Another Week, Another “Glaring Howler” in The Tablet

Last week we linked to Canon Alan Griffiths’ letter in The Tablet on the mistranslation of the Prayer after Communion for the First Sunday of Advent.

This week’s Tablet features another letter (bottom of page 17, the author will be familiar to faithful PT readers) pointing out that the US Bishops’ website makes us of this very mistranslation in a very interesting, rather odd commentary:

The commentator … weaves an entire spirituality from that erroneous translation: “As we prepare to return to our daily lives, our journey is described as a walk among passing things. Even passing things, however, are useful for divine instruction by which we learn to distinguish between passing things and what endures. Once we have learned to distinguish between them, we learn to love the things of heaven and to hold fast to what endures … The prayer does not say that we reject passing things nor does it describe things of this world in a negative light. Rather, the eucharistic bread and wine we share, these are the enduring things of heaven, the body and blood of Christ.”

This week’s letter points out a further error in the Prayer over the Offerings for the First Sunday of Advent:

The Prayer over the Offerings for this same Sunday contains another “glaring howler,” as Griffiths referred to the Prayer after Communion. The Latin text parallels our temporal offering with God’s gift of eternal redemption: “quod nostrae devotioni concedes effici temporali, tuae nobis fiat praemium redemptionis aeternae.”

The Vatican instruction on liturgical translations (Liturgiam authenticam) instructs translators to preserve these parallels. Such a translation would read: “as the fruit of our temporal offering grant us the reward of your eternal redemption.” But the new English translation says: “may what you grant us to celebrate devoutly here below, gain for us the prize of eternal redemption.” … And one should note that God has disappeared from the last line: “your eternal redemption” in Latin.

Over a year ago, Pray Tell pointed out all these Advent mistakes in a series of articles that might interest newer readers:

Beauty and the Beast: First Sunday of Advent 2008 vs 2010.

A Tale of Two Prefaces: Advent I and II (but note that some changes were made in the final version of the missal).

Bending Slightly: the prayers of Advent Sundays II, III and IV (“bending slightly” got un-changed, but the other problems still stand).

Oh, a letter from John Loughran in “Letters Extra” in this week’s Tablet (online here) has a nicely positive attitude toward the new Missal, assuming it’s meant seriously:

Several letters about the new translation of the Missal have criticised and blamed the bishops for having allowed these changes. True, many of us, finding the language prolix and flowery and the grammar clunky and cumbersome, are alienated by this new version. However, on reflection, it is clearly a compromise (as, in fact, was the Tridentine Rite). Perhaps, then, we should thank God and our like-minded bishops, pastors and participants in the translation process for their strenuous efforts to ensure that this version is not worse than it is.

awr

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78 comments

  1. Yes, I have heard from a pretty good close-to-the-action source that indeed it could have been worse. Just look at the current membership of the USCCB. It’s not inconceivable that there were more than a few behind-the-scenes battles that prevented the text from being even more horrible than it is.

    Also, in the interest of fairness, I’ve heard from an eminently respected U.S. liturgist that some of the 10,000 changes were indeed improvements, and in fact Vox Clara did correct some things the new ICEL got wrong. Sorry, I don’t have any examples.

  2. Glaring howlers abound, and not just in the translation but about it. Most recently in a pastoral letter from Bishop Braxton of Belleville concerning the implementation of the new missal.

    It is not the case, as he states, that “The translation has been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and approved by the Holy See.” Fundamentally, false: what the USCCB approved is not what was promulgated by the Holy See. The english speaking conferences have never voted on the current translation. So much for honesty and transparency. What were the requirements stated by St. Paul for being an episcopas? Oh, yeh, that’s right…

    http://www.bellevillemessenger.org/bishopmissal.aspx

    1. “It is equally true that no Parish Priest, Parish Pastoral Council, Liturgy Committee, Director of Music, or any other group has the authority to permit a parish to continue using the current translation. No exceptions can be made to this for the good and the unity of the Church. Every priest knows well that the Liturgy belongs to the Church and not to the individual priest or any group in his parish.”
      =======================================
      Is this in response to a backlash in Belleville? I’m wondering how many other ordinaries think it’s necessary to raise this point.

      1. Mr. Harding – if you understand the crisis in this diocese – financial and sexual abuse; accusations and allegations about the bishop’s mis-management of funds; and the fact that George had to bring in a consultant group to do intervention between the bishop and his priests…..he has to say these things because his incompetence has led to a complete lack of trust, etc.
        If you ever read the history of Braxton’s rise to power, you would be embarrassed – it is truly a Peter Principle story.

  3. I have an idea spurred by Fr Barron’s video: what if some priest made some videoclips of some of those “howlers”? Hearing them proclaimed is much more effective than reading them. Hearing 2011, 1973, 1998 one after the other would be a good way to compare them.

    Is there some priest out there who is good at proclaiming, who is not afraid of putting himself on the frontline of attacks, who has time on his hands, and who has the technological knowhow to produce such videos?

  4. Why keep discussing the 98 translation attempt.

    Ok. Videos of just the 2011 and the 1973 prayers would already be good.

  5. The 1998 product is helpful in that it demonstrates that it is possible to improve on the 1974 text and to do so beautifully. It is also helpful in that it provides some good alternate texts for congregations that try as they might will not be able to stomach the 2010 attempt.

    The 1998 product was most certainly approved, and approved by the bodies charged with that responsibility (the English-speaking bishops). In a monumental power play corrupt Vatican officials undermined the process and refused to to give the text a recognitio.

