Francis Mannion on the new translation, II

Q. What prompted the bishops to revise the Roman Missal from the way it was in the mid-1980s?

A. The initiative came not from the English-speaking bishops, but from the Vatican. The Vatican did not like the ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) translations, so it devised its own translations largely through the Vox Clara commission, a group of senior English-speaking bishops headed by Cardinal Pell of Sydney, Australia.

Q. What are some of the most notable changes?

A. There has been a move from “dynamic equivalence” translations to a “formal equivalence” rule. This finds its simplest example in the Confiteor, which states that I have sinned, mea culpa, mea culpa. mea maxima culpa (“through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”) – not just “through my fault” (dynamic equivalence ). This means that words are translated more literally.

Q. One change — from saying that Jesus is “one in being with the Father” to “consubstantial with the Father” — seems like inserting more difficult word for most Catholics to understand. Why not make it easier rather than harder?

A. The Vatican – and Vox Clara – were and are very doctrinally concerned. So they have made sure that all wording is doctrinally accurate, and as full as possible. “One in being with the Father” could be interpreted as saying that Jesus is a creature of the Father, the Arian heresy of the 4th century. Nicaea – the source of the Nicene Creed – says that Jesus is of “one substance with the Father.” He is not a lesser God or God in an incomplete way. So it chose the word ”consubstantial” as the best translation of the doctrine involved.

Q. Which revisions have been the most controversial and why?

A. The process was pretty murky, and – in some people’s minds – far too political, involving a “smoke-filled back room” process. However, I think the final result is good. It is more faithful to Latin and to doctrine. I like it. I didn’t think I would like is. Some of my colleagues like Peter Jeffrey, a conservative Catholic musicologist at Princeton, and Fr. Anthony Ruff at St. John’s in Collegeville, don’t like the way the principles were applied. However, most bishops and priests – and even originally hesitant liturgists – have gotten on board.

Some bishops in the U.S.–like Donald Trautman of Erie, have expressed strong opposition to the translations, calling them roughly-hewn and unspeakable. Some people, like Rita Ferrone, say they are unsingable, but I do not find that to be the case. When set to chant, they are eminently singable.

Q. How long have you been rehearsing the changes with your parish? How have people responded?

A. We introduced new musical translations in October, as the U.S. bishops allowed this. I have snuck in the new translation of the Confiteor at weekday Masses since early November. There was practically no comment. People got the hang of the new wording quickly.

Q. Do parishioners seem comfortable with the new wording?

A. Yes, when they get used to it.

Q. What will take place on Nov. 27? Any special celebration of the new missal?

A. No. We will simply introduce it and then after Masses hold “hearings” to get reaction and to answer questions. This is called a mystagogical approach – reflecting on the meaning of what has been proclaimed.

Q. I know you have done lots of work on liturgy. Did you have something to do with the new wording?

A. Actually I was a consulter to ICEL from 2002-2002. Then I got fired, like everybody else. Strange, because at the first meeting of ICEL, I was the ONLY defendant of the new translation principles set out in Liturgiam authenticam, the Vatican document of 2001, which called for a change in translation principles.

Q. Any further thoughts you could share that would help me write a balanced and information description of what is happening on November 27?

A. No. We hope it is like one more Sunday.

69 comments

  1. no reference to the 1998 material–and I don’t see how the Greek version of the Nicene Creed has become an anti-Arian document. Yet another example of the flim-flam …

    1. Huh? He’s saying the Greek and Latin are fine, but the English translation isn’t.

      Being can be understood in two ways in modern English.

      As essere, to-be, which is what the Greek meant to convey; or as a physical object, such as you and I form two human beings. The latter is not what is intended by the translators. Uncatechised people would think of being in the latter sense (and I’ve heard some use this to deny that Catholics believe in the Trinitarian doctrine), thus this phrase can be easily misinterpreted.

      Last I checked, the Eastern Catholics did not use “one in Being” or “of one Being” to render the term. They prefered “of one essence”. The problem is that essence, being, substance all can have everyday references that are quite different from the philosophical connotation. So it’s a difficult choice.

