Refusing to “learn the damn prayers”.

Ultra-liberal Huffington Post has an article on the implementation of the new, corrected translation.

Here is one of the dumbest things I have read to date about this new, translation, even from some the professional whiners.


Maribeth Lynch, 51, a publisher from the Milwaukee suburb of Elm Grove, said she was “distraught” over the changes and would refuse to “learn the damn prayers.

“It’s ridiculous. I’ve been a Catholic for 50 years, and why would they make such stupid changes? They’re word changes. They’re semantics,” she said.

“It’s confusion. All it’s doing is causing confusion,” she said. “You want to go to church and be confused?”

I think someone brought her confusion with her to church this morning.

What a nice way to talk about something so sacred as the prayers of our central form of worship of Almighty God.

I am reminded of the person who is tearing along in the car, shouting at other motorists, “Get the HELL out of my way! I’m late for Mass!”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    But Father, she is right.

    Don’t you know the Church only started in 1969? These changes are a break with tradition. Nobody asked us! Can we not review these changes? Many Bishops have said that these changes are bad. The laity will be confused. Let’s not move with the zeitgeist and bow down to modern thought.

    Hmmm. Irony mode off. These kinds of objections raised above are hilarious to me – for the people who are saying them now would despise the people who said it in 1969.

    Will there be a liberal Cardinal Ottaviani with his own intervention?

  2. Phillip says:

    “Confusion” is caused by a lack of understanding. A lack of understanding is a likely result of “refusing to learn the damn prayers.”

    Hopefully her passions were just stirred-up by the wailing and gnashing of the teeth over the new translations and she’ll approach things with a more open mind once the changes seem a bit less jarring. We should pray for her and people like her. We’re in this together even if some people are a bit reluctant to go along for the ride.

  3. pelerin says:

    Incredible comment but I have read many similar on the net recently. One comment objected strongly to the word ‘Holy’ being ‘inserted’ before ‘Church’ which made me see red as I have had difficulty over the past 40 years in having to remember to leave it out! I never did get used to its absence and now with the return of the ‘sanctae’ the English flows and the translation is accurate. We have always spoken of ‘Our Holy Mother the Church’ so I failed to understand why the word ‘Holy’ was omitted for all these years.

    Yes I do have sympathy for those who are finding the change in wording difficult but shouldn’t they be finding out the reason for the change before criticising it?

  4. pelerin says:

    The lady mentioned is quoted elsewhere as saying that the priest spent far too long explaining the changes (and yet she is confused?) instead of doing the more important things like ‘turning water into wine.’ She does seem indeed VERY confused if that is what she thinks the Priest is doing at the Consecration.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    She sounds very distressed and full of anxiety most likely from another source rather than the Mass. Poor thing. I am sure the priests are doing the best they can in this wonderful time of change. We need to pray for her.

  6. JonPatrick says:

    It is almost amusing how when something like the new translation comes along, the huffing and puffing post and other liberal outlets suddenly become theology experts and have to weigh in, knowing nothing about what they are talking about. I saw the Boston Globe had a similar article this morning but didn’t even read it, my blood pressure is bad enough already.

    I think that changes like this are good in a way, besides the obvious one of being more faithful to the Latin, of also getting people out of autopilot mode and having to actually think about what they are praying. That is what they are really mad about, they have to work a little harder now.

  7. Fr. Frank says:

    I realize this is a generalization, but overall, when was the last time Ms. Lynch’s generation did anything — anything — quietly, or with class?

  8. Genevieve says:

    Father, don’t you know there’s a poll on that site?

