“…he supervised the translation of many of the liturgical texts…”

When I first began the WDTPRS series, I got some snarky hate mail from whiners saying things like, "How DARE you ciriticize the translation? How DARE you translate liturgy prayers? After all they were done by EXPERTS!!" I would always write back saying, "IF you would send me their names I will personally apologize to each one of them!"

Of course, I was just trying to find out who was responsible for the crap we’ve been forced to listen to (and recite) for decades. No luck, however.

Over at Off The Record there is an illuminating post which directly concerns this question. One of the perpetrators was a Sulpician involved with the Jesuits, probably a disciple of Karl Rahner, was involved with a couple of the worst seminaries in the USA, was Exec. of ICEL, who, after doing his damage, left the priesthood. Here is the relevant text [my emphasis]:

Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in May, 1960. After teaching Latin, Greek, English, and Religion at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland, from 1960 to 1962, he became a member of the Society of St. Sulpice and studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, where he earned his doctorate in sacred theology. In 1964 he translated and published: The Eternal Year, by Karl Rahner. From 1965 to 1969 he taught ecclesiology and liturgy at St. Thomas Seminary in Seattle, and at St. Mary’s, Baltimore …

 

… when he was asked to become the Executive Secretary of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). In this role, he supervised the translation of many of the liturgical texts revised by Rome after Vatican II. These translations became the official liturgical texts for use throughout the English-speaking world.

 

In 1972 he left the canonical priesthood and pursued a career in technical and scientific writing, specializing in the areas of health research, patient education, and the application of social marketing principles to health communication programs. Jack puts his writing skills to practical use for ministry, and he officiates at weddings.

 

Great, huh?

 

Ya know. I am not going to look down on guys who leave the priesthood for some serious personal reason, but I get really p.o.’d at the guys who do serious systemic damage to the Church and then quit. Not that I am sorry they are out of the picture, but that still makes me mad. I am thinking in particular of several former priests who made my life a living hell along the way.

 

On a cheerier note, isn’t it wonderful that the damage is being corrected? Slowly but surely, we are putting the new translation to rights.

 

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16 Responses to “…he supervised the translation of many of the liturgical texts…”

  1. One of the perpetrators was a Sulpician…

    That’s all that you needed to say, Padre.

    I am thinking in particular of several former priests who made my life a living hell along the way.

    Ditto. Having made it out of St. Mary’s with my very life, I can say that we need more than just the translations of the Mass to be “put to right.” All good things to those who wait, right?

  2. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    I agree with Marco. “All good things tho those who wait”, but I might add “not wait too long please”

    With regards waiting for good things, it seems taking much to long for both the Holy Father’s degrees following the last Year’s Synod on the Holy Eucharist (2005), and also the much heralded and expected “Moto proprio” allowing for free return of the Tridentine Latin Mass everywhere.

    Does anyone know the staus of these two Decrees in the works? Both will make the liturgical life in the Church much holier and healthier.
    As it is now, the “liturgy” we have been given since 1970 and it’s translations and multitude of deviations is neither “Holy” nor “Healthy”.

    As Fr. Z. said….it is crap.

  3. Andrew says:

    I’ve met a good number of “experts” who teach Latin, many, or most of whom, cannot carry a simplest conversation in Latin, in spite of some fancy degrees they hold in linguistics from well known universities.

    They know the mechanics of the language, how to decline and conjugate etc., but they have no working knowledge of Latin at all. It is a fraud on a massive scale involving top educational institutions worldwide. If ICEL employed any such “experts” – I am not impressed.

  4. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    At the beginning when the first ICEL translation was presented to the Bishops one bishop had the audacity to question the translation.I do not know who the bishop was but his question was how did they get “love”out of “timor”.Msgr.(Fr. ath the time)McMannus representing ICEL (he was a liturgist as well as a canonist)spoke many a circumlocution to explain it.But the bishops yielded before the “experts”.This was the famous translation,quickly amended which had us say “Lamb of God You who..”known as the “you who” translation. By the way Ithink Pope Benedict on his flight to Turkey should write that ecxhortation and approve the indult or motu proprio.What could be taking this long?It has been well over a year since the end of the synod.

