New missal in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story today on the USCCB-FDLC workshop on the new English missal being held today in Milwaukee. PrayTell is working on finding out how the meeting goes.


  1. Hmmm. I guess the reporter couldn’t find any parish priests with a positive view of the new translation, just a spokesman from the Archdiocese.

    On a more hopeful note, the few comments posted so far reflect a very positive, supportive view. Perhaps the Milwaukee clergy will learn from their pew-sitters?!

  2. I recently led an overview session of the new translation. Overall, the response was anything but positive. I too am very disheartened by these new prayers. While there are a few improvements, most of the prayers are clunky, repetitive, and hardly poetic. I am dishertened to think that these will be the prayers of the church. One parishoner asked at the end of the session,”are we stuck with this?” What a mess.

  3. Greetings,

    I am currently attending that confernece in Milwaukee and it has been very positive. We have only had 2 sessions today. The article talks about music, but that has not even been discussed yet. In fact, most of the quotes are about topics not yet discussed. I don’t know who they are quoting. The talks today were good, but tomorrow they will be more practical. The article clearly is not about the conference, but about an agenda of the author.


  4. About 35 of 42 comments to that article were positive towards the new translation or negative towards the “innovations” of Vatican II not found in the Vatican II documents.

    1. Negative toward the ‘innovations’ not found in the Vatican II documents: Let me guess. They’re hopping mad that Rome has taken over the translation process when Vatican II explicitly said that bishops approve translations, and the Holy See merely confirms that the bishops have followed appropriate procedure – right? They see the whole translation process as totally invalid because it’s not what the Vatican II documents say – is that it? As true Vatican II literalists, they don’t see how they can accept the new missal – yes?

      Or, is it that those objecting to unfounded innovations are rather selective in their obedience to the letter of the Council?


      1. Fr. Anthony,
        My understanding is the Canon 838 supercedes parts of Sac. Conc. 36, so those more legalistic parts of the Constitution don’t have to be followed.

      2. Fr. Anthony wrote “Vatican II explicitly said that bishops approve translations, and the Holy See merely confirms that the bishops have followed appropriate procedure …”

        You will have to go back to Paul VI with that complaint and the period leading to the earlier missals that followed Vatican II. Sacram Liturgiam, issued January 25, 1964. states that “various [vernacular] versions [of liturgical texts] proposed by the competent territorial bishops’ conference must always be reviewed and approved by the Holy See”. Sacram Liturgiam came only a month after Vatican II’s Const. on the Liturgy. It appears that the contemporary Holy See is simply implementing the norms used since 1964. Perhaps Rome is taking her role more seriously than she had done before but the papal interpretation of the Const. on the S. Liturgy appears to be consistent since 1964.

  5. Nothing is easier than to get a claque to applaud a mediocre work. These self-proclaimed “young” Catholics who greet this translation, probably without looking at it carefully, are likely to rue their rash enthusiasm when they and their children have to live with the consequences over the next decade or so, until the ghastly text is eventually dropped.

  6. “Anytime there are changes, people go through the process of being angry and sad,” he said. “But the church has been changing forever. It’s a dynamic, living organism.”

    These talking points have been trotted out by countless church spokesmen, but they imply that critics of the new translation are morons clinging to dead habit. The spokesmen would do better to point out the postive merit of the new translation. The only ones to attempt this are Bp Serratelli and Msgr Harbert, with totally unconvincing effect.

    1. Well, I for one was pretty convinced by Bp Serratelli. With very few exceptions, in what I have seen, the new translation is more prayerful, uplifting and sounds more “sacred”. Months of reading this blog have not convinced me of the deficiencies so troubling to most of the commentators here.

      1. John, Keep in mind that Bp Serratelli has been citing the version of the text the US bishops submitted. Vox Clara has made over 10,000 changes to this text, many of them making it unfaithful to the Latin and/or inelegant English. We don’t know what on earth Rome is doing during this very long delay – they said they’d be issuing the final text soon after the presentation to the Pope last April. If the Vox Clara problems end up in our final text, some of what Bp Saratelli has said or written will no longer be accurate.

      2. I’m sure that the request to drink the Kool-Aid in Guyana sounded quite “sacred” to those present…why do the hierarchs continue to think we need to pray and celebrate and communicate in garbled English so “God will understand”…maybe it’s considered “speaking in tongues”??

  7. All this belly-aching…why?
    I’ll give you my “take”: the “establishment” of the liturgical elite are royally ticked off that Rome (that bastion of monarchical, medieval horror of horrors) has actually “put their foot down” and provided a reliable, faithful translation of the Latin edition.
    Enough of this wailing; “just do it”.
    Sorry if I sound harsh and unyielding; I celebrate the OF in English regularly and cannot stand the banal, ‘ga-ga-goo-goo’ translations (I can read the Latin originals) that the laity are subjected to and I, in obedience, must utter, pray, what have you; it’s horrid.
    Okay, my crucifixion has commenced:<)!

  8. Fr. Ruff, please give us, say, ten examples out of the 10,000 you cite as being ‘unfaithful’ or ‘inelegant’. If you can’t do that, give us nine, or eight, or seven. Being unfaithful is demonstrative, inelegant subjective. In fact, it would be better if we would discuss three examples of collects that are unfaithful to the Latin original, or that are ‘inelegant’; then we would get to the heart of your argument. How about three of each that we may explore? Otherwise, your thesis has no supporting evidence.

    1. Christopher, here’s an example that breaks my heart. The collect for St. Benedict quotes the Rule of Benedict, “dilatato corde.” That means a heart which is expanding, enlarging, being filled up. ICEL had “with an open heart,” which is OK. Vox Clara changed it to “with a loving heart.” Where on earth did they get that from? Are they confusing ‘dilatare’ and ‘diligere’ ? People who have seen the entire Vox Clara text say there is a pattern of bleaching out Scriptural and patristic references by mistranslating Latin. Now keep in mind that we don’t yet know whether the Vox Clara text is final and whether our missal will be as bad as Vox Clara is proposing. We’re still waiting.

      1. Anthony,

        Perhaps you don’t want to speculate, but do you have any idea what the motivation is in all this? Up to this point, whatever the problems with the new translations, accuracy has not been a major one. Why now, at the 11th hour, are we getting changes that mis-translate the Latin in very elementary ways?

      2. Fritz, I truly have no idea, and no facts upon which to speculate. This is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. It’s so bizarre that at time I’ve lept to bizarre explanations such as, “Maybe someone wants to torpedo the whole missal project for the good of the Church.” But I truly doubt that’s it. Again, I truly have no idea.

      3. My information tells me that there are also 11th hour changes in the Eucharistic Prayers. They too contain mistranslations which, if done by a schoolboy, would result in “Go away and do this again”. Are we surprised? Chris Grady pointed out on another thread sometime back that the person alleged to be responsible for the new changes is the same one who perpetrated the “habemus episcopam” howler in his diocesan newspaper.

      4. +JMJ+

        “a pattern of bleaching out Scriptural and patristic references by mistranslating Latin”

        That sounds completely indefensible and counterproductive if true.

        For what it’s worth, I heard tell that the text which was presented to Pope Benedict in March/April is the text we’re getting, with only a dozen or so editorial changes.

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