Translations and Fisks

America, the Jesuit magazine, has an article against the new Roman Missal translation which attempts to rectify some of the truly wretched translations that the English speaking peoples of the world had foisted upon them in the Sixties.  The piece is written by Father Michael G. Ryan.  Little did he know that he was going to be subject to one of the best fisks ever delivered by the Master of the Fisk, Father Z.

“What if we, the parish priests of this country who will be charged with the implementation, were to find our voice and tell our bishops that we want to help them avert an almost certain fiasco? What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright? [What would that entail, this “consulting our people”?  Would that mean, what… having our people do the translation?  Would it involve, what… voting?] What if we just said, “Wait, not until our people are ready for the new translations, but until the translations are ready for our people”?  [How would that work, exactly?]

Heeding Our Pastoral Instincts [Two really precise terms there!]

The bishops have done their best, [But apparently, they did a pretty bad job of it, according to the writer.  Maybe “our people” can do a better job of making these decisions.  Right!  The bishops shouldn’t decide!  “Our people” should decide!  Down with the bishops!  Up with “our people”!  UNITE!  Crush the IMPERIALIST…. er um… okay… sorry…. I digress….] but up to now they have not succeeded. Some of them, led by the courageous and outspoken former chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pa., [ROFL! You knew his name would pop up, right!] tried mightily [What a Hercules, he!  What a David!  What a …  er… um…. sorry….] to stop the new translation train but to no avail. The bishops’ conference, marginalized and battle-weary, allowed itself slowly but steadily to be worn down. [By those wicked new translation loving types!  DOWN WITH THEM!] After awhile the will to fight was simply not there. Acquiescence took over to the point that tiny gains (a word here, a comma there) were regarded as major victories. Without ever wanting to, the bishops abandoned their best pastoral instincts and in so doing gave up on the best interests of their people.  [The writer is pretty worked up.]”

Go here to read the whole fisk.  It is not to be missed.

13 Responses to Translations and Fisks

  • I have to confess being confused. Not by Fr. Z, but by the objections raised by the America writer.

    During a recent dinner conversation with friends, the issue of the new translations came up. Two at the table were keenly—and quite angrily—aware of the impending changes; two were not. When the uninformed heard a few examples (“and with your spirit”; “consubstantial with the Father”; “incarnate of the Virgin Mary”; “oblation of our service”; “send down your Spirit like the dewfall”; “He took the precious chalice”; “serene and kindly countenance,” for starters), the reaction was somewhere between disbelief and indignation.

    I could understand “disbelief and indignation” if the phrases included “go in peace, and be sure to vote Republican.”

    But “And with your spirit” and “consubstantial with the Father” gave the dinner party guests had dinner party guests reaching for their Rolaids? All of those phrases look either like expressions of basic Catholic belief or a way of injecting some grace and poetry into the Missal.

    I honestly fail to see how they can be described as “ideological.”

  • The problem for those who believe that the Church began with Vatican II is that the more accurate translation is a reminder of the vast history of the Church. I have heard consubstantial disparaged as “scholastic”. That, and the fact that most rebels eventually become reactionaries. The Mass reached perfection in their eyes in the Sixties and Seventies and must remain frozen in amber. That is why in the first decade of the Twenty-First century so many American Masses are laded with abysmal hymns from the Seventies.

  • Poor old aging hippies. Okay, I was a hippie too, but I got over it and GREW UP. Time for the bongos and felt banners to go the way of the Edsel.

  • The hippies and neophytes that hate the Church can take a flying leap into the baptismal hot-tub for all I care.

    They can quote Karl Marx, Noam Chomsky, and Bono all they want, they know that the Smoke of Satan is being cleared from the Church and them with it!

  • A theological point: the original Creed read “I believe”. The Americanist Creed changed this to “We believe”. The error is to be noted if one uses “We confess” instead of “I confess”. The simple point is that we do not sin communally; we sin individually. And likewise in professing our faith.

    The bishop who was upset at the reversion to “I believe” remarked that the Orthodox Church uses “We believe”. This is untrue. It is simple enough to check. Call a local Orthodox Church.

    [What is interesting is that none of the bishops present at his discourse called him on this. One can but suppose that they have lost all their little Greek].

    I am taking bets that the author’s “dinner conversation with friends” was in a Jesuit house.

  • The dissident Catholic Manifesto:

    “A spectre is haunting Rome–the spectre of dissident Catholicism. All the Powers of
    orthodox Catholicism have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre:
    Pope and Cardinals, Bishop’s Committees and neo-cons, radical Bloggers and Priests
    under the age of fifty.

    “Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as “Catholic Lite” by its
    opponents in power? Where is the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding
    reproach of Pseudo-Catholicism, against the more advanced opposition party, as well as
    its reactionary adversaries?

    “Dissident Catholics of the world, UNITE!”

  • I think it’s a car, or what they used to call it in the old days of the 1970s, a “motor vehicle”.

  • The Edsel was a high end Ford model built in the 50’s. It was a major flop. So notorious of a flop that you often see it referenced as above. :)

  • I remember seeing Edsels as a boy. They came out shortly after we stopped using feet powered vehicles as depicted in the Flintstones. :)

  • What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright?

    What if you had thought of that ca. 1969????

  • There is a great hatred of Scholasticism in much modern theology. Just did a course where the major text spent a good part of its efforts denoucing Scholasticism (read Thomism). Preferred existentialism and phenomenology. The prof. talked about the problems of Scholasticism being that it was based on pagan philosophy and why should we Christians allow our faith to be based on a pagan philosophy. Of course this then led to the denial of the Eucharist as being the Body and Blood of Christ.

  • Does anyone find it odd that the Novus Ordo proponents want to wait to make a ‘change’?

    Don’t they change the Novus Ordo every week already?

    We just want to change it back. It is pretty simple really. Innovation is great! Technologically, artistically, liguistically, etc.

    Innovation in liturgy is disobedient and we all know where that leads. Liturgy changes slowly, orgnaically over a long period of time and it isn’t noticeable. Sadly we have had no organic change. The Novus Ordo was a schismatic, jarring change. We need to go back and then move slowly so that the Mass may have a slightly different form in our great-great-great-great grandkids old age.

    Dóminus vobíscum,

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .