John Allen’s interesting account of the USCCB vote on liturgical translations

My friend the nearly ubiquitous fair-minded former Rome correspondent for the ultra-lefty National Catholic Reporter has an interesting take on what happend in last week’s USCCB meeting when bishops discussed liturgical translation.  I am just catching up on my articles and e-mail so this is a little dated… four whole days!

I have some addition observations at the end.

My emphases and comments.

USCCB: Dramatic debate, cliffhanger result on liturgy
By John L Allen Jr Daily
Created Jun 13 2008 – 06:23

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Orlando, Florida

Perhaps it’s only fitting that a meeting held in Florida, the state that made the hanging chad famous, should feature a dramatic cliffhanger vote, which, as election day ended, remained inconclusive.

Heading into the U.S. bishops’ spring meeting in Orlando, it didn’t seem likely that a proposed new translation of the Proper of Seasons, part of the prayers and other texts for the Catholic Mass, would stir up much dust. [In fact, now that the Ordo of Mass is finished, I suspected there would be much less to fight about.]  Following a decade and a half of impassioned argument over such texts known colloquially as the “liturgy wars,” many bishops privately expressed fatigue and a desire to move on – suggesting to most observers that approval of this text ought to be more or less a given. [Yep.]

In one sign of that mood, only seven bishops out of 250 Latin Rite prelates in the United States even bothered to propose amendments to the text, a clear sign that most felt the handwriting was on the wall. Like it or not, many concluded, Rome has made clear that the new translations must be closer to the Latin, both in structure and word choice, thus producing a more “sacral” language sometimes remote from ordinary English usage.  [These are the norms expressed in Liturgiam authenticam.]

All that changed this morning, however, when Bishop Victor Galeone of Saint Augustine, Florida, [You might remember him and his incredible reaction Summorum Pontificum or how his Diocesan Director of Liturgy, Fr. Thomas Willis, said that people who have ADD can focus better at the Latin Mass with all the silence than at the Novus Ordo where there is more "active participation".] rose to oppose the proposed text — despite, he said, fear that doing so may be "in vain." [Uh huh…. riiiiight…]  A former Latin teacher who still reads Thomas Aquinas in the original language, Galeone made a forceful argument that the new translation is simply too unclear and awkward to be effectively used in American parishes.  [I wonder how forceful it really was.  I didn’t hear it, but citing a few examples of hard vocabulary doesn’t really constitute much of an argument.]

Among other things, Galeone cited the text’s use of the phrase “the gibbet of the Cross.”

“The last time I heard that word was back in 1949, during Stations of the Cross in Lent,” Galeone said.  [Strange… I heard it last Lent in a parish church.]

“I challenge anyone to proclaim what’s given here at Mass,” he said. “It’s very difficult.”  [This is interesting.  We still have not yet heard a single prayer of the new translation "proclaimed" and already it is being challenged.  Amazing.  But this is what the progressivists always do: they take the official text and then screw with it in the interest of improving it in this context or that without it having been actually used.  That is what they did, for example, with the Rite of Ordination.  The Congregation reacted very sharply to that.]

“A good translator has to understand not just the original language, but also one’s own into which these texts are being put,” Galeone said. Despite assurances to the contrary, he said, the new texts are “slavish” with respect to the Latin originals.  [Hmmm… I like that… "slavish".]

“I’m an obedient son of the church, [Nota bene.] and if these texts are passed as they stand, I will pray with them,” Galeone said. “But I feel that the vernacular has been a blessing to our people.” Galeone added that with “all due respect” to the recent ruling from Pope Benedict XVI authorizing wider celebration of the old Latin Mass, he hasn’t celebrated the old rite since 1970. If he were asked to do so today, he said, he would instead celebrate the new rite of the Mass in Latin.  [Okay… I respect a personal preference in this regard.  But, as bishop, couldn’t he have a little more generosity in regard to the legitimate aspirations of Catholic people who were so deeply hurt for so long?]

Galeone’s speech seemed to open the floodgates, as other bishops rose to voice reservations about the new translations.  [This is where things get really interesting.  Watch very carefully who is mentioned and what their positions are.]

Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba of Milwaukee, [Consecrated in 1979 by His Excellency Archbp. Rembert Weakland.] for example, said, “If I have trouble understanding the text when I read it, [?!? Really ?!?] I wonder how it’s going to be possible to pray with it in the context of worship.”

