Bp. Trautman doesn’t think you are smart enough to understand the proposed new translation of Mass

I was alerted to this by one of the veteran WDTPRSers who added: "Does anyone care about this stuff anymore?"

Here is the headline:

Bishop Trautman objects to some proposed language changes

So, a bishop near the end of his long career, firmly mired in the stale old ideas of yesteryear, bravely soldiering on under the baggage of the 1960′s, is still objecting to the Holy See’s norms set for liturgical translation. 

His Excellency Donald W. Trautman of Erie is nothing if not consistent.  He reminds me of a guy who might go to the same old restaurant every day for lunch, sit at the same place every day, and order exactly the same sandwich… but to do so in Rome.
 
Here is the story with my emphases and comments:

BY DANA MASSING
dana.massing@timesnews.com [more details]

"Ineffable."

The word worries Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman.

He doubts that "John and Mary Catholic," sitting in their church pew, would understand it.   [Two things here.  Again and again His Excellency has demonstrated in his comments about liturgical translation and the new norms that he doesn't not believe that you are very smart.  He thinks you are too dumb to understand the prayer.  He thinks you are too thick or detached to wonder what it means if you don't immediately understand and then think about it or look it up.  Also, he thinks that every prayer must be immediately able to be clearly understood.  This leaves no room for the effect of mystery.]

That’s why Trautman will try to tell other U.S. bishops that such words shouldn’t be in a new English translation of the Roman Missal.

U.S. Catholic bishops are holding their June general meeting today through Saturday in Orlando, Fla. They are expected to vote on an English version of the portion of the Roman Missal involving prayers for seasons like Advent and Lent, unless Trautman can convince them to delay a decision on the translation.  [He wants to delay ... the ... translation.  Get that?  Because surely we haven't waited long enough.]

"I am at this point reserved about endorsing it," Trautman said two days before the start of the meeting. "I will try to speak on the conference floor to point out what I consider some major deficiencies in the translation."  [Please, O God Almighty and Omnipotent Father, in your ineffable way inspire the bishops of the conference to keep this fellow in check.]

A presentation on it is likely today, with voting probably on Friday, he said.

The portion of the Missal being discussed is the Proper of Seasons.

"These would be the prayers at Mass for the opening prayer, the prayer over the gifts, the prayer after Communion," Trautman said. "These would be the prayers for all of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and then the Sundays of the year."  [I have a copy of the draft of these prayers.  I think you would like them.]

The Vatican wants a translation more faithful to the original Latin text.  [Not ... just ... the VATICAN!]

Trautman said the draft includes words such as "ineffable" that would not be in the ordinary vocabulary of people.

"This should be the prayer of the people," Trautman said. "I’m not for having street language. … We should certainly have elevated tone, but words like that are just beyond the common comprehension."  [Okay... figure that out.  Elevated language but not comprehensible.]

Catholics coming out of a lunchtime Mass at Erie’s St. Peter Cathedral weren’t familiar with "ineffable."  [WDTPRS asks ... SO WHAT?  The problem here is that if you make everything immediately comprehensible to the lowest common denominator it will wind up being pretty much like what we have now in the old lame-duck ICEL prayers:

God,
you are big.
Help us be big like you.

If people hear and interesting word, they might... oh my gosh... wonder what it all means and slowly but surely get the idea that monosyllables and grunting might not actually convey what the Latin prayers convey.]

According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, the word means "too overwhelming to be expressed or described in words; inexpressible; too awesome or sacred to be spoken."

It’s "not in my daily language," said Shirley Skiba, a member of St. Luke Catholic Church in Erie.  [Maybe Shirley shouldn't be the measuring stick for the language of liturgical prayer.]

Skiba said words used in the Mass should be "something we feel comfortable with." That’s the case with the current translation, for the most part, she said.  [Enough said.]

"I think it should be language the everyday person can understand," she said.

Trautman called parts of the proposed translation "archaic" and "just clumsy language."  [Then  His Excellency should take the time to explain it to Shirley.]

One proposed change, for the first week in Advent, would replace "old way of life" with "ancient bondage," the Erie bishop said.

"Ancient bondage is very ambiguous and not clear enough to the people," he said.  [Yes. But there is a problem.  I ask you, dear reader, does "old way of life" mean the same thing, even on the surface, as "ancient bondage"?]

Regarding another change, he said, "They speak of ‘into the joy of true peace.’ Well, we would say ‘rejoice in true peace.’ That’s much more understandable."  [However, entering into a state of joy means something different than simply being joyful.]

In another vote related to language, the bishops will decide whether to replace "vosotros" with the more familiar "ustedes" in Spanish-language Masses in the United States. Trautman compared using "vosotros" in Spanish to using "thou" in English.  [Aaaaaaaaand.... that would be... bad?]

Listen as Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman talks about what the U.S. Catholic bishops will be discussing during their June general meeting Thursday through Saturday in Orlando.

 

Some English words might be hard, but they are the perfect word to do the job.  To replace that word, you need a circumlocution or paraphrase.  That makes translations overly wordy.  But it is part of the very nature of Roman prayer to be concise.  Even the concision is meaningful. 

Enough said. 

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86 Responses to Bp. Trautman doesn’t think you are smart enough to understand the proposed new translation of Mass

  1. Daniel Muller says:

    Trautman compared using “vosotros” in Spanish to using “thou” in English.

    How tiresome are His Excellency’s remarks.

    “Vosotros” is standard contemporary Spanish and is said and written daily by millions. The question is whether Latin American Spanish is to be considered standard despite the fact that in translation Christ would then be addressing His disciples as though He did not know them in Castilian Spanish.

    Additionally, I would truly be overjoyed if we were allowed to use the second person singular in English during liturgical rites, archaic as it might sound to some.

  2. Mark says:

    Gee, did everyone forget how to use a dictionary? If I don’t know a word or have forgotten it’s meaning, I simply look it up. How hard is that?

  3. Hung Doan says:

    What’s funny is that he is all about dynamic equivalence, but that in a sense is a linguistic relativism. What may be sufficient for communication today won’t be in forty years. He wants a translation that is so droll that it blends in with our vernacular. Thus the USA needs a separate Roman Missal from Canada, which is a separate one from Jamaica and so on. What’s even more irritating is that the good bishop wants to have the faithful wallow in everday language, no elevated diction because they will whine “I’ve never heard of it” which trikes me as a sort of xenophobia in a linguistic sense(apologies for my word choice, but the mentality seems to be “Since I’ve never heard of it, it ain’t real to me”). By the way, since the present ICEL prayers are so drab because they do *accomplish* what the good bishop wants, they don’t tend to stick with me anyways. So the present ICEL translations are doing a DISservice to the faithful.

