Wherein Bp. Trautman runs down new translation and Fr. Z responds

In the Catholic Review of the Archdiocese of Baltimore comes this CNS story.

On 22 October His Excellency Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of Erie, gave a talk at Catholic University of American in which he ran down the new translation of the Missale Romanum.

I would like a transcript or video of the whole talk.  I am sure the bishop’s remarks are interesting.

But let us work with what we have, with my emphases and comments.

Bishop criticizes ‘slavishly literal’ English translation of missal
By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., former chairman of the U.S. bishops’ liturgy committee, sharply criticized what he called the “slavishly literal” translation into English of the new Roman Missal from the original Latin.

He said the “sacred language” used by translators “tends to be elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable” and could lead to a “pastoral disaster.”

“The vast majority of God’s people in the assembly are not familiar with words of the new missal like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’ The vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic,” Bishop Trautman said.  [So…each one of these words could perhaps be … what… explained?  Words such as “ineffable” and “incarnate” point to metaphysical realities that need explanation.  In centuries past we fought wars for this language.  “Consubstantial”?  This had to be explained in every century.  It took tears and even blood to craft this language and pass it down.  Maybe the problem is that priests and deacons need to study the Fathers…. knowing that bishops already have done so, of course.]

“The (Second Vatican Council’s) Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy stipulated vernacular language, not sacred language,” [No, Your Excellency.  Sacrosanctum Concilium required the Latin language.   It permitted the vernacular in limited circumstances.  And are you, Your Excellency, seriously suggesting that in the sacred liturgy we should not use sacred language?] he added. “Did Jesus ever speak to the people of his day in words beyond their comprehension? Did Jesus ever use terms or expressions beyond his hearer’s understanding?”  [Jesus never used the word “bishop” either.  And what of Matthew 13?  “The disciples approached him and said, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He said to them in reply, ‘Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.'”]

Bishop Trautman made his remarks in an Oct. 22 lecture at The Catholic University of America in Washington, as part of the Monsignor Frederick R. McManus Lecture Series. Monsignor McManus, a liturgist, served as a peritus, or expert, during Vatican II.

The Roman Missal has not yet been given final approval for use in the United States. The U.S. bishops were scheduled to vote on four items pertaining to the missal at their November general meeting in Baltimore. It is expected that the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments would give its “recognitio,” or approval, at some point following the U.S. bishops’ vote.  [So, this is part of Bp. Trautman’s ongoing campaign to move brother bishops to vote against the new translations.]

Bishop Trautman took note of sentences in the new missal that he said run 66, 70 and 83 words, declaring that they were “unproclaimable” by the speaker and “incomprehensible” to the hearer.

“American Catholics have every right to expect the translation of the new missal to follow the rules for English grammar. The prefaces of the new missal, however, violate English syntax in a most egregious way,” Bishop Trautman said, citing some examples in his remarks. [I would like to see them.  Sincerely.]

“The translators have slavishly transposed a Lain ‘qui’ clause into English without respecting English sentence word order,” he added. The bishop also pointed out subordinate clauses from the missal that are “represented as a sentence,” and sentences lacking a subject and predicate.

Bishop Trautman also questioned the use of “I believe” in the retranslated version of the Nicene Creed, “even though the original and official Nicene Creed promulgated by the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 said ‘we believe’ in both the Greek and Latin versions. [There is a difference between the Creed in the liturgy and  Creed in a Council.  Sure, they are close to each other.  They are both gatherings of statements of belief.  But Creeds coming from Councils or Synods had to be signed by members of divergent theological parties as a formula of unity.  That is why the conciliar or synodal Creeds start with “WE”.  An ancient council is a different context than the Mass.  In the liturgy, individuals – together – make personal statements of faith, as they would at their own baptism.]

“Since this is a creedal prayer recited by the entire assembly in unison, the use of ‘we’ emphasized the unity of the assembly in praying this together as one body. Changing the plural form of ‘we’ to ‘I’ in the Nicene Creed goes against all ecumenical agreements regarding common prayer texts,” he said.  [Ummm… the Creed in the liturgy begins CREDO and not CREDIMUS.  Latin 101.  Furthermore, ecumenical agreements ring hollow if the translation is wrong.  Let’s have an ecumenical agreement about the correct translation!]

The bishop complained about the lack of “pastoral style” in the new translation. [I think he means “dumber”.  Am I wrong?] The current wording in Eucharistic Prayer 3 asks God to “welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters,” which he considered “inspiring, hope-filled, consoling, memorable.”  [That’s his opinion.  Fine.]

The new translation asks God to “give kind admittance to your kingdom,” which Bishop Trautman called “a dull lackluster expression which reminds one of a ticket-taker at the door. … The first text reflects a pleading, passionate heart and the latter text a formality – cold and insipid.”  [The Latin says: “in regnum tuum benignus admitte“. I worked on this years ago in WDTPRS, when I wrote about the Eucharistic prayers.  My version was “kindly admit into your kingdom”.  On this point, I therefore agree with Bp. Trautman – my “slavishly literal” version was better.  I posted mine seven years ago, btw.  But why should Bp. Trautman’s emotions about the present, lame-duck translation trump what the prayer really says?]

Bishop Trautman quoted the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which said rites and texts “should radiate a noble simplicity. They should be short, clear, free from useless repetition. They should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.” [Let’s not forget how the lame-duck ICEL version isn’t  noble or simple.  It is just ignobly simplistic. Beyond simplistic, it is sanitized.  We need to be reminded – even through our sacral liturgical language – that religion is hard.  Furthermore, I think the new texts are within their comprehension, even if not immediate.  I think people are smarter than Bp. Trautman does.   Still, religion and religious concepts are hard.  They ought to challenge.]

Why are these conciliar directives not implemented in the new missal?” he asked. [If Counciliar decrees are so important, why are you, Your Excellency, not therefore fighting for Gregorian chant in every parish?  What about the mandate of the same Sacrosanctum Concilium that pastors of souls should make sure their flocks can both sing and speak their responses in Latin?  Are we being a little selective in invoking the Council?]  They are “especially” relevant, Bishop Trautman added, to “the people of the third millennium: children, teenagers, adults, those with varying degrees of education, and those with English as a second language.”  [Because… what?  Those are new groups the Church?  Holy Church has never seen teens or people with varying degrees of education during the first two millennia?]

He acknowledged that “there are those who disagree with the way the liturgical reform of Vatican II was interpreted and implemented” and who maintained that “a reform of the reform” was necessary to stem what they saw as “diminishing religiosity (and) declining Mass attendance” tied to the Mass texts. [“those who disagree”…  I think he is talking about Pope Benedict and even about Pope John Paul II.]

But while “the Latin text is the official, authoritative text,” Bishop Trautman said, “the Latin text is not inspired. It is a human text, reflecting a certain mindset, theology and world view.”  [The Latin text of the Missale Romanum is not inspired in the way Holy Scripture is inspired.  Granted. But it is theological locus and is entirely under the aegis of the Vicar of Christ.  But if we stipulate that the Latin text is not inspired, does that mean that the vernacular text can be changed in pretty much any way the winds of change suggest?  That seems to be what Bp. Trautman is arguing.]

As a consequence, “a major and radical change” and “a major pastoral, catechetical problem erupts[It erupts now because it has been ignored for decades.] in the new missal during the words of consecration, which say that the blood of Christ “will be poured out for you and for many,” instead of “for all,” as is currently the practice.

