ICEL PRESS RELEASE on the translation

There was a press release from ICEL, again, in the evil pdf format. :

The Right Reverend Arthur Roche
Bishop’s House,
13 North Grange Road,
Leeds LS6 2BR
Tel: 0113 230 4533 Fax: 0113 278 9890
Registered Charity No. 249404

THE BISHOP OF LEEDS
PRESS RELEASE

EMBARGOED: 1 November 2007

INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON ENGLISH IN THE LITURGY
Today, All Saints’ Day, the International Commission on English
in the Liturgy (ICEL), sent to the Bishops of its eleven member
Conferences (Australia, Canada, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New
Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa and the United
States of America) its draft translation of the Appendices to the Third
Typical Edition of the Missale Romanum, which was published by the
Holy See in 2002.

Thus, the draft phase of the Commission’s work of translating the
Missal has been brought to completion, some five years after the
publication of the Latin original.

Like its predecessors, this book, known from the colour of its cover
as a ‘Green Book’, is sent to invite comments from Bishops with a view
to the production of a final proposed version, to be released as a ‘Grey
Book’ (i.e., ICEL’s final version of the text which is sent to Bishops’
Conferences for its canonical vote before being forwarded to Rome for
recognition).

The Bishops who receive Green Book draft translations of
liturgical texts are free to consult whomever they please. Comments are
also solicited from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments, who are able to draw on the expertise of a
wide range of consultors.

The importance of this process of consultation in shaping the new
English liturgical texts now in preparation can hardly be overestimated. A
wide range of issues, both theological and linguistic, have been brought
to the attention of the Commission, who in response have sought to shape
texts that will meet the needs of the worldwide English-speaking Catholic
community. The Bishops of the Commission wish to express their
gratitude to all who have taken part in this process.
The process will continue for another year, as the Commission
revisits Green Book translations in the light of comments received, and it
is reasonable to expect that by the end of 2008 the work will be done. By
then, the member Conferences will be in possession of a complete
translation of the 2002 Missale Romanum. It will be their task to adapt the
text to meet their own local needs, to approve the text by a two-thirds
vote of its voting members, and to submit it to the Congregation for
Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the Holy See’s
recognitio.

The introduction of a new translation of the Mass will be an
opportunity for renewed catechesis. Plans for this are already underway,
and an international group are preparing materials that will be useable in
all English-speaking countries.

+ Arthur Roche
Bishop of Leeds
Chairman of ICEL

For further comment, please contact the ICEL office:
International Commission on English in the Liturgy,
1522 K Street N.W. Suite 1000
Washington
D.C. 20005-1202
U.S.A.

 

+1-202-347-0800
+1-202-347-1839 fax
icel@eLiturgy.org

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34 Responses to ICEL PRESS RELEASE on the translation

  1. TJM says:

    Why couldn’t Bishop Roche write his letter in simpler English so I could understand it? Tom

  2. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Where can we sign up to be consulted with by our bishops? :)

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    It will be their task to adapt the text to meet their own local needs, to approve the text by a two-thirds vote of its voting members, and to submit it to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the Holy See’s recognitio.

    Why can’t it be their task to just accept the text as is?

  4. Are the bishops going to consult the clergy and laity who will be expected to use the new translation ?

  5. Steve Girone says:

    Doesn’t this ongoing, seemingly endless, “process” just make the case stronger
    for simply praying the Mass in Latin? I mean really, if it’s just so darn
    diffficult…

  6. Brian Mershon says:

    Perhaps by the time they get another retranslated Mass published and into the hands of priests again, all of the Novus Ordo masses will have dried up and become “Tridentine,” thus making the entire long, laborious process a moot one.

    We can only hope and pray.

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Why couldn’t Bishop Roche write his letter in simpler English so I could understand it?

    I have a lot of confidence in you, Tom, but it really does need to be ICELized if U.S. liturgists are to understand it.

