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What's Behind the Door

As anobserverofthere-translation of the Roman Missal since 1990 or so, I was very pleased to see that Robert Mickens has an article in the June 18 issue of the Tablet about the politics that havetaken placebehind the scenes -- leading to the latest version. There has been plenty of intrigue, and Mickens, the Tablet's reporter in Rome, is well situated to report on it.The new English translation, in case you are unaware,will be visited upon us here in the United States beginning in Advent 2011. Australia has just begun the first installment of their gradual rollout, with the people's parts being implemented now, before the full text of the Missal is ready for use.Mickens's articlewill appear intwo installments, so we have to wait to hear aboutsome of the morerecent (and most appalling)episodes, but he telegraphs the punch in the opening of the article:

It is the story of how a small number of English-speaking bishops broke ranks with their confreres and colluded with conservative papal bureaucrats to change the rules for translating liturgical texts. And it offersa sad spectacle of men who used the liturgy to further their own agenda of reinterpreting the ecclesiology envisaged by the Second Vatican Council.

Ouch. Is it really quite that bad? Well,the full detailswill only appearthe next installment, but my generaltake on the subject is yes, alas, it isasbad as that.(Unfortunately, the article is subscriber only. I'll post onit, though, when it appears.)Now, alot of people are trying to put on a happy face about the translation that is coming. Is it a good thing tolookcritically at the process which produced it? If the 2011 translation is coming, like it or not, isn't this juststirring up discontent to no purpose?I would say, first of all, that once people see and hear the texts, they will wonder what on earth happened.It is good to know theinside story just to make sense of it all. Second, we've discussedmany times the need for transparency and accountability in the Catholic Church. The sex abuse crisis has brought this home to us time and time again. In the translation saga,a good deal of thetransparencythat existed in the 1990s has been done away with, andin the end (the period from 2008 to 2011)a few people, unaccountable to anyone but the curia, haveheld sway overthe final texts of the Missalwhich the entire English-speaking worldshall receive.If these individualshad beenthe best, the brightest,the most skilled, and if they brought us a jewel of a translation, I admit we'd soon forget the vagaries ofhow we got here.There is such a thing asgiving the reins over to brilliant people -- artists in fact -- who need to be let alone to produce their very best. But that is not what happened. And because the translation we are going to receive isfar from the best thatthe Church can produce,we need to look at why.There is alsothequestion, which Mickens's article takes up, of whetherthe latest translation projectrepresents aretreat from theecclesiologyof Vatican II, which included de-centralization of liturgical decision-making. This strategic question is important.

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Rita, do you support the 2008 US translation, or do you want to stay with the current translation?" And because the translation we are going to receive is far from the best that the Church can produce, we need to look at why. "Perhaps this is well-trod ground, but do you have any specific comparisons to illustrate why you think the new translation is inadequate, with regard in particular to those having some sort of underlying ecclesial agenda?

Thanks, Rita -- I'm looking forward to reading Mickens's piece. May I also recommend an article John Wilkins (a former editor of the Tablet) wrote for Commonweal in 2005, which covers the process of producing, and then abandoning, the ICEL translation in 1998: "Lost in Translation." (Also subscriber-only.) His conclusion is (in my opinion) even less cheerful now than it was six years ago:

How could it have been right to leave work of this quality moldering in a Vatican cupboard while a rival group without comparable liturgical expertise started all over again, as if to reinvent the wheel? If any justification is to be offered for causing so many people pain and harassment, the new texts in their final form had better be good.

Thanks, Rita - appreciate your points and concerns. (also, unfortunately, am not able to access Mr. Micken's articles which is a disappointment)Mr. Harden - there is ample documentation and evidence in terms of LA and RT; the second ICEL group resulting in the 2008 translation that was approved by english speaking conferences. Since that time period, there have been thousands of revisions with little to no consultation; revisions that are inconsistent with LA; etc.Here is an excellent list of these documents:http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/11/06/translation-directory-w... bias - find J. Peter Nixon's thesis on "crisis of reception" to be excellent.One other point that I would like to make - To adequately compare and contrast this process (which Rita highlights) and others you really need to look at the original ICEL and their 1998 translation; approval by 11 english speaking conferences; and subsequent rejection by a small group based on what? Thus, you have:- 1998- 2008 (now using LA/RT)- 2010You need to look at this both linguistically, via translation process; via ecclesiology.