“For whom did Jesus not die?” Bishop Trautman asked. “In 1974 the Holy See itself had approved our present words of institution (consecration) as an accurate, orthodox translation of the Latin phrase ‘pro multis,’“ he added. “It is a doctrine of our Catholic faith that Jesus died on the cross for all people.”  [And now the Vicar of Christ has made the determination that the words will be, in every language, “for many”.  Why, Your Excellency, can’t Pope Benedict make this determination?  Are you suggesting that he didn’t know what he was doing?  Furthermore, the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent has a specific paragraph about why we do not, cannot, say “for all”.  Moreover, it is also a doctrine of our faith that not all will actually be saved.  The Church says “pro multis” – for good reason – and all the necessary explanations have been issued repeatedly.]

Bishop Trautman took issue with a 2006 letter to bishops by Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, then head of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, which said that “salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one’s own willing or participation.”

I respond that Jesus died even for those who reject his grace. He died for all,” Bishop Trautman said.  [This is old stuff now.  It is settled and the explanations have been given.  The Lord  without question died for all, but not all will be saved.  Furthermore, “pro multis” does not, cannot, mean “for all”.  That’s just plain wrong and embarrasing.]

“Why do we now have a reversal? The Aramaic and Latin texts have not changed. [LOL!] The scriptural arguments have not changed, but the insistence on literal translation has changed.”  [RIGHT!  The Latin text did not change.  The Latin text says “pro multis“.  And the Aramaic?  Show us, Your Excellency, the Aramaic text of the Lord’s words.  This reference to the Aramaic is pure speculation based on a philological fan dance performed by a Lutheran Scripture scholar who argued that the Greek Scriptures about the Last Supper were wrong and that he knew better.  I have written on this at length.  Pope Benedict is right about this: the Latin text constitutes its own theological locus and it must be respected as such.  Enough.]

Bishop Trautman hearkened back to Monsignor McManus, whom he called “an apostle of the liturgical renewal.”

“If Monsignor McManus were with us today, he would call us to fidelity to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and encourage us to produce a translation of the missal that is accurate, inspiring, referent, proclaimable, understandable, pastoral in every sense – a text that raises our minds and hearts to God.”

Religion is not easy or self-evident.

That’s why we have the preaching office. Have we forgotten that?

We have to have elevated language for that which is hard.

Words such as “ineffable” point to the nature of a mystery.

If a priest, deacon, or lay catechist could spend two minutes to explain what the word “ineffable” means that would be two minutes well spent on the people of God.

Too much to ask?

And if those priests, or deacons, or lay catechists, or the people in the pews don’t like what they hear about “ineffable” or “consubstantial”, there are loads of churches out there that don’t have complicated theology as part of their heritage.

There is plenty of Salvation Army theology out there.  It isn’t hard to find.

The Orthodox are not dumbing down their liturgy.  Traditional Catholics aren’t seeking more banal experiences.  Anglicans fought pitched battles over liturgical language.

Let us for a moment review the Missa Trautmanensis which came up on the blog a few years ago:

Priest: Uhm, like, hey guys, we need to, you know, get started, so let’s do the cross thingy.  OK, so now we’re gonna say sorry and stuff to God because, you know
what? Nobody’s perfect.
All: I’m sorry if anything I did was offensive. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. My bad.
Priest: Ok, let’s, like, talk to God now and listen to the stories in the book.
Lector: [lector reads the day’s selection] This is from that book from God.
All: Thanks God.
Cantor: Now you all are gonna repeat after me, like row row row your boat and I’ll sing some stuff from the book.
Priest: Uhm, This next part is really important so let’s everybody stand up and do the cross thingy on our heads, mouths and chest.
Hey, peace y’all.
All: Right back atcha.
[the priest reads the Gospel of the day]
Priest: Jesus did this.
All: Thanks Jesus.
Priest: [gives pastoral, easily comprehensible homily]
Priest: Hey guys, now let’s say that long thing that talks about what we think about and stuff.
All: We like God.  God is cool and really nice because He made me and this whole world – which by the way – we are totally polluting and it’s getting hot.  Jesus was born in a little barn and every Christmas we have a play during church but then he died. But you know what? He loves me and wants me to be happy.  There’s this spirit that talks to us in a book and he makes things live.  I like my church because everyone here is so nice and the priest is nice and we sing nice songs about nice stuff and later when we get old and icky, after we die, we all get to go to heaven with Jesus. He’s really cool by the way. Amen.
Priest: Now let’s pray for a bunch of stuff.
[intentions are prayed]
Priest: hey you guys in the back? Can y’all carry that basket and pitcher up here? That’d help a lot. Thanks.
Priest: Hey y’all, be peaceful and stuff.
All: You too.
Priest: Let’s pray to God and, you know.
All: yeah, that’d be nice.
Priest: You know what? Angels and stuff sing to God so let’s sing along with them.
All: Hey God.
You are way bigger than us.
You make the world happy.
We love you big guy.
Jesus liked you and he was cool.
Priest: A long time ago, at dinner, Jesus gave His friend’s some bread and wine and stuff.
Because Jesus likes us, He wants us to have bread and wine too.
God wants us to have this snack also.
And you know what?
We really like snacks so let’s tell God and Jesus and that Spirit gal thanks.
All: Yeah…Thanks.
[all present themselves for communion]
Priest: (holding out a wicker basket) Uhm, like, here’s some bread for you from God.
Recipient: Yum, that’s good and nutty, is it whole grain by the way? I like it. Now where’s that dude with the vino?

Nothing about religion is easy or self-evident.

That’s why we have the preaching office or … have we forgotten that?

Thank heaven this last ditch effort is too late.

The fight over the liturgical translation is effectively over.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gail F says:

    Fr. Z, the one thing I find missing from your excellent post is the fact that “dynamic equivalency” was the preferred method of translating things for several decades. Bishop Trautman, apparently, still finds it his preferred method. That makes his position more understandable, even if one wonders why it isn’t obvious to him that he was right. He WAS right, at least in the eyes of many, for a long time.

    That said, the thing that leaps out at me is this: What is the most beloved translation of the Bible, for ALL education levels? Is it not the KJV? Is THAT in “ordinary” language? One of the reasons that people like it so much is that it isn’t in ordinary language. People in storefront churches love it. But big words are too much for us?

  2. Frank H says:

    I recently had the pleasure of hearing Bishop Campbell (D of Columbus) address a Catholic Men’s Luncheon on the new translation. Thank the Lord he fully supports it. The assembled group seemed enthusiastic about the changes he described. Bring it on!

  3. dcs says:

    even though the original and official Nicene Creed promulgated by the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 said ‘we believe’ in both the Greek and Latin versions

    Which, of course, is NOT the Creed we use at Mass today anyway.

  4. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    I don’t think his service would use a Latin word like “Vino.”

    Did anyone else notice that even in satire Father Z can’t keep himself from using ablative case correctly?

  5. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: “There is plenty of Salvation Army theology out there.”</b?

    This stuff really ought not be equated with the comparatively sophisticated theology of the Salvation Army. In truth, the Salvation Army does a lot of good. I have more respect for it than for . . . well, you know.

  6. patrick_f says:

    I would prefer the Missa Trautmanita to what we have with the ICEL, atleast its amusing, rather then just plain sad

  7. TomG says:

    Much of modernity is bloody stupid on so many levels.

  8. DCtrad says:

    [“That’s why we have the preaching office. Have we forgotten that?…”
    “And if those priests, or deacons, or lay catechists, or the people in the pews don’t like what they hear about “ineffable” or “consubstantial”, there are loads of churches out there that don’t have complicated theology as part of their heritage. “]

    – Right on Fr Z!

    Our bishops are no longer fighting to edify the faith. Rather, many have lost touch with us completely. [Be of good cheer. Look at the bishops recently appointed. Amazing! They are going to be GREAT! There are very good bishops in the US.] I am 21 years old, I was brought up in “NO”-land and it was not until seminary that I discovered the existence of the TLM and found out how cheated I was of the sense of the mystery and heritage of the church. They that fall victim to secularism the most are the youth and the common man because of such damage done by the omission of bishops. In the mass we need to escape this world and find Jesus the living mystery and center of our faith!

    That is why Saint Pope Pius X said that “the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists”

  9. Okay everyone, repeat after me; June 24, 2011; June 24, 2011, June 24, 2011.

    Saint John the Baptist, Pray for us!

  10. Hamburglar says:

    “The vast majority of God’s people in the assembly are not familiar with words of the new missal like…‘incarnate,’…‘precursor,’”

    Really? I’m terribly frightened if the “vast majority” don’t know what precursor means.

  11. Dauphin says:

    This is getting tiring. Can’t the elderly folk just move out of the way and allow progress to happen?

  12. “incarnate”

    I mean, I see what Trautman is saying re: ineffable and such (although I disagree with him; difficult things can and must be taught). But “incarnate”? The Incarnation is…the center of Christian faith…in so many ways…I mean, how else would you say that in English?

    That said: before we jump down Trautman’s throat too much, let’s also remember he was one of the bishops who challenged ND’s invitation to and honoring of Obama. He may be Darth Vader, but he’s not the Emperor…:) [This isn’t about Notre Dame. This is about the new translation.]

  13. Gabriel Austin says:

    The good bishop is of that generation which has nearly destroyed the Church in the U.S. He should discretely retire and reflect on what he and his cohorts have done, and pray for forgiveness.

    Anent Credo, the point is that we do not believe communally; we believe individually. It’s just like “I confess”.

  14. robtbrown says:

    I can’t pass up another opportunity to point out that in the 19 years of Bp Trautman’s very pastoral leadership of Erie, the number of priests in his diocese has dropped from 240 to 202 (as of 2006), the ratio of Catholic to priest has gone from 806 to 1095. How’s that for pastoral style?

    The good bishop seems heavily invested in the McLiturgy of the 1970’s, the theological and liturgical version of sub prime mortgages.

  15. Tim Ferguson says:

    I think the Trautmanita Sanctus can be sung to the melody for the Mass of Creation…

  16. EXCHIEF says:

    God forbid that the folks in the pews might need to learn the meaning of a few unfamiliar words–or that the clergy might actually have to TEACH them the meaning.

  17. Irish says:

    Or your Excellency, you could just go back to the Latin and then you wouldn’t have to worry about whether you liked the translation or not.

  18. Tradster says:

    “The prefaces of the new missal, however, violate English syntax in a most egregious way,” Bishop Trautman said…”

    Sorry, I don’t understand what “egregious” means. The bishop needs to use very tiny words when speaking to the unwashed Catholic laity.

  19. Rien says:

    The rank and file aren’t that dumbded down are they? This is condescending at best on the part of the bishop.

    Look at the devout jews who learn Hebrew as a matter of course. Or Muslims around the world who, whatever their local language, strive to learn Arabic so they can read the Koran in its original language. I have a Hispanic friend who converted to Islam not long ago. He got a poor education in US public schools and was not much of a student because of not being challenged. Now he is going to night school to learn Arabic and working fulltime.

    The Catholic hierarchy has IMO in too many cases a condescending attitude to those in the pew. If my Hispanic friend can learn Arabic I think Catholics are full well capable of learning the meaning of precursor, inviolate, incarnate and the other words the bishop thinks pose such a challenge for the average Catholic.

  20. pberginjr says:

    Bp. Campbell is great! I moved from St. Louis last fall (born and raised), leaving behind the City of Rigali and Burke and didn’t know what to expect in this very unCatholic city (Columbus). I have been pleasantly surprised by Bp. Campbell, and the longer I’m here, the better it seems to get. Now we just need an EF at St. Joseph’s.

  21. Mike says:

    Hopefully the implementation of this version of the Missal in the States will have an effect on the CCCB’s efforts in revising their translation. The effect I hope for is resuscitation. :)

  22. Amerikaner says:

    When I read comments like the Bishop’s, it makes me mad. He seems to think the laity are dumb nitwits (and his attitude smacks of clericalism).

  23. Oleksander says:

    how us little peasants with our little beads know nothing!

    If anyone dosent know these words and cares enough to want to know, you can buy a webster dictionary at the pharmacy for $10 if you dont already have one (which of course you do not, you are uneducated)

    Oh, but that costs money! We better allow meat on Fridays of Lent to ease the spiritual pain this could cause our serfs in the congregation! At least our peons are intelligent (we use that word loosely) enough to follow our advice and avoid those archaic Latin masses! Imagine what reactionary things they could or rather would be brainwashed into doing, like practicing indulgences – belief in an eternal hell! NOT donating to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development!! The horror!

  24. ipadre says:

    Are the people of God stupid? Surely not the ones I have worked with for almost 18 years, and I am offended that someone would suggest it!

  25. “Sorry, I don’t understand what “egregious” means. The bishop needs to use very tiny words when speaking to the unwashed Catholic laity.”


  26. Doc Angelicus says:

    In the Missa Trautmanita, would there be a provision for the dioceses of Texas to use “Yee-Hah” instead of “Yay”? And for the Children’s Mass…. spontaneous sounds of glee that elude spelling? [Inculturation!]

    And St. Thomas said we use the heretofore inviolate “hosanna” because the ineffable sentiment expressed the Hebrew (which was a liturgical precursor to Latin prior to the Word Incarnate and still in unvanquished use by the Jewish people) was untranslatable. Silly fellow!

  27. ssoldie says:

    Quote again; What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abonded the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and ‘replaced’ it- as in a manufacturing process- with a ‘fabrication’, a banal on the spot product. I will not attened the n.o. I am praying that the Holy Father will pray the “Gregorian Rite Mass” at St Peter’s and not the “fabricated” one he so elequently stated in the preface of ‘The Reform of the Roman Liturgy’ after all ‘action’s speak louder then words’

  28. NLucas says:

    As someone who has longed for a more inviolate translation of the Ordinary Form, I’m worried about the implementation of the new (much better) translation. I come across an increasing number of people who don’t seem to want anything but (what robtbrown said above) McLiturgy.

    I serve at the TLM on both Sundays and at my home parish on Friday night. On Sundays, the 11am “happy clappy” Mass has SRO (200-300 people), but no more than 50 usually show up for the 12:30 TLM. At the Friday night TLM, we have about 15 people in the pews regularly. I’m worried that the new pastor will look at the numbers and decide it’s not worth scheduling.

    In the parish school, we know a growing number of parents who have started going to Mass at the nearby parish that has a reputation for liturgical innovation. “It’s more welcoming,” “Billy likes playing in the band there,” “this parish is so stuffy.” Five years ago, you couldn’t get a seat at my parish’s 10:30 (Novus Ordo) Mass–now, with musicians trying to use chant and celebrants using the Roman Canon and saying Mass reverently and deliberately, attendance is down at least 30%. And, anecdotally, the folks leaving aren’t lackadasical about their faith–they just prefer not to have to work hard at Holy Mass.

    I’m confident in the eventual restoration of reverence across the board. I just don’t know how, in the short run, we’re going to be able to go to skeptical pastors and bishops and show them that there is a real demand from the Faithful for implementing liturgical restoration, especially (I hate to say it) the money is coming from the “Missa Trautmanista.”

    In Christ,

  29. TNCath says:

    This “personalizing” of the language of the Mass in the effort to making it “more understanding” to the faithful is nothing more than an insulting dumbing down of the Mass. I suspect Bishop Trautman’s concern is not so much making the texts more intelligible to the faithful as it is the U.S. Bishops’ trying to suppress the hermeneutic of continuity and the restoration of the Mass to its historical roots. The mentality seems to be this: first, the text of the Mass is restored to a more accurate translation, then what’s next? Widespread use of Latin in the liturgy? The ad orientem posture? See the trend?

