Letter to the bishops of E&W

“The way we pray forms the way we believe”

The National Pastoral letter from the Bishops of England and Wales on the introduction of the New Missal is, in many ways, a good letter in what it says.

It is the glaring omission that requires comment.

Might we not have expected some tacit acknowledgement of the difficulties experienced by many in recent months as news of the detail reached the people?

The silence of the hierarchy during this time has been deafening, their leadership nominal.

There is almost the feeling in this Pastoral that the storm has blown itself out, now this is what you must do.

The most telling line relates to the Latin adage (which I trust is a literal translation):

“There is an old adage in Latin which states that the way we pray forms the way we believe.  So words and language are important for the  teaching and handing on of the faith.”

Isn’t this precisely the argument that many of us have used in our critical comment of the new translation?

Words do matter, and that is why pain is being felt.

Chris McDonnell, Staffordshire


  1. The same has been the case in Ireland. On 28 February, six members of the Association of Catholic Priest here met with the Worship committee of the Conference of Bishops and pointed out difficulties in the new translation. We were received courteously, and promised a response. That response came on 14 March (http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2011/03/bishops-letter-to-the-acp/). It makes no reference whatever to difficulties pointed out by the Association. One might conclude from the “response” that the ACP is fully behind the translation as it stands. The points put to the Conference have not been addressed in any way. As Pope Benedict might say, “Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort” – no answer is itself an answer. As with the story of hierarchies dealing with reports of abuse of children, there is the appearance of a response, without in fact dealing with the issues.
    The Conference of Bishops issued a statement on 19 April ((http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2011/04/19/19-april-2011-bishops-edition-missal/). Again no reference to any inherent difficulties. The “Background” section of their statement makes no mention of the work on a translation approved by all Conferences of Bishops of English-speaking countries in 1998, but rejected by the Congregation for Divine Worship. An information leaflet made available to parishes after Easter is equally reticent.

    1. Thanks for this story. The strategy of stonewalling complaints is, alas, sadly familiar from the sex abuse scandals. Even aside from the issues surrounding the translation, the inability or unwillingness of the bishops to engage in any meaningful exchange is a very bad sign. They are determined to be unresponsive leaders. Who will follow?

  2. Might we not have expected some tacit acknowledgement of the difficulties experienced by many in recent months as news of the detail reached the people?

    The silence of the hierarchy during this time has been deafening, their leadership nominal.

    That’s somewhat confusing. “Tacit” means silent or implied or without words. So I’m not sure what he wants? Perhaps he didn’t mean tacit.

    1. There is none so deaf as he who will not hear what Chris means and who obfuscates with pedantry.

      Allow me to spell it out for you. What he means is there isn’t even a recognition from the Irish R.C. bishops that there is a problem with the language of the new translation. Imposing this gibberish in the land of Shaw, Synge, Wilde, Yeats, Beckett, Heany, Gregory etc. is an anathema.

      Bishop John McAreavey, the Irish R.C. bishops’ rep on ICEL published an article in the Irish press, half of which was extolling the virtue of dewfall.

      A quote from the book of Proverbs comes to mind, mutatis mutandis:

      “Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.” Proverbs 27.14

      1. I didn’t write anything about Pádraig’s comment. Chris McDonnell’s letter has nothing to do with the Irish Bishops, so you can’t spell out for me what it means by referring to them.

      2. Gerard, it’s not particularly fair to edit your comment like that. Of course, you left the references to to the Irish Bishops, who are still not referred to in Chris’s letter, which is about the Bishops of England and Wales.

    2. I cannot say what Chris meant by tacit, but for my part, I think an explicit acknowledgement would be for the best. Diplomacy allows for tacit acknowledgements so as not to lose face, but for the People of God, something more than tacit would certainly be welcome. Are we not a family, in which sometimes mom and dad have to admit they are fallible? Do we not have Christian humility in our basic toolkit anymore?

      1. Rita,

        To your last question, the answer is clearly ‘NO!’ among for too many of the bishops and assorted structural entities in the hierarchy.

