The Lifespan of MR2010

The Chant Café links an interview from The Tablet with Mgr. Wadsworth of ICEL. Three points struck me:

  • There is a very frank acknowledgement of the many changes made by Vox Clara (though the article speaks more generally about these being done by CDW), and an acknowledgement that not all of these were improvements.
  • Mgr. Wadsworth seems more bemused than troubled by the translation’s shortcoming. I find myself trying to cultivate a similar bemusement.
  • Mgr. Wadsworth implies that revisions — I suspect principally of the priest’s parts — will be not too long in coming. Of course, as our second reading today reminds us, a thousand years are as a day in the sight of the Lord, so if the good Monsignor is taking the God-eye perspective on this, then we might be waiting a long time.

On the whole, an interesting interview.


  1. I doubt that there will be a new translation until there’s a new missal in a few decades. I suspect that part of the reason for Summorum Pontificum is to get us to a point where, in due course, the liturgy is healthy enough to have a do-over and try to finally carry out the liturgical reforms of Vatican II: The traditional Roman Rite, with the modifications desired by the Council.

    Klaus Gamber referred to the novus ordo as an “experiment” that can be run in parallel with the usus antiquior; he may not have appreciated how long it would take, but c’est la vie, and in the timescale of the Church, it’s the blink of an eye.

    1. The cats out of the bag. I think if they really started tweaking the liturgy, then people would truly be upset. This isn’t our grandfather’s Church anymore – people are going to speak up and not accept everything from Rome as infallible.

      Face it, the Novus Ordo is here to stay.

  2. Sean, I think that if we were to stop by Earth in a few centuries at all, catch a game, see if they’ve outlawed beer, and out of curiosity attend a Mass, we would see that the designated hitter rule will be gone, and the Mass will look to us like a strange hybrid of the novus et antiquus ordines. My impression is that no one, least of all the holy father, expects the two versions of the rite to coexist over the long term, and so, as I said above, I expect to see reintegration three, five, not more than ten popes down the line. (Either that or total separation, which I find unlikely.)

    If I had to speculate, my bet would be that on our visit, we’d see an opening rite much closer to the usus antiquior, but with the congregation giving the responses in the manner of the novus ordo. I don’t speculate on what language it’ll be in, but I’ll speculate that the priest will face the same direction as the congregation. We’ll then have a liturgy of the word very much like the novus ordo, in the vernacular and versus populum, and a hybrid liturgy of the eucharist in either latin or the vernacular depending on the parish, celebrated ad orientem, but with an audible canon (most likely the additional EPs from the novus ordo will stay).

    That’s pure guesswork, but if I had to put money on it, since that’s the council’s vision, that’s what I’d bet the liturgy celebrated by the first bishop of Olympus Mons will look like. The current situation isn’t stable, and I wouldn’t bet against seeing such a synthesis in my lifetime under a Pope who may not even have been be born yet.

    1. Simon – like Fr. Allan, your comment is just that and is based upon an inadequate understanding of Vatican II and B16″s “hermeneutic of reform” (Fr. Allan – note, it is reform; not continuity)

      From one of the experts on Vatican II:

      “Bishop Fellay, current head of the SSPX, indicated that his group could not endorse the “Doctrinal Preamble” without some “clarifications”, and among them, it seems, the acceptance of the Council’s teachings would be a vital issue. Fellay repeated the mantra: “The Second Vatican Council was intended to be pastoral; it did not define any dogma. It did not add to the articles of faith: “I believe in religious liberty, in ecumenism, in collegiality….”

      It is perhaps significant, then, that L’Osservatore Romano this week published an article on the adherence due to the teachings of Vatican II and that the article was very quickly made available in several languages on the Vatican newspaper’s website. Its author is a member of Opus Dei and is said to have been part of the discussions between the Vatican and the Lefebvrists. He makes some of the same points I’ve made above. There are three levels of self-commitment in the conciliar texts: 1) things already part of the Church’s doctrinal and dogmatic heritage, confirmed or taken for granted at the Council; 2) other teachings that are authoritative but not definitive; and 3) more circumstantial elements. He also speaks of “innovations of a doctrinal nature” with regard, e.g., to the sacramental nature of the episcopate, episcopal collegiality, and religious freedom. The evaluation of these innovations would raise the question of the hermeneutics of the Council, and here we find the obligatory reference to Pope Benedict’s distinction between an interpretation that focuses on discontinuities and one that sees the Council as an instance of “renewal within continuity.” This distinction is once again taken too sharply, more sharply than the Pope himself made it, but the disjunction has become something of a magic wand by which serious questions about what the Council did and said can be made to vanish.”