Given all the publicity surrounding the 40th anniversary of the King James Version (perhaps the only great literary work ever produced by a committee), it's too bad the Vaticanisti behind the new liturgy didn't learn a few procedural lessons from the KJV workers. Apparently it was a standard modus operandi (as we say in Latin) for the committee members to spend endless hours reading their work out loud to one another, for accuracy, grammar, and for conformity to the accepted rules of English usage. Not that these last had been codified back then (I think), but well-educated people like the KJV committee knew them internally because they were, after all, men of education, culture, and intelligence.And, of course, while they apparently did not view their contribution as one of eternal validity, but thought that different ages would produce different translations, their own qualities and their way of working did indeed produce for us all a gift for later ages. But then what can Rome possibly learn from a mere ecclesial community like the so-called Anglican "church?"

Sorry -- for 40th, read 400th.

There are many things that happen in the Catholic church that we can simply ignore if we don't approve of them, but that is not one of them. It's going to affect every parishioner of every English-speaking parish, whether they like it or not, whether it helps their prayer or hinders it, whether they understand it or not. No lay person can do anything about it. We are going to see the exercise of Roman authority in all of its glory.

It's great to hear from Rita who always offers something informed and germane.I think though that beyond the translation sisue we're hoperlessly stuck with is the problem of curial control and imposition.See John Allen today about the various dicasteries meeting about religious life and how the real issue is not the order's charism bu ttheir bein gconjoined to Rome's authority.Twill be interesting when the religious siters' vistation outcome is clear.(BTW, I;m sure the Jesuits wil be happy to hear that John thinks the Capuchins are the great religious order here today.)

Thanks for the link to PrayTell, Bill D. Great compilation of resources.Stop me if I am beating a dead horse in analyzing actual text, but (from one of the links)...2008 New VersionGrant, we pray, almighty God,that your faithful may resolve to run forth with righteous deeds,to meet your Christ who is coming2010 Final VersionGrant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,the resolve to run forth to meet your Christwith righteous deeds at his coming,There seems to be a distinct theological difference between the two versions. In the 2008, we pray that WE might resolve; in 2010 we ask GOD to grant the resolve.So this revision seems to go directly to the debate between the balance between horizontal and vertical modes of worship, reliance on ourselves versus reliance on God. Which translation is more aligned with the Latin original (yo no hablo Latin)?:Latin OriginalDa, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus,hanc tuis fidelibus voluntatem,ut, Christo tuo venienti iustis operibus occurrentes

"No lay person can do anything about it. We are going to see the exercise of Roman authority in all of its glory."Wasn't this true of the revised order of Mass (the so-called Paul VI Mass) immediately after the Council as well? I seem to recall Arch. Marini's book describing how he and the other clerics charged with developing the new Rites were holed up in the Sistine developing and practicing the new rites. Moreover there did not seem to be much lay participation or preparation for the introduction of the changes. That is not to say the translation is good or bad (my view is some parts are improvements, others not), only that to cry out about Curial control and Roman influence seems curious to me as they sound like many of the exact criticisms of some of the critics on the right.

Mark - sorry, my 7 years of latin is too long ago. You raise an interesting question and yes, there is always a tension between the horizontal and the vertical. The best liturgy is "both/and" approach.If I may reframe and speak a bit for Rita and others - translation approaches simplistically revolve around literal, word for word translation and an approach in which meaning is just as important or more so than a "literal" translation. (see excellent comment above about KJV Bible).The problem with LA is that literal may not always convey the appropritae meaning or create confusion. Also, liturgy is more than just theology; it is more than catechesis; it is the expression of a loving community - it is an action.So, to answer your question - we pray to God so we might resolve - the "meaning" is the community's resolve which God grants/blesses us with (both/and approach) rather than a more narrow translation that only focuses on God granting resolve. (if this makes sense to you)Despite my poor latin skills - notice that 2008 at least keeps the LA latin word order - 2010 changes this; 2010 also creates misplaced modifiers e.g. "....Christ with righteous deeds". Unfortunately, 2010 and even 2008 will require presiders to have skills at capturing and proclaiming these new collects, etc. so that the words and phrases make sense. (latin has this unfortunate habit of too long sentences with no puncuation which places a real obligation upon the speaker to make an english proclamation that makes sense. Does the presider know what verb goes to what subject/noun; during a prayer, does the presider pray to God, Jesus; in the name of the community or in his name only?)

This is not entirely unlike people who complain about the weather. And we all know what a drag it is to listen to somebody complain about the weather, don't we?When complaining about something can't possibly change it, it's time to shut up and deal with it. IMHO.