    Yes, the 1998 version avoided culturally inappropriate, a.k.a. “gender exclusive,” language. The Ratio Translationis unctuously praises gender exclusive language and asks homilists to use the homily to explain to the faithful why gender exclusive language is not as insulting, narrow minded and mysogonistic as it will certainly come across as being.

    awr, please feel free to chime in and correct any inaccuracies!

    1. “English Speaking Bishops” in unison with the Holy See and Holy Father. Not seperate and independant of. They must both agree on translations. The Holy See shelved that attempt for various reasons so it was not fully approved in all its’ parts. To state that the 98 translations are good for struggling parishes as an alternate text is scandalous Father. You would lead parishoners into direct opposition with the Holy Father with many not even knowing why or children who can not even make the choice for themselves? Do you have that much pride? When in Rome would you say this to your Holy Father? That you will use the 98 translation attempt despite having an approved translation that the Holy See has promulgated in your parish? I find this shocking everytime you repeat it and when the moderators let it stand with no admonishment. You might be surprised to learn that the 98 failed attempt you continually refer to may be too difficult for inner city kids or for those who have less than adequate educations systems to grow up in. Would you recommend or condone that Parish Priest to write up an easier Missal or translations for that particular geographical area or parish? Or is that it, the 98 is the end all for everyone? Those who like it, great, and those who can’t understand that one can be taught?

      1. “English Speaking Bishops” in unison with the Holy See and Holy Father. Not seperate and independant of. They must both agree on translations.

        Well then, as you state, the 2010 is invalidly promulgated then. So, if both 98 and 2010 are on equal footing juridically, we’ll just choose to use the one more pastorally and grammatically appropriate.

    2. I’m already hearing presiders talk about the excursions they are planning to take from the 2010 product. Let’s wait and see how many presiders proclaim the 2010 prayers straight. The comment that I’ve made frequently is that it would be better to utilize selections of the 1998 rather than to massacre the 2010 on the fly. No one has directly addressed that theory. I understand the mindset you are representing but I still have heard no one say that it’s better to take whiteout and a red pen to the 2010 then it is to borrow parts of the 1998.

  6. While agreeing with Alan Griffiths about the Prayer after Communion on the 1st Sunday of Advent, and Chris Grady about the Prayer over the Offerings, I don’t understand why no one is yet concerned about the very first prayer we will encounter, the Collect for the 1st Sunday of Advent:

    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.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.

    It’s the same problem as in Canon Griffiths’s example: an ambiguous antecedent. The “they” in line 5 will, at least for a moment if not longer, be heard as referring back to the “righteous deeds” in line 3, rather than to “your faithful” in line 1. If the translators had wanted to make it absolutely clear who or what was being talked about, they would have substituted “we” for “they” in line 5. Then all becomes immediately clear. And in any case, how good and natural does it feel to be talking about ourselves in the 3rd person plural rather than the 1st person plural? That’s remotespeak.

    I find it infinitely depressing that from the very start the quality of the prayers is going to cast a cloud over the whole enterprise. The first three weeks of Advent alone are dire.

    (Ctd)

    1. At the same time, Jim Blue is correct that some of the 2010 corrections were improvements over 2008. Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent, Prayer after Communion, is a case in point:

      (2008)
      We implore your mercy, Lord,
      that these divine provisions,
      which have cleansed us of vices,
      may prepare us for the coming feast.
      Through Christ our Lord.

      (2010)
      We implore your mercy, Lord,
      that this divine sustenance
      may cleanse us of our faults
      and prepare us for the coming feasts.
      Through Christ our Lord.

      I wonder whether this welcome change, even though it flies in the face of the strictures of Liturgiam Authenticam and so violates the Congregation’s own rules for translation, was due to the comments on this particular prayer that I posted in two other forums in 2009.

  7. I would be interested to know about the glaring “howlers” in the 1998 translation too as I suspect there are a few but it has been so canonized here, no one has bothered to point them out and I don’t have time to focus on the 1998 edition since the corrected edition mandated two Sundays from now is upon us. However, the more constructive way to foment positive or needed change in this corrected Missal, which could occur in about ten or fifteen years is not by “exaggerated hyperbole” about the new missals “howlers” because God knows that we’ve been praying horrible howlers in the obsolete translation for over 40 years, howlers too numerous and insidious to highlight them all, and without as much as a roll of the eyes from the more progressive camp of division of the Church. If not for Fr. Z and others of his perspective, who would have known about these? So I would suggest taking a page out of his blog as it concerns translations, give the Latin, give a slavishly literal translation of the Latin in to English, give the 1973 version, the 1998 version, the corrected version we’re getting and then make up your own perfect one and then wait and see how the revision will play out in ten to fifteen years. Hopefully all of this can occur without axes to grind and scores to even; hopefully it will occur out of Christian charity, “turning the other cheek” and sound and mature academic critique.

    1. Fr. Allan – would suggest that you might find “howlers” in 1973 but they would be judgment calls based upon the 1973 “dynamic” equivalence. You are trying to compare apples to oranges (something Fr. Z misses completely in his intensity to score points).

      Also, even the original ICEL understood the need to take their time and improve 1973….it resulted in 1998 (again, dynamic equivalence). In an open process with written explanations for their choices in terms of scripture, translation of key words, phrases we understood and appreciated the final product. It also would have begun a process for the church that would have outlined a manner of updating, developing organically, and enhancing our liturgies, sacraments, and translations.

      Instead, the rules have changed; no longer are transparent, decisions are in secret. Guess you could do a “mind” exercise and compare but again you are mixing apples and oranges and proponents would merely highlight their own agendas.

      Let’s face it – one of the limitations liturgically is that very few folks have ever accessed and read the process that gave us 1973 – the ICEL decisions, choices, etc. In the same way, 1998 was left hanging and the process was basically torpedoed so most folks have no awareness; access is difficult; etc. So, how do we gain insights, learn, etc.