      Please note the last line – your “imagined” future liturgy is an exercise in waving a magic wand to make the serious liturgical reforms of Vatican II vanish. You completely ignore ecclesiological questions & principles of SC such as enculturation, decisions about liturgy made by conferences and how liturgy lives out and expresses who we are as a church. What you describe can best be aligned with Fellay’s followers.

      Komonchak clarified later in one of the comments:

      “Pope Benedict XVI is not of the view that nothing changed at the Council. He espouses a “hermeneutic of reform”, and if nothing changes, how can one speak of reform. He offers his own definition of it: “Continuity and discontinuity at different levels.” If there is discontinuity, something must have changed. In his little book on “Theological Highlights” look at how often the council expert Joseph Ratzinger uses nouns and verbs denoting change, reversal, novelty, etc. Something was happening, and it was a departure from the normal and expected, and, as you can sense from that little book, which I have read several times, he was excited to be part of it, as he was, for example, when he and Karl Rahner were writing a draft on divine revelation they hoped could be substituted for the defensive text on the sources of revelation.

      It is ridiculous to say that the Council did not change anything–if it didn’t, what was all the drama about? The article in the OssRom to which I referred speaks of “innovations” in doctrinal matters such as collegiality, the sacramentality of the episcopate, and religious freedom.”

      I would also add – innovations in liturgy.

      1. Bill, I have as much interest in discussing what SSPX thinks as I do in discussing the color of the Titanic’s paint before she sank, and for much the same reasons. The council is here to stay; anyone who resists is on the wrong side of history. But by the same token, the council is here to stay. The self-appointed stewards of it have lost control of the narrative as a new generation refuses to accept their ersatz council and instead looks to implement the real, historical Vatican II. Seen from my vantage point, Mr. McBrien and Mr. Fellay, and their followers, are no different–schismatics headed for the ashpile of history. Long after they (and after we) are dead, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church will endure.

        Perhaps this surprises you? I get the sense, reading your comment, that you think I have some sympathies with SSPX, and I’m sorry to tell you that that’s an unfortunate misreading of the situation. Like most folks my age, it seems to me, I’m what some will derisively call a “Vatican II Catholic”–I fully accept the council. But we embrace the real council: What the council said, not the ersatz council that has for so long been brandished by reformers. Thus, your comment that my “‘imagined’ future liturgy is an exercise in waving a magic wand to make the serious liturgical reforms of Vatican II vanish” simply couldn’t be much more wrong. Unlike you, it would seem, I have read Sacrosanctum Concilium, and wish to implement it. Indeed, the reason that I think this is the liturgy to come is not because I want to repudiate the council, but precisely because I believe that in the end, the council’s vision will finally be implemented.

        In the end, the church will endure, and the council will outlive those who betrayed it and wrapped their own preferences in its garb.

      2. Not sure where you got Mr. McBrien…you obviously did not read the link nor the comments that followed. Komonchak has forgotten more about VII then you will ever know.

        I linked to him because he specifically addressed your follow up “story” about the Erstaz council as the imagings of liberal catholics. It is the usual reform of the reform dribble as is your “I really know and will implement SC and the real council” meme.

      3. Bill, reform and continuity are not mutually exclusive. What continues can admit changes and innovations which do not contradict the essentials. These essentials can and must be gleamed from the Tradition of the Church and earlier Magisterial expressions of Councilliar and Papal teachings.

        Pope Benedict himself, in addressing the curia, contrasted the “hermeneutic of reform” against the “hermeneutic of discontinuity or rupture”. Therefore he envisages that the correct hermeneutic to intepret the Council excludes such premises that split the Church between the pre-Councilliar and post-Councilliar and views the former with suspicion or faulty.

      4. I posted Komonchak’s articles because he highlighted that folks like you have twisted B16″s words and meanings. B16 did not say “hermeneutic of continuity” – he said “hermeneutic of reform” and went on to clarify this. Komonchak specifically identified folks like you who have twisted and misstated what B16 meant and intended.

        Your arrogance is just that.

      5. Bill, I’ve mentioned on this blog before that Pope Benedict has used the expression “hermeneutic of reform”. So, here it is again for the record: the last sentence of Sacramentum Caritatis, paragraph 3:

        “Concretely, the changes which the Council called for need to be understood within the overall unity of the historical development of the rite itself, without the introduction of artificial discontinuities.[6]”

        And footnote 6:

        “I am referring here to the need for a hermeneutic of continuity also with regard to the correct interpretation of the liturgical development which followed the Second Vatican Council: cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Curia (22 December 2005): AAS 98 (2006), 44-45.”

        Of course, it’s important to remember his original expression, which was “hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church.”

