Anyone have any energy left for the missal translation problem? Anyone still hoping for a better outcome? If so, the proposal of PT reader Chris McDonnell merits serious consideration. He wrote to The Tablet last week (see “Letters Extra” online):

Many of us have been highly critical of the new translation of the Mass in recent months, both of the process of preparation of the new texts and of the outcome from those deliberations that has brought us to this point.

This is where we are; the New Translation is in use. Now, how do we manage?

May I suggest a possible way forward? An announcement should be made that the New Translation will be in use for the next five years. During this period, the bishops in the English-speaking world will listen to the objections of everyone involved, both clerical and lay, and accept positive suggestions for improvements, based on experience. A revised translation will be undertaken at the same time, using the three texts we now have available: the one that we had been praying over the last 40 years, that proposed by ICEL in 1998, widely acclaimed, but never introduced, and finally the most recent translation now in use. This should be possible in this time span given all the textual material that already exists.

The resultant text would then be published and offered for discussion and final debate by all before it is approved by the Bishops and then by Rome. This would re-introduce the principle of waiting for informed comment before acceptance, a suggestion first aired by Fr. Michael Ryan in his article in America back in 2010.

I would suggest that now we must have a concrete program that would serve to allay the fears that we will be stuck with this translation for decades or that there might just be another such imposition on us at some time in the future. It would acknowledge, in a positive manner, that all is not well with the new translation and it would bring together the many divergent opinions being expressed into a common cause, unity in our Eucharistic prayer. Is it too much to ask?

Chris McDonnell