  2. Flim-flam artist is exactly right, Philip. What a fraud. Is there any depth that these men aren’t willing to sink to?

  3. these men

    Oops. Msgr. Mannion, who is one cleric who put his money where his mouth was as regards liturgical philosophy, praxis and pedagogy is cast outside of St. Paul’s maxim “there is no woman, nor man” etc.?
    He’s always, even when I disagreed vehemently with his disdain for the eclectic modem of litmusic, struck me as a pretty straight shooter. Thanks, Sandi, for reminding me that gender politick has to be part of the equation.
    No shame whatsoever.

  4. The first question is curiously worded. Why the Missal as it was “in the mid- 1980s”?

    Some background. The decision to revise the 1973/74 Roman Missal came from within ICEL. This decision was presented to the ICEL Episcopal Board (bishops representing the eleven member conferences) in 1980. The conferences gave the go-ahead, and the first public consultation on revision was sent out in 2,000 copies in 1982. A second consultation, also in 2,000 copies, was sent out by ICEL to the conferences in 1986. In 1988, 1990, 1992, progress reports, containing extensive examples of the work under way, again, in each instance, 2,000 copies, were sent to the conferences of bishops.

    Both the consultation books and the progress reports were sent also to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. As each of the eight segments (1993-1997) of the work was presented to the conferences for discussion and canonical vote, the Roman Congregation received the same material. At no time were the conferences asked by the Roman authorities to suspend the Missal revision.

    In 1995, during a meeting with ICEL representatives, including the then archbishop chairman, the prefect of CDWDS, Cardina Antonio Javierre, gave his assurance that the ICEL text, once voted on by the conferences and submitted to Rome, would be judged according to the translation guidelines then in force, that is, the 1969 Instruction on the Translation of Liturgical Texts, often referred to by its French title, Comme le prevoit.

    After the eleven conferences voted in favor of the revised Missal (known as “1998”), there was a four-year review on the part of the CDWDS. At the end of that unusually long review, Cardinal Javierre’s successor, Cardinal Jorge Medina, informed the conferences that the Roman confirmatio was denied to their individual canonical acts of approval.

    Monsignor Mannion has inexplicably collapsed a long and complicated history into an unrecognizable form. A lapse of memory?

    And whatever the ill-explained role of Vox Clara, was it not the conferences that guided the work, and voted on the 2008 Roman Missal? Again, I am perplexed by this account.

    1. Maria Evans, You beat me to it.

      “Do parishioners seem comfortable with the new wording?

      A. Yes, when they get used to it.”

      A strange reply frankly. First, what parishioners? Are we to believe Fr. Mannion has polled all of them? “When they get used to it” suggests they haven’t got used to it yet, but how could he possibly know they will at some future point?

      His reference to all the priests and bishops getting with the program spoke volumes to what stinks about the whole process.

      1. “When they get used to it” suggests they haven’t got used to it yet, but how could he possibly know they will at some future point?

        It did not sound that way to me. It sounds like some parishioners have gotten used to it, and from them he has gleaned that they are comfortable with the new wording.

  5. Msgr. Mannion lays it all out and in a pastoral non-divisive way acknowledging that there is division concerning this translation (especially the backroom and front room “nefarious” politics–sounds like a good novel, too bad no one got murdered!) but that people are getting on board. I didn’t detect any hint of anyone being castigated which is refreshing. In terms of “singability,” I have to agree that while I prefer the solemn tone of the prefaces of the previous missal that the simple tone has gotten into my blood and I’m doing them very well after a rough start. There is consistency with it and the other sung parts in the missal. The thing that I’m having the most difficulty singing is the intro to the Our Father for some reason. I love the notation of the Mystery of Faith and that the melody is the same for all versions and can lead the first option myself almost by heart at our daily Mass and the people are belting it out along with the Sanctus and Agnus Dei.The first mystery of faith seems much fuller and meaningful compared to the “Christ has died…version. We’ve been singing the Proulx Gloria and our congregation is singing it just as well as the previous translation although I’ve been having a hard time doing it from memory, but I think that has to do with my age. Again I have to emphasize that we are a singing parish (except the Credo, which at least at our choir Mass I want to institute next year). I’m edified at the volume of response from our congregation including “And with your Spirit” when sung or said. I ask our members for feedback and by now everyone is beginning to feel comfortable although a few say they slip backwards on some responses occasionally. They indicate that the new translation seems “holier” to them which I take to mean more reverent sounding and I’d have to agree. Only one parishioner told me it sounds “stilted” to her. But as far as the priest’s prayers, a priest had better look them over ahead of time and learn how to phrase things. It is here that the use of commas would have helped tremendously especially for those whose English is a second language.