        I find this both sad and frightening.

  3. I’ve just posted something about yesterday’s Collect (Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter) under the Msgr. Moroney thread.

    My guess is that the priests of E & W, schooled more rigorously than we Americans (if my UK friends’ educational experience is normative) in the basics of English grammar, style and vocabulary, will find the Pell-Moroney-Ward Missal a real disaster (I’m not referring to the people’s parts, which shouldn’t present much difficulty; but with the multiple errors in the priestly orations, prefaces, etc).

    Isn’t it sad that none of the bishops – even among those I know who read this blog regularly and comment privately – will dare speak up. I guess Rome succeeded in making Fr Ruff and Canon Griffith examples of what happens when someone in holy orders points out laziness, incompetence and arrogance at the top!

  4. The “Background” section of their statement makes no mention of the work on a translation approved by all Conferences of Bishops of English-speaking countries in 1998, but rejected by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

    I have mentioned (at least, in another blog) some particular instances in which I might prefer a 1998 prayer, but I really don’t see how any rehashing of this sausage-making and water under the bridge would help people to pray more fruitfully the translations that the Church has finally (by whatever means) decided upon, and will wonderfully heighten their worship, even if some of us could have or have done better.

    1. will wonderfully heighten their worship

      Sorry, Henry, hasn’t worked for me and many [not all!] others I know over the last 2+ years that we have been using it in SA.

      1. You take up the vulgar anti-Trautman gibe about John and Mary Catholic being too dumb to understand “ineffable”. This really disqualifies you from commenting on the new translations.

      2. How else are you to take the argument that words like ineffable (gasp) and consubstantial (oh my!) do not speak to the average Catholic? I’ve heard this argument too many times when reading about the new translation. Yes, it eludes to the idea that we are all too stupid to understand “big words.” What happens if we need a dictionary the first time? We’ve just added two more words to our vocabulary.

      3. The issue, which you amazingly fail to grasp, is not dictionary understanding but effective pastoral communication and a prayable language. The shameless way in which people like Fr Z taunted and parodied Bishop Trautman will be remembered as an episode to be rued and repented.

        I know very well the meaning of “ineffable” — yet I would never used it in prayer. I might use the lovely Miltonic word “unexpressive”. This is DEAD prayer-language, liturgically unusable. Do you really want to mouth dead language???

      4. It eludes to the idea — you meand ALLUDES. Why is it that the dfeenders of the new translation make so many mistakes in English??? Answer: because they are insensitive to the English language.

      5. Joe: “It eludes to the idea — you meand ALLUDES. Why is it that the dfeenders of the new translation make so many mistakes in English??? Answer: because they are insensitive to the English language.”

        Joe, do you REALLY want to get into discussing spelling and grammar errors??? (meand? dfeenders???) Answer: No…you probably don’t.

        Some of us are more concerned with the overall meaning of the prayers and not nit-picky grammar lessons that try to lift thyself above others. I’ve noticed now that your new tactic is finding every spelling and grammatical error in other people’s posts…and my guess is that it’s because you are having a hard time grasping the concept that regardless of your incessant whining, the new translation is here to stay.

        And if this IS your new tactic, I advise you to review your posts carefully before submitting.

      6. Brad, if you really think “dfeenders” is a misspell, rather than a typo, to put it graphically, you’re not at the races.

        The text of the church’s liturgy should be perfect. Meaning is conveyed by good grammar and syntax which is intrinsic to the language, not an imported syntax from another language.

        That is not too much to ask.The text of the new translation is straw. Is it any wonder, when it was not translated by professional translators.

      7. The text of the Mass will never be perfect, because it is the work of humans. If perfection is what you expect, you will remain very disappointed.

      8. So, Brad Wilson, details of grammar and vocabulary do not matter — the important thing is that the new translation is “here to stay”? This confirms my impression that defenders of the new translation may care about obedience, law, orthodoxy, ideology, restoration, but they do not care about the English language. To nitpick a bad translation is important, for it gives substance to one’e critical rejection of it. The defenders have been unable to reply in a line by line defence based on the text — for such a defence is impossible. Instead they say, “aw shucks, no translation is perfect” — a lamentable excuse for criminal incompetence.