      6. JP – a footnote. Read Komonchak’s articles – he references the same 2005 speech. His point which was reinforced last week by a Vatican conference was about how SC specifically was prepared by Pius XII and his liturgical changes. The comment was specifically meant as a response to those who characterize SC as a “radical” break and reform….there were three speakers at this conference and one specifically laid out original research that outlined and connected Pius XII’s reforms to the groundwork leading up to both the calling of VII and its first approved document, SC (and why SC was the first document). Another speaker revealed research that indicated that Pius XII came close to calling another council (reason – VI ended before it was finished because of political realities) but felt that bishops needed to remain in their sees after the disruption of WWII. This conference was specifically called to address the “revisionist history” that is going on right now – folks like Mr. Ho who are twisting and reinterpreting VII to meet their own ideology.

        Some other very interesting events – the 50th anniversary of VII is coming up and the November USCCB meeting made not one reference about this; and have made no plans to celebrate this event. Talk about revisionism.

      7. Two replies to Bill:
        “The comment was specifically meant as a response to those who characterize SC as a ‘radical’ break and reform….”

        Setting aside SSPX and their ilk, those who see SC as such are almost all to be found on the “left”; it’s the progressives who claim SC as a warrant for radical reform. It is, of course, no such thing; the radical view finds no warrant in the text. One might wonder, after all, whether it is really plausible that a “radical” document would be approved all-but unanimously (there were, what, sixty or so dissenting votes of nearly 2200 bishops attending?). It seems absolutely apparent that SC was not seen as radical by the council fathers, but rather than it’s modest text reflected an intention of reform in continuity with tradition.

        “This conference was specifically called to address the ‘revisionist history’ that is going on right now – folks like Mr. Ho who are twisting and reinterpreting VII to meet their own ideology.”

        That is exactly what I criticize, but you have it backwards. It was the folks who for decades misappropriated the Council as a battering ram for their pet projects. No one should make the mistake of thinking that revisionism is measured by temporal proximity to the event. It is, to the contrary, quite often the case that the revisionism happens immediately and only on later and sober reflection does the truth come out.

      8. Mr. Dodd and JP – Fr. Komanchak is responding to your last “inverted” reasoning – i.e. “That is exactly what I criticize, but you have it backwards. It was the folks who for decades misappropriated the Council as a battering ram for their pet projects. No one should make the mistake of thinking that revisionism is measured by temporal proximity to the event. It is, to the contrary, quite often the case that the revisionism happens immediately and only on later and sober reflection does the truth come out.”

        Your words….misappropriated; battering ram; pet projects. The context for B16’s comments is laid out by Fr. Komonchak:

        – As the fortieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican
        Council approached, rumors began to spread that Pope Benedict XVI would use the occasion to address the question of the interpretation of the Council. The rumor was particularly promoted by Sandro Magister, columnist of L’Espresso and author of a widely read weekly newsletter on the Internet. For some time Magister had used this
        newsletter to criticize the five-volume History of Vatican II that had been published under the general editorship of Giuseppe Alberigo.
        When the last volume of this History appeared, Magister’s newsletter called it a «non-neutral history» (9 Nov. 2001). The role of Giuseppe Dossetti at the Council and the reform-proposals of the Istituto per le Scienze Religiose that he founded were the objects of three separate newsletters (1 Dec. 2003; 3 Jan 2005; 30 Aug. 2005).
        In a web-article on 22 June 2005, under the title: «Vatican II: The True History Not Yet Told», Magister gave great prominence to the launching of a book presented as a «counterweight» to the Alberigo History. For several years, its author, Agostino Marchetto, had been publishing severely critical reviews of the successive volumes of that History and of several auxiliary volumes generated in the course of
        the project sponsored by the Bologna Institute.”
        – “In a web-article on 5 December 2005, Magister indicated that he
        expected Pope Benedict soon to address the issue of the interpretation
        of the Council. In anticipation he reprinted an essay by Walter Brandmüller, president of the Pontifical Commission for Historical Studies.
        Brandmüller’s essay, first published in the November 29th issue of the
        Italian bishops’ conference’s daily newspaper Avvenire, preferred
        theological platitudes to historical interpretation of the Council,
        which he distinguished from other ecumenical councils because it
        was pastoral rather than dogmatic in character, an option of which
        Brandmüller did not seem to approve.
        – “Magister considered this essay «the perfect preface» to what the
        Pope would say in his homily on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Clearly, he himself «eagerly awaited» the speech in which he expected the Pope to declare himself against «the Bologna school»
        and its view of Vatican II as «a new beginning» in Church history.
        The Pope’s homily on December 8th, it turned out, at least with respect to Vatican II, was a simple ferverino offering Our Lady as the key to understanding the Council. There were no references to mistaken interpretations of the Council.
        – The Pope’s Christmas Address to the Roman Curia
        The much-anticipated remarks of the new Pope finally appeared
        as a part of his address to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005.

