Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, a blogger with Newsweek/WaPo, has the amazing penchant for being wrong.
This time he is wrong about the passing of the blocks of the new translation by the USCCB in their plenary session.
His hero? None other than His Excellency Most Rev. Donald W. "Ineffable" Trautman, Bishop of Erie and perennial jihadist against the new translation.
Let’s have fatiguing look at how Mr. Stevens-Arroyo get’s it wrong this time with my emphases and comments.
‘Latinese’ when plain English will do
Note: U.S. Catholic bishops gave final approval Tuesday to an English translation of the Roman Missal that has been in development for years. After the Vatican gives its final authorization, the new translation will be adopted by parishes nationwide, possibly next year.
Sometime soon, Catholic America will be asked to "unlearn" our cherished prayers at Mass. [Cherished? Let’s quiz people leaving Mass on a Sunday morning and ask them if they can recite, for example, the Gloria, on their own without a body of people around them. Also, note that he wants you to accept a premise: people really like the present translation. You must: Compared to what other translation?] As a result of a command to retranslate [perhaps better "translate for the first time"] the Roman Missal, we are on schedule to be reprogrammed [Oooooo!] when praying at Mass. I am usually in favor of change in order to further the work of the Church, but in this case I wonder why we are trading in English for Latinese. [What he leaves aside is that the present translation is inaccurate and banal.]
The word "Latinese" is my invention; but as a professor of many years, I know Latinese when I see it. It is a made-up language that is technically English, but which sounds like Latin. [Ummm… what did that mean? If it is English, it is English, right? How is it made up? But watch this next anti-intellectual cheap shot.] Some students think that big words make you into an intellectual so they avoid plain English. I am not the only professor to prefer plain English, however, and I wish that the Vatican bureaucrats pushing Latinese would agree. [Two things here. First, this is the sort of condescending sneer you get from an academic elitist. "I’m a professor! Look at those over-reaching students." Next, liberals paradoxically create a false dichotomy between intellectual and "pastoral". This is a very common technique. But it is paradoxical in that it is okay for them to be recognized as intellectuals, whereas no conservative can be. Liberals can be intellectuals, but they know how – through some gnosis of their own – how to mask their brilliance and be folksy, pastoral. In this case the writer is smearing the new translation and the norms behind it with, first, the primer of condescension, and then the drab coat of a false dichotomy. Furthermore, in churchy circles liberals will generally bludgeon anything they disapprove of as not being "pastoral" even if it isn’t profoundly intellectual. Tune your inner ear as you read for these subtle frequencies of condescension and gnosis.]
I am not against Latin-derived words; [Laus Deo!] they are irrevocable parts of the English language. I only oppose using Latinese when it gets in the way of clarity. For example, [watch this move] we have grown used to professing our faith saying that Jesus "was born of the Virgin Mary:" We will now speak in Latinese and say he was "made incarnate of the Virgin Mary." Get used to other Latinese words like "consubstantial," "’ignominy," "ineffable," "gibbet" [Latinate? Not sure.] and "unvanquished." [Did you get that? Our being used to something is what makes it clear to us. Brilliant reasoning. Aside from the obvious fact that we will have time to get used to the important changes even before the new translation goes into effect (through catechesis, etc.) people will probably have the change to get used to them after the new translation goes into force… just as they got used to the lame-duck version now in force. And the new translation with be more accurate. In the case cited by the gnostic writer, the Latin in the Creed is "et incarnatus est… ex Maria Virgine". Would a first year Latin student translate that as "born of the Virgin Mary"? To be born and to incarnate are different ideas, no?]
I took four years of Latin at St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia, and earned 90’s every semester. I got to the point of sight-reading the Aeneid and still have no difficulty with the original Latin of St. Thomas’ Summa, [And… what about the content?] but that’s not the experience of most people in the pews.
Latin, having been used during the centuries when, from apostolic origins, continuing in the traditions of the Roman Church and the experiences of holy men and women of Christendom whenever the identification of theological preciseness being constantly required in the articulation of the faith, while being fostered and preserved through the use of gender and temporality designates, is preferred.