      9. No, Joe O’Leary, that is not at all what I am saying. It was stated that the text of the missal should be perfect. My argument is that no text of the missal will ever be perfect. The current missal is not perfect, the 1998 version is not perfect, the new translation is not perfect. Expecting a perfect text is impossible…what one finds to be perfect another finds completely lacking. You are quick to judge my comment as if I am defending the current translation only and saying it’s “here to stay.” I said no such thing. It may be wise of you to try to understand the basic concept behind a particular argument before casting it aside with your usual talking points.

      10. “Some of us are more concerned with the overall meaning of the prayers and not nit-picky grammar lessons ...regardless of your incessant whining, the new translation is here to stay.”

        Actually, because of the translators’ carelessness, the nitpicking will go on for years to come.

    2. I disagree. The truth is the truth, and there is an obligation to tell the story in truth, which does indeed include what happened to the 1998 translation, as much as some would like to air brush that episode out of history. To expect a truthful account from our leaders is not sausage-making and water-under-the-bridge. It’s Christian morality 101.

      1. Useless to ask for truth-telling, I guess, when Sam Howard is around to prove the unimportance of such a virtue.

      2. Rita, “truth-telling” is not by itself a good. It depends on the situation. Sometimes it’s not necessary or desirable to rehash every bit of history when discussing an issue. To demonstrate that something has been left unsaid that should be said, you have to say more than that the statement is incomplete. You must make an argument about why, in a particular context it was important to say something. Not everyone will necessarily agree with you because it’s not basic morality that you should always tell the truth, it’s basic morality that you should not tell untruth, but some truths are better left unsaid. Indeed, at a practical level every factual statement is incomplete. And incompleteness is not untruth-telling, even if it is a lack of truth-telling.

    1. “It’s not basic morality that you should always tell the truth, it’s basic morality that you should not tell untruth”

      That’s the type of casuistry which led to bishops thinking they could remain silent about the sexual abuse of children and believing that they were acting “basically morally.”

      1. Gerard, I couldn’t agree with you more.

        Sam, the context for my comment is very well established and has been explained many times on this blog. It is not something in the abstract, as you seem to think it is. You’ve been reading this blog for months, and should therefore know that what happened in 1998 is a key part of the story of the Missal we are soon to receive. To pretend it is not there, as you are now doing by this sally into fine hypothetical arguments and your highly abstract comment that we are not obligated to tell everything, is to willfully distort the truth that is immediately before us. And you would lecture me on morality. Shame on you. Take a look at the facts.

  5. Tacit – “understood without being expressed directly” – Cambridge dictionary.
    Maybe Samuel is right. This was not the best word to use. But even so, the National Pastoral text doesn’t give the impression of the overall difficiulties being understood by the hierarchy.
    Maybe “overt” acknowledgement would have been better. I really should be more careful when translating from Latin.
    Thanks for the nudge, but I think you get my meaning.
    Interesting that the Tablet carried the letter in their Letters Extra slot on their webpage where I would suspect readership is less, rather than in the printed paper edition.

    1. Thanks for the nudge, but I think you get my meaning.

      Mine really was a serious question. I can totally see the argument that there should have been an overt reference to the difficulties and controversy. And the fact that the Bishops thought it neccesary to issue a letter in the first place could, in itself, be seen as a tacit acknowledgement of the controversy. But I didn’t see how the letter would have addressed more intention to the controversy over the translation without referring to the things that are controversial, if not the fact that there was a controversy.

  6. “by whatever means”

    Doesn’t bother anyone, I guess. Or maybe better, those it SHOULD bother are counting on it not bothering the rest of us.

    It was interesting for me, of an older generation, to see the emails circulating among young, well-educated, devout – and I would say conservative – newly-ordained and seminarians reacting to the recent appointment of a bishop with whom they had first-hand experience. To a man, they attributed the appointment to crass opportunism and manipulation of the system. A careerist had managed to work the system to his advantage and promotion. Appeals to the influence of the Holy Spirit (“after a planet-wide search”), were really just humorous punch-lines: and this is from the committed and convinced, dedicated and devout NEW priests, just ordained or soon to be.