  6. “I didn’t detect any hint of anyone being castigated which is refreshing.”

    Also no hint of gratitude for the work which preceded his “brief” consultation. Another telling point on the spiritual poverty of the New Regime.

    I do appreciate his unwillingness to make a big thing out of it. The best we can do: implement and then get on with the real reform of liturgy

    Thumbs up for the listening sessions. Do you suppose any ears will be open on the podium side of the meeting? I don’t think the current climate is optimal for a true and honest discernment. More evidence of abject spiritual poverty.

    1. Well if anyone wants to get a “hearing” in this church unconcerned with its spiritual poverty but concerned with its material wealth, I suggest the following:

      take a pen and card with you to Sunday Liturgy, and list up the pluses and minuses, e.g.

      Opening hymn that I know and like +2,
      Folksy opening that focused more on the celebrant than the community and the celebration -2
      Collect that I could not understand -1
      Very poor and irrelevant homily -5
      Sung response to the prayers of the faithful +1
      Preparation hymn that I did not know and could not sing -2
      Sung preface +1
      Sung Lord’s Prayer +1
      Communion hymn that I did not know and could not sing -2
      Post communion that I could not understand -1
      Recessional that I know and like +2

      then the following week include in the collection envelope a note like the following

      Standard Weekly Offering $20.00
      Total plus points earned last week + $7.00
      list them item by item with their value
      Subtotal $27.00
      Total minus points deducted last week -$13.00
      and list them item by item with their values
      Net Weekly Offering $14.00

      I doubt it will begin the revolution but at least you will have communicated your appreciation as well as your concerns and you might even feel empowered.

      1. The gift of the Lord truly present in the most Holy Eucharist +priceless

        So unless you are on interdict, excommunicated, or not in communion with the Catholic Church, you should be giving your fortune over.

        Wasn’t it St John Vianney who mentioned that it would only be in heaven when we fully understand and appreciate the riches the Lord is giving us at every Eucharistic Celebration? Last I checked, he was speaking with respect to what we now call the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

      2. Everything that I am and have already belongs to God, and to the Church since I am the Church.

        The only question is how much of what belongs to God and the Church that is now entrusted to my management do I want to entrust to the managers of the parish and the diocese. (which is what the collection is about).

        The collection does not cover all that is given to the parish, or the diocese or other Church organizations.

        In general I have a policy of targeting most of my giving to specific things, e.g. organizations within the parish and specific parish projects.

        I have never thought much of giving to general funds, like the United Way and Diocesan Appeals. Perhaps that comes from 20 years of helping mental health boards decide how to spend millions of dollars of local, state and federal tax money.

        This particular suggestion was just a refinement of my general principles that I thought might help people to express themselves in a constructive way, rather than resorting to something that might be dangerous to themselves like depression or flight.

        If applied in a thoughtful and creative rather than in a mean and spiteful way, it might increase communication, improve the choice of hymns and quality of sermons, and result in giving more not less to the management. But I would be happy if it just resulted in people continuing to come to Mass and not be depressed.

      3. Well, I don’t like the consumer idiom of your idea, but I *do* like the idea of some format for parishioner feedback. And since eucharist is theologically supposed to feed both devotion and mission, it’s not totally inappropriate that people (otherwise voiceless in most ecclesial decision-making) vote with their feet and/ or their checkbooks.
        We use an upbeat melody for “On Jordon’s Banks.” I am a cantor, I stand up front, and I can tell — people do NOT sing it. Yes, the the traditional melody is a bit pedantic and clunky and trite; but people DO sing it. But it seems to make no difference to anyone involved in choosing it. (Both settings available in our hymnal, btw.)

  7. Revisionism and opinion – my thanks to jrf for laying out the facts. Mannion is basically starting (from my old latin classes) “in media res” and, like his institute, applying pragmatic steps to the implementation. (He gives away his bias by stating that in 2000 he was in favor of LA – altho he doesn’t explain this). His consistent pattern has been to point up the weaknesses of the VII reformed liturgy – he has decried lack of silence; processions, chant, etc. All true but not sure that “sacral vernacular” will get him to where he wants to go. Yes, it works for him but he has the background and skills to make it work.