Sklba warned that if the proposed text were adopted, “our priests and our people” will press the bishops to come back to it “again and again” to remedy perceived defects. “This is not yet mature,” he said.  [I bet they won’t.  I bet they will praise the new translation and embrace it warmly!]

Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, [You knew this name would pop up, right?  Remember that His Excellency has said tie and again the people in the pews aren’t smart enough to understand hard English. Check here and here and here and  here, among the many times we have looked at his views.  He active fought against the CDW’s norms. Also, remember how he received H.E. Piero Marini’s book and how he is implementing Summorum Pontificum.  You get the drift.] Pennsylvania, a longtime critic of the new translations, said the texts contain a number of “archaic and obscure” terms, pointing to words such as “wrought,” “ineffable,” and “gibbet.” He also said that the text’s preference for mimicking the sentence structure of Latin, featuring long sentences with a large number of dependent clauses, impedes understanding in English. ["It’s toooo haaard!"]  Trautman cited one prayer in the new Proper of Seasons presented as a single 12-line sentence with three separate clauses.

“John and Mary Catholic have a right to have prayer texts that are clear and understandable,” Trautman said. “The document before us needs further work.”

Bishop Robert Lynch of Saint Petersburg, Florida, [Who has little time for the older form of Mass and who, if memory serves, forbade Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in his diocese.] thanked Galeone for giving him the “courage for this moment.” Lynch then told the bishops that he had recently taken the new Mass texts back to his presbyteral council, composed of 26 priests. Two were in favor of the translation, he said, and 24 were opposed.

He reported their reaction as, “Bishop, do whatever you can, because we can’t pray these texts.”

“It’s a good thing that we’re supposed to pause before the orations,” Lynch joked, “because we’ll have to gather enough breath to pray the prayers.” [Yuk yuk.]

Other bishops, however, argued that admitted imperfections in the text don’t justify further delays in the process.

“It’s an imperfect sacramentary for an imperfect people, to be prayed by a celebrant who is also imperfect,” said Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco. “I respect those who say let’s move forward and get a new sacramentary, before they all fall apart in the sacristy.”  [You know… it is okay for a translation to sound like a translation.]

Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, the retired archbishop of Mobile who sits on the Vox Clara Commission that advises the Vatican on liturgical translation, said that he doesn’t find the new texts “unacceptable or unproclaimable.” [He must believe that people are smart.]

“Our genius in celebrating,” he said, will make up for any deficiencies.  [Right!  We priests get to explain the texts!] Further, he said, the average Catholic will receive the new texts “with the eyes of faith,” rather than focusing on its problems “like an English teacher or a Latin teacher.”  [Exactly.]

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said that “with all its difficulties, the translation should go forward,” adding that he believes the new Mass texts “become stronger after Advent, into Lent and Easter.”

Responding to the “let’s move on” argument, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk [Who in a rather menacing memo showed that he will restrict priests from using the 1962 Missale Romanum by imposing a double-standard "test" on them.] of Cincinnati warned that it “depends on what you’re moving forward to,” arguing that the new texts would be “a linguistic swamp.”  [Where people should feel right at home in after the last few decades of ghastly liturgy and worse translations.]

Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland made another argument in favor of the text, noting that four other English-speaking bishops’ conferences have already approved it. If the Americans reject it, he said, it could jeopardize the goal of a common text.

“Admittedly, we’re the big ones, but that doesn’t allow us a terribly privileged position,” Vlazny said. “We need a measure of humility in this.”

Echoing a point made by others, Vlazny also argued that today’s texts may seem more “proclaimable” simply because they’re familiar. With time, he said, the new texts will also become familiar, and the issues of syntax and word choice cited by critics “will be a non-problem.”  [Yes.   This goes back to what I mentioned earler.  The opposition is condemning them before there is any experience of them.]

Bishop Arthur Seratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Divine Worship, defended the texts.

“On whole, the translation is a marked improvement,” Seratelli said. “As we use it, as we ourselves and our priests become more familiar with the new language of the liturgy, it will not pose as great a problem as we fear.”

After all that the bishops were unable to reach a decision, largely because of the electoral math.  [So… what a great service the opposition did for the universal Church, right?]

The rules of the conference require that the text be approved by two-thirds of its members, not just those physically present. Since there are 250 Latin Rite bishops in the United States, 166 “yes” votes are required to approve it, while 83 “no” votes are necessary to reject it.

As it turns out, the Orlando meeting was sparsely attended – one headcount yesterday found just 178 voting members. As a result, this morning’s ballot failed to get enough “yes” votes to approve the text, or enough “no” votes to block it.

As a result, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the conference, announced that bishops who were not present will receive ballots in the mail in order to settle things one way or the other.

The bishops did reach a decision on a couple of other points.

If the text is rejected, they decided, all members of the conference will have the opportunity to submit observations and proposals, not just those who have already expressed concerns.

Further, if the text does have to go back to the drawing board, the bishops decided not to send it to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, a translation agency which is a joint project of 11 English-speaking bishops’ conferences, for comment. Since ICEL was restructured under Vatican pressure several years ago, some bishops feel the agency has not been receptive to proposed changes to its texts. In a voice vote, the bishops opted this morning to bypass any reaction from ICEL and simply bring a new version of the Proper for Seasons back to the U.S. conference.

That, however, assumes that the text does not pass once all the mail-in ballots are counted. Some veteran conference observers believe that once all the votes are in, the new text stands a good chance of being approved – noting that a number of likely “yes” votes, such as Cardinals Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Edward Egan of New York, were among those absent in Orlando.

I believe the texts will be passed.

However, what is interesting here is how this was orchestrated. 

Do you remember that before Bp. Seratelli was elected as Chairman for liturgy, they had Bp. Trautman?  Do you remember how he was elected?

If was pretty much a done deal that someone like Card. George was going to be elected.  Then, all of a sudden, there was a nomination made by one of the most liberal bishops in the country, H.E. John Kinney of St. Cloud (the last of the Jadot appointments).  He nominated Bp. Trautman.  Suddenly there was this spontaneous ground swell, out of nowhere, of support for Bp. Trautman, and he was elected.

Sound familiar?  Read Mr. Allen’s account again.

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53 Responses to John Allen’s interesting account of the USCCB vote on liturgical translations

  1. Kinney was appointed bishop at a very young age — 39. The Jadot appointments were, by and large, a disaster.

  2. John Enright says:

    Bp. Trautman said “John and Mary Catholic have a right to have prayer texts that are clear and understandable.” With all due respect to the Bishop, I have a right to have authentic prayer texts, and I don’t have a problem with words such as “wrought,” “ineffable,” and “gibbet.” If I did, I’d simply look them up!

  3. RBrown says:

    A lot of the liberal bishops learned to maneuver in the Conference by Cardinal Bernardin, who was truly a master in such things.

  4. Lourdes says:

    Actually Bishop Lynch forbade perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, not Exposition.

  5. Lourdes says:

    Actually, Bishop Lynch forbade Perpetual Adoration, not Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

  6. Jason in San Antonio says:

    “Lynch then told the bishops that he had recently taken the new Mass texts back to his presbyteral council, composed of 26 priests. Two were in favor of the translation, he said, and 24 were opposed.”

    Wait, so his hand-picked council completely agreed with His Excellency? /awe

    Responding to the “let’s move on” argument, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati warned that it “depends on what you’re moving forward to,” arguing that the new texts would be “a linguistic swamp.”

    Swamp?? I think “wetlands” would be best. Sounds like someone’s not ecologically conscious.

  7. Do you remember how he was elected?

    If was pretty much a done deal that someone like Card. George was going to be elected.

    Actually, as I recall, the two committee nominees were Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Vigneron, both supporters of Pope and Liturgiam authenticam.

    After Bp. Trautman’s last-minute nomination, the first ballot was ruled invalid when it was discovered that the number of votes cast by their episcopal excellencies considerably exceeded the number of bishops in the room. The scene on EWTN was confusing [to me, at least], but Bp. Trautman was ruled the winner on the repeat ballot.

  8. Jon says:

    Bishop Donald W. Trautman
    Birthday: June 24, 1936

    Bishop Richard J. Sklba
    Birthday: September 11, 1935

    Bishop Robert Lynch
    Birthday: May 27, 1941

    Bishop John F. Kinney
    Birthday: June 11, 1937

    Mark your calendars! You’ll want to send a nice card when the BIG 75 rolls around!

