What’s Behind the Door?

Our Rita Ferrone has a post at Commonweal, “What’s Behind the Door,”  based on Rob Mickens’ recent piece in The Tablet, on the procedural (ecclesiological) problems in the new translation. Go check it out at Commonweal and join the conversation there.

The Tablet piece requires subscription so I won’t comment further on it, except to lift a few choice quotations used by Mickens. Here’s Paul VI in 1969: “From now on the vernacular, not Latin, will be the principal language of the Mass.”

And do you know who it was who spoke of “decentralization of the liturgical decision-making” and called it a “fundamental innovation?” And wrote, “The formulation of liturgical laws for their own region is now, within limits, the responsibility of the various conferences of bishops. And this is not by delegation from the Holy See, but by virtue of their own independent authority”? And this: “Perhaps one could say that this small paragraph [ed. SC 36], which for the first time assigns to the conferences of bishops their own canonical authority, has more significance for the theology of the episcopacy and for the long desired strengthening of episcopal power than anything in the Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, itself”?

Yup. Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. How times change. It is on his watch that the retranslated English Missal was approved – by a central office which arrogated all authority to itself and rolled over bishops’ conferences. Oh well.

Oh, I can’t resist. Here’s a bit more. The same issue of The Tablet has a piece by Alan Griffiths on the problems in the new translation of the Easter prefaces. Did you know that profusis is mistranslated in every one of them? And praedicare? Oh well, these Prefaces are used only for 50 days, and it’s only Easter season.

Griffiths concludes: “It could be argued that this translation makes a caricature of the text. It is hardly the faithful translation insisted on in Liturgiam authenticam. It must therefore call into question the competence of the Vatican editorial process.” Ouch.