HuffPo: The REAL reason behind the new, corrected translation

Why, oh why, give time and attention to the loons of the Huffington Post?  One piece, sent by a reader who slogs through this rubbish so I don’t have to, merits a few minutes because it is emblematic of the dominant liberal navel-gazing when they write about matters concerning the Catholic Church in the MSM.

I present for your consideration Michelle Somerville, who twitted out some 2000 words.  I won’t inflict them all on you.

“The Truth Behind the Godawful New (Old) Roman Catholic Missal”. [Okay… she’s gonna give us the straight poop now.]

On the first Sunday in Advent, a new English translation of the Roman Catholic was implemented (by mandate) [how else?] in Catholic churches throughout United States. These changes of the are small, dramatic [small… yet dramatic… like Danny Devito, perhaps?] and disruptive — especially for the priests celebrating the masses.

Why have these changes been written into the mass?

The Vatican claims that a translation more faithful to the original Latin is needed. Is this the real reason for this disruption? I don’t think so.  [Ahhh!  Tell us, Michelle!  What’s the real reason?]

The nostalgia for the more Latin-faithful mass is an outgrowth of a desire for the church that used the Latin mass. This is nostalgia for the church in which less preaching took place, the priest presided with his back toward the congregation, only the hands of the priest touched the Eucharist, and wherein women — who were prohibited from setting foot on the altar — were required to cover their heads[So!  That’s the reason!]

The Second Vatican Council did not merely change the mass from Latin to vernacular in 1963; it rendered the Latin mass (depending upon whom one asks) improper or forbidden entirely. Between 1962 and 1988 Latin masses were often celebrated under the radar — somewhat in the “upper room” manner and spirit, ironically enough, of Dignity’s masses and those said by woman priests.

I happen to find the the Latin mass beautiful, and at first I seemed to object less to the new changes than most Catholics I know. I attend Spanish language mass in from time to time. In that liturgy, we already use phrasing similar to that the New Old Missal introduces. The Vatican is not nearly so interested, however, in the accuracy of the translation of the mass as it is in dragging today’s vernacular mass back in time. They want the 1962 mass with all the trimmings. This new translation business is a tasty treat for the lockstep sheep and papist throwbacks.

[…]

She burbles on for a long time, but that just about sums up her penetrating analysis of the real reason for the new translation.

Thanks, HuffPo!  We’ve got it now!

UPDATE:

Check the combox, below, for news about a new “Lockstep Sheep and Papist Throwbacks” coffee mug

HuffPo: The REAL reason behind the new, corrected translation
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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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49 Responses to HuffPo: The REAL reason behind the new, corrected translation

  1. “This is nostalgia for the church in which less preaching took place, the priest presided with his back toward the congregation, only the hands of the priest touched the Eucharist, and wherein women — who were prohibited from setting foot on the altar — were required to cover their heads. “

    Hey, I could live with this!

    “They want the 1962 mass with all the trimmings.”

    This clinches it. Michelle’s definitely onto something.

  2. albinus1 says:

    Fr. Z: How about having your next mug read “Lockstep Sheep / Papist Throwback”? I’d buy one!

  3. mrose says:

    I hope she’s right.

  4. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    I agree with you Henry, this wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if it really were the case.

    On the other hand, I’m not really sure about her claim that “less preaching took place,” except perhaps, if I am to believe that she is a daily mass goer…

  5. Dr. K says:

    who were prohibited from setting foot on the altar

    An easy way to determine whether or not a member of the MSM has any idea what they are talking about is to search for insistence that people be able to stand upon the altar.

  6. mike cliffson says:

    Hey, I knew the sheep part, Our Lord’s had to drop the other 99 for me I dunno many times already,’ n lockstep I can live with, it’s what we sheep do! ¿ever seen us?

    And “Papist throwback” is glory , honour, and praise , no insult, so , sadly not true,-how many millions of papists gladly suffered persecution in our Islands for being Papists! -it’s more than even with God’s help I can live up to. But it’d be a good banner to process behind, think on!

  7. donboyle says:

    This article’s premise is pretty hard to reconcile with the complaints of the SSPX. If the Vatican were really so interested in taking us back to 1962, there would be nothing left to negotiate with the SSPX about. Perhaps I’m missing the author’s subtlety, or not.

  8. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    I just read the whole thing (can I have those 15 minutes back please?)

    She includes this gem of a quote

    But do we have to say those words? No. One doesn’t get kicked out of mass for not saying the words right. Not yet, at least. I have always love the words of the mass, but I’ve been tweaking my whole life, correcting sexist language in my own prayers at will.

