Many of us had been wondering when Fr. Z would comment on the “Missal Mess” – the name of his blog, after all, is What Does The Prayer Really Say?. Now we’re happy to see Fr. Z’s commentary – including some very good advice for the Vatican liturgy office. Excerpt:
If – quod Deus avertat – the Congregation makes a hash of the new translation, they will quite simply be a laughing stock.
And I welcome the folks from the Congregation reading this who are now paying much closer attention.
This is a fast communication age. Information now gets around the globe in less time than a Vatican mandarin can stir sugar into a demitasse.
For those of you in higher roles in the Roman Curia, there is something called “the I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T.” To learn more about this “internet,” stop the first 19 year-old who walks by the big open door to the piazza out there and ask him to show you his phone. If he is busy, talk to your 10 year old niece.
If the Congregation itself – or those to whom work is farmed out – make a mess of the new translation, everyone whose opinion they care about behind closed doors will hold them in derision.
Think about it: Latin might be on the ropes, but even if only a half dozen people who read Latin as well as I do start comparing their versions to the crowbar of a “slavishly literal version,” the Congregation will lose its moral capital.
That’s not all.
Eventually the names of everyone involved will come out.
There is plenty of derision available, by the way. Consider.
This is no longer an age in which shoddy work goes unnoticed. Do a hatchet job on the new translation and your deeply held ideological conviction about what the translation ought to have been apart from the norms will be but cold comfort when the blogosphere and journals are done with you.
Therefore, I gently suggest everyone try to do their very best.
Another thing. People might begin to wonder which official in the Congregation would be in a place to coordinate the grunt work and, if necessary, ward off potential embarrassments… or not. It is possible that someone who believes he knows better has turned this into his own project without adequate consideration for the possible contributions of others?