    Do these hierarchs know how they are seen? Hard to imagine none of them caring – but maybe they don’t. In this whole Missal debacle they’ve clearly shown they care neither for the accuracy of the translations from the Latin nor for the quality of the English produced.

    Maybe Dom Gregory Dix was right when he noted how fitting it was that the symbol for a bishop was a crook, and for an Archbishop the double-cross!

  7. I am not looking forward to this weekend’s reading of that pastoral letter. I feel that our bishops have not been pastors when they have remained silent on the controversies and pains involved in this new translation of the Roman Missal.

  8. “their leadership nominal…”

    “there is the appearance of a response…”

    For a church of shadows, of ghostly gestures, of lip service, what better lex orandi than the new translation, with its total lack of any conviction…?

  9. I have to agree with Henry at 9:07… why would a pastoral letter of this sort address controversies or what some perceive as problems? There is a time and place for everything, and this was not the vehicle for the issue framed in such a way.

    There is also a part of me that is getting tired of the attachment of “controversy” or “opposition” to every event or effort connected to the new translation. It isn’t really necessary to continue mentioning that some object to the project and it’s now approved final form, citing what they perceive as defects. It is akin to those who feel the need to continue such phrases as “the Pope’s controversial 2007 document” when talking about Summorum Pontificum, or “the controversial 2001 translation guidelines” when speaking of Liturgiam Authenticam.

    When the Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland) issued their statement to the press back in February, did they happen to mention the considerable support for it, and what those who do support it consider to be it’s strengths? Did they present the Bishop’s position and note the support for that position among a great number of Bishops? Of course not! It was THEIR PRESS CONFERENCE.

    The letter from the Bishops of the UK was letter stating their position and their support. We are all well aware that there are those who have a contrary view. But as Henry (9:07) said, I also “don’t see how any rehashing of this sausage-making and water under the bridge would help people to pray more fruitfully the translations that the Church has finally (by whatever means) decided upon, and will wonderfully heighten their worship, even if some of us could have or have done better”.

  10. “By whatever means” is very troubling. It strikes me as far more Machiavellian than apostolic or pastoral.

  11. Jeffrey, this is the first I heard of “considerable support” for the new translation among Irish priests. Care to elaborate? As far as I know only Vincent Twomey and Bishop John McAreavey (both friends of mine) have lauded the new translations.

    And by the way it is “its” not “it’s”.

    1. Joe;

      I didn’t say anything about considerable support among the ACP… I meant that in their letter they did not mention the considerable support in general for the new translation. But why should they? The point of their letter was to inform the press about THEIR opposition to it, not others support for it.

      And by the way, it’s “Jeffrey, this is the first I’ve heard” not Jeffrey, this is the first I heard. You could also have said “Jeffrey, that was the first I heard” if you want to keep the tense consistent. I was also unaware that there was more than one new translation for them to laud. But you were probably, like me, typing with one hand on a Blackberry and didn’t catch the error.

      1. Glad you used that word LAUD.

        Now, Jeffrey, the Latin of the Eastertide Prefaces has:

        “sed in hoc potissimum gloriosius praedicare,” which the 7,000 experts of Vox Clara’s Pell-Moroney-Ward Missal have translated, “but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously.”

        Yet, in Preface I of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the text “laudare, benedicere et praedicare” is rendered “to praise, bless, and glorify” – not a LAUD to be found, even when there IS a laud in this case (which there clearly is not in the Easter Preface).

        Now, as a man who supports the Holy See, I’m sure, and therefore n. 51 of Liturgiam authenticam (to translate the text “in the most exact manner”), how do you account for the . . . dare I say “error” in the Eastertide Prefaces? Or is the error in Preface I of the BVM? Or is there a more exotic principle at work that I’ve missed?