    2. Amen to Fr Allan J McDonald –
      It should be obvious to all that ‘howlers’ are not at all restricted to our new translation. The one that will in two short weeks become obsolete is replete with them. They are not restricted only to dull, colourless and vapidly casual language. They include a host of glaring omissions of biblical allusions and imagery, and a richness of style that were deemed passe by the arrogantly presumptuous chic modernists of the 60’s and 70’s. It is curiously notable that those who comment in this blog have nothing to say, are oddly silent, about the serious literary and theological failings of a tired translation which is about to be history.

      1. But the ’73 was “done quickly,” remember, and “without benefit of critical apparatus and scholarly research” that have become available since its Latin original was promulgated in 1969.

        The Vox Clara Pell-Moroney-Ward-Johnson Missal comes to us after a 15 year old process produced one rejected version (1998), and after another decade’s worth of study and translation and revisions (2008).

        And don’t forget the 7,000 “expert consultants.”

        Aren’t you the least bit curious as to how, after all that vetting and the solemn bestowal of the “confirmatio,” we could end up losing the First Coming / Second Coming parallel in Preface I for Advent and the temporal / eternal contrast in the Advent I Prayer over the Offerings (not to mention the “your” before redemption, when the Latin is there for any first year student to see), and the confused antecedent of the Advent I Prayer after Communion?

        Take a look at next week’s Preface of Christ the King in which three Latin datives which, since the Preface’s promulgation by Pius XI, has been translated “to your infinite (or perhaps unbounded) Majesty,” has been mistranslated, almost amusingly, “to the immensity of your Majesty” (the dative mistranslated as a genitive suggesting an obese potentate!). Or Eucharistic Prayer II’s “adstare coram te,” “to stand (and not just stare but adstare, mind you!) before you” which becomes “to be” – reportedly because one Eminence did not want a translation “in the most exact way” (LA, 51) to be used as an excuse by the recalcitrant not to kneel after the Consecration.

        We’d expect such sloppiness or, in your opinion perhaps heterodoxy, from those ’73 Modernists, but not after 25 years, 7,000 experts, and the supervision of Pell-Moroney-Ward-Johnson! As today’s gospel might suggest, a rather poor return on a substantially serious investment.

      2. I’m not particularly a fan of more than three or four persons on a committee to decide anything. Officially, somewhere around 1981 we changed the consecration of the Precious Blood from “which is shed for you and for all men” to simply “for all” and now “for many.” But I can remember simply striking “men” with a black pen from the sacramentary around 1981 I think until we got the new missal in 1985. So who’s to say we won’t have a new missal in 2017 with all the glorious corrections you point out and thus another “corrected” missal? These books last about 5 to 7 years with daily use. So make friends with the powers to be and get your “corrected” accuracies reimplemented.

      3. But that’s just the point, Father: what I’ve pointed out are not MY “corrected” accuracies, they’re what the Latin says, objectively speaking. Which, unless, I’m mistaken, was the point of Liturgiam authenticam, and is supposed to be the guarantee of the “confirmatio.” Doesn’t anyone find it odd, at best, or even somewhat scandalous, that after so much work, consultation, and formal approbation, such inaccuracies should still remain? Different from those of ’73 to be sure, but still real (unless my readings of LA and of the Latin editio typica are erroneous).

      4. M. Jackson – no one says anything because we all know that the 1998 addressed most of what you say but Rome illegally cancelled it in a power move.

        Fr. Allan – the “many” to “all” – we have cited that numerous times on this blog – Paul VI approved this change in the 1970’s and it was published for the whole church in the Notitiandae. Obviously, a remnant was not happy with this papal approval and have continued to push for a reactive move.

  8. “Ten or fifteen years” That’s laughable. 🙂

    This ‘translation’ has already passed its sell-by, best-before, use-before and display-until date.

    To seek to apply the turn-the-other-cheek ethic of Jesus to justify institutional abuse of this kind and on this scale is a complete misreading of the Gospel.

      1. Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Not in this case. Read Jack Feehily ‘s post below referring to the repudiation, undermining and replacement of that essential aspect of the church: collegiality. That is the nub of the abuse. Let’s call a spade a spade!

  9. Re. Paul Inwood’s comment, no.23 above:

    The Roman Missal Collect for Advent I is weak in comparison with, for instance, the Collect for Advent I in the Anglican Prayer Book with its great Pauline overtones.

    The Roman Collect’s image of “run forth, etc” is in need of amplification/clarification and, at least to UK ears, it may have a slightly comic ring.

    This Collect sems to have been inspired by Matthew 25:31-46, the Parable of the sheep and goats, as the references to “right hand” and “heavenly kingdom” suggest.

    “Run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds” could be improved on with little more amplification than is already present elsewhere in the new prayers.

    How about this?

    Almighty God,
    grant that your faithful people may be eager
    to meet the Advent of your Christ
    by devoting themselves to the works of justice,
    so that, being placed at his right hand
    they may receive and possess the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Through …

    Alan Griffiths

  10. ICEL was established by the English speaking bishops of the world as authorized by SC. Up until a while back we had something going called collegiality by which all of the bishops of the world with and under the bishop of Rome have responsibility for governing the church. The principle of subsidiarity is what justified ICEL’s translation of the all the rites it was commissioned to come up with by the Bishops. ICEL knew that it was up to the bishops to approve, disapprove, or amend. It was the bishops who got slapped by the Vatican along with ICEL. It was a disgrace.