    What makes the Catholic liturgical prayers so wonderful is their timelessness…elevated diction at least attempts to approximate that in our vulgar vernaculars. Here’s to hoping that the present USCCB CDW gets the translations right.

  4. Alexander says:

    “Ancient bondage is very ambiguous and not clear enough to the people,” he said.

    AHhahahaahhaha!

    Vatican II and the New Mass are full of ambiguity better translation or not. I think he just plain doesn’t like it.

  5. Lady Lauren says:

    But, but, but: “ineffable” is one of my favorite words! I’m not just saying that–I remember encountering it in High School or freshman year of college, looking it up, and immediately falling in love with it. It is a beautiful thing to understand that God is ineffable. :)

  6. Giles Hawkins says:

    Strange, there had accumulated about 30 comments over the day on the original story. None of them were all that flattering to Bp. Trautman, but a couple were somewhat supportive. I have written to the paper asking why?

  7. James Garrison says:

    Father,

    I have had some lengthy conversations with my pastor over this issue. His criticisms of the new translation effort are twofold, both from a stylistic angle and a philosophical one.

    His first complaint is about the complexity of these new prayers. He would disagree with Bp. Trautman and say that the people will be able to understand them, but he thinks that the priests will have a hard time reading them. They wouldn’t be able to “roll out of bed” and read the prayers, which he says could be done now. He is arguing that these prayers ought not need practicing before mass, which he thinks these will need.

    His second complaint, which is perhaps the more fundamental one, is the worry that one philosophy of translation is being usurped by another. He perceives that a dynamic equivalence is being replaced by a literalism from above.

    I welcome the changes, and the sooner the better. I have seen the proposed texts for the mass parts, and they, though not perfect in my mind, are much improved over what we have. I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the Church, and these Bishops to work to improve the way which we express the perfect and Divine liturgy.

    -JG

  8. Dustin says:

    I have a copy of the draft of these prayers.

    I demand leaks.

  9. It has always been to my understanding that even when Mass was said in the vernacular the language was elevated (hence the diffeence between Classical Latin and Church Latin)

    If there’s a word that I haven’t heard of, I’ll look it up.

    (sarcasm) God Forbid a priest needs to take 2 min to explain consubstantial, sine it’s too hard to understand and all.

  10. It has always been to my understanding that even when Mass was said in the vernacular the language was elevated (hence the diffeence between Classical Latin and Church Latin)

    If there\’s a word that I haven\’t heard of, I\’ll look it up.

    (sarcasm) God Forbid a priest needs to take 2 min to explain consubstantial, since it\’s too hard to understand and all.

  11. Fr D says:

    What’s so wrong with the adjective “ineffable” anyway? Look it up in a dictionary or, even better, what a great subject for a homily! His Lordship of Erie might even like to consider how the similar word “awesome” has become part of the everyday vocabulary of most young people (at least those I mix with as a Military Chaplain). Now who could have predicted that in the time we’ve been waiting for the new English translation of the Roman Missal?

  12. elizabeth mckernan says:

    The problems of the translator are always twofold. It is not just the case of turning the words intelligibly from one language to another but it is doing this at the same time as conveying the exact meaning behind the words. The latter task is always the more difficult and in the case of the liturgy is surely the more important.

    Fr Z’s ‘God you are big’ is a good example of correct English but devoid of sacred meaning. We all need a translation to lift us up but it looks as though the bishops are having a hard time agreeing. In the meantime – ‘Sursum Corda; habemus ad dominum’.

  13. Fr Edward says:

    Bishop Trautperson’s row then is with ‘Liturgicam Authenticam’ and not with the translators, who are just follow their brief, it seems to me.

    So, let him have it out with Cardinal Arinze.

  14. Fr. Z:
    God,
    you are big.
    Help us be big like you.

    I have to clean my screen off. There should be a warning to not be sipping coffee when reading such things. It sure does sound like what some bishops would like *gags*

  15. Jeff says:

    Fr. Z.,

    Like you I have been privileged to see the proposed translation for the Proper of Seasons, both in Green Book and Grey Book form. All I can say is that I am very impressed with them. From my reading of them, I see nothing in them about what Bishop Trautman is afraid of. Personally I find the prayers wonderful, for the first time people will actually be able to get a sense of what the Latin is saying (at Mass), instead of the poor paraphrases we are stuck with today. One of the downsides is that knowing that good translations are on the way makes listening to the current ones even more painful. In my opinion the translation of the Latin accords with the requirements of LA, that is translating the Latin faithfully and integrally into English, without being so slavishly accurate that they are awkward or incomprehensible. The translations are modern English, not of the variety that would be used when chatting with friends nor of a technical nature used in technical manuals, but of an elegant literary style. Language that lends itself to being memorable. Language worthy of the sacred.

  16. Maureen says:

    Re: demanding leaks

    Wikileaks would be a very good deposit for this sort of thing. I’m just sayin’. :)

  17. Matthew says:

    Surely priests explaining to their flocks what the meaning of the prayers is forms part of their mission and something they do in every homily? You would think most would be happy to have the opportunity to deepen people’s understanding of our faith which should be prompted by a new translation. I for one can’t wait for a return to more prayerful, reverential language, rather than the current platitudes we have in some parts of the mass.

  18. Apostle1977 says:

    Yet another example of dumbing down. It hasn’t occurred to me before, but maybe traditional language (and perhaps doctrine) is “kept from” the laity because we are “not intelligent enough”? After all, the wondrous, complex, timeless, and – yes – ineffable ways of God are so easily explicable…

    I too have seen a translation of parts the new Missal translation, and it is much to be preferred. I can’t wait for it to come out. But I dread a further delay.

    I wonder now how we can get people to bow during the Creed? Perhaps the words “All bow” are not explicit enough?

  19. Damien says:

    In reply to Matthew’s suggesiton that the prayers of the Mass be explained in the homily, this is not really the purpose of the homily. The homily, as part of the Liturgy of the Word, should focus on the readings that preceed it and not on the collects and prayer over the gifts. These prayers may from time to time help to shed light on the readings of the day but very often don’t. It is difficult enough for priests to compose homilies that will keep peoples’ attention without wandering off into the meaning complex prayers. It is silly and idealistic to think that people will listen intently to a homily that tries to cover too much and goes on forever in the process. We have all suffered at the hands of priests who try to do this. Certainly catechesis will be reqired when the new translation comes out but I think a better way of going about it might be the inclusion of a glossary of complex terms that could be put in the weekly newsletter.

  20. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Are the bishops even reading the same Sacrosanctum Concilium as the rest of us?

    II. The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation

    14. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

    In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.

    Yet it would be futile to entertain any hopes of realizing this unless the pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it. A prime need, therefore, is that attention be directed, first of all, to the liturgical instruction of the clergy.