  8. TNCath says:

    My fear is that the bishops of the United States will drag this process out as long as they possibly can. They will offer all kinds of proposals “to adapt the text to meet their own local needs.” The multiplicity of proposals will require a lengthy review by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The CDW will then send it back to the bishops, approving some, but not all, the suggestions. Then the bishops will come back with revised proposals for the proposals that were refused, etc., etc., etc. As much as I hate to say it, but I’ll be very surprised if we are saying “And with your spirit” by the end of 2008. And then, when we the translation IS finally implemented, my fear is that bishops and priests will continue to say their “do it yourself Mass.” Let us pray that I’m dead wrong.

  9. michigancatholic says:

    TNCath,

    I agree with you. It will be slow in coming and it will be interesting to watch.

    It must be remembered that the 1970 N.O. translation is not just a translation to the “hermaneutic of rupture” crowd. The translation has been accompanied by underlying and parallel issues for this group for so long they can’t separate it out AND it’s not primarily about linguistics or anything of the sort. It’s about politics and theory for the more academic types, and social “rightness” of a fuzzy contemporary sort to the rest. The rest includes those who have a vested interest in this view (lay ministry devotees?), and those who hear primarily this view and don’t know anything deeper about it but go along. This may include a large number of people since catechesis has been, in all actuality, dead for 40 years.

    It will seem like a travesty to the most extreme and we’re likely to hear about it. Particularly since the two forms of the Roman Rite have been pitted, precisely by that crowd, as antithetical and the 1962 rite retains its language intact.

    This is where the laity come in. It has been the case for a long time now, that people have had to go where they could to get the real teaching of the church. The old 19th century parish system is broken, more or less, but that’s old news. Whether you prefer the new English translation or the Latin (N.O or Tridentine), which are all great, we need to take care not to patronize closet (and not so closet) Neo-Protestants, that’s the bottom line.

  10. Geometricus says:

    I fear the delays and the wrangling as well. We may well end up keeping what we have (ICEL) or even worse. Those who are unhappy about any new translation have the status quo or inertia of the average pew sitter on their side

    I have already heard from thoughtful, intelligent Catholics who have decided to be upset about the new translation for various reasons. As someone who manages people for a living, I have to say that the way our Bishops present this will make all the difference in the world. So far my local bishop (who will retire in less than a year) has not said much publicly about this, and I think that he is behind. I hope the appointed coadjutor takes charge of this SOON.

    A woman in the parish choir I direct told me she attended a meeting about the new translation this last week. She was obviously upset about the whole thing, so it was obvious to me that whoever presented the new translation at this meeting gave it a significantly negative slant. “What we will get is a literal translation of fourth century Latin,” she droned, in a complaining tone. “And it is going to cost a lot of money, we will have to throw out all of our music, etc. etc…”

    When I told her it was a done deal and was probably going to happen one way or the other, she frowned and I could see her thinking, “I wonder…there must be a way to stop this thing.” She could think of absolutely no good reason to make these big changes in the mass, and she looked pretty convinced. I cast it in the most positive possible light, highlighting the inadequacies of the present ICEL translation, but she still walked away with a frown on her face.

    This is a woman who admittedly has some liberal tendencies, but I am usually able to help her think about something in a different way by bringing up things she hadn’t thought about, but she seemed pretty set against a new translation.

    We have an uphill struggle, folks. Let’s try and help our bishops as much as possible by being winsome, positive and persuasive. But in the end it is the Holy Spirit who will convict and persuade. We are just warriors in a spiritual battle.

  11. Aric says:

    I’m an attorney in Washington, DC. Until now I didn’t realize that ICEL had an office on K Street.

    This explains a lot about those vipers.

  12. Brian Day says:

    Jeff says:
    Why can’t it be their task to just accept the text as is?

    Good question. For the native speaking English countries (Australia, Canada, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America) I would expect the language to be unchanged (in my humble opinion). For India, Pakistan, and the Philippines where English is a second language, it seems reasonable for some minor adaptations.

    Of course, I am open to other lines of reasoning.