  11. Father Allan said see how the revision will play out in ten or fifteen years

    The basic institutional procedural flaw that needs to be changed is the notion that we can have only one Missal in use at a given time, that we spend a decade or more constructing a new Missal without trying it out extensively among the people, and then we spring it upon the people (warts and all) to be used for a few decades until we repeat the same flawed processes.

    The very simple solution is to authorize continued use of the current (soon to become Old) Missal along with the New Missal so that priests and parishes can chose between them. If the New Missal replaces the Old through the choice of priests and people based on their experience with both then we would know we are going in the right direction. In the meanwhile everyone would be using an approved text (Old or New).

    The 1998 Missal ought to be regarded as a work in progress and be authorized for alternative use (parishes could use it but would not be obligated to use it) in those dioceses which agreed to work with a committee to revise and improve it. In this case there could be ongoing revision and modification of the prayers by the Revision Committee working with priests in the parishes. In other words, we would be collecting data and revising for some years (e.g. three to five) before potentially authorizing a Revised 1998 Missal to join the Old and New Missals.

    The present flawed top down total change procedure guarantees us endless mediocrity, liturgical wars, and extensive local modifications according to the whims of priests.

    1. Your method Jack, will really tie people to a missalette that they’ll have to follow, especially the “and also with you” or “and with your spirit” not to mention the Confiteor, Gloria, Creed, and Sanctus. I still cannot lead the new Gloria from memory when spoken or sung whereas I could with the former. My memorizing process with the new parts means that I have to totally forgot the old that I have ingrained in my memory because it interferes with memorizing the new. It would be very hard to memorize two versions of the same prayer, although most priests have done it with the Glory to the Father…which is different in the Liturgy of the Hours compared to the popular recitation of most laity/clergy of it during the Rosary.
      Another language though is altogether different, for instance a parish that has Spanish and English or English and Latin.
      But could you imagine two forms of Spanish in the same parish especially for those whose Spanish is a second language?

      1. It might be a good idea to get priests and people off of autopilot, especially the priests.

        One priest locally says the Canon, I suspect in large part because he has it memorized, in the same “preachy” style that he gives the homily. I don’t feel we are praying; I feel he is preaching the Canon. At Christmas and Easter he sings the Canon quite beautifully, and more especially very, very prayerfully. He confessed to me that that is probably because he does not do it often and so therefore he is very conscious of what he is doing.

        Personally I do not have the aversion that some liturgists have about texts; that probably comes from praying the Divine Office (even though now I listen to the Divine Office on the Internet). I often bring a Psalter to Mass to keep my mind from wondering.

      2. Jack – most of my liturgical teachers made that principle over and over…the reformed liturgy of Vatican II attempted to empower both presider and liturgy directors to invest time, effort, and study so that the pre-Vatican II low mass style would go away. Unfortunately, this was never effectively modeled or taught by our bishops.

        This principle was lived out by moving away from missalettes; active dialogue, movement, etc.

        Despite Fr. Allan’s short lived experience, this new translation will jerk folks back to burying their noses into some type of worship aid? Is that really the purpose of our liturgical ritual?

      3. Jeffrey,

        I did pause for just a second over that word, but the outdoors and putting in bulbs was a greater priority this afternoon. A lot of time my mind wanders at Mass because I am wondering about something, and the psalms bring be back to more liturgical wandering and wondering.

        Btw, when I was tested in high school, I got a 50 percentile on clerical ability. When I proof read I always see what I intended to write rather than what I have actually written. I often have to read things many times to actually see an error.

      4. Bill,

        It is probably the intellectual in me. I like books, and visual materials.

        I rarely went to any meeting without a loose leaf booklet full of charts, graphs, statistics, articles, quotes, etc. all the resources I might need for the meeting, even if I was not in charge of the meeting.

        So I just like a lot of resources at Mass, texts, music, pictures.

        Guess, I don’t like the idea of the priest and music director having control of all the resources.

      5. Thanks, Jack….let me clarify…..all for week-end liturgy order – list of music; readings, etc.

        Obviously, use of a music book

        But, have trouble when proclamations (readings, prayers, EP, etc.) are completely printed so folks read along. Certain music books have the readings, EPs, prayers available for those who can not hear well or need to read along.

        Having folks all bury heads into books for the complete liturgy minimizes the liturgy.

      6. I don’t follow along in the missalette for the EPs anymore (I did when I was much younger), but I do try to for the collect and the post-communion prayer. I might read along during the First and Second Readings, but I don’t for the Gospel.

        I find the collect, the super oblata, and the post-communion prayers to be the easiest to zone out during, simply because they often seem (to me) to be read unceremoniously, without drawing any sort of attention to their texts. That’s not my experience with the Gospel (or the other readings… sometimes) or the Eucharistic Prayer.

        I don’t particularly feel like I’m missing out when I read along (I read along as a child specifically so I wouldn’t miss out), nor that I’m minimizing my participation when I’m doing so.

      7. Since one of the parishes where I go has a sung EP, I now sing the EP mentally all the time, even when at other parishes it is not sung. Since I don’t have a written text I lag behind the priest sufficiently that I am picking up the text from him rather than from a book.

        I use a similar method in mentally singing the psalms, especially while walking outdoors. There I will look down at the text in the book, then sing a line mentally twice usually in two different voices, sometimes the second is polyphonic. Chanted “lectio divina???”

        I read somewhere that some Jews say their prayers twice. The first time to get into the prayer; the second time to really pray.

        It would be good if we allowed sufficient silent prayer time before the collect, super oblata, and post-communion for people to either pray those texts mentally or use their texts to suggest their own prayer.

      8. Jack, you reminded me of something I didn’t include in my comment. I find myself paying much closer attention (and not needing the missalette) when the prayers are sung. This is not because it’s harder to understand the prayers when sung, but because their being sung seems to me to demand more attention be paid to them! They seem more important as prayers when they’re sung.