    How hard can it be to tell that INSTRUCTION (e.g. education, catechesis) PRECEDES (and trumps, in my opinion) change? I mean, SC n. 14 says it plainly enough: “pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve [the active participation of the faithful], by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.”

  21. Philip says:

    Arch-heretics they may have been, but I think you have to go a long way to beat the prose (and translation skills) of Cranmer (his collects, especially) and the psalms and Roman (or Sarum?) Canon translations of Coverdale.

  22. missalthumper says:

    I find it interesting that Bp. Trautman has a lower opinion of Americans’ intelligence than Andrew Lloyd Webber does. I first heard the word “ineffable” at the age of 12; it’s among the lyrics of “Cats”. John & Mary Catholic aren’t bright enough to understand showtunes?

  23. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Damienthe homily is not simply an exposition of the Scripture. The Council of Trent desired that “during the celebration of mass [pastors] expound … some portion of those things which are read at mass, and that, amongst the rest, they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on the Lord’s days and festivals”. The GIRM (n. 13) reiterates this idea.

    I would say that the Collect at least can be exposited in the homily, for two reasons: 1) if it’s really meant to “collect” and set the tone for the prayer of the Mass, it should already be relevant enough to mention in the homily; and 2) the people have already heard it (but not the super oblata and post-Communion prayers), and having a greater understanding of the Collect, they might pay closer attention to the other two prayers and see the connection they have to the Collect and the particular celebration of Mass.

    I’m not saying homilies shouldn’t be exposition of the sacred texts, just that there’s far more content proper to the homily than commonly misconceived.

  24. Tom S. says:

    Father,

    Circumlocution????

    I’m afraid that I don’t understand.

  25. I didn’t know what ineffable meant, so I looked it up on dictionary.com. It took me all of two seconds, and now I have just expanded my vocabulary by one word.

    Give me a break.

  26. Catherine-Lucia says:

    vosotros is just the Spanish plural of ‘you’ that is used in Spain.

  27. Giles Hawkins says:

    I have a copy of the draft of these prayers.
    I demand leaks.

    I have posted what I believe to be the current translation on my site…

    http://www.gileshawkins.com/liturgy/newliturgy.htm

  28. SMiesel says:

    Even Wiegel thought this was silly

  29. EJ says:

    I’m glad the “vosotros” issue has come up at least indirectly, and I’m sorry if my comment goes off a little, but it’s pertinent I think. It is indeed quite an issue -because although it is only used in Spain in contemporary Spanish – the Latin American pronoun “ustedes” evolved from Vuestras Mercedes (Your Lordships) from classical old Spanish. Vosotros is readily recognized in its classical use also in Latin America, it is used in literature, in poetry, and it was not accidental I don’t think that it was incorporated into the first missal translations in Spanish. It is not language that you will hear on the streets of Montevideo or Monterrey or Managua – YES, it is more “elevated” language, language set apart, language not used by “Juan and María Católico” after Mass, but readily intelligible to them during Mass. Though even in Latin America, CELAM has approved various Missal translations that incorporate “ustedes” (among other things like inclusive language and dumbed down prayer translations), many priests still use “vosotros” by customs, especially at the Consecration. This would be comparable to the removal of “thou” from the Our Father, etc.

  30. Bishop Trautman is right; I’m not smart enough to understand on my own.

    That’s why I need the Church to instruct me, especially in and through the liturgy. I’ve learned so much from the TLM that it has greatly enriched my appreciation of the NO liturgy as well.

    The last thing I need is to have the liturgy, Church teaching, or devotions to be “dumbed down” or made easier for me (such as by moving Thursday Holy Days to the nearest Sunday). I need to be challenged in my faith.

  31. Damien says:

    Jeff,
    I take your point that the homily is more than an exposition of the Sacred texts. However, I would like to meet the priest who is able, if not on a day-to-day basis, on a weekly basis to delve into both the liturgical texts and the Scriptural texts of the Mass in a way that does not turn the homily into a long theological tract. When the new translations of the texts come out it seems that their explanation will be more frequently necessary and this should not, in my opinion, take the consistent foreground in the homily which should mainly focus on breaking open the Word of God as, He is present in the Scriptures (GIRM 29). I suppose you could say I am putting the explanation of God’s Word before the explanation of our prayer to God. Only when the former is achieved can the latter truly be carried out. I’m not saying that these two things cannot be accomplished in a single homily, I’m just saying it’s difficult.

    As for the admirable suggestion that the explanation of the collect might draw a greater understanding of the other prayers, I not sure it would help people understand certain vocabulary that might be contained in them, which is surely the whole point of the current debate.

    God bless.

  32. Terth says:

    I have never seen the face of God. When I die, should I be forever prevented from seeing It because I won’t recognize Him?

  33. Damien says:

    Jeff,

    I take your point that the homily is more than an exposition of the Sacred texts. However, I would like to meet the priest who is able, if not on a day-to-day basis, on a weekly basis to delve into both the liturgical texts and the Scriptural texts of the Mass in a way that does not turn the homily into a long theological tract. When the new translations of the texts come out it seems that their explanation will be more frequently necessary and this should not, in my opinion, take the consistent foreground in the homily which should mainly focus on breaking open the Word of God as, He is present in the Scriptures (GIRM 29). I suppose you could say I am putting the explanation of God\’s Word before the explanation of our prayer to God. Only when the former is achieved can the latter truly be carried out. I\’m not saying that these two things cannot be accomplished in a single homily, I\’m just saying it\’s difficult.

    As for the admirable suggestion that the explanation of the collect might draw a greater understanding of the other prayers, I not sure it would help people understand certain vocabulary that might be contained in them, which is surely the whole point of the current debate.

    God bless.

  34. Gil Ferguson says:

    JMJ
    Dear Fr. Z:

    When will the Holy Father take end the nightmare, Vatican Council II which is the destruction of the Holy Roman Catholic Church? Hanging on by threads here. [Well... this an out of place exaggeration, I think. We weaken our just position... that of having the right to the the Church's liturgy... when we make these statement. - Fr. Z]

    Pax Tecum.
    Gil Ferguson

  35. stgemma says:

    This, personally, speaks to the ability of not only what seems to be a large majority of pastors/priests/bishops to be able to teach, but it also speaks to the ability of modern society to learn rather than just being told what to know.

    This makes me remember fondly something that my parents told me after I spent a year at community college. They said that the degree is a measure of one’s ability to deal with issues of personal responsibility and shows to the future employer that one is able to handle this as well as minimum level of problem-solving skills. Not sure how true this would be today, seeing a large majority of students at the university that I am attending to pursue graduate studies, but again this would just go to show the vast difference in mentalities between those who want to learn and those who are merely memorizing stuff long enough to get a competent score on a test so that they can secure a job that they will not be able to bring any skill set to.

