Eloquent Anthony Esolen uses the sharpie of his brain to underscore with slashing priority a point that would solve a lot of problems. HERE
The issue he addresses is the appalling English translation used at Mass in the Novus Ordo. His preamble, however, stands by itself.
Here is an excerpt, but I want to preface this with an observation.
As we face many of the problems stirred up by the present chaos in the Church, don’t immediately leap to conclude that they are rooted in someone’s malice.
In many instances incompetence and even stupidity suffice to explain the origin of the challenges that are now rising up not single spies but in battalions.
Our “Sophisticated” Bible Translators
“Stupidity,” says Jacques Maritain, “is always a vice.” So are bad taste and slovenly work.
Maritain should have been the editor of the New American Bible, copyrighted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and of the lectionary in use in America – a tenebrous mystery if ever there was one. Please, your excellencies, put these ugly and dispiriting creatures to death.
Sometimes you can benefit the Church just by ceasing to do something stupid. Many of us have known such addition by subtraction. You rip out the dingy plush carpet and the plywood, and you find a beautiful floor of white ash beneath. You strip away the whitewash to reveal again the colorful folk paintings of your ancestors long ago. You convert bad children’s readers to fuel for wood stoves, and you pick up Kipling and Austen and Stevenson again.
When you have made a mistake or done something stupid, its rarely a good idea to keep at it.
If you take a wrong turn, and you are heading away from your desired destination, its rarely helpful to keep going.
No, you stop what you are doing. You turn around, retrace your steps, and get it right.
Our Catholic identity has been eroded to the point that 7 of 10 Catholics don’t believe what the Church teaches about transubstantiation and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The major reason for this is the way the Eucharist has been celebrated for decades. Yes, preaching and catechesis have also been strongly corrosive, but banal, worldly, self-referential and stupid liturgy has broadly wiped faith out of the former faithful and left confusion and fog in those who cling to belief.
We could start to recover a lot of lost terrain and get back on the right path by doing a few things, with catechesis of course.
Let’s move now to walk back really bad ideas.
- Communion in the hand.
- Standing for Communion.
- Versus populum altars.
- Excessive use of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion.
- Hostility to the traditional Roman Rite.
- Banal music.
- Ugly architecture.
- Cheap and unworthy vestments and vessels.
The list can be lengthened, but we can start with these.
Let’s stop infantalizing people.