    Unfortunately, Bishop Trautman’s remarks echo that of many priests across the U.S., particularly those ordained in the pre-John Paul II years. The most difficult and crucial part of the implementation of the new translation is going to be the cooperation of the priests, many of whom will continue to change, ad lib, and use illegitimate options at their own discretion, daring someone to challenge them otherwise.

    Last Sunday, a priest came to our parish to substitute for our ailing pastor. “Father X” made it known to us that he planned use to one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Children (although I counted only 3 children at Mass) because they were “much more simple and straightforward and much better written than those Roman prayers.” By the way, I might add that “Father X” opted out of wearing an alb, and wore only his religious habit and chasuble.

    This is the mentality that is going to be try to sabotage the new translation. Somebody upstairs in the Congregation for Divine Worship had better get ready to issue some very stern and straightforward directives when this translation is implemented, or, once again, we will have the same nonsense we’ve had for the past 40 years.

  30. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Doesn’t at least some part of these prayers have to include the word “just” in them, in order to be understood by evangelical converts–or else they may not realize it’s a prayer, e.g. “Oh, God, we JUST want to say how thankful we are for your wonders and fortitude. We JUST want to glorify your name. It all JUST so peachy!”

  31. Tom in NY says:

    Temporibus antiquis, etiam in memoria et parochiis suae excelentiae, servi altaris Dei juvenes Missae responsoria in memoriam commiserunt. Semper spiritu fortes, sed non semper in studiis fuerunt. Etiam, responsoria bene dabunt et comprehendebunt.
    To Gail F – King James’ committee in 1611 used Tyndale’s version as a reference, then already 80 years old. English speakers are still using his renditions – and he wasn’t dynamically equivalent in his NT.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  32. JoeGarcia says:

    …is it just my hypersensitive nature or, was H.E. (to whom the ineffable Diogenes refers to as Bp. Trautperson) taking a bit of a swipe at Fr. Z. with the “slavishly literal” comment?

    Two questions naturally arise:

    1) Why can’t these oh-so-hard words be explained? After all, your average high-schooler has far more difficult words in prepping for the SAT.

    2) Why isn’t H.E. fighting for a less slavish Spanish (and I assume Portuguese, French, etc.) translation? The last time I went to Mass in Spanish, there were equally lofty — or loftier — words being tossed around and the assembled faithful didn’t seem particularly exercised.

  33. Tominellay says:

    Bp. Trautman is a diehard; how can this bad investment be so important to him?

  34. chironomo says:

    Are the people of the Diocese of Erie aware that their Bishop thinks they are all idiots? I would be insulted if I lived there.

    I like his rather contorted argument that the reason we shouldn’t change an incorrect translation is because the original hasn’t changed. This is incomprehensible on so many levels. It’s the kind of argument that a person falls back on when logical or sound arguments keep leading to the wrong conclusion.

  35. bubba says:

    perhaps His Excellency should be informed that the great unwashed now have these things called dictionaries…and even IF we don’t understand that perhaps we could be properly motivsted to, oh I don’t know,….look it up? Maybe? (grin)

  36. Tradster says:

    I like the story one blogger posted about this on fisheater.com:

    Smirky modernist parishioner is arguing with the children’s-choir director about the traditionalist content of the hymns for the upcoming feast.

    “Everyone should pray in the language they actually speak. Why, these kids don’t even understand what they’re singing. You, there–” he singles out one child — “I’ll bet you don’t know what Kyrie eleison means.”

    “Bet I do.”

    “OK, what does it mean?”

    “It means Miserere Domine.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star!

  37. tzard says:

    Looking at that last line of B. Trautman’s comments – he desires to be “pastoral in every sense” but not accurate in every sense?

    There are senses besides just the the common understanding. Common Sense (pun intended) tells us that.

  38. The Astronomer says:

    Bp. Trautmann’s whining, and that’s exactly what it is, is the desperate rearguard action of a disciple of Msgr. McManus trying to hold onto the 1970s Love, American Style liturgy. The biological solution approaches inexorably (in Trautmann-speak that’s ‘here it comes, your Excellency and ya can’t stop it nohow’) and the worn out liberals and progressives know it.

  39. robtbrown says:

    In the Missa Trautmanita, would there be a provision for the dioceses of Texas to use “Yee-Hah” instead of “Yay”? And for the Children’s Mass…. spontaneous sounds of glee that elude spelling?
    Comment by Doc Angelicus

    And at Hispanic masses the Great Amen could be replaced with the Great Olé.

  40. I was at this talk. Trautman was very passionate, at times raising his voice and spitting out words. He explicitly said that he was trying to rally the troops, trying to get Catholic journalists to spread (his) word and to get Catholic scholars to petition Rome. The crowd (maybe 100) was mostly priests and seminarians, and was largely sympathetic. I know from overhearing that there were several dissenters, but the mood was one of preaching to the choir. I spent a lot of the talk looking around rolling my eyes but there was a lot more head-nodding than eye-rolling in the room.

    It was all the same old stuff, ably documented in the article. The one solid point I think he had was about the “qui clause” sentence fragments in the Prefaces. If I can find the handout (I think it’s in my car), I’ll email it to you, Fr.

  41. chironomo says:

    And, anecdotally, the folks leaving aren’t lackadasical about their faith—they just prefer not to have to work hard at Holy Mass

    NLucas…what exactly would your definition of “being lackadasical(sic) about their faith” be?

  42. asperges says:

    My American friends tell me that this bishop also pushes inclusive language, hence is known to some as “Troutperson.” He seems a pastoral disaster in his own right (rite). Whether this is true or not, I of course could not say.

    Because of the ghastly ICEL translations we have suffered this junk for 30 years now. One notes that the French, Portuguese and Italian translations are not “versions” but also “slavishly accurate” to the original Latin for the mostpart. Why then should the English versions be so deliberately inaccurate if it was not intentionally to subvert the whole process? Too late now, like much else happening in the Church under this Pope, the rot is being un-done at last. Deo Gratias.

  43. Torpedo1 says:

    Father Z,
    Your satire of the Mass had me laughing so hard at work. Thank goodness I can laugh silently. I think it underlines a point for me which I’ve been trying to explain to two Liberal Catholic friends of mine.
    The people who ran away with V2, who dumbed down the Mass so that it could be better understood are doing us such a disservice. I said to my friends, how much longer do you want to be treated like a child? How much longer do you want to be told you’re dumb and that you couldn’t possibly understand Latin and that you must feel important so you have to do the things the priest does? They don’t get it. One of them has a major in theology and music or something and she says, that what ever works to get people into church is good and that the NOM is meant for people who don’t understand their faith. I guess she’s saying, that because I love the TLM I understand my faith better. Anyway, my question to her then becomes, ok then, if you’re saying that people can presumibly step up from the NOM to the TLM, why are you working so hard to keep them a step down? That’s what Trautman’s comments say to me. He thinks we won’t ever understand such big and scarry words. Know what an English professor of mine used to say when we didn’t know what a word meant?”Look it up.”
    Fr. Z, you’re dead on when you say religion is hard. It’s supposed to be. We are supposed to strive for something higher, language, Holiness, we’re supposed to reach up for God. We’re supposed to experience Mystery at Mass and why people don’t seem to want or to understand that is just beyond me.

  44. pseudomodo says:

    This reminds me of all those brainless, unintelligent, hopelessly stupid, american housewives who were set to categorically reject the 648 page book dedicated to bringing French Cuisine to North America.

