South African update

An update on the dust-up in South Africa over the use of the new English translation of the Missale Romanum… this was forwarded to me from a reader.  It is a note by the Secretary General of the South African Bishops’ Conference as sent by the Information Officer of the same:

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has accepted the explanation by the President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference regarding the early implementation of the new translation in English of the People’s parts of the Roman Missal.

The Congregation has agreed that the implementation continue along with continued catechesis explaining the changes. This catechesis should include preparation of music for singing the new texts.

The other approved texts of the mass (e.g. the Eucharistic Prayers) will be implemented when the rest of the English Speaking world implements the changes.

A fuller statement may be issued by the President on his return from Rome.

Fr Vincent Brennan SMA
Secretary General


Fr Chris Townsend
Information Officer of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference.
Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC

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  1. TJM says:

    So in South Africa you can now say “and with your spirit.” Great. I wish we were doing it now too. Tom

  2. Brian Day says:

    While I am frustrated at the pace of translation of the Mass, I do not like the fact that a group jumped the gun in implementation. I don’t see this as any different than the liturgical abuses introduced in the 70’s and 80’s.
    It looks like they followed the old axiom, ” It is easier to seek forgiveness than to get permission.”

  3. ED says:

    Corecting the Novus Ordo isn’t the answer, its replacing the Novus Ordo with the Gregorian Rite allowed also in the vernacular, this brings back strict liturgical postures that are already there and those who want the vernacular will get it.

  4. Mitchell NY says:

    I agree with Ed’s comments above….Allowing the EF in the vernacular would solve many of the problems that various commissions and clergy are studying right now in Rome at the same time retaining the rubrical gestures that have been suppressed, lost, or ignored through the unbalanced implementation of the NO. Does anyone know if this idea has been floated in the Vatican and if indeed it is amongst the possibilities? Why not do this and then reform the vernacular version according to the wishes of the Second Vatican Council? Wouldn’t this be easier and less time consuming than working towards it anyways?

  5. Bryan says:

    You know, Ed and Mitchell, we had perfectly correct vernacular translations in the 65-73 (at least in the Trenton NJ diocese…which was the last one to migrate to the 69 Mass) time period…it was the one on the english side of the missal that was, to my admittedly pedestrian knowledge of Latin at the time (back when those of us at St. Joseph’s in Metuchen were required to take at least 2 years of it as freshmen and sophomores) as un-politicized and literal as you could get. Said, to me, perfectly what was being expressed in the Latin, and was not as common as what we were shocked to experience on that Easter Vigil mass where the NO was introduced.

    At that time, it seems the book publishing companies did the translation (St. Joseph’s, Fr. Stedman’s missal, etc) and it seemed ok. There were minor differences, but nothing that was out-and-out wrong or misinterpreted. No one complained. It worked. It was ‘proclaimable’.

    In the interim, we’ve handed it off to a bloated agenda-driven committee, of it was once said, that half couldn’t understand English and the other half couldn’t understand Latin. Add into that some seasoning of the pant- and leisure-suit crowd, now-aging-60s radicals, and a reliance on ‘experts’…and you get a process that will end up taking almost a DECADE to end up with something that is, while an improvement, is still starting from texts which are (and I accept their full validity) more pedestrian or simplistic even in Latin than their rich-content both in theology and imagery forebears.

  6. TJM says:

    “Bloated agenda-driven committee.” I like that. It’s almost like Congress. Tom

  7. Jeremy UK says:

    I cannot see what the fuss is about. Good for S Africa. The new improved translations have been deliberately delayed and sent back several times certainly in England and Wales. They say that words like “deign” or “beseech” and probably any word with more than two syllables are no longer understood, Heaven help us. No wonder. The lowest common denominator mentality has ruled as a matter of course.

    ICEL’s ghastly offering has been of course a catalyst in the liturgical revolution, and we all know where that has led. The idea of having a correct and readable version of the liturgy, where, the Roman Canon, for example, is heard in all its glory with lots of “scarifice” and “victim,” with even some of the other canons seeming not half so bad as now, doesn’t ring at all true for the old liturgical Che Guevaras. It is quite scandalous that we have had to put up with the trite, badly written and deliberately misleading English for so long. As the famous Fr Baker said in the 70s: “The queenly mantel of the Church has been taken off and replaced with overalls.”

    Given the diversity of English usage on this side of the Altlantic and the other, I am not convinced either that there should be one version for all the English-speaking countries. Perhaps we ought to have a sacred language. Umm.. how about Latin for example?

  8. Mitchell NY says:

    So is there any talk about pulling the perfectly good translations from the 65 missal and putting them into the new NO translations??? Wouldn’t that make sense? No need for a committee, as the work is done..If they are worthy why hasn’t it occured to soemone to use them? Is there some unknown stigma attached there???

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