  9. Johnny Domer says:

    I think perhaps the more significant thing about Bishop Lynch than his views on the old Liturgy was his staggeringly incompetent handling of the Terri Schiavo controversy that took place in his diocese, during which he was either totally ill-informed (as evidenced by the fact he said Terri was “at death’s door,” which was only true because her husband was trying to kill her; she was healthy as a horse otherwise), had the spine of a jellyfish, or didn’t honestly think there was anything terribly immoral with Michael Schiavo’s actions. Having heard Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, speak about the lack of support the family received from the bishop and the diocese’s priests (one of whom testified in court that Terri’s murder would be acceptable according to Church teaching), it absolutely sickens me. The fact that he 1. is allowed to show his face in public 2. is listened to by other bishops 3. could have influence on how we’re going to worship makes me sick to my stomach.

    Father…didn’t you once make some link between liberal liturgy and liberal morality?

  10. RBrown says:

    Should be:

    A lot of the liberal bishops learned to maneuver in the Conference from Cardinal Bernardin, who was truly a master in such things.

  11. Margaret says:

    I can’t quite understand Bp. Galeone. On the one hand, he seems to be a strong proponent of the “Spirit of Vatican II” school of liturgy. Yet on the other hand, he had enough spine to write a pastoral letter http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/03-07-10galeonemarriage.htm in 2003 condemning contraceptive use and clearly teaching his flock why the Church opposes it. I can’t think of another American bishop who has done so, and I wish his letter was in wider circulation.

  12. TNCath says:

    Same old same old. Why did they even bother meeting?

  13. xpihs says:

    If only a little capitalism could have been mixed in from the Holy See, we would have an excellent text by now. Instead, the incentives for many bishops seems to encourage them to draw this out.

    Imagine if it had been a contest to see which province, not conference mind you, could have submitted the best translation within a three years. The Holy See decides and the prize: exclusive rights to provide the Official English translation of the Missale Romanum to the world. Then our Bishops wouldn’t have to waste so much time over something that should have been done already.

  14. RBrown says:

    I can’t quite understand Bp. Galeone. On the one hand, he seems to be a strong proponent of the “Spirit of Vatican II” school of liturgy. Yet on the other hand, he had enough spine to write a pastoral letter http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/03-07-10galeonemarriage.htm in 2003 condemning contraceptive use and clearly teaching his flock why the Church opposes it. I can’t think of another American bishop who has done so, and I wish his letter was in wider circulation.
    Comment by Margaret

    No mystery. He’s a neo-con–Catholic in sexual morality and Protestant in liturgy.

  15. Margaret says:

    RBrown– I’m not quite sure why he merits the “neo-con” label for defending Catholic orthodoxy. In case I didn’t articulate my query clearly enough: people who feel the “pull” of the good, true and beautiful in one aspect of the Faith (morality, in this case) tend to feel that same pull in other aspects as well, although sometimes it takes a while to spill over. I’m curious why this doesn’t seem to be the case with Galeone.

  16. Suzie says:

    I really dislike the use of the word “proclaim” when they are referring to prayer, which is primarly what the Mass isn (although we proclaim the Gospel). According to Merriam-Webster’s, proclaim means “to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly or defiantly,” although it can mean to “praise or glorify openly or publicly.” Pray, on the other hand, means “to make a request in a humble manner,” or “to address God with adoration, confession, supplication or thanksgiving.” There is a definite difference here.

  17. Matthew M. says:

    If ever there was a substitute for thinking, it is the use of the label ‘neo-con’ or ‘neo-catholic’. If you want to says something, put it in words, not in sneers.

  18. Father…didn’t you once make some link between liberal liturgy and liberal morality?

    If you mean personal morality, some of the earlier comments at

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/audio-bp-robert-lynch-gives-his-views-of-the-older-form-of-mass/

    may provide some additional information.

  19. Carl H. Horst says:

    Bishop Galeone’s remarks about Pope Benedict XVI’s familiarity with the Traditional Latin Mass — that “he has’nt celebared the Old Rite since 1970″ seem woefully out of touch with the actual facts. If Bp. Galeone were interested I believe he would find that Cardinal Ratzinger has celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass on several occasions — all post-1988.

  20. Prof. Basto says:

    Episcopal Conferences are part of the problem, not of the solution. This anomaly introduced in the organic body of the Latin Church should be abolished.

  21. Habemus Papam says:

    So thats what a neo-con is. I thought it was something to do with Thatherism.