  9. maynardus says:

    Pace JonPatrick, I read the article in the Boston Daily Worker (a.k.a. The Globe) and it was remarkably fair for the M.S.M. in general and the Globe in particular. The two priests they quoted are generally known to be solid, and even the laymen they interviewed seemed to evince a positive outlook. Of course the “reporter” tried to take the party line – she interviewed parishioners at what used to be the whackiest parish in the Archdiocese and dragged-in the Seattle petition contra the improved translations, taking pains to note that “some Boston-area Catholics signed the petition”. (Wow, “some”!) Surprised that’s the best worst they can muster, but it just goes to show how flimsy the pretexts for dissent are in this case…

  10. Nathan says:

    The irony is so great in the woman’s comments as to almost not be believed. She says, ” I’ve been a Catholic for 50 years, and why would they make such stupid changes? They’re word changes.” I suppose over the past 50 years, Catholics (especially in the US and even more especially in Milwaukee) haven’t ever had to put up with any word changes in the celebration of Holy Mass.

    After all, no Catholic in the past 50 years has published a book titled The Experimental Liturgy Book full of “word changes” and no Catholic composer has put “word changes” into the Agnus Dei (“Jesus, friend of Diversity, you take away the sins of the word”) and absolutely no word changes have been introduced to be an alternative to the ancient Roman Canon of the Mass.

    In Christ,

  11. Been studying them for awhile of course, among experts generally. Heard them at Mass yesterday, by the congregation. They really sounded nice. The transition was nearly seamless. What a joy to say to myself, Man, that’s very nearly what the Latin says. Finally.

  12. disco says:

    Are we certain that ms lynch isn’t an unhabited nun?

  13. SimonDodd says:

    It’s the doublethink that’s the most irritating part of the critics’ attitude; of you think the changes are minor details and mere semantics, learn the damned prayers! Either it’s a big deal or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways. If it’s a big deal, then it matters; learn the prayers. If it isn’t a big deal, then it isn’t a problem; learn the prayers.

  14. Andy Milam says:

    I remember going to a saintly priest’s funeral at St. Charles Borromeo Church in MLPS in the late 1990s. He was affectionately known as “Fr. B.” During the homily, the priest homilist (not the celebrant) made this allusion….

    During the early years of Fr. B’s priesthood, he was seen as one of the progressives. He really was a student of the liturgy and along with “The Four Horsemen” (a group of liturgists and musicologists who all were made Monsignors at the same time, roughly) he was a driving force in the liturgical movement in the Archdiocese. His vision about the Mass and how it was to be looked upon was unique, progressive and very orthodox. During his lifetime he was very close to another priest, “Fr. E” who was considered to be a conservative priest during his early years, a protege of Archbishop Weakland. The two priests were good friends. When the Council concluded and the liturgical changes came about, Fr. B and Fr. E were like two ships passing in the night. Fr. B became a champion of authenticity and Fr. E became a champion of change. The two priests grew apart and eventually became rivals. I sided with Fr. B’s views….

    I see Maribeth Lynch as being part of Fr. E’s crowd. Now the tide has turned and the “tolerance” which she promoted (unceasingly, I’m sure), need not apply to her now that she is the rigid and intolerant one, with regard to the liturgy.

    During my college years, I was deemed to be intolerant and rigid by campus ministry, because I was a champion of change (apparently, in the wrong direction), now that the change I was advocating has come to pass, it is a damnation….

    Hypocritical, I say, hypocritical.

  15. Marc says:

    She is the typical rigid traditionalist from the “Society of Paul VI. “

  16. asperges says:

    Holy Mass in Latin for 1500 years, the Western form essentially the same since Gregory the Great, then Paul VI and the Novus Ordo – “It’s confusion. All it’s doing is causing confusion,” she said. “You want to go to church and be confused?”

    God forbid.

  17. How sad!

    I live in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and I am familiar with the parish in Elm Grove. I seriously doubt the woman quoted in the article actually attends the parish there, as it is one of the more solid parishes in the area.

    As an aside, while much of the ongoing criticism of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is “right and just”, we have been blessed with two wonderfully orthodox ordinaries and an equally wonderful new auxiliary; vocations are way up and, though we have a long way to go, we are not where we were 10 years ago.

  18. Magister Germanicus says:

    I’ve been thinking about this analogy for a while, but haven’t seen it circulating by any one else yet.

    Are we not always seeking the most faithful translation of the Bible from the original languages? A translation of the Bible akin to “dynamic equivalence” would never be taken seriously (although, I knew there are some wacky ones out there). Why, therefore, should we not also strive to have the most faithful translation of the Mass as possible?