    Bishop Trautman, unfortunately, represents a large group of people who have neither had the time nor the inclination to think of the things of God in an adequate enough sense so as to be able to competently teach them to others. I equate this mentality to someone who comes up to one of the apostles and asks how they can know God better, with the answer being something to the effect of “Why don’t you ask him?? Oh wait you don’t know how to hear him as well as us.” It’s sad that alot of these modern-thinking apostles and priests have succumbed to the relativistic and deconstructionist mentalities that allow noone to see them as successors of the apostles. In some cases, they turn people away simply because noone can believe them to be worthy of that association.

    I pray very hard for them, because their job is made much harder by their insistence that the people who sit in the pews are incapable of knowing anything that they might preach on with an educated level. In my opinion, they are just making it worse by equating marriage to a contract, or some other relative equivalence example. It’s very disheartening.

  36. EJ says:

    …and furthermore, we also have some mistranslations present in the Spanish Missal translations, though not nearly as bad as those produced by ICEL in the ’70s… I wonder out loud if the same USCCB is as interested in correcting these errors and omissions as they are in removing “vosotros.”

  37. Ed says:

    Apostle1977: I used to teach a high school course on the Creed, and one of the first things I would do is explain when and where to bow. Then I would ask how many new that, and without fail, even the most Catholic of the students would raise their hands and say, “No one ever told me that.”

    What drives me–and I think I’m in good company here–nuts about self-proclaimed “liberals” is that they claim to want to even the playing field, so to speak. You know, the old argument that the traditional Mass was “us down here and them–the holy ones–waaaaaaaaaay up there.” Well, I chose not to be a priest. I am thankful for the men who did, and I think that the deserve a little honor, a little credit, and a little respect. Good priests, in my experience, are servants–they don’t “lord it over” us poor laity. I have no problem–in fact, I love a proper understanding of roles. Anyway, I’ve often gotten into arguments with intelligent people who assert that “most people don’t understand x, y, or z.” When I say, “Let’s catechize’em,” they roll their eyes as though I were insane. One woman complained about her parish’s singing the “Sanctus,” noting that “No one sang along because no one understood it!” (I’ve been to her parish…the vast majority sing along…) I fail to understand how not teaching folks is somehow better than pointing out that they might need to invest something in their faith.

    On a slightly related topic, does anyone know where things stand on reception of Communion? The same woman from above–a former nun–informed me that if we don’t receive permission to continue Communion in the hand, many people would leave the US Church. “It’s a hard teaching,” I said. “Who can accept it?” She just nodded her head in assent. I don’t think she got it.

  38. david andrew says:

    This old saw? Can’t Trautman get past his own limitations?

    I’ve read Weigel’s response. I can’t remember when it appeared, but I believe it was written in response to Trautman’s diatribe on the subject that appeared in “America” magazine about a year ago.

    Apparently Trautman thinks we’re stupid, or lazy or both. James Garrison wrote (above) that his pastor objected because “he thinks that the priests will have a hard time reading them. They wouldn’t be able to “roll out of bed” and read the prayers, which he says could be done now. He is arguing that these prayers ought not need practicing before mass, which he thinks these will need.” So maybe it’s not the PIP’s who are stupid or lazy after all.

  39. JG: His first complaint is about the complexity of these new prayers.?

    New prayers? There are no new prayers in the proposed new translation. Almost all these proper prayers were contained in the original 1970 edition (in Latin, of course) of the Novus Ordo missal; only a few new ones were added in the 1975 and 2002 editions.

    What happened in the early 1970s is that — instead of actually translating the original prayers — ICEL largely replaced them, in the 1973 English translation we’re still using at Mass, with new baby talk prayers that reflected neither the content of the structure of the originals.

    But now Liturgiam authenticam demands that the new translations be accurate and faithful in both content and structure. So both priests and laymen will have to learn both English and Catholicism, from almost scratch if necessary. About time, surely!

  40. MPod says:

    I, too, have been privileged to see the new translation drafts as they have gradually come out. They are quite excellent, overall. I am hopeful that, once in use, they will highlight just how drippy some of the “contemporary” texts we have been singing these past forty years really are. Think of your grandmother’s fine china and silver setting being used to serve Hamburger Helper.

  41. Melody says:

    I learned the word “ineffable” when I was thirteen years old while reading a Star Trek novel. Hm… maybe the good Bishop should read more Sci-Fi…

    Honestly though, is it too much to ask that the English be adult English? Maybe it will inspire a little respect and dignity for the liturgy?

    Or maybe they just forget that these are prayers talking to God.

    As for me, I wait to pray, “Lord I am not worthy to have you under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.”

  42. Dan says:

    Hopefully, my science students will be able to share a similar story to melody. I teach 6th-11th grade students in a Catholic school and we begin each period with prayer. I use a shortened verion of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Prayer Before Study. It begins, “Ineffable Creator, you are proclaimed the true font of light and wisdom.” Every year I make a point the first week to ask what “ineffable” means. Most don’t know, but quickly learn.

    People will learn if they don’t know! One thing we’re taught in “teacher school” is that students will rise (or sink) to your expectations. Let’s expect more of the people at mass!

  43. RBrown says:

    Bp Trautman’s approach scales the summit of Clericalism.

    Of course, the grand irony is that his attempt to be less clerical has in fact made him more so.

  44. Melody: As for me, I wait to pray, “Lord I am not worthy to have you under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.”

    Why wait? Why not go ahead now, and say it correctly. The priest at the altar must say precisely what he reads in his altar missal, but you in the pew can pray as you feel proper. I myself say (quietly so as not to outrage anyone nearby) “Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea”, just as it reads in the altar missal Pope Benedict uses when he celebrates Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. And just as I frequently carry the actual Latin propers with me to read silently as the priest reads aloud the 1973 ICEL-neutered versions.

  45. Fr Ray Blake says:

    “Ineffable God”
    “Ineffable” is easy, but the meaning of the word “God”, that has been the object of my prayer, study, thought for over 50 years.
    I wonder whether the bishop might want find another word?

  46. Brian Mershon says:

    40 years and how many untold hours of wasted time on stupid, banal, inane, ungrammatical translations.

    How many of the bishops know Latin and can translate? How many of them are English majors.

    And for 40 years, baptized Catholics have been leaving the Church.

    What is the opportunity cost of wasted time of the U.S. Bishops for 40 years spent on making and approving horrific translations which the Catholics in the pew neither asked for, nor desired.

    These guys, by and large, are a joke.

    I wonder how many heretics and schismatics Bishop Fishperson has brought to the Church through conversion.