      9. JP – the last part did not transfer.

        In the Latin “orginal” of this document, the word “hermeneutic” is not used in the #6 footnote- rather it is chosen by the Italian translator and then into english. Guess we need to apply LA to this situation.

      10. Bill, thank you for the erudite and up-to-date account of recent developments! You leave your detractors in the halfpenny place.

    2. Finally, a chance to “nit-pick” with JP. Two separate B16 statements – Sacramentum Caritas and 2005 Christmas Address:

      Sacramentum Caritas – link:

      Very long but you will not find “hermeneutic of continuity in the main body of this document – your nit pick is footnote (6) only and is specific to liturgical developments; thus, he says hermeneutic of continuity. Please keep this in context – you are taking this out of context to make your nitpicking point.

      You referenced the 2005 Christmas address by B16:

      Link to the address in Italian:

      Link to address in English:

      Please note that there is no phrase – “hermeneutic of continuity” in this address.

      F/U from Fr. Komonchak: “The sentence quoted above is from a footnote to Pope Benedict’s Sacramentum caritatis. You are correct that in his speech to the Roman Curia, he does not use the phrase “hermeneutics of continuity” and avoids it deliberately, I believe, because “the hermeneutic of reform” that he espouses means both “continuity and discontinuity at different levels.”

      1. Bill, I have not said that “hermeneutic of continuity” appears in the body of Sacramentum Caritatis. I quoted the sentence of SacCar 3 that had the footnote, and I quoted the footnote. I am aware that he is addressing specifically liturgical matters: I’ve read the text I quoted.

        I also know that “hermeneutic of continuity” does not appear in Benedict’s 2005 December address to the Curia. As I said in my comment, the phrase he uses (translated into English) is “hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church”. And yes, he does go on to say that the reform/renewal of which he speaks entails both continuity and discontinuity.

        The only reason I brought the footnote of Sac. Car. up is because you said that Benedict never used the expression “hermeneutic of continuity.” Okay, he used “explicationis continuationis” which can be reasonably translated to “[of a] hermeneutic of continuity.”

        (The Latin of Sac. Car., footnote 6 reads: “De necessitate loquimur cuiusdam explicationis continuationis, ratione quoque habita rectae lectionis liturgicae post Concilium Vaticanum II progressionis.”)

    3. I think that in some decades time we will be astonished at our slavish obsession with Latin texts and their translations. When the people of God understand the Eucharist and learn how to celebrated it in a Spirit-filled way, this will be seen in new linguistic and poetic creativity. The current deckchairs fussing with translations is sign of liturgical sterility and spiritual crisis.

  3. The only reason we HAVE this situation is because JP2 and B16 have created it. I think it’s equally plausible that the next pope greatly restricts or abrogates the EF totally. That’s where I’ll put my money. We shall see.

    1. The present situation has many authors, but the last people who can be blamed are JP2 and B16. Some would argue that we have this situation because of the council, and that’s true in a but-for sense. I would set the situation at the feet of Paul VI, the consilium, and the ICEL myself. As to the chances of the next pope “greatly restrict[ing] or abrogat[ing] the EF totally”–I think that’s pure fantasy, the perennial liberal belief that the next pope won’t be Catholic and will give them all they want. Richard McBrien will never be Pope, and neither will anyone with the slightest sympathy for his views. Actually, since I’m acting like a betting man on this thread, I’d say that the smart money is on Marc Card. Oullet. We–well, I–shall see. I hope for Benedict to reign many more years yet!

      1. How can you blame the ICEL when their long-promised revised translation of 1998 was unceremonious dumped by the Vatican who brought in the new translation principles aht have now brithed the horrible new translation?

    2. That is too simplistic a position; it reminds me of unreasonable parents and unthinking students who only has mental capacity for blaming others or processing limited inputs.

      But in the messiness of life, both personal and ecclesial, the hand of the Holy Spirit can also discerned.

      Be very, very careful that you are not betting against the Holy Spirit.

      1. Well, trying to decide if the new texts is in accord or not accord with the mind of God is, as someone said, beyond my pay grade.

        So I don’t bet. I trust that this text is what the God wants us to have at this time. If it’s to bless us and improve the Divine Liturgy, Deo gratias; if it pleases him to send us a trial, so be it. As with the old texts that I don’t like, I make the best of it. I don’t promote dissent; I don’t fret; I don’t whip up a frenzy. I approach it as God’s Gift, and let him work out the rest. I happen to like most of the new texts; but if I find something I don’t like, I gratefully accept it still – because the whole thing, with all its warts and imperfection, is still his Gift.

    3. We would still have the situation regardless – it would just be under the surface and easier to pretend it doesn’t exist. The Church hasn’t benefited from a “keeping up appearances at all costs” approach.