Mr. Landry - you have taken a brief historical event and mushroomed it into a glaring generalization.Vatican II (2400+ bishops) overwhelmingly approved SC - the first approved document of VII. Like most of VII documents, it laid out principles which were left to committees, conferences, etc. to implement.Vernacular liturgy and a new, revised order of mass was delegated to a committee which was appointed by Paul VI. Yes, there were Vatican liturgies that experimented and displayed various new order of masses, etc. BUT (this is important), what you reference came at the end of a long process over years that involved committee members who worked with various bishops, conferences to test and get feedback on the proposed revisions. (It is incorrect to generalize and say that a small Vatican group came up with the Novus Ordo). In fact, early in the demonstration phase, many bishops submitted revisions and clarifications that had to be incorporated into the final versions approved by specific conferences.Mr. Harden - here is an example of how complicated the translation process can be. The reason LA is so "limiting" is that it "crowns" one way of translation at the expense of meaning, inculturation, ecumenism, history of liturgy, ecclesiology, etc.The 1973 Order of Mass developed from rich liturgical and historical studies that had been going on since the 1920-30's e.g. experience of the French worker-priests. ICEL had to translate into the vernacular; explain the new mass order; handle new musical/chant compositions, etc. It also took from past liturgical experience and applied this to the liturgy. From Monsignor Bruce Harbert on the triple blessings texts at the end of the eucharist:Its as well to remember the background of these texts. Composed north of the Alps, they lack the characteristic restraint of Roman prayers. Their use was (until 1970) restricted to bishops, and their elaborate style aims to impress. They are full of assonance, alliteration and other rhetorical devices: their sound is more important than their sense. So they are hard to translate since, when you have discovered their meaning, you havent discovered much. In this, they are like the Gloria in excelsis, another text originally used only at episcopal liturgies. The current version of the Gloria is much shorter than its original: the new version is longer, not because it has incorporated more semantic content, but because it has followed the rhetorical patterns of the Latin. The importation of the solemn blessings into the 1970 Missal, for use by priests as well as bishops, .........."Notice his points about meaning; tones - assonance, alliteration, rhetorical; his history of how mass orders are developed; his parallel comparison to the Gloria. Every one of these points goes into understanding a specific collect; all collects; a specific part of the liturgy e.g. Gloria; they each have their own history, development, original ICEL's use of them and incorporation into the Novus Ordo.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to those with whom I've conversations on this topic previously on dotCom, I am, if not part of the put-a-happy-face-on-it crowd, at least taking the point of view that the new translation is coming, very quickly, and I am trying to do my part to prepare our parish for it.I am not able to read Mickens' article, but without disputing his cabal-of-conservative-bishops thesis, I would note that the bishops of every English speaking conference have approved the new texts. I don't know what the vote totals were in every conference, but in the US the votes, by and large, have been by decisive, thumping majorities. It seems fair to say that there is a consensus among English-speaking bishops as a whole that this is the direction to go.If folks here will pardon my saying so - doing side-by-side comparisons of various translations is (somewhat) interesting, but for most people, it may be approximately as helpful as reading Beatles lyrics from the little booklets they cram into the CD cases - that is, it's helpful in seeing what the words are, but it gives the reader little or no idea of what the total experience will be like. I believe we're obligated to give the new translation a fair chance in actual worship.That doesn't mean we shouldn't look critically at the process by which the words came to be. We should. Personally, I wished for far wider and more open consultation in preparing the texts. But the text isn't the process. The text deserves to be judged on its own merits.

The scandal is all in the telling isn't it? To wit...It is the story of how a group of underdogs found the courage to break ranks with the liturgical cabal and pull the rug out from under them. And it offers a triumphant spectacle of men who stood up to the cultural sell-outs intent on using the liturgy to further their own agenda of reinterpreting the ecclesiology envisaged by the Second Vatican Council.Purple prose cuts both ways.G

Bill, thanks again for taking time to inform me on the background, it has made me more appreciative of the arguments being made against the overall process. Previously, it seemed to me that a lot of people were more concerned about the Vatican v. US committee power struggle than about the merits of the various translations.Googling hanc tuis fidelibus voluntatem, I found this Fr Z column. I know Fr Z can be persona non grata (I do know some Latin!) around here sometimes, but he knows his Latin. And in fact, in this article, after analyzing the various translations (including his own "slavishly literal" one) he definitively states "The 2008 version is better. What I dont understand is why officials of the CDW dont see that."

Maybe we could all just go with an Esperanto version. http://www.ikue.org/

"(It is incorrect to generalize and say that a small Vatican group came up with the Novus Ordo). In fact, early in the demonstration phase, many bishops submitted revisions and clarifications that had to be incorporated into the final versions approved by specific conferences."My point is that at the end of the day, the liturgical changes were driven and implemented by Rome. Yes, there might have been wider consultation than the Marini group, but it was still Rome-centered & Rome had the final say, no? At the end of the day the debate lingers on the value of the translation; but to knock it as part of a Roman power-coup is curious to me.