  13. Peter says:

    “The importance of this process of consultation in shaping the new
    English liturgical texts now in preparation can hardly be overestimated.”

    ‘Consultation’ is the byword of ‘modern’ government. It is a representation of the reign of relativism and it is obviously deeply entrenched in these church structures. Never mind that it is often a sham. If there was ever an argument for ‘sin in structures’ CIEL must be a prime candidate!!

    “The introduction of a new translation of the Mass will be an
    opportunity for renewed catechesis. Plans for this are already underway,
    and an international group are preparing materials that will be useable in
    all English-speaking countries.” What an indication of arrogance, and so much for the “importance of the consultation” if the plans to deploy/sell CIEL’s latest ‘product’ to the masses are already set in stone.

    A pox on them and all their houses!

  14. Peter says:

    oops, that should have been ICEL not CIEL.

    mea culpa.

  15. David2 says:

    I seem to recall Bishop Roche issuing dreadful “norms” for Summorum Pontificum.

    All in all, it’s easier to learn Latin…

  16. michigancatholic says:

    It’s coming, whether people like it or not. And it’s going to let us see where everyone is, pretty effectively. Brace yourselves.

  17. LeonG says:

    Who could ever have confidence in the linguistic machinations ICEL?

    “I soon felt perplexity before the bold mistranslations confidently proposed and pressed by the ever-strengthening radical/progressive element in our group. I felt but could not articulate the wrongness of so many of our committee’s renderings.”

    “There are certainly THOUSANDS OF MISTRANSLATIONS in the accumulated work of I.C.E.L.”

    Fr Somerville “Open Letter”.

    “This explains a lot about those vipers.” Indeed it does Aric, in more ways than one.
    The vernacular is a marvelous device for implementing almost any meaning one wishes these days. This letter contains all the lexical devices necessary for continuing that trend. English is a particular case in point. It is also disturbing to witness how English has come to dominate the language of the liturgy in many places throughout Christendom. A compelling argument for an exclusively Latin liturgy.

    As for opportunities for “new catechesis” if ICEL mean another batch of novelties that further banalises the faith sending more of our children towards the exit, then I intend to keep my children exactly where they are at present:under my supervision. And consulting “whomever they please”, bishops do not need even more encouragement to do this as many of them appear to rely more on the personal opinions of “inclusive” & environmental pressure groups within their dioceses than in the perenniel teachings of The Church Fathers.

    Letters such as the one above inspire no confidence whatsoever.

  18. Andrew says:

    Fr. Z:

    You can easily copy and paste pdf files. There is a copy symbol in the toolbar that will allow you to highlight the text to be copied.

  19. Cosmos says:

    I agree with much of what has been said, but especially with the sentiment that all the technical jargon gushing from Church technocrats over past decades is truly exhausting.

    In a relativistic world, “process” is a proxy for justice. Ideas are legitimized through process. In the U.S., “substantive due process” is the phrase used to import the ever-changing moral sentiments of members of the judicial branch directly into the Constitution. The U.S. may not be able to agree on what is right or wrong, but it can agree (or be forced to agree) on democratic and legal process.

    It is the same in the Church. Whatever one’s opinions, one can demand canonical process. Whoever can exploit that process more effecitvely will eventually have the day. I think that the opponents of tradition understood this in a way orthodox Christians did not, and by this means, were able to exert incredible influence over Church goverance, and utlimately high-jacked much of the Church’s decision making authority.

    The current Pope seems to me to believe that this coup has to be undone, rather than merely destroyed. He is using the processes necessary to exert his will on such a way so that its validity can not be denied. In other words, we will undo this mess through all the legal structures, committees, appeals, etc. necessary to give the desired end the pristine legal legitimacy that it will need to stand in the long term.

  20. David says:

    Andrew is right. It’s the “select” button right next to the hand. Highlight, copy and paste to Word or whatever. God bless!

