You can’t imagine how many emails I have had regarding changes being made by (theoretically) the Congregation for Divine Worship to the new, corrected translation. That translation had been sent to Rome and had received an approval.
But, because Adam sinned and too many people are involved, there are now variations floating around. Confusion is building. Gabble gabble gabble. Blab blab blab. This is one reason why I have been quiet.
People are reasonably curious about my opinion. After all, I have been involved in the comparison of translations for as long as anyone out there. Longer than most.
I have received a lot of material …too much to sift quickly, given the other things in life I really want to do.
Eventually I will address myself to this with some focus.
When I get to it, in my own time, I will do so in my own name.
If I find that I detest what is going on, I will do my best not to throw a nutty or allow a frothy squealing about it on this blog.
Until then, I can toss out some cold observations.
Some will say that regional conferences, not Rome, have the authority to prepare translations. “The Council gave conferences the task! Wah wah wah!”
This is the same argument Bugnini pushed way back when he carried out his personal war on the Sacred Congregation for Rites (and lost), and which was echoed decades later by a certain bishop in the USCCB (and lost).
News: the Congregation, whose authority is from the Sovereign Pontiff, has the authority to make changes to the texts to whatever extent is deemed opportune by that Congregation so long as the Holy Father desires them to continue to do so.
That said, if – quod Deus avertat – the Congregation makes a hash of the new translation, they will quite simply be a laughing stock.
And I welcome the folks from the Congregation reading this who are now paying much closer attention.
This is a fast communication age. Information now gets around the globe in less time than a Vatican mandarin can stir sugar into a demitasse.
For those of you in higher roles in the Roman Curia, there is something called “the I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T”. To learn more about this “internet”, stop the first 19 year-old who walks by the big open door to the piazza out there and ask him to show you his phone. If he is busy, talk to your 10 year old niece.
If the Congregation itself – or those to whom work is farmed out – make a mess of the new translation, everyone whose opinion they care about behind closed doors will hold them in derision.
Think about it: Latin might be on the ropes, but even if only a half dozen people who read Latin as well as I do start comparing their versions to the crowbar of a “slavishly literal version”, the Congregation will lose its moral capital.
That’s not all.
Eventually the names of everyone involved will come out.
There is plenty of derision available, by the way. Consider.
This is no longer an age in which shoddy work goes unnoticed. Do a hatchet job on the new translation and your deeply held ideological conviction about what the translation ought to have been apart from the norms will be but cold comfort when the blogosphere and journals are done with you.
Therefore, I gently suggest everyone try to do their very best.
Another thing. People might begin to wonder which official in the Congregation would be in a place to coordinate the grunt work and, if necessary, ward off potential embarrassments… or not. Is it possible that someone who believes he knows better has turned this into his own project without adequate consideration for the possible contributions of others?
If the English version is goofed up – not at all certain – imagine my grief were people simply to opt for Latin because English has been shown by ecclesiastical authority yet again not to be a liturgical language.
Don’t like the changes to the new translation?
Just say NO! Just USE LATIN!
Consider the inexorable biological solution and shifting demographics among priests and seminarians in the wealthier English speaking world. It is in the best interests of those for whom Latin and the older Mass are the stuff of nightmares to do a good job of the English Novus Ordo.
If the translation is unsatisfactory, many of the young men being ordained will be happy to use more Latin. People can use whatever translations they prefer. That worked before. It will work again.
If seminarians and priests want to write their thoughts about that last claim, send them by email and I will sort them out with anonymity preserved. [PUT "JUST USE LATIN RESPONSE" in the subject line and identify your state in life.]
But those are my thoughts for the moment.