  19. K_Suzanne says:

    A perceptive friend of mine commented, “It’s like when they change the Facebook layout a little bit. First, everyone complains about the ‘new Facebook’ and how they wish it hadn’t changed, even though you use it exactly the same. After a few weeks, nobody notices it is any different.” It also reminds me of walking into a room with a faint, peculiar smell: after a while, you stop noticing it. I believe this will happen more quickly with the new translation than some people think.

  20. irishgirl says:

    I’m feeling kind of sorry for this lady. I’d tell her, ‘Well, that’s what you’ve got a brain for-use it!’
    There was a big write-up in my local paper on the new translation, but I didn’t read it because I get so aggravated at the dumb writers who know next to nothing about things Catholic. My blood pressure would rise just like JonPatrick’s.
    The organist at our TLM chapel told me yesterday, however, that the article said nothing about the change from ‘for all’ to ‘for many’ in the Consecration of the Precious Blood. She seemed to think that it was omitted ‘on purpose’.

  21. Fr Martin Fox says:

    I saw that and hooted when I saw the word “distraught.”

    Similar histrionics are on display in the comments of the National Catholic (cough-cough) Reporter. I’ve had some fun with them.

    In all this, there is a tremendous irony that has so far been lost on many of these sad folks:

    Their argument is not with the translators or with the popes; it’s with Pope Paul VI and the “consilium” (sp?) that fashioned the revised Missal way back in 1970.

    What these folks are rebelling against is the actual prayers and rituals (one commenter at NCR complained about the breast-beating during the Confiteor) that issued forth from the Second Vatican Council–at least as Pope Paul VI shepherded that process.

    Their complaint is with the Vatican II Mass. What they want is for translators to “fix” what the Council, and those who acted right after the Council, chose not to “fix.”

    And, yes, I know: there are lots of good questions about whether Bugnini et al. went too far in the name of the Council. But that’s a separate issue. When the “distraught” folks complain about:

    “And with your spirit”
    “Through my fault…” (with breast-beating!)
    “I believe”
    “For many”

    They must blame Bugnini and company: they left it all in. It was there all this time.

  22. AnnAsher says:

    Well then just dandy Your Bethness- the Novus Ordo in entirely is a 40 year novelty – a mere blink in the life of the Church. Let us all refuse to learn IT and stop revising IT and return to perennial organic tradition. (the libs love organic things right ?)

  23. AnnAsher says:

    Also … Sigh … Do the geniuses realize that the NO in most other languages sounds more like the 3rd MR than the 2nd ? I’m just tired of whiners who want to act as protestant as possible. If the East were in full Communion with Peter I’d probably leave the Latin Rite to the Maribeth’s. Unfortunately the nearest ByzCath parish is too far away-

  24. Capt. Morgan says:

    As i read this poor women’s comment, and those on numerous other websites today, I could not help but think of the Jews rebelling in the desert while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments. Oh how quick we poor mortals are to rebel when things do not go “our” way.

  25. Rich says:

    Catholic for 50 years? Her logic then of not having to learn the new “word changes” doesn’t follow. Did she have the same attitude when the she began hearing Mass in English instead of Latin? Why cling to the words of the last 40 years? Did they not also represent – even more drastic – “word changes”? How about the changing of the words of consecration in 1970 between the First and Second Editions of the Roman Missal from “for all men” to “for all”? Did she object to those “word changes”? Why or why not?

  26. Marie Teresa says:

    About half of our parish did not use the pew cards, did not use the missalettes, and very sadly did not use the new prayers either. They bludgeoned through with the now obsolete prayers – loud and clear.

    Coincidentally, Father must occasionally remind this same group to kneel for the Eucharistic Prayer.