  22. Le Renard says:

    So thats what a neo-con is.

    If a Neo-Con is somebody who believe the post-Vatican-II Church is the same Church as before, needing today only a “reform of the reform”; then isn’t that what Pope Benedict XVI is actually?

  23. Deo volente says:

    I believe the Conference did provide us with a new battle cry, however. “Ineffable.” It is all over the internet now courtesy of Amy Wellborn among others.

    D.v.

  24. EDG says:

    I hope Bp Galeone’s not using his own liturgical practice as the standard. He improvises much of the Mass, not saying anything wildly heretical, but not saying what’s written, either. And his solution to the fact that the congregation is obviously dumb as a box of rocks is to say everything veeeeeerrrrryyyy slooooooowwwwlllyyy.

    I think he is orthodox in the area of morality and even doctrine, generally speaking; but I think that much of his outlook on the liturgy is colored by the years he spent with a missionary group in Peru, where they went around building “base communities” and dabbling in a sort of liberation theology lite. It seems to me that his liturgical theology is seriously astray, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least, from some of the things I’ve heard him say, if he’s one of those “the Peepul make the Eucharist” types. He got some sort of grant to train laypeople to take over the parishes and provide services, for example, although he was a little annoyed because the good folk of his diocese actually didn’t want to take over the parishes and it was hard to get anyone to sign up for the training. But I think he envisages a situation with few or no priests, and I think he sees the Mass as becoming rather rare. Oddly enough, he rarely celebrates mass publicly at his own Cathedral, and in fact, he doesn’t seem to like the Cathedral very much.

    I think what has made him particularly bad recently is the fact that people like Sklba, Trautman, etc. probably gave him lots of praise for his obnoxious comments at the time of the Motu Proprio, and it’s gone to his head. They’ve brought him into their circle – and they’re using him. I don’t think he was personally clever enough to coordinate that attack on the new translation, but I think he probably got a lot of encouragement from people like Lynch, who were fully aware of their objective. Bernardin preached at Lynch’s installation, btw. So Lynch, who has had all sorts of scandals and problems but emerged unscathed and still at the head of his diocese, was trained by a clever master and knows how to manipulate things and people.

    Be that as it may, the thing that bothered me most about his comments was his sneering attitude towards the Pope. “With all due respect” indeed! If this were a corporation and the two-bit manager of some obscure department said that about the CEO in a public meeting, he would have been and should have been fired. Good thing for him that the Church doesn’t run on those lines…

  25. Fr. Gregory Hanks says:

    The actual Novus Ordo translation in use is so poor, it really can’t be called a translation. These liberal Bishops that don’t want a change for the better, either they don’t know Latin and they are completely stupid, or they are acting from pure malice. Since, I don’t think they are stupid, it must be pure malice.

    Fr. Gregory

  26. Richard says:

    If the bishops want to keep the Mass stuck in the sensibilities of the 1960’s and 70’s, it’s just another reason for the masses to embrace the Mass of All Ages.

  27. One of the qualifications that ought to be sent to Rome when someone is suggested as a bishop candidate is a reading comprehension test. Some of them are as stupid as a bag of rocks. It’s embarrassing.

  28. Larry says:

    Well if they mess this up there is going to be a huge move toward the TLM. Failing that there is always an Eastern Rite. I am sick and tired of this!!!!!!!!

  29. Cally says:

    I love the whining about “ineffable”.

    If Ann Brashares can use it in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, the people can figure it out in the liturgy.

  30. I second the anti-spam words I just typed- Pray for bishops. They need it.

    If I am too stupid, as Msgr. Trautman suggests I am, to understand the meaning of the new translation then it is the fault of the bishops for not supplying me and everyone else with sufficient education in the faith. If this is true, and sadly enough, though I reject his course of action, I do think Trautman has a point, then the response here is not to continue dumbing-down the text but to provide the faithful with proper catechesis and sermons that go beyond the slightly amusing anecdotes about Father’s vacation.

    Those bishops who say the faithful lack the intelligence to understand the texts of the Mass are digging their own graves because the fault here lies with them. Kind of like how the bishop who refuses to allow the traditional Mass on the grounds that his priests lack the necessary knowledge of Latin is admitting the diocesan seminary isnt up to the standards set by Canon Law.

    Perhaps this translation fiasco will serve to show everyone one of the many benefits of Latin.

