every household last week, so everyone got it before this Sunday’s Masses. I have been overwhelmed with people thanking me for it and how well it is written. They understand now the why for the changes and appreciate what will be coming. I told them to thank Fr. Turner!
    Catechesis is critical for a legitimate assessment not just knee jerk reactions based on editorial and blog comments and bloviating.

    1. I think Father people are fully capable of knowing a lemon when they see one. To borrow an old southern expression, the Pell missal is like “a dog that won’t hunt”.

      1. Whilst Vox Clara, and hence the new translation, is indeed Pell’s “baby”, please refer to the new Missal using the name by which it will be known when the liturgical history of this sad period is written. Since the new translation is really not an ICEL translation but a Vox Clara revision, the Missal’s formal title should honour that commission’s executive director, thus the Missale Moronicum.

      2. True – but the letters to editors of The Wanderer, The National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor might bring us a different perspective.

    1. Well if it was to a Catholic publication of course their opinion would matter. But The Tablet ceased to be even vaguely Catholic many moons ago.
      As for the Irish times…………..Struck dumb here!!

    1. Hard to know where to start. I used to buy it, then I gradually realised that on practically every Church Teaching , they had an alternative view. Even including abortion. I think that was probably the clincher for me.
      I have not read it for many years , but have no reason to think they are more orthodox now.

    1. “a huge increase in vocations” … well, that’s ONE WAY of looking at it – I suppose it depends what you count as “a vocation” – but don’t necessarily believe everything you read in Cardinal Pell’s press releases . . .

      The number of 60 seminarians was given, but no one in Sydney knows where they all are – certainly there are not 60 seminarians on for his diocese . . . but it gets a bit like a lot of the Vox Clara work . . . and most things about “His Immensity” (to quote the Missale Moronicum): never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

      He issued a similar statement within a few years of arriving in Sydney, claiming the seminary was now full to overflowing etc etc etc – well, of course, most of the seminarians were from outside his diocese, and in time, very few of them actually got ordained (therein perhaps lies the difference between a “vocation” and a “seminarian”) and one of them was the once-favourite of Cardinal Pell and Bishop Fisher, Fr Richard Abourjaily, infamous for claiming to be dying of cancer when he wasn’t:

      http://www.smh.com.au/national/priest-who-faked-cancer-resurfaces-20100206-njwj.html

      Amazingly, Pell issued no press release clarifying what had happened to the overflowing seminary!

      1. Does nt really seem to be a secret, 39 in the Good Shepherd and 21 in The Redemptorist Mater Seminaries.
        10 Ordinations in Sydney in the last two years. One could be forgiven for thinking you ddo not like the good Cardinal Chris……..?

  2. Nowadays I go to Divine Liturgy in Ukrainian. I haven’t a clue what’s being said. All I know is to bless myself when the priest offers a blessing with his hand, a crucifix, or a chalice. Otherwise, I sit, stand, and kneel with the congregation and know to at least recite “Amen” with the choir. At communion time I silently recite the confiteor and domine non sum dignus to myself because they are the familiar preparatory prayers for EF Holy Communion.

    When an Eastern priest turns from the altar and raises the chalice, I know that he is holding in his hand the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. Do I really need to know anything else? Not at all. I am reassured that the re-presentation of the eternal Sacrifice has been offered for the sins of the entire world, the living and the dead. Christ is among us in the sacrifice of the altar, regardless of whether or not I find the “liturgical experience” aesthetically satisfying or intellectually comprehensible. I only know to say “O Saving Victim! My Lord and God!” That’s all I need to know in the end.

    The very second we Romans exalted liturgical didacticism, we placed vague intellectual self-satisfaction before endlessly satisfying simple piety. Op-eds and opinion letters that call for a “relevant” Mass yearn for a Mass in the image of humankind. Images of humankind come and go in generations, but the sacrament of the altar is eternal.

    1. The very second we Romans exalted liturgical didacticism, we placed vague intellectual self-satisfaction before endlessly satisfying simple piety.

      Jordan, could you perhaps clarify what you mean by this? I’m sure you don’t mean that piety has a positive correlation with ignorance, but I’m hard-pressed not to read that in what you write. The sacraments may be eternal, but liturgy and the way the sacraments are celebrated certainly isn’t. If memory serves, Robert Taft S.J. has a fairly recent work on how people perceive the liturgy.

      If we don’t need to know what’s being said, the ultimate liturgical language would probably be Klingon or Na’vi.

      1. Neither the Byzantine or either of the current Roman liturgies are static. All of these liturgies have maintained an ancient core with varying degrees of peripheral change over the ages. Throughout most of Christian history, change has been incremental and accumulative. Now, Romans have traded incrementalism for rapid reinvention from generation to generation. No longer does liturgy change according to local accretions or occasional rubrical modifications. Now, Roman liturgy must change its presentation and translation to “relate” to each generation anew.

        Some ignorance is quite salutary. Ritual ignorance often accentuates essential belief. When I hear the Divine Liturgy in a language I do not know, I am not as distracted because I am completely devoted to the sacrifice of the altar. My many years of Latin and extraordinary form altar serving carry no importance in foreign yet familiar lands. Should I walk into a Eastern church and demand that the priest make his sacrifice “comprehensible” and “relevant” for me? Certainly not! I meet the Lord wherever and however he is offered for the sins of all humankind, regardless of the time-honored words of sacrifice.

        The translation wars reflect not God’s image but ours. The last three generations of Roman Catholics have displayed a remarkable ability to fashion liturgies that conform to our supposedly ever-changing ideals and needs. The rush towards “relevance” just might have rushed past the Lord truly present in our midst. I wish to be a person who has confessed his sins and approaches the Holy Communion with a pure heart, not one who looks for my reflection in the words of a missal. Why should I look for Him in a translation if soon we will engrave yet another image in the likeness of the next generation of “modern man”?

      2. @Jordan–

        Throughout most of Christian history, change has been incremental and accumulative. Now, Romans have traded incrementalism for rapid reinvention from generation to generation. No longer does liturgy change according to local accretions or occasional rubrical modifications. Now, Roman liturgy must change its presentation and translation to “relate” to each generation anew.

        The shift from incremental and accumulative change to “rapid reinvention” is the direct result of Quo Primum and the centralizing tendencies of Rome. Whenever people have attempted to make incremental change, they’ve been slapped down by Rome–perhaps most famously the Gallican rites of the 19th century. Or look at what happens nowadays should a parish try to use blue as a liturgical color for Marian feasts–inevitably someone will start bleating about “disobedience” instead of welcoming this as incrementalism or a rubrical modification.