      A common story in Latin Mass communities is that of older people coming up to the priest after Mass with tears of joy because they felt like something had been torn away from them when the old Mass was abrogated. I’m sure I’ll be told those who were distraught by the liturgical reform (or those who are younger and find little relevance in it) are some microscopic minority that doesn’t matter, but I doubt God feels that way.

      As for what the Mass will look like in the future – I think it is plausible that aspects of the 1962 Missal will be added to the Novus Ordo as options in addition to what already exists (like the old offertory or the prayers at the foot of the altar). I have serious doubt that most people would object to things being added.

    4. Sean Whelan on December 4, 2011 – 8:32 pm

      So, the next pope cancels Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae? The EF will just go back underground. I lived the indult days and bore the abuse of hostile ordinaries. I doubt you realize the resilience of Tridentines — people in my childhood diocese used to drive 100 miles round trip to hear Low Mass in a drafty, run-down church. We’ll do it again if we have to.

      This time, however, there will be more priests who know how to say the EF. Less of these priests will be willing to stop celebrating the ancient rites. It’s in the best interest of any pope to let the EF exist licitly rather than try to abrogate the rite again. Similarly, I would hope that the next pope should be lenient about use of the Sacramentary rather than have priests mutilate the new translation at their pleasure.

      If progressive priests are so open about their desire to remake the new translation in their image, why shouldn’t traditional priests be open about their enduring adherence to the EF even if it is abrogated? Disobedience is.

      1. Joe, that’s a rather odd claim. I’m trying to figure it out, and the best that I can do is that you seem to be saying that because the usus antiquior is old, it cannot represent the future, which would really be a quite bizarre claim, a strangeness that appears when applying it to other objects: “The Constitution of the United States, because it is two centuries old, by definition does not represent the FUTURE of American government.” I’m sure that you meant something else; could you explain, please?

      2. Joe O’Leary on December 5, 2011 – 7:58 pm

        Father, it doesn’t matter if the Tridentines are past, present, or future. Our timeless ancient liturgy exists without reference to current events. We will follow our culture and worship wherever it takes us. Pope Benedict wisely realized that Paul VI unwisely tried to abrogate that which could not be abrogated. The Holy Father realizes that a culture and way of life cannot be stopped by a constitution.

        I don’t know if you’ve been to an EF Mass lately. My parish is packed with people in their twenties to forties, lots of babies, and plenty of ethnic diversity. This is not uncommon in other parishes. None of this is true for my local progressive parish, where there is nary an infant’s cry but plenty in retirement. The vibrancy of the Church is not in the postmodern project but in the well-worn paths of Roman culture and worship.

      3. JZ, just to play the devil’s advocate for a moment…

        Our timeless ancient liturgy exists without reference to current events.

        But to Pope Gregory I, the liturgy of his day, if considered “ancient”, was still not “timeless”. He saw fit to introduce into the Canon three clauses in the Hanc igitur — “diésque nostros in tua pace dispónas, atque ab ætérna damnatióne nos éripi, et in electórum tuórum júbeas grege numerári” — due to the Lombard invasion of Rome. So for Gregory I, the liturgy, even the Canon, existed with references to VERY current events.

        (This is, at least, what all the scholarship on the Roman Canon I’ve read has claimed.)

      4. Jeffrey Pinyan on December 6, 2011 – 7:46 am

        Yes, strike “timeless”. That was shortsighted hyperbole on my part.

        At one time, the Roman Canon was under development. It is only “timeless” from the perspective of persons living well after the 7th century, when the Canon reached the form more-or-less found in the EF (save petitions for rulers and the insertion of local saints found in missals before the Tridentine standardization). The original text, in its original language, is also more durable than a 1967 paraphrase or a 2010 overly literal translation.

        As I have mentioned earlier, the antiquity of the Roman Canon should be reason enough to spare it from translation into any vernacular. No translator can capture the nuances of this prayer. It is best left alone in Latin.

    1. Why must it be a silk purse? Sow’s ear is a delicacy in some cultures. Good to savour, nutritious and quite nice to chew on.

      Hmm, come to think of it, while I doubt you intended to praise the new transation with the term “sow’s ear”, perhaps it is unknowingly prophetic and the Holy Spirit is telling us, through you, of the goodness and strengths of the new translation.

      God works in amazing ways!

      1. Mr Dodd, metaphorical language is not intended to be taken literally.

        May enlightenment descend upon you like the dewfall!
        (Even though dew doesn’t fall.)

      2. Graham, the idiom in a different culture would mean very different things. When the good things from one culture encounters another, might not there be a different way of understanding the old expressions? This is part of the basis of inculturation and the movement of the Holy Spirit, right?