      1. No, because Liturgicam Authenticam was a violent imposition on the People of God. It is not “biased” to oppose what was wrong in the first place.

      2. Don’t be silly Sandhi. It was well within the authority of the Congregation to implement the rules of Liturgiam authenticam, just as they could implement the old set of rules.

        Just because you don’t like the new rules, doesn’t mean you can use such a lousy excuse to justify your opposition. Otherwise, we would have to put a whole group of liturgists on trial for violating the Peope of God by mutilating the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.

      3. Rome does not like that, at Vatican II, bishops’ conferences had been given the freedom to write the translation themselves; LA is a way to circumvent that freedom, or at least to limit it as much as possible. I believe that LA was designed on purpose to limit the powers of bishops’ conferences by constraining, to an unreasonable extent, how they could go about translating into their own language.

        The ultimate goal of LA is not to promote good translations but to curb the power of bishops’ conferences.

        That would help explain why professional translators’ criticism of LA was ignored.

        Than would also explain why, after the bishops’ conferences had approved the 2008 version and returned the text to Rome, Rome then felt free to further modify that version with following LA: it’s not incompetence but church politics.

      4. Sandi Brough writes, “It is not ‘biased’ to oppose what was wrong in the first place,” and Simon Ho replies, “Don’t be silly Sandi. It was well within the authority of the Congregation to implement the rules of Liturgiam authenticam. . . .
        Just because you don’t like the new rules, doesn’t mean you can use such a lousy excuse to justify your opposition. Otherwise, we would have to put a whole group of liturgists on trial for violating the People of God by mutilating the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.”

        The 1857 Dred Scott decision was “well within the authority of” the US Supreme Court, it was certainly legal and binding, yet it is universally abhorred today as biased and immoral (as it was by Abolitionists in 1857). The authority of a group has nothing to do with its reaching a moral, unbiased decision. We should be asking why Vox Clara or the Curia is not “on trial” for violating the constitution of the Church as set out by V.II in terms of the responsibilities and powers of bishops. (See Claire Mathieu’s point, 11/25 at 7:29.) We create a dangerous situation indeed when we assume that any group acting within its “authority” ipso facto acts morally. Like the “translation,” or don’t like it: the process that produced it was flawed, and ignoring that fact contributes to blunting one’s moral sensitivity.

  8. I’d love it if they posed this question:

    “What percentage of lay Catholics felt dissatisfied with the 1973 missal and were asking for a new one, and openly expressed a desire for a more literal translation?”

    1. That isn’t a real issue Sean. Like it or not, we have a 3rd edition of the Roman Missal that includes new prayers for new saints and all, so there had to be a revision to reflect the urtext edition.

      This has nothing to do with whether or not the English translation we have been given is “right and just”. I can see value in some of the text changes and can live with some of the trivial changes that have been made. The hurdles I can’t get over is the lack of singability of the texts, the poor grammar and the need to create new words just to make sure that we are staying “true” to the Latin.

      1. We have to get rid of the “like it or not part”

        If we don’t like it, we shouldn’t have to accept it.

        But it’s as if the church continually says:

        “What do you mean, if you like it? Whether you like it or not is immaterial.”

        The grammar is stilted, the words too flowery, and it takes away Jesus’ humanity.

      2. You may feel it doesn’t Jeffrey. To me, it does. It should have been left alone. If the translation 40 years ago was bad then it should have been changed 39 years ago. It’s simply that the people who view it as being “bad” weren’t in power then.

      3. You may feel it doesn’t Jeffrey. To me, it does.

        And your perception is your reality.

        If the translation 40 years ago was bad then it should have been changed 39 years ago. It’s simply that the people who view it as being “bad” weren’t in power then.

        No, it’s not that simple. But that is your perception, and I wonder if there is any argument that will make you reconsider.

      4. Exactly. Now, you’re seeing things. And it is that simple. This translation was completed this year, and it has been implemented in less than one year’s time. If 40 years ago, the then, new missal, was viewed as needing changed or corrected it could have been changed 39 years ago. But the church hierarchy who wanted it changed 40 years ago weren’t in power then.

        The conservatives are in power now, and they want to rollback Vatican II, so they have begun doing it.

        It is that sort of spiritual rape that will cause the hierarchy to become more and more insignificant.