        Should you demand that an Eastern priest celebrate in a language that is comprehensible and relevant to you? Yes! Historically the Eastern churches have had an imperative to celebrate in the vernacular.

      3. Bill Logan: The shift from incremental and accumulative change to “rapid reinvention” is the direct result of Quo Primum and the centralizing tendencies of Rome.

        The bull Quo Primum [QP] set an innovative legislative precedent that was later reaffirmed by Paul VI’s constitution Missale Romanum (1969) [MR]. Both documents presume that obedience necessarily follows liturgical legislative positivism. You rightly note that QP did not solve the question of indigenous French liturgy. MR positivism has not solved PrayTell‘s disputes over (post)modern liturgical ideology. Neither QP’s abrogation of diverse medieval uses or MR’s abrogation of Tridentine liturgies has standardized the aspirations of Roman-rite Catholics even today.

        The Tridentine fathers reformed through accretion. The Concilium reformed through reinvention. The Tridentine liturgies resemble no medieval or Renaissance Western liturgy exactly. Even so, the EF accretions encapsulate a uniquely Western anaphora that had already achieved a remarkable stability throughout Western Christianity by the mid 16th century (save variations in royal intercessions and saints’ litanies). By contrast, the Pauline liturgy introduced de novo eucharistic prayers of (post)modern composition but modeled on academic reconstructions of patristic-era texts. Where Trent built on organic stability, the Pauline rite has built on late antique repristination.

    2. How about knowing what the Real Presence is FOR?

      I’m as against didacticism as anyone, but there must be more to Christ’s presence than the mere fact of its existence. How about encounter, and what that encounter with Christ MEANS?

  3. In comments of the past few days, I have seen a few references to Msgr Moroney, formerly of FDLC and BCL, if I recall correctly.

    When I met him as an active member of FDLC, he seemed to be part of the professional majority. Now he seems aligned with the Latinate minority.

    What happened to Moroney and what has he actively done rather than merely accepted and carried out?

    1. “he seemed to be part of the professional majority. Now he seems aligned with the Latinate minority”

      James P Moroney is for neither the majority nor the minority. James P Moroney is for James P Moroney.

      1. His presentation to our presbyterate, which was pretty much the same as his presentation on Web Catechesis, had nothing to do with the translation at all. His basic point was the duty of a good priest is to suck it up and do what he’s told. His talk was more about establishing his bonafides for a promotion than anything else.

  4. Some comments here seem to be based on differences in attitudes going back to the first reactions to SC.

    Some want all liturgy to reflect the sacred, promote awe.

    Some want all liturgy to be a context for private prayer and want liturgical spaces to be solemn and quiet at all times in order to facilitate such prayer.

    I would be interested in seeing what additional descriptions of liturgical desire categories others would add.

    OTOH, it seems to me that SC made clear that liturgy is not only public but communal prayer; that liturgy is a gathering of and support for the members of the congregation; that participation of all present was more important than expressing high culture. No ministers, not even musicians, were to perform for the reward of the assembly but were to assist the assembly in its own praying.

    Instead of fostering two or more approaches toward prayer, taking into account the informed view of liturgy given by the highest teaching authority of the RCC, many still seem to be trying to force liturgy back into boxes based on private spirituality instead of public worship, or based on temple priest-work done on behalf of the people.

    We are again dealing with the failed implementation of SC and the failure of catechesis regarding the Missal of Paul VI. We made little provision in US parishes to facilitate private prayer spaces or provide alternative services which dealt in sacredness and awe.

    I have no new course to suggest, but I think it important to recognize that we are still talking at cross purposes when the assumptions about the means and ends of liturgy are still so far apart.

  5. Sean asked Kenny: What has brought you to the conclusion The Tablet is not worthy of the name Catholic?

    What brings people to that conclusion is simple: not reading and not thinking.

    Fr Finigan writes “tabula delenda est”. How clever! How erudite! Fr Zuhlsdorf agrees with Fr Finigan. Amazing! Damian Thompson (editor of the competing paper) disses the Tablet at every opportunity. What compelling evidence of its unworthiness!

    The Tablet is, in fact, fairly balanced about the liturgy. Every week they run a column by Daniel McCarthy OSB, who unpacks the Latin prayers in a far more thoughtful and systematic way than Fr Z’s WDTPRS pieces. He gets help from Fr Reginald Foster. For the last month or so, the column has also run the new translation text (2010 version). This week’s edition has a good piece by a priest from Liverpool on introducing the new translation in a parish. “What lies before us,” he writes, “is in improvement on what we have known.”

    They have been critical, to be sure, of some aspects of Summorum Pontificum; but they have also printed supportive articles, like this one by Alcuin Reid. They have published Bp Donald Trautman’s critique of the new translation, but also several pieces supportive of it.

    But don’t believe me. All those traddie bloggers who don’t read The Tablet will assure you that it is a lefty pinko librul rag. How could they possibly be wrong?

    1. “The Tablet is, in fact, fairly balanced about the liturgy.”

      Well, perhaps so and it came out swinging against the existing ICEL translation. Look up those old editorials, it reads like LA.

    2. Like I say I no longer read the Tablet. Maybe it is “fairly balanced” on liturgy.
      It used to be , and I believe still is ,unbalanced in just about everything else. Whilst the Catholic Herald is not perfect, I believe it to be a far better reflection of Catholic teaching. That of course would not be hard.

      1. I, for one, would read The Tablet over The Catholic Herald.
        Having tried to read Mr Thompson’s blogs, it’s hard to believe he is a Christian, let alone a Catholic, so bitter are his comments.

  6. True no surprise there. Remember also that the editors of T he Tablet were horrified by the existing and soon-to-be-replaced ICEL translation of the Roman Canon, they published an editorial to that effect in 1967 I believe. We should not forget how upsetting the existing translation was to so many in the late 60s and early “70s. How does the saying go – the more things change the more they remain the same.

  7. Responding to Kieran’s letter…

    the phrase “poured out for many” is found only in Matthew and Mark and not in the historically earliest account

    And yet, the phrase is in two canonically approved Gospels, and in the Latin Rite, and in the Greek Rite of St. John Chrysostom.

    Finally, even in St Matthew, the words “poured out for many” are preceded by “drink from it, all of you”.

    And thus we have “Take this, all of you, and drink from it…” in the Eucharistic Prayers. The “all” there and the “many” after it come from the same source. I don’t see what is to be gained by pitting them against one another.

  8. Kenny – 2010 Pell ordinations – six, largest class since 1983.

    Ages of the six candidates:

    The newly ordained priests – Fr Nen Dang (56), Fr Robert Doohan (47), Fr Joseph Gedeon (37), Fr Kim Ha (36), Fr Andrew James (36) and Fr Joseph Guinea (31) – will all serve the Church in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

    Fr. Jospeh grew up in Lebanon and came to Australia a few years ago.