      3. Mary, thanks the enlightenment!

        But you didn’t understand the link between the Holy Spirit and dewfall that led to the eventual text we have. So your adaptation couldn’t work and only showed your ignorance.

  4. Well. I’m very definitely most dissatisfied with the new translation and have been since I saw the first drafts about five years ago.

    What angers me as a first-language English speaker is that I know we can do so much better, that English is a very capable vehicle for public prayer if crafted by the right hands.

    I don’t think the translation in its present form will last. It is just too turgid and prissy. But we do need to press for reform of the translation rules first – scrap Liturgiam Authenticam immediately.

    1. I think the characterization, while accurate, is probably far too kind! A young Latin scholar of my close acquaintance was all but laughing out loud at the First Sunday of Advent. . .and I wasn’t far behind. Can’t speak to this weekend’s goings-on, as I was unable to attend Mass at all. Quite honestly, I didn’t feel much loss. . .

  5. Odd! It doesn’t seem turgid to me. Fulsome, perhaps: which is admirable. And, far from prissy (I don’t get this at all!), it seems to me rather nicely robust and masculine – just the opposite of prissy. I think you are just too afraid of it… try embracing it.

    1. Oh good, an answer to what we’ve been lacking, a masculine translation! To me, it simply sounds awful. I have listened, read, and proclaimed the texts myself and they are awful. And we’re only at the beginning… wait till people start hearing/praying Lent and Easter. Woof.

      1. They might get used to the structure of the prayers by then. I’ve noticed that there is a pattern in how the clauses are intended to build on each other – if it carries into Lent and Eastertide, it might actually aid comprehension.

    2. ful·some/ˈfo͝olsəm/
      Complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree: “they are almost embarrassingly fulsome in their appreciation”.

      Apart from a few phrases like “the immensity of your majesty” I wouldn’t go so far as to describe the new translation as “fulsome.”

      1. What about “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you,
        we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory”?

    3. My dictionary’s definition of fulsome: excessive or insincere especially in an offensive or distasteful way; disgusting

      1. Curious. Is this another “two nations separated by a common language” thing? All my life I’ve only ever heard, or used, fulsome in the sense of abundant, without any pejorative overtones.
        Kind regards,
        John Henley

    4. We are in your presence instead of we stand — how manly.
      Graciously grant — how robust.
      John the Baptist sings instead of being a herald — perhaps he is dancing along with Salome as well?

  6. I disagree with the last point of the poster. I don’t think Mgr Wadsworth implies anything about a revision of the new translation. It seems that he has very carefully expressed nothing that would let us know what he thinks about how long the new text will last.

    Perhaps it would be better if the author of the article just published a transcript of the interview. There were a lot of embedded commentary that seemed to give a better glimpse of the author’s own views than Mgr Wadsworth’s opinions.

    As for when there will be another new translation of the Roman Missal, I think all this speculation is futile and not very useful. In God’s good time, if he so chooses.

    1. “Though he declined to say precisely how long he believes the new Missal will survive,he pointed out that the first translation was only intended to last five to 10 years.”

      Maybe I (or the interviewer) am reading too much into his response. But it does seem to indicate that he doesn’t think that this translation is one for the ages.

  7. If a new translation comes only after the 4th typical edition, it may be a while. Most of the differences between 1st and 3rd have been about newly canonized saints, and the rate of canonization has slowed lately. Mor likely, a revised translation will follow as more language groups try to follow LA, and discover how impossible that is.

    Since we have discussed 1st Advent’s Prayer after communion so much, let me caution the prophets here. We learn about heaven from the mystery we celebrate, not from passing things. Predictions rooted in passing things, like language or favorite rites, are not as compelling as those that address the mystery we celebrate.

  8. I am 62 yrs old and have cantored or sung in church choir since 4th grade. I was taught by the nuns to sing using chant. My voice remains strong and well modulted even at my age and i had no intentions to stop singing. When I saw not only how bad the new translations were but also realizced how the language was scoped more towards the mass as sacrifice and towards making sure the laity must grovel and admit to how sinful and unworthy tlhey are and including the heretical “many” instead of “all” for whom Jesus died, in good concsience I can no longer cantor or sing at Mass. This fnew translations feels like someone has taken my voice from me! I feel the pain like some of you (Sean Parker comes immediately to mind) have expressed. As to your assessment, Grahm, that the words are prissy, I couldn’t agree more. I live in Montana and I can tell you that most guys out here will have that same opinion. My hubby (who is Presbyterian) usually attends Christmas Eve Mass with me. This year after he hears the first long-winded, prissy, pretentious prayer he will lean over to me and say “Honey, I thnik I’ll just go keep the truck warm for you” and he probably won’t be the only guy out there in the parking lot doing so.