      5. I agree that the new translation takes away Jesus’s humanity at many points — the chalice in his venerable hands, the whole business of the Father “recognizing” the Son in EP III etc.

      6. I don’t buy the “chalice in his holy and venerable hands” argument as taking away Jesus’ humanity. Last I checked, God (as pure spirit) doesn’t have “hands”. Jesus, however, in His humanity, does have hands, since He has a body. And His hands are definitely holy and worthy of our utmost respect: His are hands which healed the sick, restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, raised the dead, and bled for all (yes, all!) humanity. It acknowledges His humanity without ignoring His divinity.

        I also don’t see how “recognize” destroys or removes or ignores His humanity either. A bit of explanation would help.

      7. Listening to a debate about the “chalice vs. cup” issue, I had to laugh at the statement:

        “Why even a styrofoam coffee cup, once having had contact with the sacred hands of our Lord and King, would become worthy of being called a chalice. It would be transformed into an object worthy of divine contact. ”

        “When supper was ended he took the cup.” It’s a cup, and will NEVER be anything but a cup.

      8. You’re missing the point JP as you so often do with your ‘nit-picking’ to borrow a useful phrase. It’s the use of the word chalice which removes the sense of the humanity of Jesus. The presider at the eucharist wears a chasuble. Is that we’re now going to call Jesus’ outer garment? The presider uses a missal. If he used a text at the last supper, is that what we imagine it should be called? Etc. etc. Have you nothing better to do?

      9. Gerard, I focused on the “holy and venerable” part because I’d never commented on those words here before. I’ve talked about the choice of the word “chalice” before, back in October, for example.

        I don’t see why a “chalice” is a dehumanizing word. I’ve never seen anyone except a human holding a chalice. Perhaps the word makes Jesus less “common” and more “regal”, but not less human.

    2. The German bishops said that they might consider changes to their current missal, but not a radical revision. No group of English speaking bishops had the courage even to suggest this modest thought. How explain their spinelessness? Has it something to do with the child abuse scandals, which has weakened their authority in the Vatican’s eyes?

      1. My understanding is that Germany like Austria has a tax supported church, so when people resign from the church and no longer pay the tax, the German bishops, and Rome which I think gets more money from Germany than from the USA, also hurts.

        In the USA when people take their money and vote with their feet, the bishops and priests just appeal to remaining (increasingly conservative) people, especially the wealthy conservative elite like themselves, to increase their collection contributions.

        Why do you think our bishops are so concern about gay marriage? This issue is a great fund raiser (actually on both liberal and conservative sides, both among churches and political organizations). Sounds like they are going to make “religious liberty” into another fund raising issue. Always look for the money trail.

  9. Thinking about this interview – he states that he was hoping for a better translation. So, if “sacral vernacular” is his stated goal; and Vox Clara; ignoring a concilar document in terms of process and translation; rewriting the rules, LA & RT; secret process, etc. are the means….well, recalling my high school morality classes, would suggest that Mgsr. needs to consider that the “end” never justifies the “means”.

    Would also suggest that translation is a symptom; not the root cause for poor ritual and liturgies.

    1. I think that much of the problem stems from what people feel is a “better translation”. Whether something is better is a subjective decision, and unfortunately, the way the church is structured, the ones for whom the church is supposed to exist (the lay people) are not asked for their opinions.

  10. I didn’t think there was anything new in this interview, except possibly the strange idea that “a mystagogical approach” = “hearings to get feedback and answer questions.” If that’s Msgr’s idea of mystagogy, it’s really unfortunate; what a misuse of a fine, ancient word.

    As a footnote, I’m perplexed that he seems to think I discussed music in my Commonweal article. He said this in his Part One post here too. But I never said a word about music in that article. The editors at Commonweal entitled my article “It Doesn’t Sing” (without my knowledge, incidentally) based on a bit where I said the text of my childhood memory, about the Centurion “sang” and that by comparison the coming text was “clunky.” Gabe Huck seems to have gotten what I was after. Musicality in spoken language is not a far-fetched concept, after all.

    Oh well. It doesn’t mattter. If anyone is interested, however,
    they can see the article here:
    http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/it-doesn%E2%80%99t-sing

    1. Yes, I was surprised that Msgr. Mannion claimed (in the other post) to have read the Commonweal article (as opposed to having read the title). I had read your very fine dissection of the new translation’s flaws back when it first appeared, and the point was clearly how it fails both orally and aurally, the impossibility of proclaiming it sensibly, rather than any discussion of the various new settings or chants.