    Now….who was it by? . ?…. Oh YES! Some nobody by the name of Child…. JULIA CHILD who had the audacity to introduce these gigantic FRENCH gastronomic (another big word – just google it!) words to the poor innocent and flighty minded american housewife! DOOMED TO FAIL!


    Her cuisine reigns supreme even to this day and american (and all english speaking) housewives have literally been eating it up for decades. They weren’t put off in the least by ‘boeuf bourguignon’ or ‘epinards’ or ‘AU GRATIN’ or ‘ramequin’.

    Come to this of it, I believe I have seen some of those same terms as captions to culinary works on this website. Careful Father, you don’t want to be accused of scandalizing your readership by including some of those evil French words in your ‘descriptiones de la cuisine’!

  45. CarleighS says:

    Kyrie eleison….miserere Domine….ROFL!!!!!! I needed that. Thanks tradster.

  46. NLucas says:

    Chironomo–I’m sorry, that was very poor word choice on my part. What I should have said was–I know more than a couple of the families who stopped attending Holy Mass at my home parish and started going to the more liturgically innovative one. While there have been some who appear to wish to accomodate more with the world than with the Faith, there have been at least an equal number who have taught their children the Catholic Faith with the CCC, fully accept the teachings of the Church, but who would rather attend a “happy clappy” Mass because they’ve been taught that is a fully acceptable option by legitimate pastors and teachers in their pasts. And, among a menu of what they believe to be fully acceptable options, the “happy clappy” was easier and more in line with their personal tastes.

    We have an entire generation of Catholics who have been taught since kindergarten that the Holy Mass is “all about me” and had nothing but the translation of Mass that Bishop Troutman is defending along with all the abuses we rail against on this blog. I was hoping, once they saw reverent liturgy, they would see it for its glory. Yet, over and over, I see people who would rather subsist on liturgical bread and water rather than bother to “dress up” for the ineffable liturgical feast that the TLM and the Ordinary Form (N.O.) done properly can offer.

    Since I’ve been a srident trad for so long, though, I have to be very careful not to characterize those laymen who do so as deficient in the practice of their faith. If “happy clappy” is presented and taught by legitimate authority as a fully legitimate (if not the preferred) option for Catholic parishes, then the implementation of the new translation will be particularly difficult.

    In Christ,

  47. priest up north says:

    Not have read any of the other comments, perhaps someone has already said this:

    Bp Trautman: at what point does language itself become a source of instruction? After all – you an your types probably complain that we are not doing good enough catechesis (this is an assumption on my part that he is saying such…but follow me through on this). And while the goal of the liturgy is not catechesis ( ;) Fr. Z) indeed we do abide by the principle “lex orandi lex credendi.” Hence we can aid people in their understanding of the faith by a good, literal translation, rather than an dumbed down version with no educational value whatsoever.

    Related to this power of language to teach is the power of language to form culture. Maybe it’s just me, but I think a revival of Catholic culture, through the means of a well prayed Mass with a proper translation as one means, is certainly welcome in our day…

  48. Dave N. says:

    Much of this is a scholarly mishmash, but I’ll bet it did play well at Catholic U as others have noted.

    That having been said, I think the bishop has a very good, though not foolproof argument on the wording of the creed.

    And I would agree with his conclusion (though his reasoning is severely flawed) on the translation of “pro multis.” Certainly, no one (except maybe Trautman) could reasonably argue that the new English translation of “pro multis” is superior to the current one. The problem, however, lies in that “pro multis” is a flawed translation of the words of institution in Gk.: huper pollon/anti pollon [HUH?]–if memory serves on the wording–and I think we will sadly be at some remove from the meaning of the Gospels here once the new missal is implemented. [HUH?] Further, I expect little or no catechesis on the issue since most priests and bishops won’t even begin to understand what’s entailed with this change (Trautman being Exhibit A).

    Lex orandi/lex credendi–if I wanted to be a Calvinist, I’d be a Calvinist–and I think we will be drawing dangerously close to heresy on this issue. All I can do is pray that by the time the new missal is implemented, there will be a nearby Anglican Use church that (ironically) retains the current English wording! :)

  49. PJ says:

    Well said Hamburglar, Saint Irenaeus, Amerikaner; this bish just takes the biscuit. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so insulting to the ordinary Catholic like you and I.

    And an odd comment too – “incarnate” is in the existing translation of the Creed!

    Presumably he thinks the new ICEL translation should be going in the opposite direction and vandalising the language even further – we should get rid of “sacred language” words altogether like:
    ‘begotten’ (well, I guess this is going anyway),
    ‘trespasses’… these are all words which are either old-fashioned and out of general use, or not immediately obvious to all the poor half-wits like you, me, and all our brothers and sisters in the pews who haven’t been through seminary.

  50. ecclesiae says:

    Someone should send the bishop a copy of the Anglican Use Order of Mass according to The Book of Divine Worship. The beautiful langauge in it would leave him speachless.

  51. William says:

    If only the Bishops would read this positing and all its comments! As a group, they seem quite cut off from the souls for whom they were chosen to preach, teach, and sanctify. Bishop Trautman’s concern for the use of proper English grammar and syntax truly boggles the mind–when have such things been of any concern to the Catholic clergy? (Present company excluded, of course!)

  52. Mitchell NY says:

    Seriously, he is a Bishop…leave us lay people alone with our new translations and we will find out what we have to ! WE ARE NOT STUPID. Worry about souls a little more instead of wasting so much time. How long before his retirement????

  53. Bishop Trautman has a longer critique of the translation here: http://www.eriercd.org/pdf/translations.pdf

  54. Dr. Eric says:

    Bishop Trautperson has become a byword in the “traditionalist” circles and the neocatholic circles. There is a reason why he should listen to those of us who are loyal to the Holy Father and the Tradition/traditions of the Church. We are the ones having babies and propagating the next generation of Catholics. We are the ones who want reverent, holy, and ‘gulp’ ineffably beautiful Liturgies. We are the ones who encourage vocations in our sons and daughters.

    The ones who don’t want reverence, don’t have children or only have two. They don’t encourage vocations as they are trying to bring down the priesthood and religious life from inside the Church. Why does the hierarchy keep pandering to those who would destroy the Church.

    {If my wife and I weren’t tied to the local church as First Communion teachers (we use the Baltimore Catechism, by the way) we would attend St. Francis de Sales Oratory every Sunday for High Mass, we loved going to our first High Mass last month. Perhaps over the summer we will start going.}

  55. Traductora says:

    What is it about the word “ineffable” that drives them wild? Bp Trautman and my bishop both seem to be obsessed with it. Of course, in the meanwhile, we have a Polish priest who is virtually creating his own rite, which consists primarily of a long but nearly incomprehensible homilette at the beginning, segueing into his special version of the penitential rite and the kyrie, with a few blessed moments during which someone else reads, followed by another lengthy incomprehensible homily. Some complaints must have gotten back to the pastor, however, because this priest is at least reading the Canon again and not doing his “special” version anymore. Here he ad libs things only at the Elevation, but of course any parts following the Canon are fair game.

    One thing that the objecting bishops don’t seem to realize, unfortunately, is the very fact that people like this Polish priest feel they need to make stuff up is an indication of the fact that the current translation (not to mention the rite) is sadly lacking and even they sense that it doesn’t say what it could.

  56. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I think Joe Garcia was spot on. Bishop Trautman has no doubt been made aware of the critiques he gets on this blog and decided he would return the favor. I don’t see any coincidence in his frontal attack on “slavishly” literal translations. Substitute “accurate” for literal and you’ve got the subtitle to this blog.

    This reminds me of Senator Kerry’s rant during his run against Bush that the military suckered in poor, uneducated Americans to service in uniform. He got it good, especially by those soldiers who held up a misspelled sign mocking their supposed lack of education.