    Your comments about the numbers – well, not all are destined for Sydney; they study for other dioceses. Also, if patterns continue, more than 50% of the seminarians will drop out before ordination. Another 50% will leave before their 7th ordination anniversary.

    Redemptoris Mater – this is a problematic set up at best. This seminary was allowed by Pell in 2003 and is run as part of the Neo-Catechumenal Way (a group that the bishops of Japan recently asked Rome to suspend their activities for five years).

    Your numbers above referring to the RM seminary in Sydney – these do not all belong to Sydney and, in fact, they belong to the NC Way and may or may not eventually work in the Sydney region.

    So, your point is, at best, only half right. The NC Way seminaries, in some places, do meet a need in terms of welcoming candidates who do not have the education to be admitted to a full fledge semiary – may need alternative educational programs, language skills, etc. Newly ordained from these seminaries have a mixed record to date….it is really too early to draw any conclusive results but your optimism ….well, nice but?

    http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=7939

    1. The fact that some drop out and some grew up elswhere is completely irrelevant.
      The fact that there are such numbers going in is very interesting. As it is completely the opposite to the rest of the western world.
      It may have something to do with the recent WYD, but the same effect was not noted in the previous locations.
      It never ceases to amaze me that even when things are improving , people will find a way of poking holes in it. Simply to shore up ther own agenda.

      1. “Kenny Purdie”:

        This is nonsense. The point is, there are not (as claimed in the propaganda, and over and over again by you) 60 students for the Archdiocese of Sydney.

        You hinted above that you suspect I do not like Cardinal Pell, more of your nonsense.

        What I do like is the truth, and the people peddling the “60 students for Sydney” line are not telling the truth.

      2. The fact that there are such numbers going in is very interesting. As it is completely the opposite to the rest of the western world.
        —————————————–
        Really? Are you sure of that? Websites are filled with
        similar grossly inflated figures for seminarians
        entering here in the U.S. These are questionable
        as well. Generally advanced by the same folk who
        clain the Novus Ordo is preferred today by those in
        their late 60s and 70s–the post Vatican II generation.

  9. Given all of the disquiet, I wonder whether the Church will backtrack or just push ahead anyway.

    Somebody told me recently that when the Novus Ordo Mass was first shown to Bishops in the Sistine Chapel in nineteensixtysomething a few of them simply got up and walked out!!

    Yes, I strongly suspect that the Church gets that major changes always make waves and I suspect the changes will just be pushed through anyway…

    1. Given all of the disquiet, I wonder whether the Church will backtrack or just push ahead anyway

      Jack (and others…)

      I mean this very seriously. I would really like to see some
      “hard data” on the number of a)Bishops b)Priests c)Laity
      who have actual objections to the translation (as opposed to objecting to the idea of a new translation). In many accounts I have so far read, the laity in particular who “object” to the new translation haven’t yet seen or heard it other than perhaps small excerpts which they always quote, giving me the impression that theirexposure to it has been intentionally shaped so as to provoke a negative view.

      I am always suspicious when I hear anecdotal
      data presentations framed in terms of
      “many people” or “a large group of Priests” or when
      objections are “in private” or “beneath the surface”.
      Not that I doubt that such objections exist… I know personally that they do. But I also know personally that enthusiastic support for the translation exists,
      and it isn’t out of fear or a “sense of resignation”.

      Why is there no hard data, even in a particular Diocese?
      Polls are relatively easy to carry out, even anonymous ones.
      Does anybody know of a Diocese or Archdiocese where such a factual survey has been done where it can be accurately shown that 80% (or whatever number) of Priests “object to the new translation after sufficient time to read and study it”, and 75% of Laity “object to the new translation after sufficient time to read and study it”. I just wonder why on such an important issue there haven’t been any such surveys.

      Or have there been, and the results don’t fit the template?

  10. Kenny, a chara, (I’m sure you must have picked up some Irish during your 25 years in Ireland, even if you failed to acquire an appreciation of the merits of the Irish Times,) I hope your language skills are more advanced than your mathematical ones are, to help you with the Langlish of the new translation. Bill was suggesting that 50% of seminarians drop out before ordination, and of those who are ordained, 50% drop out by the seventh year thereafter. That is, 25% of those who entered seminary in any given year will still be in ministry seven years after ordination. Oh if only the new translation were as easy to follow!

    1. Not quite the way it read, Gerard
      Anyhow I picked up lots of Irish and indeed habits after 25 years there. One being a love of the EF Mass. That is after years in a “folk group” banging out the like of Bind us together or This little light of mine. Inspiring stuff.
      As for the IT, well from time to time it had a little merit, but mostly not.

  11. The 60s are over. This idea that we can just protest every time we don’t like something is absurd.

    The criticisms in the above story range from the thoughtful to the absurd. If these are the people wanting more consultation in the process, thank God they didn’t get it.

    1. Michael Barnett,

      Two points.

      “every time we don’t like something” is not fair to the depth of sincere conviction and informed opinion expressed by critics of the new translation. It’s not just a passing fancy or a matter of personal taste. It’s deeper.

      Yes, the 60s are over. But do you really think that “protest” ended with the 60s? Look at Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, etc. One of the great “signs of the times” today is that authoritarian, top-down governance no longer works. Everywhere you look, people are refusing to put up with it. If the Roman Catholic curia intends to be an exception and the last holdout, I predict rough days ahead.

      Pax

      awr

      1. Your linking of the Middle East protests and the reactions to the new Missal has no basis in reality.

        Young people that care enough to be active members of the Catholic Church usually don’t have a problem with authority unless they’ve been influenced by dinosaurs in the local chancery or nominally Catholic colleges.

        In the end this translation, regardless of it’s flaws, will be successfully implemented.

  12. Most of the people in the pews haven’t even seen the actual text!!

    Why do some people think that letters to the editor like this are an accurate representation of the opinions of the People of God as a whole?

    1. The letters I’ve seen indicate that the writers, pro and con, have read at least some portion of the texts. I think it is reasonable to infer from this that when the “People of God as a whole” see the texts, the opinions among them also will be split. The only question at that point, to the extent it even matters, will be where does the majority come down, or how large is the supporting majority? My intuition is that the resources being poured into good catechesis and “preparation” of the faithful to receive the “gift” of this new translation, will drive up its approval ratings. See e.g., the growing number of slick videos, books, FAQs, and bulletin inserts at the USCCB web site.

    2. Because 26 or so people objecting naturally represent the entirety of the English speaking Catholics around the world.