      It doesn’t aid his credibility much — though I was surprised by the blunt candor of saying that the reason for the new translation was simply because the Vatican “didn’t like” the older ICEL translations. Though one of the first things I learned about evaluating liturgy is that it isn’t meant to be about likes and dislikes — even the GIRM says so!

      By the way, questions about inclusive language issues in the new translation came up in my community’s period of preparation, and I found your discussion of that in the “Liturgy” volume from the Paulist Press “Rediscovering Vatican II” series most helpful — thank you for your very well-researched and readable scholarship.

      By the way, I also found it quite odd that Msgr. Mannion thought that “one in being with the Father” could possibly be undertood heretically. As a theological or philosophical term, “one in being” means “of the same essence,” which is what the original coined Greek term was getting at. Msgr. Mannion’s view seems to suggest the strange idea that it is better to use a really obscure term that you need to unpack for people, since a clearer term might not be recognized as having a special meaning in the context, even if it makes the special meaning easier to come to grips with. That strikes me as a weird way to think about the necessity for catechesis.

      1. The reason that we have “consubstantial” now is precisely because of the universal “one in being” with the Father, we are told. However, back in 1974 Bishop William Gordon Wheeler determined that Catholics in England and Wales would have a version of the Creed which differed in some particulars from the version used in the US. For nearly 40 years we have said “of one being” with the Father, which does not mean the same thing as “one in being” and is not open to the charge of heresy, the theologians tell us. If only the US had also used it, the mandarins would not have felt the need to change it to “consubstantial”. We have suffered because of that.

        At least, that is the theory. The ill-judged over-use of Latin cognates in the revised translation, though, means that they would probably have done it anyway. 🙁

      2. I also found it quite odd that Msgr. Mannion thought that “one in being with the Father” could possibly be undertood heretically.

        Me too. I’ve heard concerns that “for all” has been misinterpreted by some to mean universal salvation, but I had never before heard concerns that “one in being with” was misinterpreted to mean “created by”.

        don’t see the logic that could possibly to that misinterpretation, and I am not aware of any evidence that those concerns have any foundation in reality.

        I think Msgr. Mannion just made up this “argument”.

  11. Sandi Brough :

    No, because Liturgicam Authenticam was a violent imposition on the People of God. It is not “biased” to oppose what was wrong in the first place.

    I appreciate that you do not approve of the new Missal or the process that brought it about, but I think your constant over-the-top rhetoric about it is not helpful to the discussion.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    1. It is perfectly helpful, because not everyone believes her opinions and the way she is expressing them are over the top. In fact, this is the tip of the iceberg. The reaction over the next few months, especially in the United States, will be interesting to watch, and I’m sure that the church is focused on it, because they know that Americans don’t allow themselves to be subject to dictatorships, they revolt against dictatorships.

      Any law requires a certain percentage of voluntary compliance in order for it to be successful. We know that they’re worried when they start pulling out the “Do what we say or you’ll go to Hell.” crap.

  12. Simon Ho :
    Don’t be silly Sandhi. It was well within the authority of the Congregation to implement the rules of Liturgiam authenticam, just as they could implement the old set of rules.
    Just because you don’t like the new rules, doesn’t mean you can use such a lousy excuse to justify your opposition. Otherwise, we would have to put a whole group of liturgists on trial for violating the Peope of God by mutilating the Sacred Liturgy of the Church.

    But I think Sandi’s point is that the Congregation had no authority to impose LA in the first place, since SC (which has immense weight as a document of a full ecumenical council) placed the primary responsibility for vernacular translations in the hands of the individual bishops’ conferences.

    1. According to SC, regulation of the sacred liturgy depends on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop and the conferences of Bishops. So while Bishops have first responsibility, that doesn’t exclude or curtail the authority and responsibility of the Holy See.

      LA changes the balance of authority between the Holy See and the Conferences of Bishops in translating liturgical texts. Some may not like where the balance of authority now lies, but it is a legitimate instrument. I suspect Sandhi disagrees with the rules themselves, but then don’t use such exaggerated language – it isn’t truthful and it isn’t helpful.