    Fr. Z, you really bled red ink all over his comments. I don’t blame you one bit for being livid. But sad to say, the clergy will eat this up as their battle cry for hating the new missal. One pastor said to me, “if the trad priests get to back to 1962, I certainly get to go back to the 1969 when this “ineffable” translation comes out.” [There’s cogent bit of reasoning. Maybe Bp. Trautman is right about how thick Catholics are.]

  57. Tom in NY says:

    That’s “to peri pollon” in Mt. 26:28 and “to…hyper pollon” in Mk.14:24. There’s no mention of anything like (the) “many” in the other two gospels or a reference to the Last Supper from St. Paul in 1 Cor 11. Nor is there a form of “pan” (everything, everyone).

    If you want a reference away from the Greek gospels, remember St. Paul had died about the time St. Mark’s gospel (the first) hit papyrus. Paul’s sources about Jesus’ words and life have not survived in a form we today read directly, such as the LXX which can help NT scholars check OT quotes. If you have stronger evidence…
    Salutationes omnibus.

  58. Athelstan says:


    And, among a menu of what they believe to be fully acceptable options, the “happy clappy” was easier and more in line with their personal tastes.

    Not surprising that those who have been fed liturgical fast food all their lives – and been told it’s healthy by their doctors – would prefer to east McDonalds.

  59. The Astronomer says:

    I attended Catholic University back in the early 80s…(where the presider would have us gather ’round the table, extend our hands in blessing the gifts because we ‘all shared a priestly minstry’ and recite a modified EP #2, including the Institution Narrative), I escaped to a Latin Novus Ordo said very reverently by an old Benedictine monk in the crypt church of the National Shrine. He always used the Roman Canon as well.

    At CUA Campus Ministry ‘masses’, we routinely received grape juice confected as the Precious Blood and were encouraged to creatively ‘bake our own’ Communion Bread. How I escaped that Modernist citadel with an iota of faith was only by the grace of God…..

  60. lofstrr says:

    I dunno, that Missa Trautmanensis might need some revision. The term ‘offensive’ used during the penitential rite seems a bit complicated for the average parishioner.

  61. Dave N. says:


    Thanks, I couldn’t quite remember the wording and I don’t have the text in front of me.

    AND I don’t have my research in front of me either, but as I recall that is has to do with the way we think of counting versus the way the Greeks did. (A look at the word “polus” in the Great Scott and the listed quotes read in their context should clarify if you’re really interested.)

    IMO a better rendering of the Greek text in English would be something like “for a multitude,”–a meaning that the Greek text can hold, but one that I don’t THINK the Latin translation can; I’d have to research that a little more.

    “Many” sounds quite limiting and countable to my American ear–and less than “a lot”; I think “multitude” comes much closer to the meaning of the text in context (a large, innumerable count).

    Take a look at Rev. 7:9 and (I think) 19:6–same word I think–for examples of other NT usages where the English rendering is “multitude.” But there are even better examples in Greek literature as I recall.

  62. AndyMo says:

    At CUA Campus Ministry ‘masses’, we routinely received grape juice confected as the Precious Blood and were encouraged to creatively ‘bake our own’ Communion Bread. How I escaped that Modernist citadel with an iota of faith was only by the grace of God…..

    Thankfully, it is quite different now. There is a good deal of happy-clappy at the campus ministry Masses, but that’s about the extent of abuse. There was nothing like grape juice or self-baked bread when I finished grad school 4 years ago.

    There was also a Campus Ministry Mass in the crypt church at the shrine, which was better in almost every way. CUA has come a long way since the 80s. Heck when I was there, there was a big to-do about the school disallowing a platform to Stanley Tucci, then Planned Parenthood’s Man of the Year. The administration wouldn’t allow it; see if that would fly at some other large unnamed Catholic institutions.

    Hey God.
    You are way bigger than us.
    You make the world happy.
    We love you big guy.
    Jesus liked you and he was cool.

    This is the greatest Sanctus ever.

  63. Tom A. says:

    I will agree with one thing the Good Bishop said, “the words of the liturgy are not inspired. Well, the text of the Novus Ordo is certainly not inspired, nor inspiring.

  64. Kimberly says:

    “The vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic,”

    Why do they insist on dumbing us down???? Excuse me Bishop Donald W. Trautman, but wasn’t that your job to teach us?

  65. wmeyer says:

    I am so very tired of hearing all the complaints against ineffable. What has that poor word ever done to all these big, strong priests, that they think the laity must be sheltered from it?

    Quite silly. I read St. Therese’s autobiography last week, and found ineffable there, too.

  66. tewter says:

    Bishop Trautman is losing power. That is what his whine is all about. He thinks he can keep playing the same broken record and it will stick. I believe he is out of luck. We should pray for him because he continues to try to obstruct traditional methods of translations.

    Father Z. I prefer your translation: “Kindly admit…”, but I’ll be happy to hear the improved version. Just about anything will be better than the flat, unpoetic English we’ve been saddled with all these years.

  67. Tom in NY says:

    To Dave N.-
    The two citations from Rev. have “ochlos polys” – “crowd of many” or as RSV translates, “great multitude.” GreatScott60 (fortunately on the ‘net)has Classical and Homeric citations which can have “multitude” as well as “many” or “the crowd”; the latter can have downscale English meaning similar to Latin “plebs.” See also Strong’s #4183 and follow up citations for “polys.” Concordance suggests TDNT 6:536, or volume with “pi.” You may have to hit the library for the latter. I lack it. Two citations in Vulgate from gospels on Last Supper are “pro multis.” Two citations from Revelation have “turba magna.” Happy hunting.
    Greek NT and LXX via http://www.katapi.org.uk, Strong’s via http://www.biblestudy.com, Vulgate via http://www.vatican.va (go via site map)
    Salutationes tibi.

  68. ckdexterhaven says:

    Is Bishop Trautman the reason the reader says “the Word of the Lord” after the readings? Why isn’t it “THIS IS the Word of the Lord? If he’s worried about Joe and Mary Sixpack being unable to figure out the meaning of effable… his next project can be the Mass for Twitter users. Whatevs, Bish.

  69. capchoirgirl says:

    I have never read the “Bp. Trautman Mass” and that just cracked me up. I really needed this.
    I LIKE the cool language. I LIKE accurate translations! Can we give the people SOME credit, that they MIGHT be able to figure these things out?
    At my parish, I once asked in a parish council meeting why the Liturgy of the Word for Children went up to fourth grade (yes. Fourth grade. as in, two years past the time that kids receive communion at our parish). The answer was that “the kids don’t understand the ‘adult’ readings.” Um, I know ADULTS that don’t always understand the readings. So….maybe Bp. Trautman should come to my parish and dumb down everything, for everyone, and not acknowledge that we might have brains that can THINK things through.

  70. Frank H says:

    pberginjr – Welcome to Columbus! Yes, an EF Mass at the Cathedral would be terrific! I wanted to be sure that you are aware of Holy Family parish, just a couple miles west of the Cathedral, which offers the EF multiple times each week, celebrated by their pastor, the great Fr. Lutz.

  71. capchoirgirl says:

    Whoo, two Catholic WDTPRSers!
    I too really like Bishop Campbell. I’m thinking about attending Mass at St. Pat’s and making it my parish–they seem to be doing a lot of good there.

  72. capchoirgirl says:

    woops that should say “Columbus.” I can’t type, apparently.

  73. PatrickV says:

    “Bishop Trautman took note of sentences in the new missal that he said run 66, 70 and 83 words, declaring that they were “unproclaimable” by the speaker and “incomprehensible” to the hearer.”

    Maybe he should read Rahner, I think Rahner, runs on (no pun intended).