      Follow the logic: Since 90% of the letters to the editor of a notoriously progressive publication are against the new translation, then those results can easily be extrapolated to the population in general. The problem is that it conflicts with my data, where ALL of the commenters at a notoriously conservative blog excitedly support the new translation, and of course, that means that ALL of the English speaking Catholics around the world are in favor, no? Clearly there are very different sorts of polling samples to be had, depending on the headline you want to run.

  13. Michael Barnett :
    Your linking of the Middle East protests and the reactions to the new Missal has no basis in reality.
    Young people that care enough to be active members of the Catholic Church usually don’t have a problem with authority unless they’ve been influenced by dinosaurs in the local chancery or nominally Catholic colleges.
    In the end this translation, regardless of it’s flaws, will be successfully implemented.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.
    How right you are Sir.

  14. “In the end this translation, regardless of it’s flaws, will be successfully implemented.”

    More accurately, “will be duly imposed.” And, although predictions are always dangerous, in due course, substantially revised, based, for openers, on the opening Sunday in the collection, the First Sunday of Advent. Keeping in mind the principles and prescriptions of Liturgiam authenticam and the Ratio translationis, try lining up the 2008 and 2010 versions next to the Latin line by line. A simple comparison of structure and vocabulary indicates which version is closer to the original. Indeed, so choppy is the sentence structure of 2010, that the Vox Clara revisers had difficulty arranging some of the texts in sense-lines.

    Da, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus,
    hanc tuis fidélibus voluntátem,
    ut, Christo tuo veniénti iustis opéribus occurréntes,
    eius déxterae sociáti, regnum mereántur possidére caeléste.

    2008
    Grant, we pray, almighty God,
    that your faithful may resolve
    to run forth with righteous deeds,
    to meet your Christ who is coming,
    so that, gathered at his right hand,
    they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.

    2010
    Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
    the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
    with righteous deeds at his coming,
    so that, gathered at his right hand,
    they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.

    Which version reads/proclaims more easily? 2010’s comprehensibility, not to mention its proclaimability, is defeated by the obtuse dative in line one which separates the verb from its object, “resolve,” and the splitting of “Christo tuo venienti” by the insertion of “with righteous deeds.” 2008 reads easily, phrase by phrase (breath by breath) like a classic Collect from the Book of Common Prayer.

    1. Your preference for the 2008 prayer brings to mind something I’ve been pondering.

      In many ways I find the 2008 translation to be superior to 2010. Many people are complaining about the lack of consultation in the process. Well, it was someone being consulted that went through and made questionable changes to 2008 that gave us 2010. Just think of what it would be like if Fr Joe Cool from Cookabura, Australia and Sr Mary Akerperson from the Call to Action headquarters had the chance to put their two cents in!

      Let’s quit griping about the lack of “consultation”. It’s just a codeword for “why didn’t they ask MY opinion?”

      1. Based on the quality of the 2010 revision, it’s hard to imagine having done any worse with Father Cool or Sister Ackerperson. With all due respect to Father Ruff’s international confreres, it’s amazing (as a number of people have pointed out) that the Collect for the Feast of Saint Benedict stands out as a distressing example of having completely missed (apparently) the source for the Latin petition, i.e., the Holy Rule.

        Deus, qui beátum Benedíctum abbátem
        in schola divíni servítii praeclárum constituísti magístrum,
        tríbue, quaesumus, ut, amóri tuo nihil praeponéntes,
        viam mandatórum tuórum dilatáto corde currámus.

        2008
        O God, who established the Abbot Saint Benedict
        as a renowned master in the school of divine service,
        grant, we pray, that we may prefer nothing to your love
        and run with open hearts in the way of your commandments.

        2010
        O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict
        an outstanding master in the school of divine service,
        grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you,
        we may hasten with a loving heart in the way of your commands.

        “To prefer nothing” to the love of Christ or to the Work of God: these are time-honoured quotes from the Holy Rule in the standard, classic English translations. As is “to run with an expanded (2008 “open”) heart in the way of your commandments”. “Curramus” is “run” not “hasten” and “mandatorum” is more properly “commandments” (“praecepta,” perhaps for “commands”). As has been pointed out, getting “loving” out of “dilatato” seems like a misreading of the word (perhaps the reviser was thinking “dilecto” but even that is not “loving.”).

        With all the Benedictines floating around the process? Astonishing.

      2. The changes to 2008 that have resulted in 2010 were wrought by Vox Clara.

        Cardinal Pell (there he is again) leading Vox Clara (and all its officers, advisers, empty promises, pomps, and destestable enormities) could hardly, with any honesty, be described (as you have tried to do) as “someone being consulted” – but I suppose honesty counts for little here, as it has from day one of this appallingly dishonest process – you need to keep your ideological position looking as good as you can make it.

    2. Súscipe, quaesumus, Dómine, múnera
      quae de tuis offérimus colláta benefíciis,
      et, quod nostrae devotióni concédis éffici temporáli,
      tuae nobis fiat praemium redemptiónis aetérnae.

      2008
      Accept, we pray, O Lord, the gifts we offer,
      gathered from among your blessings,
      and as the fruit of our temporal offering
      grant us the reward of your eternal redemption.

      2010
      Accept, we pray, O Lord, these offerings we make,
      gathered from among your gifts to us,
      and may what you grant us to celebrate devoutly here below
      gain for us the prize of eternal redemption.

      “Temporale/aeternae” (the heart of the Latin petition) is rendered accurately/literately by “temporal/eternal.” “Here below”? What would parallel that (which is NOT what the Latin says): “up above”?

      Prosint nobis, quaesumus, Dómine, frequentáta mystéria,
      quibus nos, inter praetereúntia ambulántes,
      iam nunc instítuis amáre caeléstia et inhaerére mansúris.

      2008
      May the mysteries we have celebrated profit us, we pray, O Lord,
      for even now, as we journey through this passing world,
      you teach us by them
      to love the things of heaven
      and hold fast to what will endure.

      2010
      May these mysteries, O Lord, in which we have participated,
      profit us, we pray,
      for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
      you teach us by them to love the things of heaven
      and hold fast to what endures.

      Father Ruff has pointed out how disastrous this revision is. “Them” in line four can ONLY be read (and certainly heard) as referring to “passing things,” making 2010 mean the opposite of the Latin!

      Monsignor Harbert and his ICEL team are to be congratulated for their fine work in preparing the 2008 translation. Amazing that such an inferior revision was granted the recognitio.

      Duly imposed? Most likely. In due course corrected? Expectantes beatam spem. But by whom? And who will do future translations? ICEL? knowing no matter how faithful they are to LA and the Engllish language their work will be anonymously (and poorly) revised?