    I mean no disrespect by calling him FishPerson because if we call him Trautman we might offend the non-trout fish. If we call him Fishman, we of course offend all of the women.

    FishPerson. Does he have an English degree?

  47. Jo says:

    Perhaps he needs to hear from us directly. There is an email address for him in the priests’ directory on the Erie diocesan website.

  48. As for the priest who said, as quoted above,

    They wouldn’t be able to “roll out of bed” and read the prayers, which he says could be done now. He is arguing that these prayers ought not need practicing before mass, which he thinks these will need.

    I say that if these priests would get up sufficiently early to pray the office, they wouldn’t have this problem, because they would have already read the collect at Matins and Lauds.

  49. Derik Castillo says:

    Lets have a Latin-English bilingual Missal. I understand
    that some faithful have a stronger literary education
    than others, but our Church leaders should help to
    enlighten their flocks in more than one way.

    When comparing the OF Missals from Spain and Mexico, it is
    clear that one was translated for the third world.

  50. Damien says:

    Brian,

    I\’m afraid you are completely out of line. Your description of the current texts of the Mass as \”stupid, banal, inane, ungrammatical\” is not only, in my view, blasphemous considering that they ARE, whether you like it or not, approved elements of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite but is also an insult to priests and faithful everywhere who have gained spiritual nourishment down through the years through these prayers.

    Furthermore, your description of the Bishops involved with the translation of these texts as \”a joke\” is a further slight on the Church. Perhaps they didn\’t produce the best translations but that is no reason to doubt their genuine attampts to interpret the will of the Holy Spirit. They are Pastors of the Church and deserve the public respect of their flock.

    To suggest that the current translation of the prayers of the Mass are the sole reason for the departure of so may Catholics since Vatican Council II (since you mention nothing of socio-cultural and economic reasons I presume you are suggesting so) is simply immature. I, as a faithful Catholic all my life, have never considered leaving the Church for such a reason and neither have most Catholics. Those who leave under the pretence of such reasons are only looking for any reason to leave.

    Finally, I thank God for the form of the Mass and its prayers that have sustained me and many others in the Way of the Lord through the years. Your comments, devoid of any charity or respect, lead me to believe that your faith and its practice go no deeper than the cover of your dog-eared Latin Missal. I pray that the Lord will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

    Respectfully,

    D.

  51. Damien says:

    Brian,

    I\’m afraid you are completely out of line. Your description of the current texts of the Mass as \”stupid, banal, inane, ungrammatical\” is not only, in my view, blasphemous considering that they ARE, whether you like it or not, approved elements of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite but is also an insult to priests and faithful everywhere who have gained spiritual nourishment down through the years through these prayers.

    Furthermore, your description of the Bishops involved with the translation of these texts as \”a joke\” is a further slight on the Church. Perhaps they didn\’t produce the best translations but that is no reason to doubt their genuine attampts to interpret the will of the Holy Spirit. They are Pastors of the Church and deserve the public respect of their flock.

    To suggest that the current translation of the prayers of the Mass are the sole reason for the departure of so may Catholics since Vatican Council II (since you mention nothing of socio-cultural and economic reasons I presume you are suggesting so) is simply immature. I, as a faithful Catholic all my life, have never considered leaving the Church for such a reason and neither have most Catholics. Those who leave under the pretence of such reasons are only looking for any reason to leave.

    Finally, I thank God for the form of the Mass and its prayers that have sustained me and many others in the Way of the Lord through the years. Your comments, devoid of any charity or respect, lead me to believe that your faith and its practice go no deeper than the cover of your dog-eared Latin Missal. I pray that the Lord will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

    Respectfully,

    D.

  52. Matthew says:

    Will the bishop be requiring priests to take a test to demonstrate their comptence say the new translation? just a thought…

  53. Clayton says:

    God,
    you are big.
    Help us be big like you.

    I recently had an amusing nightmare where I was forced to say Mass (even though I’m not a priest), and after my ‘homily’ I was given a text for the Credo to use called “Creed at Mass for Toddlers” and it went something like this:

    “I love my truck, my red fire truck.
    We have fun with Daddy when he takes us to the beach on Sunday.
    Because my Daddy loves my Mommy
    (all bow) and me we are happy,
    and we have tasty fish sticks with ketchup
    to eat on Friday night…”

    And on it went.

  54. Brian Mershon says:

    Damien,

    The pope himself has called the entire new rite of Mass “banal.” Hardly blasphemous.

    The Church in the U.S. just got a report that showed the devastating effects of the 40-plus years of their inanity while droves have left the Church. To state that those who leave “are just looking for a reason” is in fact, immature.

    What about pastorally assisting the “one loss sheep”? Perhaps the translation you have read for 40 years hasn’t accurately conveyed this thought.

    People have left the Church for many reasons–poor catechesis, disagreement on birth control, banal liturgy, etc.

    This 40 years of trying to get translations correct (boy, I would be fired from my job if it took 40 years for me to get a press release translated correctly) could have all been avoided by keeping the Traditional Latin Mass and spending more time evangelizing as Lumen Gentium (shock and horror of horrors!!!) calls bishops explicitly to do in Lumen Gentium par. Nos. 23-25.

    But no. We get more tripe from FishPerson worrying about people understanding “ineffable.” He is not the only one. He and his ilk are A JOKE–naturally speaking. They waste time in stupid committee meetings discussing English translations (when none of them are English majors) from Latin (which most of them have very little even rudimentary knowledge of).

    Something I read this week in a daily Mass (in the Traditional Latin rite) about “when the blind lead the blind.”

    Give it a rest.

    Respectfully, of course…

  55. Antiquarian says:

    Despite internet assertions, Pope Benedict, as Cdl Ratzinger, did not ever call the Novus Ordo “banal.” The often quoted statement is clear, in context, in its condemnation of abusive innovations, but in no way criticizes the new Mass itself. He also bemoans the fact that others isolate themselves from the Church because of an attachment to the old Mass, but he is not criticizing the EF either.

  56. Cally says:

    Replace vosotros with ustedes?
    Replace a less formal term with a more formal one?

    The irony is delicious in all directions.

  57. Larry says:

    What really bugs me about the good bishop is his concern for the ignorance of the Catholic laity. Granted things have changed since I was a kid but we were always taught, in Catholic school, to look up the words we didn’t understand in any book or whatever. That is how Catholics always won the “spelling b’s”. Even if we don’t know a certain word at the time when we are at Mass we are reasonably sure it is more respectful words than we would use on the street. I don’t think the liturgy was designed to “dumb us down”. Maybe we could send Bishop Trautman a copy of Webster’s latest.

  58. Damien says:

    Brian,

    “Banal”, perhaps not blaphemous. “Stupid”, undeniably so.