      There are moments when Bishops, Priests and laity have stepped beyond their authority to demand things in the Liturgy not foreseen in liturgical law and norms. If we really must call out violence, let’s reserve them to such instances.

      1. Bishops have first responsibility, especially for the vernacular; Bishop Maurice Taylor tells about how hard bishops fought to get this accepted at Vatican II. Liturgiam Authenticam imposes a strait-jacket on all bishops by refusing to accept any translations that are not rigidly literalistic.

        As a contrast to Msgr Mannion, much further along the trajectory of new trans madness, see this amusing video from the insidious Voris:

        http://video.yandex.ru/#search?text=%22new%20translations%22%20liturgy&where=all&id=32913053-05-12

  13. Of course, you all do realize it is a translation, right? As such, it will never be perfect.

    But I think you do realize that, and the translation is not what this is about.

    You are upset that Christ gave the keys to Peter and His Successors and not you.

    1. People are upset that the people who have the keys are abusing their power and acting like dictators instead of shepherds tending to their flock.

      And the translation is exactly what this is about, because I wouldn’t be here if the new translation weren’t taking place. If we were still using the missal that we used last Sunday, and there were no plans to implement the changes that have just been made you would never have heard of me, and I would be fully planning to attend mass this Sunday as I have for my entire life.

      And I think you are upset that people are using their minds to look at what has happened and that they dare to question or (gasp) resist what the Vatican is trying to do.

  14. Sandi Brough :
    No, because Liturgicam Authenticam was a violent imposition on the People of God. It is not “biased” to oppose what was wrong in the first place.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    According to whom?

  15. I think the Msgr. speaks his opinion on the translation and supports it, just as people who don’t like it do the same. Nothing new, just another opinion. I have seen alot of statements from various Priests who support the translations and are going forward with implementation without much disruption. It all depends which area of the subject you look. Letter to support and letters to decry. You will find both. But just like when you add or remove a statue there will always be someone in the Parish that has to make their oppostion known, often in a loud, threatening way. It doesn’t mean it is the voice of the majority. I think the silent majority who prefer to just go along with what the Church asks of us wins. The ones who offer no public opinion at all but continue to go to Mass, give in the collection, and proclaim the texts, however they are given to them.

    1. Your quote: “…. think the silent majority who prefer to just go along with what the Church asks of us wins.” Really? Didn’t know that our faith journey was about “winning”? Suggest too much football watching yesterday?

      1. I don’t watch football, thanks..As for faith journeys, since when do they include assuming what I mean in an uncharitable way, without even the benefit of asking me what I meant by my statement or making reference to what I amy or may not watch on television?. And what I mean by wins is that they are neither disturbed or overly enthusiastic. There souls are at peace and that makes them the winners in my book.

    1. A bit overly simplistic, but it hits some of the high points.

      I think this is a good thought, but it seems to be predicated on the theory that church “leadership” cares what the faithful think. If that were the case we would never have had this.

      Sexual abuse has become very inconvenient and expensive for the hierarchs, so now they resort to ritual abuse as the new protocol for their overblown hubris; the narcissism and grandiosity that underlies sexual abuse is the undergirding of Vox Clara’s work and its imposition on the liturgy in English.

      Both forms of abuse are first and foremost abuses of power.

  16. Strange, isn’t it? How our minds can at times be shaped or mis-shaped by the angry remarks of those around us. How often has something nice been scuttled by a loud-mouthed few who didn’t like it – they made so much noise that everyone thought that everyone didn’t like it , but it was only a few.

    So it is on this blog: if one’s only source of opinion was this blog, one could mistakenly draw the conclusion that this new translation was a wicked imposition on the Church by a few evil old persons in the Vatican, and that it was detested by all. How very, very wrong one would be!

    It is now the Vigil of Advent I, and I, along with millions of others, am overjoyed.

    1. We are far from a “few”. Here’s we’re the few that are vocal, but for every vocal person there are hundreds if not thousands who are upset, but who are too scared to speak out, or who have simply been brainwashed into thinking that they can’t do anything about it. But the negative feelings are widespread. And I, along with millions of others, am weeping, and we’re not going to remain silent. That implies passive acceptance, and doing that would give the traditionalists in power the belief that they can continue turning back Vatican II.

  17. “One could mistakenly draw the conclusion that this new translation was a wicked imposition on the Church by a few evil old persons in the Vatican, and that it was detested by all.”