  5. Surge says:

    It is asked what is the German for Schadenfreude (sp) ?

  6. Surge says:

    Schnadenfreude was meant

  7. Jordan Potter says:

    If the current English translation was done by experts, then I say let’s give the amateurs a go at it.

  8. RBrown says:

    At the beginning when the first ICEL translation was presented to the Bishops one bishop had the audacity to question the translation.I do not know who the bishop was but his question was how did they get “love”out of “timor”.Msgr.(Fr. ath the time)McMannus representing ICEL (he was a liturgist as well as a canonist)spoke many a circumlocution to explain it.But the bishops yielded before the “experts”.This was the famous translation,quickly amended which had us say “Lamb of God You who..”known as the “you who” translation. By the way Ithink Pope Benedict on his flight to Turkey should write that ecxhortation and approve the indult or motu proprio.What could be taking this long?It has been well over a year since the end of the synod.

    1. Among the other huh? translations:

    a. John the Baptist became John the Baptizer.

    b. John 1:14, literally translated from the Greek as Full of Grace and Truth, became Full of Enduring Love.

    c. Translating chalice, which has formal connotations, proper for a rite, to cup. How many Americans think of formal religious rite when the word cup is used? Mostly, it’s coffee cups and plastic stadium cups.

    2. I distinguish two types who mangled the liturgy. First, those like Raymond Brown, who tried to Judaize (cf. b) the New Testament by reducing it to what they considered to be the language of the Palestinian peasant. Second, those like Msgr McManus, who thought that the Eucharist is an excellent opportunity to recreate the atmosphere of the Irish Pub.

    In assessing the damage done by them, I am much comforted by the doctrine of Purgatory.

  9. RBrown says:

    When I first began the WDTPRS series, I got some snarky hate mail from whiners saying things like, “How DARE you ciriticize the translation? How DARE you translate liturgy prayers? After all they were done by EXPERTS!!” I would always write back saying, “IF you would send me their names I will personally apologize to each one of them!”

    Years before I went to Rome to study at the Angelican, a Dominican theologian (not a traditionalist) told me: “If they wanted to reform the liturgy, they should have had people who knew something about worshipping God. The people who did this knew who was using what rite when, but they didn’t know anything about worshipping God.”

  10. Is this Jack Shea?!?

    I’ve heard Jack Shea speak. He’s very anti-Catholic prayer. He thinks any
    memorized prayers are bad and useless because we say them with our lips
    only and not our heart.

    I can’t believe he would be responsible for the ICEL translations.
    I hope I’m wrong and it’s someone else. It would be like putting Satan in
    charge. Sorry, to be harsh, but that’s how I’m feeling right now.

  11. Agreed, Jordan. Give us a dictionary and allow us to be as truthful as we can. We couldn’t possibly do worse.

  12. Ioannes says:

    Is this the same person we’re referring to?

    http://www.jackshea.org

  13. Victor says:

    Surge,
    Schadenfreude (not Schnadenfreude) is a German word originally, composed of the words “Schaden” (damage) and “Freude” (glee). “Schnaden” doesn’t exist in German…

  14. Guy Power says:

    …“Schaden” (damage) and “Freude” (glee)….

    I always thought schadenfreude was “glee at someone’s misfortune”; derived from schade meaning “too bad” [or, “what a shame”] for schade; as in: daß ist aber schade

  15. Fr McAfee:

    About the delayed documents from the holy father . . .

    The most reasonable inference is that they are either controversial or they call for changes, the consequences of which have to be thought out. While that is obvious in the case of the Tridentine motu proprio, it would not be concerning the exhortation.

    I.e., if the followup to the Synod were non-controversial, it would be out already.

    So that suggests there’s something in there someone doesn’t like . . . doesn’t it?

  16. The Pope takes his time with things that are important.