    Might I remind you that it took the Church 1545-1563 years to develop the liturgy we now call the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Relatively speaking, 40 years is quite a short time. I am ammused and somewhat alarmed by the comparison you make between the care and consideration due hundreds of liturgical prayers and the translation of some press release or other.

    Once again, and for your own good, I advise you against going around defaming Bishops. It’s probably not a good idea to call them “blind”. They are the successors of the Apostles who, as we know from Scripture, were far from perfect. They obviously don’t have the gnostic insight into how the Church should be run with which you have been clearly blessed.

    Respectfully,

    D.

  59. John says:

    Giles wrote:
    I have a copy of the draft of these prayers.
    I demand leaks.
    I have posted what I believe to be the current translation on my site…
    http://www.gileshawkins.com/liturgy/newliturgy.htm
    Comment by Giles Hawkins — 13 June 2008 @ 6:46 am

    That link gives the Order of Mass, but not the prayers?
    http://www.gileshawkins.com has links which, though headed
    Opinion Music Food Faith, etc., all point back to
    http://www.gileshawkins.com/#?

    Regards
    John

  60. TJM says:

    I guess I’ll never understand so-called “liberals.” They masquerade as champions of the “people” and then turn around and
    denigrate them the first chance they get. My late grandmother barely got past freshmen year in high school but was a voracious
    reader and could write prose like a Harvard Don. I’m extremely confident she could handle the new translations and would find
    Bishop Trautman’s intervention on her “Behalf” highly offensive. That should really bother Bishop Trautman since “causing offense” is the
    greatest sin in the liberal lexicon. Tom

  61. Joseph says:

    The PROBLEM with translation is that as soon as it is not “literal” (close as possible)it is opened up to and bound to be “colored” by agendas.

    Result,

    -Undermining the reverence
    -Language wars
    -”Graying” of exact meanings
    -Dumbing down
    -Anti-poetic
    -Eardrum fatigue/damage (Do we all know what “fatigue” means? That means we are tired, as in ‘tired of the “B.S.”‘ Also called “dung” in older translations.)
    -No conveyance of elevated, nuanced thought and culture, shades of meaning, etc., through language, something the church has always been good at.

    AS a visitor to the Eastern rite lately, I find that they, devoid of much of this agenda driven pap, translate elegantly to the vernacular, in a style reminiscent of the Rheims-Douay Catholic Bible of years past, i.e., lofted language, and not infused with too many (if that really is an issue) of Thee’s and Thou’s. No gender neutral “God wants God’s people to do God’s will” nonsense.

  62. schoolman says:

    I think Rome should simply decree Latin as the default — until they can all settle on suitable translations.

  63. Boko Fittleworth says:

    I thought of this when I read a quote from London’s newly elected mayor Boris Johnson a few weeks ago. I don’t think anyone’s ever accused Boris of being “of the people,” but it was still nice to see his use of “consubstantial” in an interview.

    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:gAJTLXDN0SEJ:www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp%3FidArticle%3D15081%26R%3D13A7E199+%22boris+johnson%22+consubstantial&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=us

  64. RBrown says:

    I guess I’ll never understand so-called “liberals.” They masquerade as champions of the “people” and then turn around and
    denigrate them the first chance they get. My late grandmother barely got past freshmen year in high school but was a voracious
    reader and could write prose like a Harvard Don. I’m extremely confident she could handle the new translations and would find
    Bishop Trautman’s intervention on her “Behalf” highly offensive. That should really bother Bishop Trautman since “causing offense” is the
    greatest sin in the liberal lexicon. Tom
    Comment by TJM

    From Fr Rutler:

    “Considerable erudition was at work in those years, but too often its populism overruled the people. It was like Le Corbusier sketching a new metallic Paris. Marini complains about “a certain nostalgia for the old rites.” In doing so, he contradicts Pope Benedict’s distinction between rites and uses, and he also fails to explain why nostalgia for the 1560s is inferior to nostalgia for the 1960s, except for the dentistry.”

    http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6160

  65. RBrown says:

    Despite internet assertions, Pope Benedict, as Cdl Ratzinger, did not ever call the Novus Ordo “banal.” The often quoted statement is clear, in context, in its condemnation of abusive innovations, but in no way criticizes the new Mass itself. He also bemoans the fact that others isolate themselves from the Church because of an attachment to the old Mass, but he is not criticizing the EF either.
    Comment by Antiquarian

    He did refer to the “banalizzazione” of the liturgy.

  66. Warren Anderson says:

    I agree with the folk here that affirm that lowest common denominator thinking is untenable. Are we to do away with words like “salvation” too? One thing the study of languages (Latin!) gives a person is an appreciation for etymology. We should give no ground to those who would dumb down language in favour of “mass” appeal. The kind of “Mass” appeal we should be insisting upon is of a kind that involves elevated language purified of the trappings of the banal. The cause of literacy is best served when the symbols, words and gestures we employ invite people to discover something beyond themselves. I would wager that everyone craves ritual, for ritual is the artful embodiment of the Mystery we Catholics know as the Most Holy Trinity. To say that “we know” the Trinity is to say that we are, by the grace of God, growing in the knowledge and love of the Triune God. It is no wonder that the Church has suffered a general loss of mystery and reverence toward holy things. That a bishop would claim that the word “ineffable”, a word connoting silence, pointing to something beyond words, etc., is not comprehensible to the common man is surely confirmation that we have lost an appreciation for silence and mystery. Our lack of comfort is seen in the attempt to fill every second of the Liturgy with sound. How do we recover a sense of the sacred? – bring back words like ineffable, words that, even if they defy immediate translation, invite the listener to enter that puzzle in order to stretch the imagination and understanding. People will rise to the occasion. People will accept that such words appeal to them as intelligent beings capable of refined thinking. Furthermore, isn’t it a teacher’s job to provide support for learning (the truths of the Faith)?

  67. James Garrison says:

    Steve,

    In defense of my pastor, he is up every morning to pray the offices. What he really meant was that the prayers ought not need practicing, and they shouldn’t be complicated enough to be able to stumble over the words/phrases.

    I think a more fundamental issue is the fact that most people don’t pay any attention anyways to the prayers, which is all the more reason for the prayers to be translated better. In this way, those few who do pay attention and do care will be better enlightened.

    -JG

  68. Rex Aldrich says:

    According to John Allen of NCR, this happened at the NCCB meeting yesterday:

    Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba of Milwaukee, for example, said, “If I have trouble understanding the text when I read it, I wonder how it’s going to be possible to pray with it in the context of worship.”