The sentence above is Latinese. At 59 words, it is shorter than one sentence in the new missal for the Preface of the Feast of Christ the King that has 88 words spread out over 13 lines. [Here is another brilliant bit of reasoning. His complaint is the length. You would think that his complaint might be that this is a periodic sentence, with various clauses which force the reader/listener to pay attention and think, to hold concepts in the air, so to speak, until the whole is resolved at the end. But no, the gnostic writer focuses on length.] And this Latinese is better than other places where sentences roll on without verbs! [Weren’t there verbs in that? Readers? Were there any verbs in that?] I suggest interested readers consult the comments of [wait for it…] Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, who also said at the Catholic University in Washington:
"The Latin text is not inspired. It is a human text, reflecting a certain mindset, theology and worldview. … [Indeed. A Roman Catholic worldview consistent for many centuries.] Because of literal translation in the new missal, complicated Latin wording has become complicated English wording." [Can’t have complexity! After all, people are stooopid.]
The reasons given in favor of the retranslation are laudable: [AGH! Latinese! Why couldn’t he just say… good. Two fewer syllables and geared for his view of people in the pew! But no… he is not writing for people in the pew, is he. He is writing for his fellow gnostics so that they can feel good about themselves as they sneer at the conservative ideals behind the norms for the new translation. That is the reason for most of the entries on the WaPo/Newsweek religion blog: make liberals feel good about themselves as they look down on the simple people.] a single English text for all English speakers in the world, from Pakistan to Peoria and conformity with a central Latin version. I suppose a case can be made for such issues, but I am less receptive to the notion voiced by some Vatican bureaucrats that speaking to God in prayer in plain everyday language lacks "transcendence." It is a non sequitur (real Latin!) that unintelligibility makes you holy. [Dear Professor, did banal make us holy? Does inaccuracy sanctify?]
Moreover, when the new translation was "tested," the reactions were mostly negative. [I think this needs some support. Am I wrong?] In the end, most churchgoers will go along with the changes because we love the Church, [There’s a sneer at the Holy See and the bishops for ya!] even if we don’t always understand its administrative decision. [Remember: When reading the writing of liberals, always look for how they contrast X, whatever that may be, with "pastoral".] But what about the younger generations of Catholics who have never attended a Latin Mass in their lives? [I say "Bring ’em on!" Then in a few years let’s ask them to compare the old with the new and see what they say. But watch for this next cliche:] They will never have nostalgic feelings about the transcendence of Latin. And this new Latinese is at a distinct disadvantage against Facebook and MP3 downloads. [And here is on of Bp. Trautman’s talking points:] Aren’t we making worship more remote? [Remember, for Bp. Trautman, our sacred liturgy shouldn’t have sacred language. Rather, it should be everyday speech, adjusted to the immediate styles of the time and the audience (who are pretty stooopid after all.] I am against taking pastoral concern [TA DA!] for liturgical celebrations away from Catholic America and giving it to unseen Vatican bureaucrats. [BOOO!] The prayer of the Church belong to all of us! [Indeed? How egalitarian. Then it belongs to all of us, indeed. Except anyone with traditional inclinations.]
In the end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see bishops start giving special permission for Mass in the rite we have now. [That’s what he wants, of course. He wants people to request not to have to use the new translation. This is a Lefebvrism of the left, as Card. George once put it.] After all, the Church allows the original Latin Mass for [cliche alert!] old-timers [He perpetuates the canard that the emancipation of the older form of Mass is just for old people. But wait… that is also a sneer at old people, then, isn’t it?] and an Anglican ritual for Anglican converts: shouldn’t Catholic America get equal treatment? Happily, I have an escape until that happens because Bishop Trautman says the Spanish translation is better than the English one. Sí, Padrecito. [Actually, he might find even more solace in an liberal Episcopalian community that uses the updated alternative services rather than the older Book of Common Prayer. That might be a good match, actually. The bishops are weak. They never have to deal with Rome or Popery or Latin.]
An object lesson in how to be wrong all the time.