  21. Peter: oops, that should have been ICEL not CIEL.

    WOW!

    maxima culpa I would say!

    o{];¬)

  22. Folks: I’m not exactly a newbie. I know how to cut and paste. It’s the formating of what you pick up from a pdf that is so problematic.

  23. Is it a bad sign that the final draft will be the “grey” book?
    Haven’t we already had a rather “grey” translation?

    One of the most annoying things is that now every parish will have to buy a new Roman Missal (that will be its “new” name right?).
    It was bad enough with the new lectionary going from one volume to four and the NAB being the only translation allowed to be used. Then to see that the current lectionary may only be temporary. Thankfully the newer translations appear to, at least, be better. But when you think about it, ICEL’s bad translations are turning into a ca$h cow for them (or at least a waste of money on the parish level).

  24. Aric says:

    LeonG, you misunderstand the antecedent of the “this” in my last sentence. I was not referring to the letter, but to the K Street office.

  25. Matthew Robinson says:

    There is one prophetic word at the start of that article.

    “EMBARGOED”

    I had already thought we had gone through a lengthy process of consulation…and they tell us it is only the beginning???

    Kiss this good-bye folks.

  26. pattif says:

    If \The Bishops who receive Green Book draft translations of
    liturgical texts are free to consult whomever they please\, what on earth was the problem about publishing the draft texts so the muppets in the pew could see what the subject of consultation was/is?

    Does anyone have any idea of a strategy for persuading ICEL that \”For us and our salvation\” is a woefully inadequate translation of \”Propter nos homines et nostram salutem\”?

  27. Jordan Potter says:

    Matthew said: There is one prophetic word at the start of that article.

    “EMBARGOED”

    That’s not prophetic, it’s historic — since the letter was not to be released to the press until Nov. 1, and it’s now Nov. 3, we can’t say the embargo on the letter tells us anything about how the consultations with the bishops’ conferences will turn out.

    I had already thought we had gone through a lengthy process of consulation…and they tell us it is only the beginning???

    Kiss this good-bye folks.

    You haven’t been paying attention. This lengthy process has more than one stage, because the Missal has numerous parts. They did the Ordinary of the Mass first, the fixed parts like the Confiteor, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Eucharistics Prayers, Agnus Dei, etc. That was the easy part, and that part is done now, and awaiting Rome’s recognitio. But they still had to do the three-year cycle of Propers (Introit, Collect, Super Oblata, Communion), as well as extra material such as Commons of the Saints and Masses for special occasions. That is a LOT more work than the Ordinary, not only because it is more material, but also because the old ICEL renderings of the Propers bear so little resemblance to the original Latin that they basically had to start over from scratch and create new translations. They have now finished that draft (a lot sooner than I expected them to), and have sent it to the bishops for their individual, private feedback (just as happened with the Ordinary) before it goes to the bishops’ conferences for a vote, after which it will go to Rome. (I think Rome might not grant a recognitio until the entire Missal is finished, so the current lack of a recognitio for the Ordinary doesn’t mean Rome will agree with the Trautman-esque bowdlerisations approved by the USCCB.)

    Now, we saw in the case of the Ordinary that hardly any changes were made by the bishops’ conferences (almost all the requested changes came from the USCCB), so we shouldn’t expect very many requested changes this time around either. Nor is there any reason to be sure Rome would approve those requested changes.

    So put your heart at ease — there’s no reason to fear the translation process is going to be derailed by the Trautmans of the Church, and there’s no basis to make such gloomy assertions.

  28. I’m surprised they’ve actually finished. Only two years ago, I think it was, did they finally finish an acceptable translation of the Ordo Missae. Oh, and also look for it to be called The Roman Missal now, and no longer the Sacramentary. I read about that somewhere.

    In revenge for having had to actually translate for a change, they’ll likely populate the volume with atrocious “art.”

  29. canon1753 says:

    What I saw of an earlier translation of the ordinary, it seemed pretty reasonable. Oddly, or not so oddly, reading it made me ponder having to “raise” my priestly voice. Not raising the sound but it sounded better with a more cultured (Englishesque accented) voice than my normal Vermont twang.