        Maybe it is just the 7,000 experts being overwhelmed in their work, as Monsignor Moroney has told us.

      2. I’ve never taken Latin, but I do know that “Laudate dominum omnes gentes” translates to “Praise the Lord, you peoples (or nations?).” So, I would assume that any form of “Laud–” would rightly be translated to “Praise.”

      3. …Just as in the Gloria, the latin says “Laudámus te,” which translates to “We praise you” and not ‘We laud you.”

      4. Or is there a more exotic principle at work that I’ve missed?

        Words don’t always have to be translated by exactly the same word to be translated correctly.

      5. “Words don’t always have to be translated by exactly the same word to be translated correctly.”

        That may be the case. But praedicare is not to laud.

      6. “Laudate dominum omnes gentes”

        You’re all discussing translation in the usual meaning of the word, but you are not following the rules of LA. It seems to me that the translation process would go as follows:

        2008: “Laud the Lord, all nations”, following the mandates of LA, as literal as possible given the constraints of English grammar, making sure that every instance of “Laudate” in the entire missal is translated by the same word “Laud”, and carefully avoiding the word “people” that might suggest deliberately including both men and women.

        Complaints: some people are of the opinion that “Praise the Lord” is so common that it should be retained, while others point out that the article “the” and the comma are not present in the Latin version, therefore ought to be avoided in the English version as much as possible.

        Vox Clara listens to the various advice and comes up with a middle ground solution, faithful but not slavish, that takes all remarks into account:

        2011: “Praise Lord all nations”

        Now, they wonder: after all their efforts for compromise, why are people still unhappy? Such ingratitude.

        (Not funny, I know, on such a sensitive topic, but what else can we do but laugh?)

      7. Meanwhile new rules for proclamation, chants and music are being promulgated: according to Tradition and as has always been the usage of the Church, it is forbidden to take a breath when there is no comma in the text, and it is mandatory to take a breath when there is one.

  12. The fact that defenders of the new translation have recourse so regularly to misrepresentations speaks volumes. It shows that their case is a desperate one. And what will they say when the laity voice their reactions to the new texts????? I foresee severe cases of buyer’s remorse and backtracking, as we saw after the 2003 Iraq invasion proved to be a disaster. And yes, Jeffrey, that invasion remains controversial even though a whole 8 years have passed. The once adored Blair is being called mercilessly to account, as our current church leadership will be. LIes always remain controversial.

    1. Joe;

      Seriously… as the new translation is being implemeted in November, I would hardly call the case of those who support it “desperate”. Nor could I characterize the cause of those who oppose it “desperate”. That effort would be best referred to as “failed”. I can only hope that some other issues, such as the celebration of EF Masses in every parish, reach such a point of desperation.

      There will no doubt be some objections in the future from some laity. Overwhelming?? That’s a bit of wishful thinking on the part of people who want to see the new translation fail. I recall predictions of widespread protests and discontent from the laity concerning SP… so far the only thing widespread is unawareness.

    2. Joe:
      Jeffrey is the resident cheerleader – here and on other blogs – for all things Vox Clara . . . the leader of the “At Least . . . ” and “If the Vatican says so . . . ” The principles of Liturgiam authenticam and the Ratio translationis don’t matter, inaccurate translations don’t matter, infelicitous or downright erroneous English grammar, syntax, structure and style do not matter . . . when it comes to Chief Cheerleader Jeffrey, you are speaking into the wind . . .

      It will be amusing to see the response when the official “corrections” of the “corrected translation” start coming out – from this cheerleader and several others (mostly silent now) across the blogosphere.

      “Why, we had no idea!” won’t work, so they’ll come up with something else I’m sure. Meanwhile they take comfort in, “Well, at least . . . ”

      Speaking of “at least,” I see from his corrections of your work, Joe, that, at least when being snarky, Jeffrey can rise to the occasion of invoking proper English! Funny that!

  13. Whoa, everyone! Settle down a bit, eh? This new translation is simply a more faithful version of the Latin. “Et cum spiritu tuo” = “And with your spirit” I took two semesters of Latin in college and know enough to understand that this is a direct translation. They evidently know as much when they translated the Latin into Spanish and other languages where they got it right.