        To me, at least.

  12. A good number of people have arrogated term “Traditional Latin Mass”, or TLM, to describe some version of the Tridentine Mass. I think this is unjust to the Novus Ordo in Latin, which is just as traditional.

    Nonetheless, why don’t we follow in their footsteps and adopt the term “Traditional English Mass” (or TEM) to describe the English liturgy still in use?

  13. Jeffrey,

    The opening rite may take one of the following forms.

    The emphasized word is the crucial one. That is in no way mutually exclusive. It’s merely suggesting what might happen.

  14. Bizarre. The blog is playing up again. My response to Jeffrey, which should have come in as # 43, instead went in at # 35 (where no one will see it) and bumped everything else up by one. No doubt this post will do the same sort of thing.

    1. PI -You are right. The method of bumping entries along on the blog is very confusing. One goes to read a given comment only to discover that it started out as, say #27, but then it became #44, and now it’s #13. One has to scour the entire run of comments each time to find a given one which should stay put. It’s a pain to have to do this every time. (Is it possible that some internet folk are having loads of fun sowing confusion? [No!….. surely Not!!!])

  15. Just discovered that the new trans is coming to Japan as well, in two weeks time! There has been absolutely no preparation as far as I know. Heaven knows what my Filipino, Nigerian and Chinese hearers will make of it.

  16. Bill deHaas :
    M. Jackson – no one says anything because we all know that the 1998 addressed most of what you say but Rome illegally cancelled it in a power move.
    Fr. Allan – the “many” to “all” – we have cited that numerous times on this blog – Paul VI approved this change in the 1970’s and it was published for the whole church in the Notitiandae. Obviously, a remnant was not happy with this papal approval and have continued to push for a reactive move.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    I have not seen the much vaunted 1998 Missal. Is it, in fact, flawless? How might I study it. Is it in print? One could be forgiven if he concluded that Rome is incapable of producing a smart, highly literate, Latin-faithful, English-artful, theologically complete in reference to the mother tongue, with intelligently adapted biblical allusions and references, all couched in a language as rich and (pace) sacral as its Latin counterpart. The ’73 is an utter failure in all the above, but none here seem bothered by that: nay, they like it. The 2011 is a superb attempt in the right direction, but is burdened by some measure of poorly constructed grammar by persons who, it seems, wanted to craft a rich and sacral, an heiratic, English but, alas, proved to be mere amateurs unsuited to the task. (They would have done better to borrow Cranmer and use modern pronouns.) This leaves the ’98, which I have not seen and can’t, therefore speak of. Is it, in fact, flawless? It probably isn’t – if it were, it would be a unique achievement in the…

    1. Anglophone Catholic world. And, I am inclined to think that the reasons that it did not come to fruition were probably not as much due to court intrigue as has been suggested. (Though, where humans are involved, at least a sniff of perfidy will invade almost everyone’s camp. None are exempt.) But were the gentlemen at Rome really as nefarious as they have been painted? Or are they just being scorned because certain ones of us don’t like what they did and don’t like the style of what we got because it isn’t as presumptuously casual and denuded of imagery as the one they are accustomed to? The ’73 is a very inadequate instrument of worship, sacrifice, and spirituality. The 2010, if its detractors are half right seems to me to be a far better and more richly Catholic work in spite of an unfortunate and inept construction here and there.

      Something else is at work here: I have read of no priests who are embarassed to read and pray the denuded collects in the ’73. I haven’t heard of them getting out pens to write in missing Biblical references in prayers and collects. And so forth… The faults of one are ignored when they aren’t actually defended, while those of the other are beyond the pale. There is an irregular standard of judgment here, and our new translation is purposely being given short shrift and even, by some, self-admitted and shameless sabotage.

      Where can I obtain a copy of the 1998 – does IT have any ‘howlers’?

  17. In his very detailed analysis of the Collect for the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Fr Zuhlsdorf notes correctly the uncommon use of “if” in the Latin original:
    Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster,
    in tua semper devotione gaudere,
    quia perpetua est et plena felicitas,
    si bonorum omnium iugiter serviamus auctori.

    The ’73 simply paraphrases. But Father Z says of the 2010
    Vox Clara version: “I won’t give this rendering high marks” because it completely misses the condition, the IF, on which our eternal happiness depends:
    Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
    the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
    for it is full and lasting happiness
    to serve with constancy
    the author of all that is good.

    Indeed, he gives a higher grade to the 1998 version whose “only” sort of communicates the IF of the Latin original:
    Gracious Lord and God,
    grant that we may always take delight in your service,
    for only through our faithfulness to you,
    the author of every good,
    will full and lasting happiness be ours.

    But later, in the comment box, an astute reader points out to Fr Z that 2008 GETS IT EXACTLY RIGHT:

    Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
    always to rejoice in devotion to you,
    since happiness is full and lasting
    if we constantly serve the author of all that is good.

    The reader notes that 2008 is “both accurate and elegant,” and asks: “I wonder what could possibly have been the rationale for the changes that resulted in the final version?”

    Here’s the money line:

    Fr. Z responds: “Perhaps someone had a ‘monsignor moment.'”

    BRAVO, Fr Z!!!!

    Now who could that erudite Monsignor be, who takes yet another 2008 “accurate and elegant” translation and turns it into a Vox Clara clunker?