    Whatever happens, this will make the gnashing of teeth that SP engendered seem like a friendly tea party. No one is required to go to a 1962 Mass if they don’t want to… With the new translation, the majority of the Catholic Mass goers will need to retrain themselves to respond to the ordinary properly.

    This will be fun….

  30. Isaac says:

    Dear Cosmos,

    Nothing (linguistically speaking) is more lamentable in present day ‘Church’ language than technical jargon which tries to ‘deliver’, empower, consult, process and(or) key value or core value-ise everything…even Revealed Truth. So I couldn’t agree more with you on those terms of language. Then again, many people really love this language for the very reason that it makes us feel good while not promising anything nor say anything worth saying. Pardon my grammar though.

    Dear Brian Day,

    While I can sympathize with your views on native language and second language circumstances, it is precisely this uncalled for political correctness that drives (traditional minded) Asian Catholics up the wall. Good English is just good English and it does not need to be dumbed down for the Third World so that we can understand it. English is my first language even if I am ‘yellow’. I’d also add that I still can’t understand the Americanized ICEL English until today. Am I to assume that it’s because Americans can’t speak English?

    Do you know that the British Commonwealth version of the modern Breviary has superior translations to the same Collects the ICEL-ians were trying to translate into the American Breviary? Don’t take it personal, I know you didn’t intend it this way. I am merely pointing out some threads of argument that have resulted in trying to get Bishop’s Conferences to believe that they have to localize everything based on the premise that their laity are too stupid. Remember what an Asian prelate from Japan said recently?…” Asians cannot learn Latin, it’s too difficult!” What an insult to our forefathers in the faith. What an insult to St Francis Xavier!

    So, yes. While I applaud the new changes coming our way to correct 40 years of “let’s enjoy corporate language in liturgy”, I shall still reply the priest in Latin while assisting in his English novus Ordo on Sunday. The way I see it, if we are going to correct these translations every 30 years, we might as well just stick with the Latin originals. My answer to certain Liberal reactions would simply be, ” I may be so dumb not to understand what I am saying in Latin, but at least I know exactly what I am not.”

    Lastly, I am quite perturbed that there was no mention of God in the Bishop’s letter. One would think, he would at least comment on how precious God’s gift in the Liturgy is and how important it is to remain in fidelity to the Truth, no matter what the theological or linguistic difficulties. Furthermore, there’s no mention of needing God’s grace to complete this task which is so sensitive and not even asking for prayers that God be glorified more adequately in the English Language. Then again, it was Paul VI who said, “…through the new Missal one and the same prayer in a great diversity of languages will ascend, more fragrant than any incense, to our heavenly Father,…”

    oh dear!

    Regards,
    Isaac.

  31. Just some thoughts.

    1) If it is an English Missal why is it called a Roman Missal?

    2) When English ceases to be the dominate world language what happens to the ICEL?

    3) Why would the ICEL spend so much time doing what they do when diocesan bishops apparently instructs their priests to discourage the use of a missal during Mass in the first place?

    5) Who says learning and understanding English is easier than Latin?

    6) Why is number four missing?

  32. Henry Edwards says:

    If it is an English Missal why is it called a Roman Missal?

    Because the book of which it is a translation is the Missale Romanum. Just as when a book entitled “Calculus” is translated, the title on the cover will be the word for Calculus in the target language.

  33. Thanks Henry, that makes sense. How about questions 2,3, and 5, anyone? I have actually been asked these questions. Number 6 means anyone can make a mistake, including me. These are certainly not deep but they are the type of questions that some of us have to deal with often from folks whose primary language is not English. Again, thanks for any help!

  34. Sam Schmitt says:

    I can understand the frustrations about the delay, machinations, etc., but wouldn’t almost anything be better than the “translation” that we now use? I think we should give it a chance lest we play right into the hands of those who do would rather not have anything approaching a real translation at all.