  31. CK says:

    If I am too stupid to understand the better language it’s because we’ve all been frogs slowly being boiled to death for the last few decades, sitting in pews more or less brain dead!

    This group – you know – ….bench of bishops – reminds me of Congress. Nothing of any substance for the people out here waiting (and leaving) ever seems to get accomplished. They should each be given one of the roles in “Waiting for Godot”!

  32. joy says:

    Hey all,

    Maybe we should donate dictionaries to the Ordinaries to make it easier for them to explain the HAAAARD words to us.

    BTW I’m praying that the absentee ballots will carry the day (and the translation) so as not to get stuck in the ‘wetlands’ of even more suggested versions…

    St. Jerome, pray for us!

  33. To be fair to most of the bishops, I believe that they are so busy, liturgy is not the priority. Of course, the liturgy should be the priority over all else. But they are often times so distracted by other issues, it is not surprising a correct translation is difficult. The real question is, why this matter of translation has taken so long in the English speaking countries. It just is not the priority.

  34. RBrown says:

    RBrown—I’m not quite sure why he merits the “neo-con” label for defending Catholic orthodoxy. In case I didn’t articulate my query clearly enough: people who feel the “pull” of the good, true and beautiful in one aspect of the Faith (morality, in this case) tend to feel that same pull in other aspects as well, although sometimes it takes a while to spill over. I’m curious why this doesn’t seem to be the case with Galeone.
    Comment by Margaret

    Are you curious why it wasn’t the case with JPII?

  35. Jayna says:

    You know what’s really rather weird about Bishop Lynch’s opinion on the matter? The Cathedral of St. Jude, the cathedral of the diocese of St. Petersburg, offers the Tridentine mass EVERY Sunday. Seems like his flock understands these things a bit better than he does.

  36. Matt Q says:

    Joy wrote:

    “Maybe we should donate dictionaries to the Ordinaries to make it easier for them to explain the HAAAARD words to us.”

    )(

    Yeah, right! Wouldn’t waste a cent on such ilk as they.

    ======

    Father Kevin wrote:

    “To be fair to most of the bishops, I believe that they are so busy, liturgy is not the priority. Of course, the liturgy should be the priority over all else. But they are often times so distracted by other issues, it is not surprising a correct translation is difficult. The real question is, why this matter of translation has taken so long in the English speaking countries. It just is not the priority.”

    )(

    Yes, Father, to be fair, it isn’t a priority to them but let’s be honest why. It’s because it is an ideological/cultural change in the way they do business. Those who deny embracing Tradition and not accepting of the Holy Father’s reorienting of the Liturgy, of course wouldn’t be a priority to them because they want to drag their feet and stall it as long as possible.

    It’s also very elitist of them to carry on with this “The Faithful won’t understand anything” bit is rather tiresome and condescending.

  37. To be fair, I don’t believe that most of the bishops have such strong ideological mind-sets favoring the ordinary form over the traditional form of the Mass. I agree with you regarding culture. I’m quite sure that in time, as the traditional form becomes more well known, most of the bishops will accommodate the traditional Mass, precisely because the bishops are generally more political than ideological minded. As a practical matter, I don’t see large numbers of bishops proactively moving to the traditional form, they will in time, but not until the landscape changes a bit. The reality is, even today, after the motu proprio, there are very few priests in each diocese who regularly celebrate in the extraordinary form. Within a few years, this will change. The bishop of each diocese will not oppose something that is practical. The whole thrust of the Motu Propio, as I understand it, is to enable priests to celebrate the traditional form without permission. Whether a priest will celebrate in the extra-ordinary form will depend largely on the priest. As priests begin to celebrate the traditional Mass, I’m confident we’ll see bishops beginning to celebrate the Latin Mass as well.

  38. To be fair, I don’t believe that most of the bishops have such strong ideological mind-sets favoring the ordinary form over the traditional form of the Mass. I agree with you regarding culture. I\’m quite sure that in time, as the traditional form becomes more well known, most of the bishops will accommodate the traditional Mass, precisely because the bishops are generally more political than ideological minded. As a practical matter, I don\’t see large numbers of bishops proactively moving to the traditional form, they will in time, but not until the landscape changes a bit. The reality is, even today, after the motu proprio, there are very few priests in each diocese who regularly celebrate in the extraordinary form. Within a few years, this will change. The bishop of each diocese will not oppose something that is practical. The whole thrust of the Motu Propio, as I understand it, is to enable priests to celebrate the traditional form without permission. Whether a priest will celebrate in the extra-ordinary form will depend largely on the priest. As priests begin to celebrate the traditional Mass, I\’m confident we\’ll see bishops beginning to celebrate the Latin Mass as well.