  15. I just preached to my parishioners about the new translation recently and quoted from the new translation. All feedback I received was positive.

    1. “I just preached to my parishioners about the new translation recently and quoted from the new translation. All feedback I received was positive.”

      Obviously these parishioners were well prepared and catechized.

      1. “Well, yeah… that is the idea, isn’t it?”

        Of course! Proponents of the new translation have nothing to fear from a tiny disgruntled minority who get their whining complaint letters published in non-Catholic publications. As this sampling of typical parishioners shows, the new translation will be received with positive overwhelming approval. Be not afraid.

      2. Basis for claiming it’s “tiny”? We have only anecdotal evidence at this point, but one can see some clear trends. Bishop Lynch in Florida took the new translation (this would have been the ICEL version, not the later Vox Clara hack-up) to his priests’ council in 2008, and 24 out of 26 priests were opposed to it. Is this a fluke or an outlier? I doubt it.

        In my 5 years at the North American Academy of Liturgy, I don’t recall anyone every speaking in favor of the coming translation. This is the largest and most respected body of academic liturgists, and they run the gamut from more progressive to more moderate and some are more traditional. I’ve heard only criticism, sometimes very strong, or grudging readiness to make the best of something unpleasant and mistaken. Does this indicate that acceptance of LA and the new texts is close to 0% among our top liturgical scholars? I think it does.

        This story: http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/2808
        reports on a speech of Fr. Calabuig in Rome – how should one read the lengthy applause? According to the NCR, it went on for three minutes. What does that say about the general opinion of respected liturgical figures?

        I wish we had more hard data. All we have are impressions such as the above. They indicate that opposition is from something more than a “tiny minority.”

        awr

      3. Fr. Ruff,

        I agree. I don’t think we are dealing with a “tiny” minority either. I was just trying to make a point with sarcasm, apparently not very well. I guess this really proves the old saying that sarcasm is the last refuge of a defeated wit. I’ll try to be more direct in the future.

        P.S. Thanks for the link. Very interesting.

      4. Russ, sorry!
        LOL! That’s twice in the space of 24 hours that I’ve taken issue with someone… who agreed with me.
        Apologies.
        awr

  16. A good deal has been made on this blog of the involvement of Mgr James Moroney with the 2011 Vox Clara text, but the situation isn’t as simple as some people seem to imagine. If you look at http://www.romanmissal.us/ you will find interviews with several Vox Clara members, and Mgr Moroney reciting new versions of the Eucharistic Prayers. But the text he utters differs in several places from that given on the USCCB website at http://www.usccb.org/romanmissal/order-of-mass.pdf.
    I have spotted seven such discrepancies in Eucharistic Prayer 2 alone. Which is the approved text? Many have complained that the Vox Clara texts are unproclaimable: perhaps the Executive Secretary shares that view!
    These aren’t just slips of the tongue. For instance, in the opening paragraph of Eucharistic Prayer 3, where the printed text reads ‘pure’, Mgr M says ‘perfect’.
    Perhaps it is necessary to distinguish two versions, 2011a and 2011b.

  17. Since October the folks at Pray Tell have offered many comparisons between the 2008 & 2010 versions of the Missal. As far as I can see the 2008 version is infinitely superior to the 2010.

    For the life of me I can’t understand why people who abominate the current translation extol such a defective version as the 2010 seems to be. Alas, the immensity of this mystery is just too overwhelming for the likes of me.

  18. In South Africa over the past two years we have had many more letters critical of the new translation than praising it – and we’re only using the people’s parts of the ordinary (the 2008 version). The letters are only in print, very seldom are they online.

    Here’s an example of a letter to be published this weekend in The Southern Cross, the national Catholic weekly. It describes a not untypical situation in a Johannesburg parish and should serve as a warning to parishes in the rest of the English-speaking Church.

    Remember we’ve been using only the people’s parts of the new translation for 2 years already!

    I’ve said it before: we are entering a long period of liturgical disunity. Is the Vox Clara 2010 translation worth the pastoral cost?

    1. Thank you, Graham. The letter to which you linked is a perfect example of the real problem.

      The priest in the letter is actively fomenting rebellion. He thinks that if he leaves the choice to the people attending the Mass, such that some people use the new translation and some use the old, he’s demonstrating his democratic sympathies. But, in reality, we all know exactly what he’s doing. He’s fomenting division among the people becauseHE doesn’t like the translation.

      Enough already!

      1. Yes… the letter that has been linked above isn’t about problems with the new translation, but rather is a clear illustartion of how NOT TO implement it, unless of course the point is to sow discord and actually cause it’s failure. The problem that the writer seems to have is the attitude of the leadership, which is at best ambivalence, and at worst is an intentionally designed process to result in a situation that can be pointed to and say “See! We told you it was going to be a failure!”. This is despicable.

  19. “Your linking of the Middle East protests and the reactions to the new Missal has no basis in reality.
    Young people that care enough to be active members of the Catholic Church usually don’t have a problem with authority unless they’ve been influenced by dinosaurs in the local chancery or nominally Catholic colleges.
    In the end this translation, regardless of it’s flaws, will be successfully implemented.”

    @ Michael Barnett re your comment no. 46.
    Fr Anthony is making a perfectly valid point regarding protest. Where that protest arises, why it came about is immaterial, what is at issue is that people will protest if they feel that they are not being listened to.
    With regard to successful implementation, that may be the case but it does not mean that everyone will be happy with it. One only needs to look at those unhappy with changes brought about after Vatican II.

    1. Margaret O’Connor,

      When you contrast “young people” with “dinosaurs,” is it your point to insult old people or is it to dismiss their views? I wonder how the Pope and the Bishops, given their age, would react to either alternative.

      Whatever the case, your insult is a sort of ad hominem argument – viz., that some people’s views should be dismissed because the people are old.

      Wouldn’t it be better to look at the merits of their arguments?

      awr

      1. Father, the time is now here for you to accept the new translation. Sowing dissent at this stage harms the unity and good of the whole Church.

      2. Oh dear, Father. I think you’re being a bit disingenuous. You know quite well that the age of the people in question is only incidental to the argument.

      3. Fr Anthony,

        I re-read the comment I put up, the first part was a quote from a fellow blogger, my comment follows below (although I attributed to it the wrong number). I guess I did not manage the editing part correctly. (I’m getting old myself, and it’s late here in England!)
        I would like to say that I would never insult older people, we have much to learn from them. Whilst there may be times when I disagree with them, they have as much right as myself to make their thoughts and feelings known.