    It’s interesting here that so many are so concerned about the new translation being ‘un-pastoral’. Perhaps now you will see the heartache and difficulty of those who were used to and loved the Traditional Latin Mass and told, after the Council that no, the form of worship they were so accustomed to was no longer permissible. That wasn’t very pastoral, was it? And yet, after reading these boards, it is clear to see that there isn’t a great deal of sympathy for those ‘fans’ of the Traditional Latin Mass.

    It will be difficult to get used to, but how about trust, folks? I mean, the shift between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo wasn’t just translation stuff, the actual form of the Mass changed, both in actuality and in practice. Here you have the same form of the Mass, just a new way of saying it.

    If you seek the Lord, trust Him. He will not let you go astray. Our Lord’s words to Martha: “Oh Martha, Martha, you are consumed by many things…Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be deprived from her.” Don’t stumble around all concerned like Martha; lean on Jesus and listen to Him – that is indeed the better part!

    1. I suppose you trusted them right through the sex abuse scandals as well. Mighty big of you.

    2. Jacob, you’re apparently new to the discussion. For some of us on here, supporters of a new translation, the issue isn’t a new translation. The issue isn’t even the 2008 new translation approved by the English-speaking conferences of bishops.

      The issue is that an anonymous group of “experts” (is it 7000?) substantially rewrote the 2008 version (was it 10,000 changes?) and in the process produced 1) mistranslations from the Latin, 2) violations of the norms set forth by the Holy See in Liturgiam authenticam and the Ratio translationis 3) and countless errors (some of them downright comical) in English grammar and syntax.

      Moreover, when informed in a 40 page brief by ICEL – last fall – of the errors (at least two of them doctrinal), CDW did almost nothing. What’s the reason? Laziness, incompetence, arrogance – all of the above? Can’t just “lean on Jesus” and hope for the best: God helps those who help themselves.

      This is the issue. By and large, the people’s parts are not in question here (although adding three “I believes” to the Nicene Creed is a clear violation of LA and RT). The real difficulties with this Pell-Moroney-Ward Missal (for they are the trinity of geniuses behind it) will only become evident when the priests begin stumbling around the sometimes erroneous English constructions in the orations.

      Already at least one guide to corrections is in preparation, based on the Latin and correct English usage, to provide priests with a simple way of penciling in corrections …. surely not what the Holy See had in mind for its new English translation. But you know how nature abhors a vacuum …. and when CDW’s only response to an indication of error is to shoot the messenger (well, two in this case: Frs Ruff and Griffiths) … you’ve got a vacuum.

      1. By and large, the people’s parts are not in question here

        Oh that this were true. But we’ve heard endless complaints here about the triple “mea culpa” in the Confiteor and about the use of “and with your spirit”.

      2. Not from me, you haven’t.

        But there’s only one “Credo” in the Nicene Creed, Latin text, Mr. Howard.

        As there was in the English translation (in accord with LA and RT), until the Vox Clara experts hijacked the text and added three “I believes” that are NOT in the Latin.

        Question, Sam: for years we’ve heard the conservative wing complaining about “We believe” as the beginning of the Creed when the Latin has simply Credo. Where are those voices now that the Holy See’s own “experts” have added three Credos that aren’t in the Latin?

        To complain about the one and then shrug an “at least” about the other is sheer hypocrisy by any definition of that word.

        All I’m saying is: let’s be consistent, shall we? The Latin does not say “We believe,” nor does it say “I believe” four times – indeed, Saint Thomas Aquinas (among others) has quite an exposition on why we do NOT say “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church (well, at least till now).

        But what the hay – if the Pell-Moroney-Ward experts didn’t care about accuracy in translating Latin, fidelity to the Holy See’s translation principles, or the standard rules of English grammar …. why would they care about Catholic theology a la Aquinas?