    I tell my students in Fifth Grade Catechism that words mean things. That the proper words are required to truly communicate. Which is why I stress the proper words in prayers and in biblical translations to them. No NAB, just the RSC CE please.

  74. thouart says:

    Bishop Donald Trautman has such a hatred for the new translation that he has managed to convince, cajole, or intimidate MOST of his priests into removing the Confetior at every Mass. That is of course because he has no concept of Catholics as sinners. I see it every Sunday in the Erie Diocese.

    We desperately need an orthodox Bishop to replace him in little over a year. He has closed 14 Catholic Schools. The heavens cry out for justice.

  75. Frank H says:

    capchoirgirl – Good choice, St Pat’s. Reverent OF Mass, real live working communion rail, great preaching by the Dominican fathers, opportunities for confession everyday, only male altar servers, lots of relics on display. If only they’d occasionally say an OF in Latin, or better yet, use that beautiful high altar for an EF Mass!

  76. papaefidelis says:

    You know, His Excellency, Bishop Trautman, is absolutely correct. These English translations are not readily “presidential” and are not the words that people are accustomed. Solution: just USE THE LATIN, stupid!!!! Even if the texts were rendered into a series of monosyllabic grunts, some troglogdyte somewhere with a preschool education, leaving a deep groove as he drags his knuckles behind him, would complain that these grunts are beyond his level of edjumacation. Gloria Deo!

  77. pberginjr says:

    St Pat’s is nice, so is St. Andrew’s (Great Organist). I do know about Holy Family, it’s just a bit of a haul to get down there (we’re in St James the Less Parish in Northeast). Now I’m teaching 3rd Grade Catechism and can’t go down for the Missa Cantata at all (overlapping times), but I’m teaching the kids chant, so that’s a bit of a compromise. Glad to see some other Columbus folk on here.

  78. Here are the two examples of “ungrammatical usage” Bishop Trautman gave, the “qui” clauses, from the handout:

    1. “Who, after he told the disciples of his coming death, manifested his glory to them on the holy mountain to show, as the Law and Prophets also bear witness, that the path of suffering leads to the glory of the Resurrection.” (Preface of 2nd Sunday of Lent)

    2. “Whom all the Prophets’ oracles foretold, whom the Virgin Mother awaited.” (Preface II of Advent) [The handout continues:] These are subordinate clauses falsely represented as declarative sentences.

    (Boko again:) Up to a point, Bishop. But out of context. Here’s the current translation of the first example, in toto:

    “Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
    we do well always and everywhere to give You thanks,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    On Your holy mountain He revealed Himself in glory
    in the presence of His disciples.
    He had already prepared them for His approaching death.
    He wanted to teach them through the law and the Prophets
    that the promised Christ had first to suffer
    and so come to the glory of His resurrection.

    In our unending joy we echo on earth the song of the angels
    as they praise Your glory for ever:”

    (Boko once more:) So the “qui” clause is immediately proceeded by its subject, “Jesus Christ our Lord,” which makes the whole thing much easier to follow than Trautman let on at the talk. So intelligibility is a non-issue. The grammar issue is solved simply by pointing out that this is poetry, not prose.

    Trautman withheld the context provided by the preface as a whole.

  79. Jason Keener says:

    I wish Bishop Trautman would understand that it isn’t pastoral to give Catholics a banal Liturgy that is made up solely of everyday words. The Sacred Liturgy is mostly a Mystery, and for that reason, the Liturgy should include words that are not readily understandable or a part of our run of the mill conversations.

    In any event, is it really that hard for an average Catholic in the pew to figure out what “ineffable” means when they hear the word in the context of a prayer in the Liturgy? People arent’s that dumb. Also, shouldn’t the Liturgy with its majestic language pull us up out of our daily worries and struggles towards Heaven? Why are some people in the Church so convinced that Catholics need and want everything dumbed down? It just isn’t the case. Catholics, especially young ones, want to be challenged and inspired by the Sacred Liturgy, not pulled back down into the hum drum of everyday life.

  80. Melody says:

    I asked a Latinist priest about the “pro multis” debate a while back. His answer was that “multis” implies a great number, as in “multitude.” To some English speakers, the translation “for many” carries connotations of a large but not extraordinarily great number. However “multis” under no circumstances should be rendered as “all.”
    His compromise is that it should be translated as “for so many.”

    What do you think of this solution?

  81. Melody says:

    Also, I should note that the use of “bish” is rather off-putting when applied to bishop, since I frequent anime groups. There, bish is short for “bishounen” or “cute boy”

  82. Norah says:

    Just as it was the parish priest who, in the 60’s , smoothed the way for the revision of the Mass it will be the parish priest who will make or break the new translation. Father’s take on the translation from the pulpit will be the one most of the congregation will go by. As some of the comments have pointed out most of the people in the pews today honestly think that the ersatz praise and worship service they are served up on Sunday is the real thing and the Sacrifice of the Mass either, OF or EF, reverently said is for cranks. Forty years of Catholicism lite means that they have no idea of Sacrifice,Worship or the Real Presence they only know that they should expect to get a ‘buzz’ on a Sunday with handshakes and hugs all round – that’s what it is all about.

  83. Timbot2000 says:

    Unfortunately, English is itself a poor vehicle for the translation of “pro multis”. “For so many” seems either incomplete (so many as what?), or excessively informal, and loose (oh so very very many)(besides, the Latin is not Vocative case here, so “so” kinda trods all over the original text.The closest we can get to “pour la multiude” in English without sounding Marxist (for the masses) is “for THE many”, implying a descrete plurality.
    Its much easier in Chinese ???.

  84. Timbot2000 says:

    The above was not a questions. The comboxes simply do not support UTF-16

  85. Kurt Barragan says:

    “Did Jesus ever speak to the people of his day in words beyond their comprehension? Did Jesus ever use terms or expressions beyond his hearer’s understanding?”

    Isn’t epiousios in the Lord’s Prayer a hapax legomenon (i.e. a word which doesn’t occur elsewhere)?

    If the evangelists used a very unfamiliar Greek word in that most foundational of Christian prayers, the prayer that Jesus gave us, we should question the argument that the vocabulary of our liturgy should be limited.

  86. Kurt Barragan says:

    Bishop Trautman took note of sentences in the new missal that he said run 66, 70 and 83 words, declaring that they were “unproclaimable” by the speaker and “incomprehensible” to the hearer.

    There are millions of ordinary Catholics who daily pray a 56 word sentence without difficulty (it’s the prayer traditionally said at the end of the Rosary, “O God, whose only-begotten Son…”).

    Some of the sentences in the new translation are long and complex. They might trip us up at first sight. But, if priests prepare well, I think that it will be possible to proclaim them well.

  87. Anne M. says:

    Now class, your assignment for today is to write a sentence using all of the vocabulary words.

    If the misguided persons in the Church would admit the ignominy of their actions and begin to practice appropriate oblations, the current missal, suffused with simplistic phrasing and serving as one of the precursors of the current state of our liturgy, could be replaced by an inviolate tome that would convey the ineffable mystery of our Incarnate Lord, consubstantial with the Father, and unvanquished for all eternity.

    Disclaimer: Written by an “average Catholic” with a lowly bachelor’s degree, before 9am and without the aid of caffeinated beverages.

  88. Vicky says:

    “We love you big guy.”
    Is it fitting that now I keep imagining Herb Tarlick talking to Mr. Calson on WKRP?

  89. LarryD says:

    This has been said elsewhere, but…if today’s Catholic is so much better educated and informed, as many liberal Catholics like to tell us (McBrien, Chittister, et al), then understanding these words shouldn’t be an issue, should it?

  90. 1) Regarding vocabulary, if people don’t understand the word “incarnate”, that implies they’ve never heard of the Incarnation or have never heard it explained to them. That’s kind of a big deal in Christianity, or so I’ve heard. “Word-made-flesh” = “Word Incarnate”.