    Our parish is so small, these dissenters stand out vocally and in posture and manage to disrupt the flow of Mass. For over 15 years, priests assigned to this parish have backed down, allowing the liberal agenda to have its way. Please help pray for them and for our wonderful pastor who is standing up for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

  27. Rich says:

    Fr. Z., I would seriously like to see you issue a poll alert for the HuffPo article, whereby people vote whether they like the old translation better than the new or not. So far, the old translation is winning over either the new translation or the two being equally meaningful. I would love to see what WDTPRSers could do for the poll…

  28. revueltos67 says:

    Wow. Sounds like she’s resorting to one of my favorite liberal arguments.

    “It’s trivial, doesn’t matter, it’s just semantics! With all the problems in the world why are we bothering with this! Why are we even discussing it! It’s not important!”

    This argument is usually delivered in a state of near hysteria…

  29. priest up north says:

    “Kathleen McCormack, a church volunteer and former school teacher, said she didn’t like the new translation and didn’t understand why the church needed a translation closer to Latin.

    ‘Consubstantial? What is that word?’ McCormack said, referring to a term in the retranslated Nicene Creed that replaces language calling Jesus ‘one in being with the Father.'”

    I don’t know if I should laugh or shake my head: for a “former school teacher” to give such a comment is both mind-boggling in its disdain for learning and an commentary on the state of education…

  30. priest up north: About the school teacher….

    Wouldn’t you think that a school teacher might, when faced with a student who didn’t know a word, recommend the consultation of a dictionary?



  31. mike cliffson says:

    With apologies to Wendy Cope:

    “Go to chuch to be confused”? What an appalling suggestion !
    for my own and others’eternal salvation-(tho it frequently worsens my indigestion)

  32. pm125 says:

    The morning paper did me in – page 4 next to Occupy Philly picture runs “New Mass translation launches in U.S. parishes”. By Tom Breen of AP from faraway … Clayton, NC. Nothing local from Massachusetts. Anyway, after good words on the translation from a Pastor there, a Pastor in NYC, and a Milwaukee professor, come Kathleen McCormack, former school teacher, commentary and Maribeth Lynch, “distraught” publisher from Milwaukee suburb of Elm Grove, to end the article with her quotes. It is so sad that patience, honor, and reverence embarass these voices.

  33. AvantiBev says:

    It dawned on my this morning that as of New Years 2012, I shall have had the blessing of being a parishioner of St. John Cantius (Chicago) for 20 years. Prior to that I wandered in the liturgical desert of “New, Newer, Newest” for 22 years. I am 56 years of age and for 11 years the Masses I attended were Tridentine / EF. Then, my first Missal after the changes of Vat II was given to me shortly after my Confirmation (so about 1967). It was a mix of Latin prayers such as the Agnus Dei with a word for word translation of the Latin into the a fairly poetic, erudite version of the language of air traffic control — English. I don’t remember as an 11 year old being confused or confounded by that Missal or the prayers.

    Shortly thereafter, each pastor on Chi town’s South Side save one that I know of, started with the help of Liturgical Councils to fashion change after change. You never knew what change would greet you when you walked into the latest Sunday “liturgy”.

    So what is all this bru-ha-ha about “changes” now? I wandered for 22 years + looking for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as priests, lectors, lay readers, Extraordinary ministers, all did the most outlandish things from and to the altar. I often walked out in disgust and no one ever ran after me worried about my reaction to “change”.

  34. Matthew says:

    I prayed for Ms. Lynch this morning at Mass.

    One of my friends who has not been to Mass in a decade or so is going with me this Saturday to see what the new translation is like. Little steps…

  35. thereseb says:

    Dear Maribeth.
    We are both 51.
    We need reading glasses, but know they make us look like Dame Edna Everage.We need to get over it (or go tridentine).

  36. john-of-hayling says:

    People have commented on Maribeth from the point of her age and location, but nobody has picked up on the other piece of information about her….. she is a publisher. Now what do publishers do? They publish. And if the sales are good what happens then? Maybe a reprint – or a second edition. The second edition corrects all the features of the first edition that were not exactly as they might have been. No wonder she is confused – clearly nothing that she publishes ever makes it beyond the bargain bucket remaindering store – so no concept of a second edition (aka a revised translation!)

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