      4. Margaret – I’m sorry! Everything I wrote should apply to the person you quoted – and also critiqued – and not to you! My apologies. Thanks for clarifying.
        awr

      5. Michael,

        If age is incidental, what is your point?
        As it is, it reads like an assault on Tradition, with young people rejecting what their predecessors have handed down to them. If you remove the age requirement, only the assault on what is handed on remains, by whomever to whomever.

        While I am at it, why is there “no basis in reality” for Fr Ruff’s comparison of current protests and those of the ’60s? It seems more grounded than your vague allusion to the end of the ’60s, as if that were relevant to current liturgical protests.

      6. Hey Aaron, by “sowing dissent” do you mean pointing out the ways the anonymous revisers of Vox Clara dissented from the Church’s directives in Liturgiam Authenticam by not translating the Latin exactly and how they brought ridicule on the Congregation for Divine Worship by turning out a product so full of errors in English grammar and syntax?

        Those are the people you should be criticizing Aaron, people who weren’t faithful to the trust the Holy Father put in them, not Father Ruff who pointed out the errors. How about shooting the guys who messed up the message not the messenger who brought their mess to everyone’s attention.

    2. dinosaurs in the local chancery or nominally Catholic colleges.

      OK..
      since everyone is “pretending” not know what was meant here (it’s not about age folks)… let’s spell it out. The influential leaders from the past generation who believed that the only purpose of authority is to give the “oppressed” a reason to rebel. I don’t think it’s necessary to use insulting monickers, so don’t act as though you don’t know what is being spoken about so as to cajole commenters into using them. “Dinosaur” is not a symbol for being old. It is a symbol of having become “extinct”…for purposes of this discussion meaning “having lost one’s relevance, but hanging on without realizing it.”.

      1. Looks like a poor attempt at backtracking in the face of fair criticism, to me.
        You are contrasting ‘young people who care enough’ with ‘dinosaurs’. If age was not central to your piece, why did you refer to young people?

      2. So why not be clear in the first place? In this medium it is easy for misunderstanding. Given the subject matter i would have thought that clarity would be important. “Clever” comments or ones which put down another person are not “clever”!

      3. Age is not the point of my previous post! Thanks, Jeffrey for accurately articulating what I meant.

        There are young/younger people who agree with the “dinosaurs in the chancery”.Fr. Ruff could be an example. He’s younger than the generation that started protesting everything, but he is clearly sympathetic and of like mind in many cases.

        There are also older people who never went along with the “dinosaurs at the chancery”. They are sympathetic with younger persons like myself who are tired of many people who think they can make the Church into a democracy and protest every time they don’t like something.

      4. To Gerard Flynn:

        In an above post Fr Ruff implied that I was criticizing the “dinosaurs in the chancery” BECAUSE they are old. This was not my intention, as is obvious from the earlier post itself.

        I am criticizing a group of people on the verge of losing their stranglehold on the local churches. Their constant pleas for “consultation” and cries about “oppression” aren’t gonna work anymore. They are on the verge of extinction. People are beginning to see that it’s just another coverup for their predisposition to dissent.

      5. All this talk about dinosaurs and extinction and a coming generation and alleged trends – it doesn’t interest me much. I wish we could talk about Jesus and his Gospel. That changes everything! Trends and generations come and go. Worldly wisdom gives out labels such as “conservative” or “liberal.”

        However old people are, however their ideas were perhaps stronger 20 or 30 years ago – I think the followers of Jesus should be asking an entirely different set of questions: are their ideas good? Do they reflect the compassion, the inclusiveness of the Jesus of the Gospels? Do they cut through religious legalism in the way that Jesus did for the religious establishment of his day? Or not?

        Our goal – however weakly we humans and we Church members ever live up to it – should be to live as Jesus did. Even if nobody else does. Even if it doesn’t look like there’s any future in it. Even if it’s not where young people are at today.

        Let’s get the question right.

        awr

      6. Fr Ruff just pulled the typical liberal move. The argument isn’t quite as easy to dismiss so I’ll just say that the argument is futile because really it’s all about Jesus.

        Many of the critics hated the 2008 translation. It was hard. It was obtuse. It wasn’t pastoral. Then the anonymous editors go through and tinker with it. The critics still aren’t happy. All of a sudden they decide they do care about the Latin original after all. The critics begin praising Xavier Rindfleish. They complain that 2010 is worse than 2008.

        This reminds me of our Lord when he responded to His critics by comparing them to children in the streets singing “we piped you a tune and you would not dance; we sang you a durge and you would not weep.”

        The fact of the matter is that our Lord taught his disciples to obey those who sat in the chair of Moses eventhough they should not imitate their behavior. If we really want to be like the Jesus of the Gospels then we will attempt to humbly accept this translation (in spite of it’s flaws) as the one promulgated by the legitimate authority. If it’s a mistake, it will fail on it’s own without a bunch of self-righteous liberals protesting under the guise of “speaking truth to power”.

      7. Now that you mention it, it was pretty high-handed of those apostles to reject mandatory circumcision. They really ought to have been more submissive to those who sat in the chair of Moses.

      8. Michael:
        I get your disdain for “self-righteous liberals protesting under the guise of speaking truth to power.”

        What about conservatives (some of us would even prefer the designation traditionalists) protesting that, as Fr Alan Griffiths of the UK put it in his public letter, “the 2010 translation drives a horse and carriage through Liturgiam authenticam”?

        Would you dismiss Xavier Rhindfleisch and others of us here who agree wholeheartedly with the principles of Liturgiam authenticam and the Ratio translationis and who lament the ways in which 2010, in fact, goes back to phrases from the old ICEL, outright mistranslates the Latin (see the postcommunion for the First Sunday of Advent and the Collect for Saint Benedict’s feast which I’ve already commented on in this forum), and, contrary to LA and RT, jettisons the Latin of the Missale’s antiphons (Vulgate and sometimes older) for a translation based on the Hebrew text which does NOT convey the Church’s application of the psalm verse to the day’s liturgy?

        Should there have been any humility shown by those on Vox Clara and CDW when fully thirteen “Areas of Difficulty” spanning some forty pages were shown to them in plenty of time for corrections to be made?

        Such critics are not “hanging on to irrelevance” but are, rather, deeply distressed that the trust the Holy Father placed in people designated to carry out the clear mandate of the Church appears not to have been honoured by them.

        Let me also point out that, like Ms Romani on another thread, you have inadvertently quoted the discredited “dynamic equivalence” 1970 version of the NAB. The new, formal equivalent version runs: “We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn” (Mt 11:17) (“Piping a tune” – dynamic equivalence).