    At the risk of sounding disrespectful, maybe the bishops think that not only are the PEOPLE too stupid, but also…

    Gosh! Doesn’t anybody have to read stuff like Shakespeare or Canterbury Tales in high school English anymore?

  69. Andreas says:

    Interestingly enough, inasmuch as the average person’s inability to understand many things, Cardinal Bacci would have agreed with Bishop Trautman.

    From the intervention of Cardinal Bacci during the 2nd Vat. Council, on October 24, 1962, speaking about the question of vernacular translations we have this:

    “… per simplicem et nudam lectionem, lingua nationli factam, parum vel nihil intelligit populus, praesertim si agatur de rebus difficilibus, ut v.g. de Epistula ad Hebraeos, de lectionibus Veteris Testamenti, de libro Apocalysis, etc.”

    (Through a simple and direct reading done in some national language, the people understand little or nothing, especially if the text is difficult, such as the Epistle to the Hebrews, or some readings from the Old Testament, or the Book of Revelation, etc.)

    Cardinal Bacci did not think the vernacular translations would achieve the desired goal of increased understanding among the people and he stated:

    “Mihi tamen opportunum esse videtur ut haec causa gravissima non relinquatur singulis Conferentiis episcopalibus peculiarum regionum, sed statuatur … pro universa Ecclesia ab Apostolica Sede.”

    (In my opinion this very serious matter should not be left up to the Bishops’ Conferences of specific regions, but should be regulated by the Holy See for the entire Church.).

    And what about the issue of “increased understanding”? His answer was: “homilia et catechesis lingua vulgari habita.”

    So Trautman and Bacci perceived the same difficulty. Only the solutions proposed are different.

  70. Marcus says:

    I’m shocked about the “roll our of bed” argument. Isn’t the raison d’etre of priests to preach the Word of God (hopefully with the fire of conviction) and to celebrate the sacraments (hopefully with reverence)? Seems like priests ought to read over the day’s liturgical texts anyway in preparation for their day’s work, and if they don’t, why would you admit it?

  71. Richard Morris says:

    Father Z
    “Excellency” and “Bishop” are kinf og elevated and too hard to understand for John and Mary Catholic.
    Maybe we should address the good bishop Trautman as ” Yo….dude!!!”

  72. Liam says:

    “Ineffable” is hardly archaic. Nor “wrought”.

    I do think objections to “gibbet” (“gibbet of the Cross”) in a text to be used in the US are apt. First, it’s pretty clear that what the English language refers to as a “gibbet” is not what the Latin is referring to. So it’s not an accurate translation. There is probably no accurate translation because the Latin is referring to something that did not exist in the English-speaking world. In any event, Americans know “gallows” but not “gibbet”, and “gallows” is quite inaccurate, too.

    After all, a stopped clock is correct at least twice a day.

  73. Patrick Rothwell says:

    “Gosh! Doesn’t anybody have to read stuff like Shakespeare or Canterbury Tales in high school English anymore?”

    Yes, and those are far more difficult to read than the new translations.

    What a bunch of philistines we have in the bishop’s conference!

    Curiously, the revised (liberalized) Episcopal 1979 Book of Common Prayer replaced the Cranmerian phrase “unspeakable joys” in the All Saints Day Collect with “ineffable joys,”
    presumably because “unspeakable” was too confusing to modern audiences, as in “unspeakable crime!” So, what will it be bishops? Unspeakable? Ineffable? Somethine else?

    My reaction to Trautman’s objections? INEFFABLE! Or at least unprintable.

  74. “God you are so big. help us be big like you” I swear that sounds a lot like some of the prayers I’ve heard at Mass, that’s sad.

  75. Jayna says:

    What is this? “No Parishioner Left Behind”? It is absolutely insulting to be treated like this and utter patronization of the highest (or lowest, as it were) order. Is there any way to find out after the vote who voted which way? I’d certainly like to know what direction my bishop is going in.

  76. I didn’t see the pro multis problem fixed (but then again, these are the possible drafts, I’m sure it will be fixed before it gets printed)

    Yeps, Janya, I think it is a version of no parishoner left behind. there is not an excuse for ignorance in this case…

    I’m getting sick of hearing the lame-duck transltions of the OF. :)

  77. Karen Russell says:

    A few random thoughts–

    If words like “ineffable” had been used regularly in the liturgy over the last 40 years, they would BE familiar to Joe and Mary Catholic. And if they are used starting now, in a very few years they will become familiar, especially to the younger worshipers, who are still fascinated with big new words.

    What I find most profoundly disturbing (and insulting) is the apparent underlying assumption that we are neither interested in nor capable of learning.

    Speaking now only for myself, a prayer which is immediately and completely understandable is a prayer which slides over and out of my mind, leaving said mind free to wander off into thoughts of what to cook for supper, or tomorrow’s schedule, or other trivia.

    A prayer with some complexity and “meat” will hold and focus my attention much better.

    Fighting distractions is a struggle anyway. Why make it harder than it has to be?

  78. Joseph,

    I wish your comment were that true. Unfortunately I have seen some translations of the Divine liturgy that are as banal as the crrent English edition of the Novus Ordo. Thank God our Bishops have not required one single translation. A Fr. Vaporis did a translation some years ago that has become somewhat standard in the Greek Archdiocese. H died a few years ago; too bad his translations weren’t interred with him. Our American culture seems to foster this kind of mess.

  79. Jordanes says:

    Damien said: I’m afraid you are completely out of line. Your description of the current texts of the Mass as “stupid, banal, inane, ungrammatical” is not only, in my view, blasphemous considering that they ARE, whether you like it or not, approved elements of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite but is also an insult to priests and faithful everywhere who have gained spiritual nourishment down through the years through these prayers.

    There is nothing blasphemous about Brian’s description of the current mistranslation of the Roman Missal that we’ve been enduring all these years. His description is precisely accurate. Sorry, but it’s not blasphemous to say that bishops’ conferences and Vatican curial officials are capable of making stupid decisions, such as approving a hasty, sloppy, incompetent “translation” of the Roman Missal. When I go to English-vernacular Mass, I just resign myself to the fact that most of what I heard will only approximate what the Latin Church intends us to pray during Mass. The sooner the first-ever translation of the Missal into English is completed and approved, the better.

    Really, if you’re offended by Brian’s comments, then please don’t read, oh, most of St. Jerome’s letters, especially those that deal with Rufinus . . .

    P.S. Giles Hawkins, you have a draft of the Ordo of the Mass. What is under consideration at this time are the Proper prayers.

  80. kaneohe says:

    I was able to download a PDF of the Rite of the Mass via Giles Hawkins but have not been able to open any of the links on his website.

    Giles, can you give us a hand here?

    Many thanks for your help!
    Grace and peace.