    I’ll say some of those new old words when they make sense and decline to say others. Catholics don’t need no stinking “pew card.” Roman Catholics don’t an imprimatur to pray.

    Which is rather odd, considering only a few paragraphs before, she complains that the creed

    in going from “we believe” back to “I believe,” would seem to make the prayer less unified

    I guess she only cares about unity when it helps her argument…

  9. Peggy R says:

    I should hope that neither a man nor a woman would set foot on the altar.

  10. Dr. Sebastianna says:

    This piece is the most offensive thing I’ve seen in a long time. Let’s pray for the poor person who wrote it.

  11. jjfxg says:

    Albinus1 “Fr. Z: How about having your next mug read “Lockstep Sheep / Papist Throwback”? I’d buy one!”
    I second that motion!

  12. SonofMonica says:

    I’ll buy a Lockstep Sheep / Papist Throwback mug, as well.

  13. GOR says:

    ”We don’t have to say those words…”

    I guess our celebrant last Sunday must be a reader of the HuffPo. During the Consecration he emphatically intoned: “for you and for ALL…”

    As he is a retired priest and would have begun his ministry celebrating the Mass in Latin, I was tempted to ask him if he changed the words of Consecration back then to: “…pro vobis et pro omnibus…”

    Somehow I suspect he didn’t.

  14. Athelstan says:

    When you have a good conspiracy theory going, don’t let facts or nuance get in the way.

    I wonder if she realizes that it is possible, just possible, that there’s a range of liturgical views in Rome as well as the USCCB – and not all of that range is characterized by craving a return to the TLM. If only! After all, even among many progressives, there has been a recognition that the 1973 translation was defective in numerous respects, and that it was never intended to be a long-lasting solution.

    The missed facts are obvious enough – no, Vatican II did not mandate a total abandonment of Latin (quite the opposite!), or require the suppression of the then-current missal. No, traddies are anything but “lockstep,” as most tradition-averse bishops and chanceries can frustratedly attest. And no, not even can step foot on the altar, even if they have a step ladder handy. But we know she means the sanctuary, and that she really means the Church is run by a bunch of sodden misogynists intent on making her barefoot and pregnant.

    Sigh.

  15. JohnE says:

    I didn’t know the secular press, especially the liberal secular press, was so interested in liturgical matters, especially liturgical matters that are “small”. They seem to be torn between painting it as much ado about nothing versus making it some sort of sinister plot to oppress women or something.

    I think their irritation with the changes is further proof that a good thing was done.

  16. donboyle says:

    If the Traddies would listen to what the Progs complain about, and vice versa, they each might reconsider their position. Maybe the Vatican isn’t going for a Papa Bear Mass, nor a Mama Bear Mass, but a Goldilocks Mass, where everything is “just right.” (Or is that a Cub’s Mass?)

  17. Pledger says:

    The entire article is clearly ridiculous, and think anyone who knows honest and knows anything about anything Catholic and liturgical knows that (or should).

    But my giant pet peeve appears, as has been mentioned, when people insist on saying they are “on the altar”…we’ve become so ignorant of our own worship that we don’t even know the parts of the church building anymore. The altar is a fixture where sacrifice is offered…the altar is in the sanctuary….but we know that….and the people who don’t probably don’t care and just want to “sing a new church into being”….

  18. Tom Esteban says:

    I read this drivel a few days ago. I am saddened that things have become this bad. This poor girl has been lied to over and over again, so much so that she changes the words to prayers to fit her own agenda? Come now. I don’t doubt she is responsible, but we share in her guilt for our weakness in defending the faith. I only pray she is properly catechized, and that she is open to Christ changing her mind – which means a change of heart and will towards the truth.

    I wonder if she prays the Hail Mary differently too? Say it isn’t so; Mary was a woman. The woman.

    Sigh.

  19. Bryan Boyle says:

    *Yawn*

    There’s a good episcopal or fundie ecclesial body down the road she can attend if she finds our worship not to her liking. I mean, we (here in the US) don’t require membership in any specific denomination, do we..??? So, if she’s so torqued about the Church actually praying what it believes rather than what *she* thinks it should be doing, I’m sure that there are communities that are more than willing to support her self-worship.

  20. Centristian says:

    Donboyle wrote:

    “This article’s premise is pretty hard to reconcile with the complaints of the SSPX. If the Vatican were really so interested in taking us back to 1962, there would be nothing left to negotiate with the SSPX about. Perhaps I’m missing the author’s subtlety, or not.”