  39. Warren Anderson says:

    1. In time, people will get used to the new translation. New shoes at first pinch a bit. After awhile they feel good on the feet. 2. The current team/body that has been working on the new translation is no lame bunch. The work done is thoughtful and erudite. 3. The malcontents are threatened by the new translation because once it is published it will signal that the door is being closed on innovation… aka, tinkering… aka abuses. 4. Witness the growing affect that the EF is having. With the EF and OF side-by-side, imagine the possibilities for evangelization! 5. I love the OF. I’m still waiting for its potential to be fully realized. Even though we have witnessed egregious abuses against the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for over a generation, there is great hope that the work of the Second Vatican Council will finally be less impeded, and that the great work of the Holy Spirit that brought about the Pauline renewal will be recognized and given the full respect and obedience it deserves. 6. Let’s hope that the bishops get with the program. Blogs like this and well written letters from wise and faithful priests and laity communicating the better arguments to bishops will surely improve the quality of their discussions and increase the likelihood that decisions will be more in keeping with the will of God. Deus lo vult!

  40. Flabellum says:

    The Naming of Cats (T. S. Eliot)

    The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
    You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
    First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
    Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
    Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey –
    All of them sensible everyday names.
    There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
    Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
    Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter –
    But all of them sensible everyday names.
    But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
    A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
    Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
    Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
    Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
    Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
    Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum –
    Names that never belong to more than one cat.
    But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
    And that is the name that you never will guess;
    The name that no human research can discover –
    But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
    When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
    His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
    Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
    His ineffable effable
    Effanineffable
    Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

  41. Flabellum says:

    The term gibbet for a wooden structure used for execution as well as for the display of an executed criminal has very deep meaning for English Catholics. Tyburn Convent, near the place of execution of many English Catholic Martyrs, has a representation of the three-sided gibbet also known as Tyburn Tree erected over the high altar.

  42. Marysann says:

    I am an American living abroad. I am having a difficult time explaining to my non-American English-speaking Catholic friends why the new translation of the Mass is being held up by the American bishops. There is no way to explain it that doesn’t present the bishops in an unflattering light. I am trying to avoid having to confess the sin of bad-mouthing the bishops again. Not only does this situation put the Church in America in a bad light, but it increases resentment against the United States itself. I hope that this issue will be settled soon.

  43. Anthony English says:

    If priests and bishops are so keen on the present translation why do they stray from the text so often? It seems that priests are allowed to ad lib as much as they like and then expect the people to respond according to the missal.

  44. EDG says:

    Anthony English:

    You bring up a good point. There are probably only a handful of priests in the Diocese of St. Augustine (Bp Galeone’s diocese) who actually say the mass texts as they are now written. Some of them improvise virtually the whole thing, starting with their entry (which begins with a shouted “God is good!” to which the congregation screams back, “All the time!”) and running through every conceivable confusion until they wave and grin their way down the aisle at the end. So clearly the current text isn’t that precious to anybody here, and is just something being used once again to assert the power of the national bishops’ conference.

    I think that the more important and intelligent bishops who didn’t show up for this meeting probably underestimated the desire of this small, rebellious group of bishops for power and their skill in achieving it. Interestingly, they’re virtually all from minor sees, some of which, such as Erie, are dying from decades of unorthodoxy and mismanagement. When I reread this article this morning, I noticed the rather chilling concluding paragraph, which I had skipped over in my indignation at Bp Galeone. The bishops managed to vote to simply reject the ICEL altogether (after it was “reorganized by Rome” and no longer controlled by their favorite paraphrasers) and assert that the US bishops will create their own texts. Can they do this? I don’t know, but I think this is a dangerous implication and I think it is a sign of a more serious attack on the authority of Rome by this wing of the bishops. But perhaps I’m just being an alarmist…

  45. Rachel says:

    No EDG, you are not being alarmist. I think that might be just what they will do. Now, more than ever, we need Rome to quit being soft about this. We need an iron fist because some of these bishops and other progressives have been given the green light for tooo loong.