    2) Regarding Jesus’ use of parables, Bishop Trautman draws this distinction: with parables, it was not the vocabulary that Jesus had to explain, but the message.

    3) Regarding the use of “I” instead of “we” in the Creed, Liturgiam Authenticam 65 explains it thus: “The Creed is to be translated according to the precise wording that the tradition of the Latin Church has bestowed upon it, including the use of the first person singular, by which is clearly made manifest that ‘the confession of faith is handed down in the Creed, as it were, as coming from the person of the whole Church, united by means of the Faith.’” That’s a quote from St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIaIIae, I, 9.

    4) Regarding “welcome into your kingdom” vs. “give kind admittance to your kingdom”, the latter better conveys that we don’t simply wander into God’s kingdom where He then gladly welcomes us: HE calls us, HE admits us, or we don’t get in!

    5) Regarding Bp. Trautman’s comment that the Latin text “is a human text, reflecting a certain mindset, theology and world view,” I would say yes, it reflects the Latin Rite Catholic mindset, theology and world view. What mindset, theology, and world view would the good Bishop suggest the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church reflect?!

  91. The Gospels are full of people who didn’t understand what the heck Jesus was saying, or didn’t understand it until years afterward. “The leaven of the Pharisees” is certainly an odd expression. Sometimes Jesus came out and told them what He meant, and sometimes He just let His disciples think about it, much more the people.

    As for sentences being long and having complicated grammar and referential pronouns, this is normal in sentences used in common discourse (in the vernacular!) by teenage girls. What is good style for the ear and tongue is not the same as that for the eye and page.

    But the real point is that, all these years, paragraphs and paragraphs of material have been silently left out of Mass, while the Gloria was cut up and resewn like Frankenstein’s Monster. A man who thinks that was acceptable for any reason other than the power to bind and loose is not a man to trust on language issues.

    And the biggest catechesis problem is that, when people find out what they’ve been missing and/or have to do something different after all the changes they’ve gone through already, they will be angry in all directions for a long time, just like a lot of the rest of us were. It would go a long way toward calming people down if the US hierarchy honestly admitted that it hadn’t been the best translation for the glory of God, and that they were sorry it took so long to fix things. Trautman could do a lot to help matters if he’d just get on with it.

  92. pelerin says:

    I picked up an English Catholic Truth Society pamphlet at the weekend which had been written in 1911 and published in 1912. The subject was St Therese of Lisieux although at that time she had not even been Beatified.

    It was published for the ordinary man or woman in the pew and the last paragraph quotes from St Therese’s celebrated autobiography.

    ‘O Jesus, why cannot I speak to all little souls of Thine ineffable condescension.’ The writer obviously thought that readers would have no difficulty with such big words at that time. Are today’s pew people any less literate? Of course not.

  93. TMA says:

    “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.” 1 Corinthians 13: 11

    Frankly, I grew tired of the baby food of the ICEL translation. The Latin in the EF provides the solid food I need to grow spiritually. I believe that the new translation will also prove to be solid food. It’s time to grow up and do the necessary work to understand the new translation.

  94. Tom in NY says:

    Linguam latinam una sententia, anglica tres loqui scimus. Studiis Instituto Biblico completis, etiam diebus illis, lectionibus latinis, SE factum accepit. Temporibus novissimis, nec fideles multi in universitate studios compleverunt?
    Salutationes omnibus.

  95. By trying the flatten the liturgical language to profane everyday stuff, poor Bishop Trautman is trying to keep the discontinuous “spirit of Vatican II” alive. Pray much for him.

  96. Inkstain says:

    I’m afraid I find the Confiteor in the Missa Trautmanensis unnecessarily prolix, I think the mot juste would be:

    Whoa, Dude! My Bad.

  97. Greg Smisek says:

    His Excellency said: “Changing the plural form of ‘we’ to ‘I’ in the Nicene Creed goes against all ecumenical agreements regarding common prayer texts,” he said.”

    Apparently the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches don’t count when considering ecumenism and common texts. Changing from first-person plural to singular puts an end to the exile of English-speaking Catholics not only from their own Latin Rite language of worship but from the language used by all our Eastern brethren when professing the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed in the Divine Liturgy.

  98. Greg Smisek says:

    Ioannes Andreades wrote: “Doesn’t at least some part of these prayers have to include the word “just” in them, in order to be understood by evangelical converts…”

    Never fear, the new (accurate) translation of the Preface has them covered:
    “V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. R. It is right and just.”

  99. rwprof says:

    But while “the Latin text is the official, authoritative text,” Bishop Trautman said, “the Latin text is not inspired.

    Just for the sake of contrast, here is Archbishop +Hilarion (Alfeyev) who has been in the news recently, on the same topic.

    Orthodox liturgical texts have, for Orthodox Christians, an incontestable doctrinal authority, whose theological irreproachability is second only to Scripture.

  100. joan ellen says:

    I would like to say: Dear Your Excellency, I have questions. 1. Usually people have 15 billion brain cells, give or take a few. 2. Higher forms of thinking/thoughts include: synthesis, judgement, wisdom, sublime, & probably ecstacy. Should not the Holy Sacrifice help us to higher levels of thinking? Doesn’t our worship of the One True God ask us to know Him, to love Him by thinking with Him? 3. Judaism is a very intellectual religion. Catholicism is the daughter of Judaism. Should not Catholicism also be intellectual? 4. If the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is about Mystery, shouldn’t the Holy Sacrifice be mysterious in that we do not understand everything. Does not a Mass where we understand everything cater to our lower thoughts…maybe even passion…for example distraction…because higher thought value is not entering into our brain cells & our soul? Don’t our needy souls beg for a Mass, a worship, that is intellectually edifying & satisfying to our highest yearnings? What is to lead us to awe of & fear of the Lord if not the Mass? How can we lift up our hearts if we aren’t helped TO the Miracle of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in lifting up our heads…our thinking first? Thank you, Your Excellency.

  101. Dave N. says:

    LOL @ Greg Smisek

  102. Gabriel Austin says:

    It seems to be one of the great problems of our episcopacy that they have no mirrors. If the laity – the sheep, the common herd – nowadays have difficulty with words that were common-place among Catholic children [as was the Latin of the Mass] before the bishops began tinkering with the text, began changing traditional forms, began throwing hymns well-known to the sheep, whose is the fault of the great ignorance nowadays?
    At the head of every diocese is the bishop. That is where the buck stops. Translations should be made by people adept in the language. The bishops spend too much time in the chancery, not enough on the street. Had they gotten into the street, they might have foreseen the sexual crisis.

  103. Phil says:

    This reminds me of the Penitential Rite from the Mass of Decimation:
    Presider: Lord Jesus, You cursed the Fig Tree, Lord have mercy
    All: Lord, Have Mercy

    Presider: Lord Jesus, You called your best friend “satan,” Christ have mercy
    All: Christ, Have Merct

    Presider: Lord Jesus, You said to St. Mary Magdalene, “Don’t touch me,” Lord have mercy
    All: Lord, Have mercy.

  104. bookworm says:

    If sin makes you stupid, then good liturgy ought to make you smart!

    If I’m not mistaken, the famous “Nun Study” and other research seems to indicate that keeping one’s verbal and literary faculties sharp (through things like frequent reading, doing crossword puzzles, etc.) may help to stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia later in life. In the Nun Study one of the most reliable indicators of whether or not a nun eventually got Alzheimer’s was her ability to express complex thoughts and ideas in her younger years.

    So you see, expanding one’s vocabulary is good for your mind and body as well as your soul! Dumbing down anything is unhealthy.

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