  81. Matt Q says:

    Brian Mershon wrote:

    “The pope himself has called the entire new rite of Mass “banal.” Hardly blasphemous.

    The Church in the U.S. just got a report that showed the devastating effects of the 40-plus years of their inanity while droves have left the Church. To state that those who leave “are just looking for a reason” is in fact, immature.

    What about pastorally assisting the “one loss sheep”? Perhaps the translation you have read for 40 years hasn’t accurately conveyed this thought.

    People have left the Church for many reasons—poor catechesis, disagreement on birth control, banal liturgy, etc.

    This 40 years of trying to get translations correct (boy, I would be fired from my job if it took 40 years for me to get a press release translated correctly) could have all been avoided by keeping the Traditional Latin Mass and spending more time evangelizing as Lumen Gentium (shock and horror of horrors) calls bishops explicitly to do in Lumen Gentium par. Nos. 23-25.

    But no. We get more tripe from FishPerson worrying about people understanding “ineffable.” He is not the only one. He and his ilk are A JOKE—naturally speaking. They waste time in stupid committee meetings discussing English translations (when none of them are English majors) from Latin (which most of them have very little even rudimentary knowledge of).

    Something I read this week in a daily Mass (in the Traditional Latin rite) about “when the blind lead the blind.”

    )(

    I agree with you, Brian. There are many reasons why people left the Church and not just because they were looking for a reason. It’s also because they were forced out. When, as you described, the Faithful were lacking any pastoral guidance, they had no understanding, nowhere to turn. Instead what they got was condescension and ridicule for not immediately embracing the “New.” It’s been described to me by those who lived through that time as “like when fascists come to power and how they treat those who wish to cling to the “old ways.”

    I am FED UP with these Trautmans of the world. How does he know what the average Catholic in the pew will or won’t understand? I find his attitude offensive to me, and am insulted by his presumption. All those who are against the Holy Father’s changes and reorienting back to the Tradition of this Church are those whom the Holy Father has thrown water on their Wicked Witches.

    …Their era, their era, their beautifully liberal left-wing era… melting… melting… …… ……. ……

  82. As others have observed, there is a wonderful book called a dictionary. I was introduced to it in the second grade. If one doesn’t understand a word, one can look it up. This expands the vocabulary. (Heck, I had to look up refulgence the first time I ran across it in the latest Lectionary.) I guess the lay faithful are too backward to own one.

    Also, using language that is not excessively familiar has the advantage of requiring one to think about what is being read. It also sends the message that what we are doing in the liturgy is different from ordinary life. This is precisely what we need to do in the liturgy where Heaven touches earth.

  83. Emilio III says:

    “What ineffable twaddle!” I had to look up two words the first time I read a Sherlock Holmes story, but managed to survive unscathed.

    Back in those dark days of the late 60s (almost at the height of the “Man-made Global Cooling” scare) it was rumored that they were changing the Hail Mary to something like

    Hi Mary
    Full of Relevance
    You’re very much With It
    And so’s The Kid

  84. paladin says:

    This is far from the first time I’ve mentioned this–sorry if I’m sounding like a “nag”–but, despite the excellent progress which the current draft gives us, it still contains a rather significant step backward… one which, in my opinion, is far more insidious than the worst of the banalities of the current ICEL text (loathsome though that is, and soon may it die!):

    “For us [word deleted] and for our salvation, He came down from Heaven.”

    Maybe I’m just being thick-headed at the moment, but I don’t recall any other instances in which specifically “gender-inclusive” language was inserted in the Canon or Creed of the Mass (not counting the illicit “local” adaptations of “Orate, fratres… [etc.]“). The fact that it’s contained in the central statement of Faith in the Holy Sacrifice gives it an extraordinary importance, in my mind.

    I don’t seem to be alone, either:

    [quote from "Observations on the English-language Translation of the Roman Missal", by Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez (Prefect, CDWDS), Rome, 16 March 2002; quoted from http://www.adoremus.org)]

    III. Examples of problems related to questions of “inclusive language” and of the use of masculine and feminine terms

    A. In an effort to avoid completely the use of the term “man” as a translation of the Latin homo, the translation often fails to convey the true content of that Latin term, and limits itself to a focus on the congregation actually present or to those presently living. The simultaneous reference to the unity and the collectivity of the human race is lost. The term “humankind”, coined for purposes of “inclusive language”, remains somewhat faddish and ill-adapted to the liturgical context, and, in addition, it is usually too abstract to convey the notion of the Latin homo. The latter, just as the English “man”, which some appear to have made the object of a taboo, are able to express in a collective but also concrete and personal manner the notion of a partner with God in a Covenant who gratefully receives from him the gifts of forgiveness and Redemption. At least in many instances, an abstract or binomial expression cannot achieve the same effect.

    B. In the Creed, which has unfortunately also maintained the first-person plural “We believe” instead of the first-person singular of the Latin and of the Roman liturgical tradition, the above-mentioned tendency to omit the term “men” has effects that are theologically grave. This text ­”For us and for our salvation”-no longer clearly refers to the salvation of all, but apparently only that of those who are present. The “us” thereby becomes potentially exclusive rather than inclusive.

    Seriously: does anyone know if the Vatican is able (be it canonically/legally, or socially/diplomatically) to accept the current translation, but “manually” change/insert/delete isolated words or phrases, *without* sending the whole mess “back to committee [i.e. USCCB, ICEL, etc.]“? Is it feasible for the CDWDS to send it back, saying, Yes, this will do… and we hope you don’t mind, but we’ve reinserted the word ‘men’ into the translation of the Credo”? Or would “romanita”, “collegiality”, and Vatican diplomacy require that it be sent back for the USCCB’s “imprimatur”?

    Whenever I hear H.E. (Bishop Troutman) and others “carp” (no pun intended–at least, not when I first typed it!) about the current translation, I can’t help but think that such noice could be an effective (sorry again!) red herring which would lull the liturgically orthodox into a mindset of “Ah! They’re really upset! We must be doing something right!”, and which could cause them to gloss over the “small [sic] step backward” re: feminist ideology. I’m seriously worried about this, and I’m somewhat puzzled that so few people on this forum have even mentioned it…

    In Christ,
    Brian C.

  85. Steve Poirier says:

    Fr. Z,

    It is difficult for me to honor your comments as they are comments on comments; that is, the reporter reported. Bishop Trautman’s argument to his peers was not reported.

    When you have the transcript of the debate and still desire to “fisk” it, perhaps your comments will be a worthwhile read.

    Perhaps the honorable action is to refrain from comment on reportage. However, being ordained, you know best.

    May God bless you.
    Steve Poirier

  86. paladin says:

    Steve,

    With all due respect: what sort of snarky, condescending piffle was *that*?

    In Christ,
    Brian