    1. You showcase my point about how Fr. Z makes his points which is a lesson that would be well-learned by posters and commenters here. While he might jab in the side, he doesn’t poke in the eye or use sophomoric name calling to settle scores.
      But with that said, Fr. Z has been lamenting for years the drastically incorrect equivalency translation of the 1973 missal, not just in terms of a horrifically flat translation, but also the outright wrong theology and spirituality of that English in terms of the meaning that we convey to God in prayer and thus malformed ourselves in the process. The errors of inelegance in the 2010 compared to the 2008 or even the 1998 are small peanuts when compared to the 1973 and 1985 no matter how rushed the poor ICEL of that period was or how “literalistic” they were with the equivalency method ICEL of that period turned into a fiasco. But the bottom line, I suspect that we’ll get another corrected missal, but very slightly so, in about seven to ten years on the scale of the 1985 corrected missal. I just thank God that the 1985 corrected missal is just about obsolete and a new corrected missal that needs a bit more correction has debuted and is debuting! And as we say in the south, you can attract more flies with honey rather than vinegar when proposing legitimate changes. But we also say don’t throw out the ointment just because there is a fly in it, simply scoop it out! But the 1985 missal is infested with maggots and our southern method won’t work well on that, you need a complete new jar of ointment! 🙂

    2. “While he might jab in the side, he doesn’t poke in the eye”

      Really? You must have been reading some other Father Z ….!

      I just continue to be amazed that anyone who knows the work that went in to one rejected translation and the botched corrections visited upon another translation ten years later by clearly incompetent people could ponder the Holy See’s granting of the “confirmatio” – how? by laziness, incompetence, arrogance (remember the ultrapolite “Areas of Difficulty” paper?) – and just shrug it off with the tired old “at least it’s not the old ICEL.”

      I do understand, however, that that “at least” is a most politically prudential alternative to the “if only” approach.

      Just ask Father Ruff and Canon Griffiths.

      1. Life is not fair, the God we proclaim after Vatican II is not primarily the God of justice, but rather of mercy even to the incompetent and sometimes the way things are, are the way they are. I think it is called two things, Original Sin and Actual Sin with the latter having two categories, venial and mortal. But of course if one doesn’t know a mortal sin is a mortal sin, for them it is only venial. But those schooled in the coloring book catechetics of the spirit of Vatican II probably don’t know any of these things and are mercifully not held responsible for their actions in term of mortal sin. And for this poor southern priest who has been illicitly praying the corrected translation since September with not one person howling in the congregation by what they are hearing, saying and singing, I would have to say that the academics who are so stressed out by the “at least it’s not the 1985 translation” should go on vacation, see a therapist and get a life! 🙂 But at the same time, I don’t want to wear out my southern graciousness, a word I really like that is so abundant in the corrected translation.

      2. About that thankfully rejected translation, I found informative the following recent Crisis Mag comment by Tony Esolen:

        The thing I keep hearing is this: “If only the bad ol’ Polish Pope had approved the 1998 revisions!” Waaaal, I asked the great Father Zuhlsdorf to send me a copy of that 1998 missal. What I found was most interesting. They had indeed redone the collects and prefaces, so they were superior to the 1973 text – which isn’t saying much, since in 1973 they gutted those prayers; there is absolutely no justification on any grounds for what they did to the “propers”. And yet – the 1998 translators left the ordinary of the Mass almost entirely untouched! The truncated Gloria was still in place. So too the truncated Confiteor. So too the freeze-dried Eucharistic prayers (with an occasional reference to holiness restored, but still, most such references remained in oblivion). So too the muffed words of the centurion. It was wholly inadequate, actually an act of intransigent disobedience. AND some new absurdities were introduced. “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.” “A human being saves the human family,” for the Latin salvatio hominis per hominem. In other words, the translators were carrying water for the feminists. I am deeply grateful that Rome shredded it.

        What a standard for comparison! Ought we not be grateful that the Church’s official new translation “corrected” 2008 rather than 1998?

      3. Father, you are so amazing in so many ways, and I have no doubt that you are helping very many souls get to heaven. I do appreciate the humour (“poor Southern priest” and the image of anyone in your congregation daring to whisper, let alone howl!); but, gracious me, I, for one, blessed with some very dear, life-long Traditional Catholic friends in Savannah and also immigrant-now-citizen relatives in North Carolina, would never accuse you of Southern graciousness, Father – EVER!

      4. That translation I was using in terms of describing myself as southern and gracious wasn’t completely literal, but equivalent as the dynamic literal should have read, poor southern priest (from southern Italy, Napoli to be explicit) and thus a whole different take on graciousness, no?

  18. Until M. Jackson above, I’ve never heard anyone suggest that English speakers have not been able to pray as the church believes because of the alleged deficiencies of the ’73 translation. This is nonsense and calumny. It accorded well with the principles of translation as approved by the Holy See and all the episcopal conferences. I attribute to his declining health the mistake made by John Paul II in permitting the palace coup that gave us the impoverished LA. Whatever happened to the church’s version of stare decisis?

    As I read certain comments on this blog, I find myself unable to avoid this conclusion: There is a powerful minority that reject the call of SC to reform and renew the Church’s rites of worship so as to promote the right and obligation of the baptized to a full, conscious, and active participation that involves cognition and comprehension. Many of them are offended by all those Communion ministers that bring sometimes questionably clad men and women into the sanctuary so they oppose or discourage Communion under both forms as a norm for Sunday Eucharist. They insist that The Sacrifice of the Mass must be offered in accordance with strict rubrics that ignore any other purpose but the consecration of the elements. What need is there for a language that is accessible and edifying for the 99% of the faithful who are also offering the Mass with, in, and through the dying and rising Lord. No, they want a beautiful theater piece in which the clergy get all the choicest parts. They count on the compliance of a passive faithful who will be credited with fidelity and loyalty. The rest of us will be dismissed as dissenters hell bound on leading the faithful astray. I will pray what I am able to pray. I will pray as the church clearly believes. I will use texts that have enjoyed the approval of our shepherds.