    Church liberals such as this tweeter love to hate the “triumphalist” Church of the past and fully suspect that Pope Benedict XVI is an out-and-out old school “triumphalist”. He dons ermine capes and caps, after all, and even fiddleback chasubles on rare occasions; the Angels want to wear his red shoes. He got rid of the pewter-looking twisted Cross staff and replaced it with a big, shiny gold one. He didn’t name himself “John” or “Paul” or “John Paul” and his regnal numeral is the same as that of Louis XVI! He must be a triumphalist autocrat!

    Well, most followers of this blog will understand that he is hardly that, and the Society of St. Pius X would, of course, laugh hysterically at the mere suggestion. Pope Benedict is as committed to the ongoing implementation of the guiding principles of the Second Vatican Council as all the rest of the Conciliar and post-Conciliar popes were. He is also committed to the notion that the pre-Conciliar liturgy was in need of reform and celebrates the reformed Mass, exclusively.

    The incumbent Pope’s gentle and cautious centrism notwithstanding, anything that comes out of his Vatican will be viewed with suspicion and, if it tends to hint of the past, will be railed against by hysterical liberals who are never happier than when they are shouting down tradition and the “old guard”.

    Make no mistake, Church liberals actually love the revised Mass texts…and Pope Benedict’s ermine, jeweled crosses, and Latin Masses…because it all gives them something to get hysterical over. They are never happier than when they have something to hate, something to staunchly oppose, something to vulgarly protest. If they ever (heaven forbid) had their way and actually got for themselves the Church of no ceremony, of no absolute doctrine, of no discipline, and of women priests and bishops that they are clamoring for, they would glory…for a moment. After their victory dance, however, they would soon find themselves utterly and completely miserable. They would look around them and find nothing more left to hate, nothing more left to oppose, nothing more left to take umbrage to, nothing more left to become indignant about, nothing more left to protest.

    With no traces of the “triumphalist” man-ruled Church they hated remaining to protest, they would have to turn on each other and look internally for less satisfying “gotcha” moments wherever they could. “Gasp! Rev. Joan said ‘brothers and sisters’ at Eucharist instead of ‘sisters and brothers’! Why, that backwards, reactionary triumphalist!!! Her and her new nostalgic translations; trying to suppress us women! Depose this Lefebvrist tyrant!”

    Today, by and large, Church liberals haven’t got much to hate, I’m very sorry to say. That being the case, they have to conjure up ghosts from the past and project them onto actors and events of the present. They are projecting Pius XII onto Benedict XVI and the Tridentine Missal onto the revised English translation of the Ordinary Form…and they are doing that because there really isn’t anything about the centrist, mild-mannered, Vatican II-supporting, anything-but-tyrannical Pope Benedict XVI, or about an English Ordinary Form Mass (using any English translation) for any liberal to really get his (or her) feathers completely ruffled over.

    A new English language translation of the Roman Missal that is “more faithful to the original Latin” isn’t much, but it is just enough for Liberals to get hysterical about and to enable them to declare that Vatican II is dead and that the pre-Conciliar “triumphalist” women-oppressing Church has been restored by right wing bishops under a reactionary pontiff.

    And they love it.

  21. jaykay says:

    Of course, card-carrying liberals are never “lockstep” or “sheep” despite the amazing fact that they all seem to mouth the same old, same old the world over…

    Who was it coined the term “useful idiots”?

  22. albinus1 says:

    I mean, we (here in the US) don’t require membership in any specific denomination, do we..???

    This is what has always bugged me about these people who want to hyperventilate about how awful the Catholic Church is, who go around calling themselves “recovering Catholics”, etc.: In America today, it is hard to think of very many things that are easier to do than not be Catholic. So, if the Catholic Church offends you so much, don’t belong to it. End of story.

  23. pfreddys says:

    She does make one good point when she says: “Between 1962 and 1988 Latin masses were often celebrated under the radar — somewhat in the “upper room” manner and spirit, ironically enough, of Dignity’s masses and those said by woman priests.”
    For those of us attending the Traditional Latin Mass during the 70s and 80s we were cast out as if we part of some Dignity or woman priest ‘mass’. The difference though is as Pope Benedict has pointed out we weren’t doing anything that was forbidden.

  24. benedetta says:

    The overwrought obsession with labeling Church related discussion as example of “nostalgia”, so overemphasized, hackneyed and out of date at this point, could only be termed “nostalgic”…

  25. jflare says:

    “…if I am to believe that she is a daily mass goer…”

    No guarantees, but I’m betting against that notion!

  26. jflare says:

    You know, the saddest part of this article is that..some innoncent 14-year-old boy may read this and get the impression that he should be ashamed of himself for being..a 14-year-old boy. We can’t have THOSE, can we?!
    Poor kid.
    By the way, pray for that kid too, he’s gonna need lots of help after this one.