    I am also upset by Bishop Galeone. I have never understood why he chooses to do this. He has been so cold to those who action love tradition here for many years. He is “orthodox” on moral issues. He has mandated that every couple who is engaged to be married in the Church must take an NFP class in addition to all the other requirements. This was something that we had not foreseen and now this means I have to shell out almost 200 dollars of money I don’t have to take this class in addition to everything else. I’m not happy with my bishop right now but I’m obeying although this has put us in further financial straits.

    In addition, we also had the opportunity to have EF masses at the Cathedral and St. Joseph’s and now…DOA thanks to the cold reception that any priest is getting if he shows any interest in it. Thank God that we have three priests at Immaculate Conception to offer the Mass but as you know, two of them are getting old and we don’t know how much time that they have.

    Argh, this is embarassing :(. Pray for us in the Diocese of St. Augustine. I hear that we only have maybe two more years of this bishop and then……..well….lets hope we get a good one.

  46. peretti says:

    I think Msgr. Trautman is correct. I must be too stupid or too confused about this whole thing. Every time I try to write a check to contribute to my archbishop (who is not terribly friendly to the TLM), the final product always says to Archbishop Burke. I must be so stupid.

  47. reinhart10 says:

    >>I really dislike the use of the word “proclaim” when they are referring to prayer, which is primarly what the Mass isn (although we proclaim the Gospel). According to Merriam-Webster’s, proclaim means “to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly or defiantly,” although it can mean to “praise or glorify openly or publicly.” Pray, on the other hand, means “to make a request in a humble manner,” or “to address God with adoration, confession, supplication or thanksgiving.” There is a definite difference here.

  48. reinhart10 says:

    really dislike the use of the word “proclaim” when they are referring to prayer, which is primarly what the Mass isn (although we proclaim the Gospel). According to Merriam-Webster’s, proclaim means “to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly or defiantly,” although it can mean to “praise or glorify openly or publicly.” Pray, on the other hand, means “to make a request in a humble manner,” or “to address God with adoration, confession, supplication or thanksgiving.” There is a definite difference here.

    This doesn’t bother me so much.
    As I recall, in one of the Podcazts last year, Fr. Z noted the fact that the prayers of the Mass are referred to as orationes not preces, with oratio having the idea of an oration or public declaration that prex does not.

  49. reinhart10 says:

    Sorry about the above, evil computer glitch…please combine to make sense of it.

  50. Matt Q says:

    Marysann wrote:

    “I am an American living abroad. I am having a difficult time explaining to my non-American English-speaking Catholic friends why the new translation of the Mass is being held up by the American bishops. There is no way to explain it that doesn’t present the bishops in an unflattering light. I am trying to avoid having to confess the sin of bad-mouthing the bishops again. Not only does this situation put the Church in America in a bad light, but it increases resentment against the United States itself. I hope that this issue will be settled soon.

    )(

    Marysann, you shouldn’t worry about having any problems whatsoever telling anyone what the matter is concerning the hold-up of the new English translations. You’re telling it as it is and the listener gleans from what he wishes. You can’t control that. As long as you’re relating it without vitriol then it is what it is. We also have to face the facts bishops are people too and just as capable of having a personal agenda as anyone else can.

    God bless.

    ======

    Paretti wrote:

    “I think Msgr. Trautman is correct. I must be too stupid or too confused about this whole thing. Every time I try to write a check to contribute to my archbishop (who is not terribly friendly to the TLM), the final product always says to Archbishop Burke. I must be so stupid.”

    )(

    …Huh?

  51. Terry W says:

    It’s amazing that you call yourselves Catholics. Your vitriole is the work of Satan. And you say you follow Christ the Redeemer? Shame, shame on all of you!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Jordanes says:

    The work of Satan, Terry? That’s a pretty serious charge. May I suggest you read some of the writings of St. Jerome and St. Thomas More? The comments here are extremely tame compared to the invective those godly saints deployed.

  53. diane says:

    Bishop Trautman’s sneering condescension truly angers me. I am offended by his snotty assumption that John and Mary Catholic are so stupid that they need the Mass filtered through a 3rd-grade-level readibility program. This is clericalism, pure and simple. Weren’t those Spirit of VII types supposed to be against clericalism? Turns out they are the most patronizingly clericalist of all. Their contempt for the laity could not be more palpable. Faugh!