        And, finally, may I observe that “self-righteousness” is not the exclusive possession solely of liberals in the Church.

      9. To G Michael McGuire:

        I am rather Traditional myself. I am sympathetic to your observations about the failure of this text to adhere to LA.

        Rather, I am responding to the comments made in the above story and some of the patronizing responses to my observations coming from Fr Ruff.

        I do not consider you to be merely griping like the people in the Letters to the Editor quoted above. I wish we still had 2008, but I am critical of those who didn’t like 2008 to begin with all of a sudden jumping on the Xavier Rindfleish bandwagon and arguing for 2008.

        I am well aware that I quoted the earlier version of the NAB. My quoting of that translation need not be construed as endorsement of dynamic equivalence. I prefer the RSV!

        I agree that the people in Vox Clara should have been humble before the authority of LA.

        But the point is: for better or worse, we’re stuck with 2010 for the time being and there’s nothing that our griping about Vox Clara is going to fix. Writing open letters to the bishops and offering the critiques contained in the above quoted letters to the editor are no help.

  20. My unpublished letter to the Irish Times:

    Madam,
    Fr Vincent Twomey may have inside information when he tells us that the words of consecration at Mass will now read “for you and for the many”. The US Bishops’ website gives the new words as “for you and for many”. There is a big difference. “For the many” like the French “pour la multitude” captures well the positive thrust of Jesus’ words; “for many” introduces a Jansenist restriction, condemned by the Bull Unigenitus in 1713.
    As a man of taste, Fr Twomey must know that the new translation is a linguistic debacle, which is why he concentrates on criticizing the language of the Association of Catholic Priests instead. The best he can say is that the new translation “can only be an improvement on the translation at present in use.” In fact, however, a close study of the new translation shows that it is at almost every point a disimprovement on the present one (not to mention the superb 1998 translation that the Vatican withheld).
    This can only be illustrated by quoting at random. At present we have: “Look with favour on your Church’s offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself.” The new translation reads: “Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church, and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself…” The new language, Fr Twomey himself says, is “arcane,” “archaic, elitist and obscure”. The same nerveless, fustian style prevails throughout.
    Our bishops are those primarily responsible for the liturgy. They must act decisively now to stop this farce.
    Yours faithfully,
    (Rev.) Joseph S. O’Leary, DD,
    Professor of English Literature,
    Sophia University, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, Japan

      1. Fr Paul Turner himself is quite clear that the problem with “dewfall” is precisely that dew does not, in fact, fall…..

        There is no problem about the word “dew” and “the dew of your Spirit” being the literal rendering of the Latin, but “dewfall” is a different kettle of fish.

      2. “Like the dewfall” seems to be a kludge introduced by ICEL to satisfy criticisms that “dew of your Spirit” is meaningless to us today.

        Could the problem be that DEWFALL is a TIME, like sunset or moonrise? It is NOT really understood as AN EVENT. It is the time when dew forms.

        Constrast

        1. Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them LIKE THE DEWFALL.

        with these two:

        2. Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them LIKE THE DEW.

        3. Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them AT DEWFALL.

        No. 3 is given for illustrative purposes only, to show how “dewfall” should be used to show time.

        Any thoughts?

  21. “As a man of taste, Fr Twomey must know that the new translation is a linguistic debacle..”

    Perhaps the result of this entire process will be described in liturgical history by a variation on an old expression, to wit, A Pellic Victory.

  22. I think that Mgr. Harbert’s comment posted at 10:52 am yesterday deserves attention. I certainly found it helpful as yet another evidence of the confusion that the Vox Clara version has caused and continues to cause. 2011a and b indeed.

  23. Fr. Joe wrote:
    “The new language, Fr Twomey himself says, is “arcane,” “archaic, elitist and obscure”. The same nerveless, fustian style prevails throughout.”

    A subjective opinion. I cannot help but wonder what he would write about the English language translations of the Eastern liturgies.

    1. Just to note that almost every reference to Eastern liturgies is irrelevant when we’re speaking of Roman Catholic liturgical reform. I intend no disrespect to them. I do intend to note that we have a very particular history and it is very different from all the rich Eastern traditions.

      A parent could just as well say to one son, Why can’t you be more academic like your older brother; or say to the other son, “Why can’t you be more artistic like your younger brother?” The comparison is not helpful.

      Read the whole history of the Roman Catholic liturgical movement since 1903, and all the ways it sought to respond to rapidly changing cultural conditions in the West. Read why the Second Vatican Council was called. Read how discussions had reached a boiling point by the 1950s, and everything was ready and waiting to explode already before the Council. Read about all the Roman decrees and indults and exceptions granted in the years before Vatican II, in ever more rapid succession, trying to deal with the perceived ever-greater problems.

      Eastern Churches and rites didn’t get frozen and centralized the way we did – at Trent, or in the preceding Middle Ages. Their liturgies did not become as far removed from the piety of the people. I envy them in many ways.

      But to ask Western Roman Catholics why they can’t be like Eastern Christians is asking them to pretend their own history never happened.

      Again: the comparison is of little or no help.

      awr

      1. Father R—-But to ask Western Roman Catholics why they can’t be like Eastern Christians is asking them to pretend their own history never happened.
        —-

        Preachin’ to the choir! So can’t we agree that any approach by anyone in the Western Roman Catholic leadership which “pretends their own history never happened” is wrong? No matter what bishop or pope might have backed it?

        What better way to “pretend your history never happened”, than to erase so much of it from the Liturgy?

        My father-in-law, RIP, was not an educated man. Yet his experience of the Ukrainian famine, WWII, being a POW, and much more, made him a Historian because he lived history.

        I would argue that the pope sees the great mass of Catholics being separated from their history and heritage. ergo Summorum Pontificum, and the call to recall how Catholics thru the ages have worshiped.
        Before the Council, Catholics– educated and uneducated –lived their history, every week.

        It wasn’t as fun or entertaining as what we now have….yet fewer Catholics stayed in bed or ran off to other faiths as do nowadays.

      2. Fr. Ruff wrote: “But to ask Western Roman Catholics why they can’t be like Eastern Christians is asking them to pretend their own history never happened.”

        Therefore we should not “Byzantanize” our liturgies by standing during the Eucharistic Prayer and consecration.

