Saturday, November 26, 2011

The New Translation: NCReporter Has It Backwards

I try not to even think the words “National Catholic Reporter” (a newspaper which practically admits these days that it is an enemy of the Church), so I wouldn’t have seen this article had it not been for Jeffrey Tucker posting about it on The Chant Café. Thanks, Jeffrey…I…guess.
Anyway, it would be a funny article if they weren’t serious. I’m not going to reproduce the entire article here, so go to the link and read it yourself if you’re so inclined. First of all, look at the title of this NcR article: “Making Do with a Faulty Translation”. Okay! This must be about the times that are about to be “the past” – the trial we’ve been through as we have endured the translation of the 2nd edition of the Roman Missal! Yes! Go for it!
Wait…what?! It’s about the NEW translation?! Well…the new translation is not perfect, I’m sure of that. But it is immeasurably better than the translation that’s being shown the door as of November 27. And anyone who doesn’t like it is welcome (as Fr. Z has indicated repeatedly) to use the Latin from which the debated translations spring.
Moving on…Here are things that I find slightly (ahem) ridiculous:
First, there’s this image they present of “the big tent we like to believe the church is”. “Big tent”?! OMG. Okay, whatever. I just don’t see our beloved Mass as a revival meeting. And why does the Fishwrap (thanks again, Fr. Z) not use a capital “C” when speaking about the Roman Catholic Church?
But worse, there’s this:
Yet this Sunday, Nov. 27, the first Sunday in Advent, when we are gathered around the eucharistic table -- what should be the greatest sign of our unity -- many of us will feel depressed. We will feel like losers when we hear not the words that Jesus’ blood “will be shed for you and for all” but that Jesus’ blood “will be shed for you and for many.” (emphasis added)
Ah, yes. The Mass is a “gathering” of all the family…like the big Thanksgiving meal many of us just celebrated. Not. The Mass is our public worship of God. It’s not a “gathering” – not just a collection of individuals who happened to end up in the same place on Sunday morning, each doing his…er…his/her/its own thing. And we’re not “gathered around the table”; we are all supposed to be turned to the Lord as the priest leads us in worshiping God.  
We are the Body of Christ, and the Fishwrap is correct in saying that this “should be the greatest sign of our unity”. This idea of unity is reflected in the fact that those receiving Holy Communion are actually supposed to be in communion with the Church. The Fishwrap has printed plenty of articles and editorials that admit that its staff is not there. The editors obviously disagree with many core teachings of the Church. Core teaching. Doctrine. Things we are required to believe in order to be Catholics in good standing.
And then the old refrain, “We should say ‘for all’, not ‘for many’.” Why? Because “all are welcome at the table of the Lord?” Because God wants all men sorry, persons to be saved? Because we don’t want to admit that objective truth, objective right and wrong, actually exist? Because we don’t want to think about such unpleasant “myths” as purgatory and (gasp) hell? Because there’s no such thing as sin really…it’s all personal preference, ya know.
Yeah, right. So…go with the Latin then! The priest will say “pro multis” and it’s really clear that that means “for all”, right? Sure…
That particular change in the language of the Mass, of course,
…is just one example of a multitude of changes we will hear and cringe at as we pray our way through this new liturgical year. The absence of even an attempt at inclusive language will hurt many in the congregation. Many of us will feel like a battle has been lost. (emphasis added)
Puh-leeeeze. I’ve been cringing for a long time. “Inclusive language”? Yeah, that makes it all so much better. Not. It just happens that “inclusive language”, while a welcome, self-serving balm to some, is in itself a “hurtful” thing to others. So how do we decide which is correct? How about if we go with what the Latin says? How about if we admit that the “masculine” pronoun has traditionally been used and interpreted in an “inclusive” way in the English language, and that people really can understand that…if they want to.
And “cringe”?!? Holy smokes. What do you think many of us on the other side of the issue have been doing for decades? Okay, not me, because I’ve only been Catholic for 9 years; but others have endured the dumbed-down and inane translation for much longer than that.
Then they tell us that Benedictine Fr. Anthony Ruff wrote:
The forthcoming missal is but a part of a larger pattern of top-down impositions by a central authority that does not consider itself accountable to the larger church. When I think of how secretive the translation process was, how little consultation was done with priests or laity, how the Holy See allowed a small group to hijack the translation at the final stage, how unsatisfactory the final text is, how this text was imposed on national conferences of bishops in violation of their legitimate episcopal authority, how much deception and mischief have marked this process -- and then when I think of Our Lord’s teachings on service and love and unity ... I weep. (emphasis added)

There is so much to laugh at in this paragraph that I also weep – because it’s so ridiculous it becomes tragic. Let me just make a couple of points:

     1. The Church is not a democracy, and there actually is a hierarchy. We don’t get to vote on stuff like this!

     2. The phrases “a small group hijacking the process”, and “deception and mischief”, quite accurately describe the whole process behind the creation  of the Novus Ordo (yes, creation of a new Mass, not reform or renewal of the old Mass). There’s plenty of documentation of that. Read one of these books to get the picture: Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI, by Rev. Anthony Cekada; The Ottaviani Intervention: Short Critical Study of the New Order Mass, by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, et al.; The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform, by Laszlo Dobszay.

     3. In my humble opinion, when “liberals” like those at the Fishwrap use terms like “love and unity”, they really mean “love of uniformity”. They would love to put us all into the straitjacket of liberal, feel-good “theology”, and make us all circle the altar while holding hands and chanting Kum-Ba-Ya during the consecration.

It seems to me that the NcR says the right things about the wrong translation, and the wrong things about the right translation.

But then…maybe it’s just me…

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately the type of Mass the NCR advocates is the norm not the exception


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