    1. Reyanna,
      “For many” isn’t heretical, and the idea that any Catholic would believe that the Church would supply a heretical translation or a heretical Mass is deeply troubling. I think you need to study the pro multis question and reflect on your relationship with Holy Mother Church.

      1. “For many” may not have been intrinsically heretical originally, but context is everything. It is the change from “for all” to “for many” which is heretical because it implies that “for all” is wrong or false.

      2. Mary, let me get this straight. You are arguing that “for many” isn’t heretical in itself (a sensible concession), but it becomes heretical if it has previously been mistranslated and the proposal is made to fix the translation?

        And, by the way, it should be to obvious to require stating, yet apparently is not, that “for all” is wrong and false. One might quote St John Chrysostom, who, commenting on Hebrews 9:28, asks why it should say that Christ died “to bear the sins of many.” Why, that Doctor of the Church asked, “‘of many’ and not ‘of all’? Because not all believed. For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing.”

        Mary, you need to change your attitude. Not all will be saved. It’s easy and convenient to believe otherwise, but the odds are very good that there is someone (or are people) who will go to hell because you and I didn’t do enough to reach them. Salvation is not a given, and that is precisely why “for all” is, although not heresy itself, an extremely dangerous open invitation to heresy.

      3. Saint John Chrysostomos: “For He died indeed for all, that is His part.”

        Quod erat demonstrandum!

        Simon Dodd: “Not all will be saved.”

        Take your pick between Chryosotomos and Dodd!

        It would be no harm to give the pseudonymous author of 1 Timothy a chance to speak also:

        Referring to God (s)he says: “who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.”

        The truth is that RC tradition has never said that hell is populated. Can you think of any candidates, Mr Dodd, to be first to cross the threshold?

        And it is offensive to say that another person needs to change their attitude. Who do you think you are?

    2. Reyanna, thanks for offering your experience. Yes, they have taken away our voice, and many of the “internal” prayers that we have been praying along with the priest for all our lives have been taken away too.

      Nicholas King in a recent issue of the Tablet observed that it seemed the people who wrote the translation never read it aloud. (And it was, by and large, a very kind review!) Whatever the case, the thing does not read well, and the style and tone as well as the content are grating.

      1. Now, we all know that thefolks at ICEL read the texts out loud when they did the translation. Just that some people didn’t like the outcome, or disagreed ultimately with the difficult choices they had to make.

        What we don’t know is whether those who made the changes read the text out loud. The end result is a text that reads quite well generally though not consistently. That’s my experience listening and reading the texts at least.

      2. Simon, once again fantasising: Now, we all know that thefolks at ICEL read the texts out loud when they did the translation. Just that some people didn’t like the outcome, or disagreed ultimately with the difficult choices they had to make.

        No, we don’t all know that, and neither do you. It would be wonderful if your interventions were based on fact, not on urban myth.

      3. Well, the Bishops of ICEL have been saying that, the Executive Director of ICEL’s secretariat who has worked on the pre-approval texts has been saying that – he has even spoken about some of the difficult choices ICEL has to make, sometimes against natural flow in English. I’ve got no reason to doubt what many of them have been saying consistently.

        If you have evidence you know the Bishops or Mgr Harbert are lying, it would be instructive for me (apparently, no one else is as duped as I was) to lay that out now. Otherwise, it would appear to me than you are slandering the character of these men.

  9. This article suggests that it is time to know what people really think of the new English Mass.

    But the reality is that we will never know that despite the gobs of journalistic ink that might be spilt from interviewing “people in the street”. Clearly ICEL has no intention of producing any data that would be representative of the people.

    It would be impossible to enter into a consultation that just had individual people, as it were, throwing their penny into the pot. There is no structure that could cope with that.

    One of the values that ICEL is able to offer in the next stage of the process is to coordinate that commentary.

    Obviously this coordination will again be a secretive process in which those who participate are required not to criticize the process or the outcome.

    1. Jack, I totally agree with you. The disparaging slang of “throw the penny into the pot” is shamelessly dismissive, disregarding all the potential tools that the social sciences have at hand to collect and analyse data.

      I found it rather telling how many times the good Monsignor chuckled during the interview. He’s in good humor because he is overseeing a process with predetermined outcomes. He knows the game is rigged.

    2. Unfortunately, Rita, many of us have become all too familiar with the “rigged” nature of consultative processes in the church.

      No long after the sexual abuse crisis broke, a local parish offered an open discussion of the matter.

      I went armed with my county mental health data showing this was a societal problem that costs our county millions a year. A private sector psychologist came with her extensive experience treating this problem.

      “In order to give everyone a chance to speak” the meeting was divided up into small groups which, of course, is designed to prevent the emergence of natural leaders.