        No matter …. “at least it’s better than the old translation,” right, Sam? Jeffrey? Some inaccuracies, some shady dogma, some embarrassing English gaffes …. But hey, “with 7000 experts working on a project this big, you’re bound to have some mistakes” (Msgr Moroney) – right?

  14. Yes, the defenders of the failed new translation rely on the laity’s “unawareness”…

    1. What makes the new translation failed? The fact that it’s being implemented in November? The fact that there has yet to be a major uproar by congregations around the globe? Please define your usage of “failed” to me.

  15. As a teacher of translation (Japanese to English) I think I know a failed translation when I see one. Surely you do not need a crash course on the virtues of a good translation and the vices of bad ones?

    There was a major uproar in South Africa, from a small English speaking Church that had the new text prematurely dumped on them. We do not yet know what reaction will be shown by the rest of the English speaking world when they undergo this ordeal later this year. It will certainly not be a joyful reaction. The bishops expect that the faithful will grin and bear it, as usual.

  16. In short, don’t crow; it’s not over till the fat lady sings.

    Btw, you are wrong to say the new trans is “here to stay” — in fact the bishops and other pushers of it say that there will be many more changes in the future. So this mess may ladder, in a painful and embarrassing long-drawn-out malaise, which we could have been spared if they had accepted the sensible 1998 version.

  17. Whilst many of the responses to my letter are interesting and at times pertinent, that can’t be said for all of them. Let’s stick to the issue, the need for people to be led by courageous shepherds through difficult times. The oft quoted passage from Proverbs, that without vision the people perish, is never more true.
    It is this vision that we urgently need in the midst of the turmoil. That there have been those who have been willing to speak out over the last year, offering a vision that is respectful of tradition, that is rooted in deep faith, yet recognises the cultural need and language experience of our times is a blessing for the people. We need to move forward in that faith and together, bishops, priests and people be supportive of each other in the difficult days ahead.

    1. “We need to move forward in that faith and together, bishops, priests and people be supportive of each other in the difficult days ahead.”
      We certainly do, … and when that does not happen, when there is no ‘together’ only imposition and expected blind subservient obsequious obedience, what do we do then? How can we right it? Can it be righted ? I more and more think we are heading for another major schism.

      1. I am not sure how there can be a formal schism when the 1% minority who are in the process of separating themselves from the rest are headed by the Vatican.

  18. No, the energy for a schism is absent.

    Perhaps a slow Poe-esque liquefaction?

    Good point, Claire — the engine is leaving the station – without the train!

  19. I have now had the privilege of hearing the pastoral letter of the Bishops of England & Wales. As my wife aptly put it. “That was five minutes of total waffle.” It told us nothing about the process, the way the new translation was arrived at or the rationale. If I were to sum it up in a sentence, it would be, “The Church in it’s wisdom has decided that the liturgy will change. The ordinary of the Mass will come into effect in September and the Proper from the new translation of the Roman Missal will commence on the first Sunday of Advent.” As our priest put it, “You have two options; you can protest, be bitter and grumble or you can accept the new status quo. in a year you will wonder what all the fuss was about.” somehow., I rather doubt that the dust will have settled twelve months from now.

    1. The hierarchy’s brief letter was read in our church also – mandated throughout the country, we were told. The parish priest who has a preference for EF, has in the past informed us that the current OF translation is “very bad.”

      He welcomed the prospective change and as a sample, used the new form of the Roman Canon. A comment heard afterwards – “Wasn’t that pompous? Nobody speaks or thinks like that.”

    2. PS It was a great idea to have this letter read on a holiday weekend = lots of people away . . .

  20. Resignation seems to be what your priest is recommending.

    And you have lots of more options than the alternatives he’s suggesting. You can protest and not be bitter.

  21. Having spent the last two weeks doing formation for the new translation all over my diocese, I have been interested to find that the most frequently-occurring question is why the Latin Qui propter nos homines is still translated by “For us men” in the Nicene Creed when pax hominibus bonae voluntatis is rendered as “peace to people of good will” in the Gloria.

    There is quite a lot of anger out there over the missed opportunity to fix non-inclusive language both here and in other places in the revised translation.

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