    1. ” I attribute to his declining health the mistake made by John Paul II in permitting the palace coup…”

      Bravo Jack, I absolutely agree!

      It’s been my experience w/ patients with Parkinsons that many in the course of their disease will have cognitive changes and a person who may have had an outgoing personality may develop a tendency to become combative and inflexible. They sometimes have to heavily depend on others to make sense of a situation because they are unable to process the information.
      It seems to me that is exactly what happened to JPII and I divide it into two phases. before 1998 and after 1998.
      When you look at the first half of his pontificate he was actually outgoing and quite charismatic. I remember during this time the church actually shifted to the left a bit. Even when he was lectured about female priests in Chicago he laughed and paraphrasing him “It’s a long road to Tiperari”! If that happened today to B16, I shudder to think what would happen…
      Then around 1998 as his disease progressed he started relying heavily on outside “advice” and of course there were many all too eager to give it. As proof, he wanted to retire before the 2000 Jubilee year celebrations. Now for him to want to retire there had to be a reason. I believe it was because he recognized a decline in his cognitive change, as many do. But you know who told him he couldn’t, he must continue on, popes don’t retire.
      You can follow the progression toward a “circle the wagon” mentality, including his absence while the church in Boston melted down from the sex abuse scandal. I think he was unable to process this and understand the situation so he relied on “others”, you know the players, including Sodano et al and I think in the end it caused him to despair (and the church in Boston).

      So we have pope I JP II and II JP II who was taken advantage of to dump the 1998 translation, circle the wagons, organize a secretive Vox Clara, no consultations then shove it down our throats. That’s my opinion.

  19. Jack Rakosky :
    Btw, when I was tested in high school, I got a 50 percentile on clerical ability. When I proof read I always see what I intended to write rather than what I have actually written. I often have to read things many times to actually see an error.

    Ever thought of working for Vox Clara?

  20. Henry Edwards :
    About that thankfully rejected translation, I found informative the following recent Crisis Mag comment by Tony Esolen:
    The thing I keep hearing is this: “If only the bad ol’ Polish Pope had approved the 1998 revisions!” Waaaal, I asked the great Father Zuhlsdorf to send me a copy of that 1998 missal. What I found was most interesting. They had indeed redone the collects and prefaces, so they were superior to the 1973 text – which isn’t saying much, since in 1973 they gutted those prayers; there is absolutely no justification on any grounds for what they did to the “propers”. And yet – the 1998 translators left the ordinary of the Mass almost entirely untouched! The truncated Gloria was still in place. So too the truncated Confiteor. So too the freeze-dried Eucharistic prayers (with an occasional reference to holiness restored, but still, most such references remained in oblivion). So too the muffed words of the centurion. It was wholly inadequate, actually an act of intransigent disobedience. AND some new absurdities were introduced. “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.” “A human being saves the human family,” for the Latin salvatio hominis per hominem. In other words, the translators were carrying water for the feminists. I am deeply grateful that Rome shredded it.
    What a standard for comparison! Ought we not be grateful that the Church’s official new translation “corrected” 2008 rather than 1998?

    Only comments with a full name will…

    1. Henry Edwards – this is revealing! Though I am just beginning to get into this 1998 translation, your quotes above say much for why it has such appeal to certain people within our Church. Indeed, there has been a curious silence about such ‘howlers’ as ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth’. How transparent indeed is the agenda being served here. And with what a dull and artless construction. Likewise this, devoid of elegance and rhythm: ‘a human being saves the human family’. If such language as this is what is being extolled over 2010 we are fortunate that was not ‘imposed’.

      It is becoming difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Catholic Church really has no idea of how to craft an English liturgy that is fine, impeccable English, and faithful to the richness and grace of its Latin progenitor. Alas! Cranmer showed the way. We do not have to have Tudor English; but surely the wondrous style, richness, grace and rhythm could be fashioned within a highly literate modern English?

    2. I think we’re using the term “howler” differently. I take it to mean a glaring, embarassing error, a mistake based on lack of knowledge, or sloppiness, or whatever. It’s not something I oppose, however strongly.

      “Peace to God’s people on earth” isn’t a mistake. It’s a perfectly legitimate translation, and there is reason not to use “his” because that isn’t in the Latin. One may agree or disagree on this very difficult issue – I happen not to like “God’s people” and prefer “his people.”

      But “God’s people” isn’t a howler such as we’ve been seeing in the coming translation where glaring mistakes have been made.

      awr

      1. But if that’s not a “howler” than neither is the subject of this post… not including a parallelism is not “a glaring, embarassing error, a mistake based on lack of knowledge, or sloppiness, or whatever”. Yes, LA says that paralellism’s should be preserved, but as Xavier Rindfleisch writes, “we’ve recaptured devotioni concedis by pretending that celebrare is in the Latin, but lost completely the really meaningful parallel of “temporal / eternal” which actually is in the Latin!” Which seems to be a judgment call about what is most meaningful in the prayer and not prima facie “howling” error.

        There should hardly be howling at “the utterly hideous, if not
        faintly comical, ‘here below,'” which is well known in English hymnody from the “Doxology” or “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” written by the nonjuring bishop Thomas Ken.

      2. This is quite the breakthrough!

        Samuel J. Howard championing a paraphrase (“here below”) rather than a translation (“temporal”).

        Not to mention the importing of phrases from non-Catholic sources (something else Liturgiam authenticam is none-too-fond of, cf. #40).

        Maybe an end even greater than that of the 73 Sacramentary and of the Liturgical Year is at hand!