      Neither my colleague nor I monopolized the conversation in the small groups, nor chose to be a reporter for those groups since we wanted to speak for ourselves not others.

      There was an opportunity at the end of the small groups, and the reporting for anyone else who wanted to speak (if you dared prolong the meeting!!!) both my colleague and I did. The pastor neither acknowledged our special expertise nor invited us to elaborate.

      Having “listened” the pastor told us the real reason for the meeting, his concern a false, unproven accusation would destroy his ministry. He showed no interest in the societal problem let alone the church problem.

      People understand the futility of “consultation.” I was able to be a member of my parish council because no one else applied. Most of the people who joined were interested only in learning about the parish (also my motivation). Like most board members of mental health agencies they thought they were there to support the management rather than represent their communities. Open meetings were rarely held and when they did almost no one came.

      When I interviewed anonymously and individually about 20 small group leaders about adult faith formation, they enjoyed that could read their rearranged publicly distributed comments, and the pastor started parish bible study (their top suggestion) within a year.

      1. I could write a book about how “consultations” are so often window dressing for the powers that be. It’s a technique rampant in academia as well as the Church. Not only do phony consultations leave a bitter taste in the mouths of those who find they’ve been flim-flammed, but it denies the institution the benefit of outside ideas!

  10. Bill deHaas :
    B16 did not say “hermeneutic of continuity” – he said “hermeneutic of reform” and went on to clarify this. Komonchak specifically identified folks like you who have twisted and misstated what B16 meant and intended.
    Your arrogance is just that.

    Funny, that was from the Pope’s speech in which he clarified what the heremeutic of reform encompassed. How could that be arrogance?

    Your unfortunate use of harsh words against those who disagree with you betrays insecurity. That can be a good thing. Might be good to read Matthew 5.

    1. Simon – carefully laid out the progression and address in Italian, latin, and english.

      The address by B16 – he never said “hermeneutic of continuity”. It was later seen in the Italian and english translations of the latin original and it was a footnote – not part of the public address. The latin – as JP points out – uses a latin word that can be translated different ways. It is unfortunate that “continuity” was chosen by the translators because the “fringe” have now clamped on that word to justify their twisting of B16’s address and purpose which was to clarify and reinformce his “herneneutivc of reform”. You and Dodd’s repeated mantras only serve to prove what B16 was trying to correct.

  11. In one sense, Mgr Wadsworth has already been overtaken by events.

    I would suggest that 2010 has already been superseded. I have heard a substantial number of presiders using the new texts since as far back as Lent (the Order of Mass) and as far back as Easter (the remainder of the Missal, for those who could get hold of it). Almost every one of them has modified/edited the text, perhaps not always consciously, as they went along. Often this has been for flow, sometimes for increased comprehensibility, occasionally by accidental slips of the tongue.

    In other words, we have de facto a version that has already superseded 2010. Perhaps we should name it the “Commonsense Version”.

    A text that was designed to bring unity to the Church, and perhaps even bring the Church to heel, has in fact achieved the opposite effect, one that was on many occasions predicted in advance. We now have a template from which presiders clearly feel free to deviate; and I would suggest that these deviations are taking place to a much larger extent than was true with the 1973 translation.

    1. In my region, the Priests do their best to faithfully pray what is given of them. I am grateful to God for that.

      Some of them are well on their way to memorising EPII though. (And I’ve heard so many that I’m on my way to memorising EPII too, just from hearing the text prayed at Sunday and Daily Masses.) Maybe they will start branching out to the other EPs thereafter.

      But it’d be interesting to do an actual study of how the texts are prayed by Priests and compare that with the other rites of the Church.

      1. What a wonderful irony if this regressive imposition actually let the genie of liturgical creativity out of the bottle!

  12. Paul – to reinforce your comment. From a pastor in St. Louis, MO:

    “….And with your spirit.
    It is going OK………………….those using the cheat sheets seems to be winning the day slowly but surely.
    I continue to practice the prayers every day. It seems necessary to sound like you know what you are praying for.

    Have heard some amusing stories….all the way from made up explanations about why we are doing it…to parishes that have done no prep of their folks……… pastors who are not doing the new prayers at all.
    This year should be a great liturgical and rubrical adventure.”

  13. Mary Burke :
    “For many” may not have been intrinsically heretical originally, but context is everything. It is the change from “for all” to “for many” which is heretical because it implies that “for all” is wrong or false.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.
    Read up on the backround on the translation of “for all”. The Church never denied Christ died for all. However during the Consecration the words pro multis express efficacy, not sufficiency of the Atonement. If you are able to understand the distinction then you would understand why “for many” is the correct translation to be used for pro multis. It has nothing to do with Christ not dying for all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.