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.