    The right conclusion would be: “This new translation is a wicked imposition on the Church by a few stubborn and foolish old persons in the Vatican, and it will be increasingly detested by most Catholics, as it has been detested by most of those who have examined it so far.”

    To forestall the talking point of the future, namely that “disgruntled liberals destroyed the new translation by badmouthing it”, we need to put the translation fully and fairly before the congregations throughout the English speaking world so that the full force of the backlash can be undergone. The new translation needs to be clearly rejected not by a clerical clique but by the people of God. Only then will it be universally seen as indefensible, as the Iraq invasion of 2003 is, for example.

  18. Sean Parker calls the new trans “spiritual rape” and he is right. Rapists often think they are carried away by such ardent passion that the victim must share the good feel. The conservative clique who are pushing this translation on us even before it has been properly finished are anxious not to lose the moment (for instance, they must get it done before B16’s pontificate ends) are like people so impatient to realize their desire that they resort to crude and overbearing means, and become abusers.

    1. JO’L – Really! If there was anything like rape, it was the thrusting of the ’73 translation into the liturgical life of the Church. Compounded by leaving it there for two or three generations to get accustomed to having been raped and thinking it was a good thing; so that now, finally getting a truly good thing, they think it’s a bad thing because its not like the really bad thing that they grew up with.

      We are fortunate that the Vatican intervened to put this translation back on course. The highly touted ’98 is/was not at all an improvement. It was a somewhat doctored up ’73: totally inadequate. Gloria and Sanctus were left just as they were except for some silly contructions in Gloria which quite transparently serve a feminist bias. And also with you remains. and the collects are heavily edited to make feminist men and women well pleased. The ’98 is/was a naked farce.

      1. The 1973 texts were produced in an orderly fashion in line with the Council and were generally welcomed. I think if you dislike them you can call them an orgy. The present situation is more like rape because of the element of duress, the feeling so many people have of being forced to pray in a way that goes against the entire post Vatican II culture of prayerr.

        Inclusive language is pretty mandatory today, as all academics know. I suppose some men feel they are raped when forced to use that language, or feel that the English language is being raped. You have launched a new meme now, that the 1998 texts are not all they’re cracked up to be. I grant you that the Suscipiat response is clumsy (all the Church instead of all His Church) but my own sampling of the 1998 preces shows them to be very acceptable, far superior to 1973 and of course to the ghastly new texts.

      2. Before panning the 1998 trans you might (read it and) consider such responses as the following:
        On the basis of the extracts you have provided, the 1998 translation is clearly superior. With respect to the existing translation, it has more punch, more specificity, is less woolly. Plus it has more actual content – the existing one can be a bit patchy. But what strikes one most is the clarity and elegance of the English, which it achieves without being ‘arch’. The new translation meets the requirement of content and specificity, and is reasonably clear. But does not read like anything a native speaker would write. I think it will lead to a lot of puzzled faces in church.
        Nicholas Hardie | Lay Person | Portsmouth | England

  19. Claire Mathieu: “The ultimate goal of LA is not to promote good translations but to curb the power of bishops’ conferences.”

    This is very likely. There have been many documents and interventions over the last three decades aimed to do precisely that (detailed in an article by Massimo Fagioli). LA fits snugly into that pattern.

    The Curia are a power-hungry clique, and we definitely need an “Occupy the Curia” movement.

  20. People who seem to base the belief that this transition will be no big issue since the changeover from Latin to the vernacular was much bigger, and was ultimately successful, are leaving out two different variables:

    1) Changing the mass from a foreign language into a language in which the laity fluently spoke was a step in the right direction.

    2) When the vernacular was introduced, people were still in the pay, pray, obey mentality. They wouldn’t dare think of questioning what they were told to do by the church.

    3) The Internet, that wonderful communication tool, didn’t exist then. The Internet has caused governments to topple because it allows people to communicate ideas, and to expose dictatorial regimes.

    Now, I’m off to church, to say goodbye until it returns.

  21. This finds its simplest example in the Confiteor, which states that I have sinned, mea culpa, mea culpa. mea maxima culpa (“through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”) – not just “through my fault” (dynamic equivalence ). This means that words are translated more literally.

    So “most grievous” for “maxima” is more literal? I think Nissan should sue.

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