His Excellency Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman has attained the distinguished age of 75 years. In accordance with the Code of Canon Law, he has submitted his letter of resignation. When his resignation will be accepted is a matter for conjecture. He is, of course, still the Bishop of Erie.
I have, over the years, sharply disagreed with Bp. Trautman’s positions about liturgical translation. That said, I admire His Sticktoitiveness. His ability to make use of the rules of order and to work the conference has been masterful. He has argued with ineffable tenacity.
A reader sent a link to an overly long article in the Pittsburghett Post-Gazette. You read the whole thing there. Here is a tidbit.
Retiring Erie bishop backs simpler English in Mass
Trautman opposes translations from the Latin backed by Vatican
Sunday, June 26, 2011
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When he turned 75 on Friday Catholic Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie submitted his mandatory resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. No one knows how long the pope will wait to accept it from a bishop who has rattled Roman officials with his relentless opposition to impending changes to the English-language Mass.
Bishop Trautman is famous in church circles for opposing new Mass translations that he believes are so literal to the Latin that their English meaning is obscured. Though his quest for greater clarity and flow of language largely failed, he won the respect of his fiercest opponents. [We have to reject the writer’s premise. His Sticktoitiveness argued for his ideas. But we don’t have to grant that his ideas in truth involved “greater clarity”.]
Bishop Trautman doesn’t regret the effort.
“I’m not a rabble-rouser. I’m not a radical. You talk to my priests and they probably think I’m the most conservative bishop in the country.” [?!?] Indeed he might be most known outside Erie for forbidding public supporters of legal abortion to receive honors from Catholic institutions. [Exactly right. Good for him!]
The council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which decreed that the laity must be able to easily understand the Mass, [Ummm…. it did? Easily?] shaped his ministry. But critics of what has happened since Vatican II, sometimes including Pope Benedict, believe that some reforms went too far. They believe that simplistic translations rendered a sublime Mass mundane. [“simplistic”… not to mention inaccurate. Mundane? Or banal. Take your pick.]
Bishop Trautman disagrees. He believes that because Latin syntax is so different from that of English, literal translations produce convoluted and awkward language. Further, he believes that the Vatican II documents calling for simple, clear wording have more authority than recent decrees that he says require “slavishly” following the Latin. [ROFL! Okay. Fine. But we must again reject the premise. The new translation are not “slavish”. They are closer to the Latin, but they are not slavishly so.]
“Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised if it takes a long time for the council to be implemented. But we must not betray the 2,000 bishops who came. [Puhleeze.] This was the whole church, and it was a powerful statement that the Holy Spirit was present and breathed into those documents [The Holy spirit “breathed” into the documents of Vatican II?] what was needed for the church,” Bishop Trautman said.
There is a lot more. The article describes, inter alia, Bp. Trautman’s admirable position about pro-abortion politicians and Holy Communion. You can read it over there.
We have no idea when the Holy Father will accept Bp. Trautman’s resignation, but when it happens WDTPRS wishes him well for a fruitful retirement.