The Vatican Translation Code

The Vatican Translation Code, Part A.
The Vatican Translation Code, Part B.

Now here’s an irenic hope: that all sides will like this tale and Pray Tell has helped unite them. Liberals because a sinister plot is uncovered… traditionalists because they support the plot.     – awr


  1. The missile of humor — perhaps just what’s needed. Surely the situation has now become so patently ridiculous that they must change course? Has it not already become a question of saving face?

  2. VERY VERY VERY funny – especially love the Aussie accent (and what he wants!)!

    The thought police were out in force on this blog yesterday, one complaining of disrecpect allegedly shown toward a few other blogs (the ‘New Liturgical BM’ and ‘What Does The Priest Really Do All Day’ in case you missed it) . . . I wonder how they’ll react about all this disrespect shown toward cardinals, archbishops, Vatican translation processes, approved liturgical texts, the ‘more sacral’ words of the Mass and so on. My guess: they’ll say nothing!

    Which reminds me: now that it appears the Congregation has agreed to make ‘some but not necessarily all’ of the changes requested by the US Bishops to the ‘Received Text’ of 2010, when they’re all finished, who’s going to go to the Pope and ask for the big fat white Missal (the then final version they gave him last April at the big Vox Clara lunch, with the gold embossed leather cover, gold-edged pages, ribbons etc) back?

    And can I have it to sell on eBay? Imagine the auction description: ‘Lovely rare white/gold Missal, only one in existence, texts approved by the Vatican but not the same as those currently approved / only one owner / little old man who didn’t even take it to church on Sunday . . . ‘

    1. Chris;

      Yes, this is quite funny! As for your animosity towards NLM and WDTPRS, I’m reminded of a conversation between Kamirovsky and Zhivago (Pasternack’s Dr. Zhivago) concerning ideological opposition:

      K: “I’m in contact with your brother…”
      Z: “Yevgraf?”
      K: “Yes… or should I say I’m in contact with those who are in contact with him. Oh, I disagree with Bolshevism… but I should still admire Bolsheviks as men. Shall I tell you why?”
      Z: “Yes…”
      (Looking cautiously over shoulder)
      K: “Because they may win”.

      Or as has been said “Choose your friends carefully, and your enemies even more so”. Of course, it would be preferable to not set up an oppositional situation at all (this being a Church and all that..) even though I think the time has already passed for that kind of wishful thinking. The only drawback to spending so many years working hard to assert tradionalism in an overwhelmingly progressive Church will be having to endure those working hard to assert progressivism in an overwhelmingly traditional Church. Some ideas don’t lend themselves well to being on the outside.

      1. Just went to one of them – it’s all pictures of food some priest is eating during a vacation to the UK and he’s got an amazon wish list! Sorry padre I gotta feed a family of six and pay the oil bill

      2. I’m glad you pointed this out about WDTPRS. I personally like the NLM, and it presents some interesting photos and thought-provoking essays.

    2. A person with some knowledge of the situation said to me that only the some pages of the presentation copy actually had printed text in it. No one would go to the trouble of actually printing something that wasn’t finished. It was a photo-op ploy apparently. That would probably fetch even more on e-bay. If you look at available images of the so called presentation copy of the feast of Peter and Paul one can read “The Solemn blessing formula on page 000 may be used.” I think I hear the song, “If they can put a man on the moon…”

      1. No, I don’t think so. The Presentation Copy had every text of the missal as re-translated. Many people now have seen this edition, and several bound copies have been made. It is standard to use 000 for page numbers up until the very last moment when it is settled what art and graphics will go where, etc.

      2. Thanks for the clarification Fr. I though the story told me was a bit apocryphal. Yet it still seems questionable to have printed copies for what appears solely to be a photo-op – unless it was actually intended that the texts it contained were “finalized”. How scary! Maybe I’m unclear on a bit of the history, but was the presentation text the ICEL pre 10,000 or post 10,000?

  3. “What message, then, should I take back to my brother bishops?”

    “No prisoners take, Cardinal. No prisoners take.”


  4. Even opposing tackles before 4th and 1 in the NFL occasionally cease and desist hostilities when a truly clever joke or situation bubbles up. We ought to just come to terms with such television time out moments and enjoy each other’s company with guffaws and laughter before digging our cleats in the mud and the clenching of teeth.

  5. AWR;

    I find it rather humorous that you say “A sinister plot is uncovered”… how exactly do you uncover something that is out in plain view? Anglicanorum Coetibus, Summorum Pontificum and the ongoing discussions with the SSPX and the Orthodox Churches are not exactly secrets… they show up on my VIS e-mail updates nearly every day!

  6. See. Listen.
    Birds are chirping, the trout swim in rainbow schools, no emergency sirens are howling, the leaves are golden and waft forever before skimming the ground…..
    PrayTell and Chant Cafe celebrate a small but priceless moment in humorous concord on the same day!
    How long before the pyroplastic cyclones resume?
    Thanks AWR/JT.
    What is it about Boston people? They’re so, um, wry!

    1. Try finding good wry bread here in Boston. It’s downright purgatorial.

      If the South is Christ-haunted, in Flannery O’Connor’s vivid phrase, New England is Word-haunted. A love of word play in the local water.

    1. “As we speak, His Holiness is negotiating an exchange of the faithful. He will attract legions of conservative, affluent Anglicans in exchange for the less desirable, less faithful elements of our own flock. Those kum-ba-yah Catholics will drift over to what is left of the Episcopalian Church. It’s a brilliant scheme, is it not?”

      So, nobody wins?

      1. He has already stated whilst a cardinal that he did not mind those who have a more “pick and mix” attitude to the Catholic Church leaving.

      2. “So, nobody wins?”

        From a liturgical standpoint, Kum-ba-yah Catholics would probably find even the most liberal Episcopal church around here to be too “pre-Vatican II” while the conservative Episcopalians wouldn’t be able to stand the rather low liturgy of many Catholics. So yeah, nobody wins. Of course, the point of a sinister plot isn’t to make everyone happy – that’s why it’s sinister.

        As someone who is probably more of a traddie than many here (and thus, supportive of the sinister plot I suppose), I thought the videos were pretty funny.

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