      3. First, the “therefore” doesn’t follow.

        Second, that’s not the reason why we did it anyway. I’ve never in my life read any commentary give that as the reason.

        awr

    2. If the Eastern liturgies are translated into English and are also proclaimed publicly for English-speaking worshipers in the West, and if we see similarly rich language in the new translation of the RM than we can presume Fr. Joe’s criticism of “arcane,” “archaic, elitist and obscure” language in the RM would also logically apply to the English translations used by the Eastern Church.
      I know the Eastern liturgies and their widespread use in the west proves to be an inconvenience for those who disapprove of supplicatory, traditional, and elevated language in vernacular liturgy. The problem for the progressive who disapproves of this kind of language in the new translation is magnified when we realize that much of the criticism of this kind of language in the Roman liturgy is not especially ecumenically sensitive because it is difficult to fathom why an American frequenting an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern rite Catholic parish is appropriately subjected to “archaic, elitist and obscure” language. After all, if Fr. Joe is right, we have to wonder how Christian liturgy can ever be properly “elitist” or “obscure”?

      The problem facing the critic of the new RM is also noticeable when we realize that Roman Catholics live and operate in the territories traditionally associated with the Eastern Church while millions of Eastern rite Christians operate and have lived for generations in the West. It is also true that Latin rite missals in other vernacular translations have kept the language that Fr. Joe seems to bemoan just as the Eastern traditions have done. Lastly, the new translation brings English-speaking Latin rite Catholics into conformity with most other Latin rite vernacular missals where this supplicatory language has been retained. That is why I cannot see where Fr. Ruff’s comments about the liturgical movement apply to these questions about translation.

    3. Fr Twomey, defending the new translation, used those terms, not I. I would welcome any liturgical language if it were beautiful. But not rancid papier-mache pastiche.

  24. Anthony Ruff, OSB :
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    However old people are, however their ideas were perhaps stronger 20 or 30 years ago – I think the followers of Jesus should be asking an entirely different set of questions: are their ideas good? Do they reflect the compassion, the inclusiveness of the Jesus of the Gospels? Do they cut through religious legalism in the way that Jesus did for the religious establishment of his day? Or not?
    Our goal – however weakly we humans and we Church members ever live up to it – should be to live as Jesus did. Even if nobody else does. Even if it doesn’t look like there’s any future in it. Even if it’s not where young people are at today.
    Let’s get the question right.
    awr

    Indeed. Let’s get the question right.

    It’s abundantly clear that individuals often see Jesus through the lens of their own worldview or life experience. I’m just as susceptible to this as Fr Ruff. Our own life experience and worldview can help us understand Jesus but they can also get in the way of seeing the real Jesus.

    This is the underlying theme of my critique of the above story and many of the comments here. Too many of the people in the story and in the comment box think that they are imitating Jesus by griping about everything that they don’t like in the Church. You guys have to accept that your approach to this issue has a lot to do with the experience of your own generation. Don’t patronize the rest of us by saying this is just your imitation of Jesus asking the “tough” questions.

    1. “You guys have to accept that your approach to this issue has a lot to do with the experience of your own generation.”

      If you mean the generation that was formed by Vatican II in the years from 1962 to 1970 or so, certainly you have a point. But I suggest that that formation gives our generation a privileged historical position.

      You may claim that an older generation who never accepted Vatican II or who turned their backs on it are vindicated by the enthusiastic support they have won from a younger generation. But I wonder how representative the conservatives are in either of these generations. In the older generation the conservatives have got positions of power, but their exercise of that power has been rather pathetic. Many from that generation are loud in their lament for the lost opportunities due to failure to build on Vatican II. As to the younger generation, I don’t see a clear picture of a renewed church centered on conservative youth. Some younger Catholics (already heading for middle age by the way) may feel they are on a revolutionary bandwagon, but that can be a biased perspective.

  25. F C Bauerschmidt :

    Now that you mention it, it was pretty high-handed of those apostles to reject mandatory circumcision. They really ought to have been more submissive to those who sat in the chair of Moses.

    Surely you’re not serious.

    After Christ founded the Church and gave his authority to the apostles they were no longer subject to those who occupied the chair of Moses.

    You’re example makes no sense. But perhaps you were just being cheeky.

    1. I took you to be saying that the Christ-like path was submission to religious authority. I was suggesting that the Gospel witness on this count (not to mention Paul, who was hardly submissive to Peter, but “opposed him to his face”) was a bit more complicated and couldn’t really be dealt with by a single text about those who sat in the chair of Moses.

      And, yes, I was being cheeky.

    2. The point is that the dinosaurs in the chancery were put there by legitimate authority. If you want to promote serene acceptance of legitimate authority, you do not do it by calling legitimate authorities dinosaurs.

      1. Most of the people in my chancery are not in positions of authority so they can’t be referred to as legitimate authorities as you do in the final sentence.

        More to the point…

        I’m arguing for acceptance of a Mass translation that has been promulgated by legitimate authority. That’s no where near the same issue as referring to chancery officials as dinosaurs. You’re comparing apples with oranges. Even I’m not that simplistic.

    3. “After Christ founded the Church and gave his authority to the apostles they were no longer subject to those who occupied the chair of Moses.”

      You make it sound like the hand-over of keys to new occupants that happened in the course of an evening. The N.T. evidence suggests that it was only post 70 C.E. with the expulsion from the synagogue of those Jews who recognised Jesus as Lord, that they were forced by circumstances to set themselves adrift from Jewish religious authority.

      1. What I wrote is perfectly accurate Catholic theology.

        But, I would respond to your claim by saying that you are trying to make the historical evidence say more than one can reasonably expect it to say. The evidence indicates that the early Christians continued to pray at the Temple, but I am not aware of any evidence that the early Christians adhered to any decrees of the Jewish authorities.

  26. It is rather surprising that the Johannine community is so upset about being expelled from the synagogues (aposunagogein). It all seems terribly murky.

  27. One of the terrible things that “the Jews” do in John’s Gospel is cast the followers of Christ out of the synagogues. Exegetes regard this as a reference to recent events for the community that produced the Gospel — events late in the 1st century. I do not think we have a clear picture of what was going on, the dynamics of the tension between the Christian communities and the Jewish community.

    1. And whoever composed the Gospel according to Matthew was at pains to point out that the Jews who recognised Jesus as messiah had not by that fact separated themselves from their Jewish heritage or, more seriously, from the God of Judaism, as the religious authorities claimed.

      Whether Jesus intended to found a ‘church’ that was separate from Judaism is an open question. There is a lot of anachronism about in claims about the authority which Jesus gave his apostles. We know, for example, that in Rome, there was not a single monarchical authority structure until the last third of the second century, when the secular imperial model was imported into the Christian communities. (Read Eamon Duffy.) To bolster this new centralised system and to lend it credibility in the face of its opponents,Irenaeus fabricated a list of direct successors of Peter, even though Christianity existed in Rome before Peter set foot there and even though he exercised nothing remotely like universal or even metropolitan authority there. In this list the sixth successor of Peter is curiously called Sixtus.

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