A universal church, they say, should have the closest thing possible to a universal missal.
The above sentence is taken from this story in the New York Times, which details the intent of the schismatics of the left to disobey (what, again?) the Holy Father and to disregard the new English translation of the Paul VI Missal. The new translations are defended, though with much needless hand-wringing, by Church officials in the U.S.
The Times sums up the position of “Church leaders” with the line above. I semi-successfully prevented a spray of iced tea from my monitor, and ruefully chuckled to the effect that WE. ALREADY. HAD. ONE.
And still do, for that matter. One more reason for a Catholic to vote with his feet and head to one of the traditional Mass locations in the Archdiocese. But, back to the story.
Rather then causing my head to explode with a line-by-line analysis of the article. I am going to, instead, pull some money quotes from it and just a little gig of my own:
But after getting a glimpse of the texts in recent months, thousands of priests in the United States, Ireland and Australia have publicly objected that the translation is awkward, archaic and inaccessible.
Products of Catholic schools the last forty-five years?
“What we are asking of the bishops is to scrap this text,” said the Rev. Sean McDonagh, …. “I know people are not going to use it. I wouldn’t use it, because everything I know in terms of theology and anthropology and linguistics, it breaches every one of those.”
Pope Sean I speaks.
“The first time I saw some of the texts, I was shocked,” said the Rev. Richard Hilgartner, who as executive director of the American bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship is overseeing the introduction of the new missal in the United States.
“But the more time I’ve spent with it, the more comfortable I became with it,” he said. “The new translation tries to be more faithful to the Scriptures, and a little more poetic and evocative in terms of imagery and metaphor.”
Wow. What a passionate and stirring defense of the translation.
The new missal is the product of a long tug-of-war over liturgy, which began with the decision of the Second Vatican Council to make the Mass more accessible to Catholics by allowing churches to replace the Latin with the local vernacular.
That worked out just great! Those empty pews have a much better view of Mass without all those Catholics who used to sit in them getting in the way.
Msgr. Chris Maloney, a pastor in Yonkers who had backed one of the resolutions, said, “When you think about it, the change from the Latin to English was a much more difficult transition, and the church survived.” Ah, yes, the ultimate measure of success– survival. Son, you lost two limbs and are paralyzed, and need to eat through a tube, but hey, you survived!
God bless the New York Times for its consistent effort to produce gallows humor in the post-Christian West.