  27. Incaelo says:

    I’m glad that those Latin Masses are legal now, or else my parish priest might have been in trouble with his weekly all-Latin NO Mass on Saturday mornings…

    Seriously, when will people understand that Latin Mass is simply Mass in Latin, NO or EF?

    And when will these people start actually reading the Vatican II documents? I know, the shock of discovering that speaking Latin is declared a criminal offence might be too much for them…

  28. Robert_H says:

    Put me down for a Papist Throwback mug as well. I wonder if I can get that on my car’s license plate?

  29. Speravi says:

    “is an outgrowth of a desire for the church that used the Latin mass. ”

    SHE GOT IT! That the Church is ONE, is dogma. This is not simply a trans-national or trans-cultural unity. The Church is tran-temporally and trans-historically ONE. So yes. We desire to affirm that the Church which today is implementing the new translation, and the Church which yesterday had the old translation, IS INDEED the CHURCH THAT USED THE LATIN MASS.
    And not only that, we affirm that IT IS ACTUALLY THE CHURCH WHICH JESUS PERSONALLY FOUNDED 2000 years ago.

    YES, Ms. Michelle!!! We actually WANT to affirm that this is the same Catholic Church which was founded 2000 years ago by none other than the God-Man himself, who really walked on the face of the earth in Palestine and REALLY intended to found a hierarchical Church that would continue until the end of time!!!

    Yes, this Church (in the west) adopted the Latin-language for its worship. Yes, we love that Church and want to always belong to it.

    Ms. Michelle, I hate to break it to you, BUT YOU ACTUALLY CAN’T SING A NEW CHURCH INTO BEING anymore than a womynpriest can turn bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ!

  30. amenamen says:

    I am sorry, but I am still trying to picture “lockstep sheep.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=230s_DDa-fM

  31. JonPatrick says:

    The Vatican is not nearly so interested, however, in the accuracy of the translation of the mass as it is in dragging today’s vernacular mass back in time. They want the 1962 mass with all the trimmings

    If only that were true!

  32. Precentrix says:

    I just read that all the way through and thought:

    “Promulgatum et non abrogatum”

    Seriously, they could at least check the actual facts…

  33. ghp95134 says:

    @amenamen: I am sorry, but I am still trying to picture “lockstep sheep.”

    Try this:
    http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/2798/lockstepsheep.jpg

    Fr.Z — a new WDTPRS mug??

    –Guy

  34. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @ Guy

    Maybe add a Papal Triregnum Tiara hanging off one arm of the cross.

  35. aspiringpoet says:

    I am amazed (though I probably shouldn’t be) that she used the term “papist” in this way. This word has historically been associated with anti-Catholic prejudice, discrimination and even violence. It’s one thing for Catholics to want to reclaim the word, similarly to some black people using the “n” word, but it’s ironic to see a supposedly tolerant and politically correct liberal using it with its historical derogatory and offensive meaning. The last acceptable prejudice indeed.

  36. Luvadoxi says:

    I second the mug suggestions–“lockstep sheep and papist throwback”–I’d definitely buy one!

  37. APX says:

    I third the motion of the lockstep sheep mug.

  38. Phillip says:

    “Less preaching” in the old days? I wouldn’t know. But I know that the priest at the TLM I go to typically delivers longer and weightier sermons (like, with discussions of doctrine and everything) than I’ve heard at the majority of Novus Ordo Masses. Unless charming personal anecdotes with the same general theme (“be nice”) is to be considered “preaching.”

  39. Marius2k4 says:

    If only the Vatican behaved in the quasi-Pian manner that the liberals believe it does. Truth be told, there are a lot of people roaming the halls of St. Peters’ and the curial offices that agree with this little tart. The Vatican is no conservative, imposing monster–it’s a collection of old men with vastly differing opinions, many holy and many otherwise, guided (when they choose to listen) by Peter, who does the best he can in the swamp of bureaucracy by which he is surrounded. The modernists crawl about holy grounds like insects, shrinking from the light to conceal their treachery, all the while devouring all that which God permits them to devour and spewing forth the stench of modernist heterodoxy (see the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and anyone responsible for running off Msgr. Bartolucci years ago).

    If only things worked like she seems to imagine… Deo volente, should the Holy Spirit guide the next conclave to elect Cardinal Burke, methinks I will buy a very large supply of popcorn and a few liberal magazine subscriptions, just for the entertainment value. Cardinal Burke as Pope, and Cardinal Pell as Secretary of State. Perhaps after things are smoothed over (Deo volente quoque), Bp. Fellay can be made Prefect of the CDF, and I can give half my belongings away in thanksgiving.

    On such a happy, optimistic note, does anyone have “Papist Throwback” t-shirts or mugs to sell? Ooh, a white or perhaps maroon Oxford with a “Papist Throwback” logo on the breast would be lovely.

  40. Martial Artist says:

    The poorly educated “Poet, Author” who wrote this is, in some ways, her own worst enemy in this argument. She is a perfect illustration that lex orandi, lex credendi is not a theory, but an actual description of how prayer works—what we pray governs what we believe. She tacitly demonstrates this in the following, while discussing the consecration of the sacred blood:

    …the English-speaking United States is reminded that the universal, transcendent, Catholic savior now pours out his blood for some and not others. This stipulation may appear in the original Latin, but even if it’s a technically accurate translation of the original phrase, it’s inconsistent with what Catholics have been expressing in our Creed for 50 years. Now, we are asked to pray to the Christ who saves many of us and not all of us.

    Because she has been praying a defective English translation of pro multis, she has come to believe, quite literally if we are to take her words at face value, that Christ saves everyone. And her immediately subsequent words

    Who are (those who aren’t saved)? Atheists, agnostics, non-Catholic believers and — the real targets — Roman Catholic self-excommunicants.

    as clearly suggests that she doesn’t recognize that being saved requires something of us—placing our Faith in Christ, taking up our crosses and following Him.

    Given the gravity of her misunderstanding of what the Church teaches, I won’t bother to detail her apparent inability to write consistently coherently grammatical sentences. This poor woman needs prayer (as do we all, of course) and a lot of it. And the progressives can’t understand why the Church doesn’t see eye to eye with them on so many issues? The reason is, I think, rather painfully obvious. In mistranslating the prayers, those who highjacked the linguistic reforms subsequent to Vatican II did egregious damage to Holy Mother Church, by teaching the faithful a misguided version of the truth by means of those very mistranslations—accomplishing thereby, whether with or without the conscious intent to do so, the very reverse of our host’s motto. Rather than Save the Liturgy, Save the World, they managed to maim the liturgy, thereby maiming the world. And it was all accomplished without the conscious awareness of those victims like Michele Somerville.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

    Pax et bonum

  41. benedetta says:

    The Papist Throwbacks! Now performing at a pub near you. Warming up for Temple Police.

    I’d also like to order a mug.

  42. Some one requested a new coffee mug. I am making one now. I have the first being shipped to me as we speak. Samples:

     

    Details:



     

    I will have some ordering details for you soon!

  43. beez says:

    As an amusing side note, she was getting torn to shreds in the comments, so they removed them all.

    Of, I love it when the ignorant opine, their ignorance isn’t merely challenged, but proven, and they respond by putting their figurative fingers in their ears and scream “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

  44. Samthe44 says:

    The arguments against the New Translations do not really make sense. Specifically the one about how ‘Vatican II is being attacked’. Well, news-flash: The Mass that is now used is the same One created in response to Vatican II. We are now praying the ACTUAL Mass that was created in response to Vatican II. I would have thought that the liberals would be happy that we are going back to Vatican II. Or maybe they do not actually know what Vatican II said…

  45. Elizabeth D says:

    “This new translation business is a tasty treat for the lockstep sheep and papist throwbacks.”

    Omne delectamentum in se habentem!

  46. UbiCaritas says:

    I am waiting gleefully for the “Lockstep Sheep and Papist Throwbacks” mug; the preliminary photos look excellent! Of course, it will look even better when filled with Mystic Monk coffee…or is it that Mystic Monk will taste better (if possible) in such a mug? In any case, I sense this may be a Christmas present to myself.
    As for the article…sigh. Words have meaning, ma’am. The fact that we’ve suffered under a butchered translation of the Latin for this long doesn’t mean that the butchered edition’s egregious linguistic errors have suddenly acquired a patina of truth by their age. Now THAT’S a rabbit hole I doubt the author wants to run down.

  47. asophist says:

    “The Jabberwock, with eyes aflame
    Came whiffling through the tugley wood
    and burbled as it came.”
    – from The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

  48. AnAmericanMother says:

    Love the mug! I’d order one for sure (our parochial vicar loves his ‘say the black- do the red’ mug)

    In the bottom line of the text, is “father is” supposed to be in there, or is it just an artifact?

  49. Hooksdoc says:

    Someone said ‘nostalgia': great word! Etymologically, from the Greek, it’s ‘nostos’, ‘return home’ and ‘alge’, ‘pain, ache’ In a word, the motivation of the Prodigal Son. So, in the circumstances, nostalgia comes with Our Lord’s approval.