      3. Saying something is not “utterly hideous” nor “faintly comical” is different than “championing” it.

        On the other hand, let’s look at what L.A. #40 actually says:

        On the other hand, great caution is to be taken to avoid a wording or style that the Catholic faithful would confuse with the manner of speech of non-Catholic ecclesial communities or of other religions, so that such a factor will not cause them confusion or discomfort.

        Are you really saying that the phrase “here below” will “confuse” “the Catholic faithful” “with the manner of speech of non-Catholic ecclesial communities” or are you just blowing smoke?

      4. In the translation of this prayer, the Vox Clara Pell-Moroney-Ward-Johnson Missal violates the prescriptions of nn. 20 and 57 (a) of Liturgiam authenticam. Not a personal opinion, a demonstrable fact.

        The smoke being blown around here is being blown around by the Vox Clara cheerleaders who are at a loss, it seems, to explain how a Curial Congregation could grant the confirmatio to a text which violates the directives promulgated by the same Congregation and published at the express directive of the Holy Father.

        Remember: I’m no champion of ’73 or ’98. Consult my articles in this blog’s archives: I’ve only pointed out the mistranslations from the Latin, deviations from prescribed norms, and fracturing of English grammar and syntax and asked how, after dozens of pages alerting the Holy See to these facts, the Missal about to be implemented with most of these flaws intact obtained the “confirmatio”. And why, after one of the poor Holy Father’s many “what a wonderful example of collegiality this new Missal is”, some bishop who does NOT have his eye on his next promotion hasn’t said to the Pope or at least Monsignor Georg, “Uh . . . hmm . . . you know actually . . . ” and then told him the truth.

        Not fair questions?

      5. And why, after one of the poor Holy Father’s many “what a wonderful example of collegiality this new Missal is”, some bishop who does NOT have his eye on his next promotion hasn’t said to the Pope or at least Monsignor Georg, “Uh . . . hmm . . . you know actually . . . ” and then told him the truth.

        Yes, why don’t people speak out, stake their reputations regardless of the potential consequences to their careers, and tell the truth as they see it? I’ve certainly thought about that question (small though my career is)… and chosen one way. You’re probably a good person to ask about why some people have chosen the other way, no?

      6. Ah Samuel . . . I’d almost forgotten . . . you were getting so scholarly and spiritual on me there for a moment . . . I had almost forgotten the snark that lurks just below, but not too far below, the surface. Good on you for reminding me of the long tradition in the Church which you represent: ask no questions . . . or else.

        Got it, Samuel.

        And it seems I’ve gotten to you, too. Good on me! 🙂

  21. While reviewing the 98 tranlsations take a look at “Observations” of ICEL’s translation of the Ordination Rites from those years and what were not only “Howlers” but a grossly mistranslated work often not resembling the Latin and in other areas completely inventing, or substituting new words where a perfectly clear English translation is available. Priest replaced with Presbyter for example. So ICEL is not the apex in translating authorities and when left alone to do the job produced something that was so highly defective it was yanked pretty fast in Vatican terms. The letter and critique of the translation job was from ArchBishop Medina Estevez.http://www.wf-f.org/CritiqueOrdRitual1997.pdf

    1. Sorry, Mitch, apples and oranges. The ICEL to whose work on the Ordination Rites you refer was completely reconstituted in terms of its statutes, organizational set-up, etc., and the personnel entirely replaced, before work began on the 2008 translation. The ICEL that produced 2008 were a group of scholars and pastors who had the full and formal approval (“Nihil obstat”) of the Holy See, as I understand it.

      Do you really mean to imply that Monsignors Harbert and Wadsworth and their colleagues are the same people who “when left alone to to the job produced something so highly defective it was yanked pretty fast in Vatican terms”? I think not.

      Even Father Zuhlsdorf applauds the work the 2008 ICEL did on the most recent Collect he examined, that of the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time; and when a reader asked why anyone (i.e., Vox Clara) would redo something as “accurate and elegant” as the 2008 version so that the 2010 version became the final one, Fr Z suggested that the cause was “perhaps a ‘monsignor moment.'”

      So your referenced Vatican critique of the previous ICEL’s work just doesn’t apply to 2008. And the “Monsignor Moment” belongs to the Vox Clara gang.

    2. Mitch is pointing out that criticisms of the 1997 ICEL translators would seem to be relevant to the capacities of the 1998 ICEL translators:

      While reviewing the 98 tranlsations take a look at “Observations” of ICEL’s translation of the Ordination Rites from those years [sic., except my emphasis]

      He says nothing about the 2008 translators.

      1. If there was no such implication, then the observation was to what purpose?

        Come on, Samuel. Please.

      2. If there was no such implication, then the observation was to what purpose?

        Come on, Samuel. Please.

        The thread is difficult to follow because it has been jumbled by the blog software, but look at “Fr. Jim Blue on November 12, 2011 – 9:09 pm,” “Bill deHaas on November 13, 2011 – 10:24 am,” and “Jack Rakosky on November 13, 2011 – 1:51 pm” for discussion of the 1998 translation (and suggestions for among other things making 1998 the basis for the next English translation.)

        So the purpose of his discussion of the 1997 translation of the ordination rite and suggestion that it is the same team as the 1998 translation of the Missal seems to be discussion of the 1998 translation.

        This has nothing to do with the 2008 translation and so your comment:

        Sorry, Mitch, apples and oranges. The ICEL to whose work on the Ordination Rites you refer was completely reconstituted in terms of its statutes, organizational set-up, etc., and the personnel entirely replaced, before work began on the 2008 translation.

        has nothing to do with what Mitch wrote. I’m not endorsing his argument–or repudiating it–but it’s not “apples and oranges”.

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