Jim P., I agree with you. When the time comes, I will keep my mouth shut and listen to what my fellow parishioners are saying about the new Missal, without trying to influence them. I will say the new words, I will try to pray the new Eucharistic prayers along with the priest, and will hope for a miracle to fill them with meaning. I will listen to him say that Christ shed his blood "for many" and will silently remind myself "that means "for all"" while trying not to get distracted in my prayer. I will give the new text a chance, and let it succeed or fail in my parish on its own merits, without any intervention on my part. However I also will not stand up against those who complain. If my pastor chooses to retain the "for all" in the words of consecration, I will support him. If he does some substitutions to use inclusive language, I will support him. If he corrects grammatical mistakes, I will support him. If parishioners continue to use the old words, I will not complain. I fear this text may turn out to be a disaster, and I will not be in the way of those who may have some ideas to try to prevent it.

Irene says, "maybe we could all just go with an Esperanto version." Just for the record, there is another translation taking the side of "all" over "the many." The LOLCat Bible translates Mark 10:45 thusly: "coz I caem not to serv, but to be served, liek srsly, an i gief mai lief awey for evury kitteh."

Jeff - can't agree with your comment that, at the end of the day, Rome still drove this process.From Micken's article, part one:"....Icel was officially established on 17 October 1963 as a joint commission to oversee theimmense and historical task of putting the liturgical books into English. Chief among these was the Roman Missal, which the member-bishops would designate by using the more ancient name Sacramentary. Three months later (January 1964), Pope Paul VI issued a motu proprio Sacram Liturgiam (SL). This actually curtailed the bishops authority over liturgical translations as was stated by the council (SC22.2 and 36.4), decreeing that such texts must always be reviewed and approved by the Holy See (SL IX). The motu proprio also established the Consilium ad exsequendam, a group of scholars, experts and ishops that would meet at the Vatican over the course of the next few years to implement the reform mandated by Sacrosanctum Concilium. The Icel bishops set up their own advisory committee of dedicated priests and laymen (no women until about 1972) to begin the staggering work of translations. Meeting for the first time in 1965, these men attended the working sessions at their own expense and without any stipends. They had no omputers, but had to rely on the typewriter, the photocopier and the telephone. All this led to the caricature of Icels initial work as being a whirlwind process that was done on the back of an envelope. It is a myth perpetuated to this day, often by the same people who condemned the work of the Consilium as an all too hurried, amateurish and ideologicallydriven plot to protestantise the Catholic liturgy"Yes, some feel that Paul VI's motu proprio caved into the conservative curial members but, over the years he and the CDW basically only confirmed (vs. approved) the work of conferences in every vernacular.You have skipped over the part of recent history - such that the 1998 translation was rejected without any formal reasons; without the participation of the various conferences; a new ICEL group was set up with little non-curial input; and Vox Clara suddenly emerged - a body that had never existed before and whose by-laws publicly declare that its works, internal discussions, etc. are secret. (thus, VC recently fired Canon Alan Griffiths and Fr. Anthony Ruff for making public the thousands of changes made to the 2008 approved translation).JimP - you seem to have forgotten (altho the USCCB discussions and votes over three sessions are public and recorded) that initially the USCCB pushed back on Rome and Vox Clara. But, your dear Cardinal George's first action in Chicago was to fly to Rome and come back and give the USCCB liturgy committee and the ICEL an ultimatum - follow Rome or see yourself on the street. George was not serious in conveying various US bishops' recommendations; by the last vote, he was caught giving Rome the USCCB approval vote when the USCCB had not even voted (he said that it was a secretarial mistake). Be honest - the majority of current bishops are not liturgically educated nor will they have the stomach to resist Rome or dicasteries - they live in fear. Not a very good model of leadership; little integrity; etc. The old "can't fight city hall" routine.

Thanks, Rita, I and many others wait with baited breath to read both parts of the full article!

There is a confusion above between Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, C.M. (1912 -- 1982) and, I am guessing, Archbishop Piero Marini (1942 -- ). As well, the account of the work of the Consilium ad exsequendam given by Archbishop Bugnini in his book, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948 -- 1975, has been misrepresented. See particularly Part III, "The Missal," pp.337--487.

For those who have not followed closely, I would like to clear up one confusion in the above remarks. The 2008 Translation referred to was approved by the English speaking bishops' conferences and sent to Rome.In 2010/11, various changes were made to the 2008 text to produce the 2010 text. Most of these changes are 'small', but are sometimes in the direction of improper grammar and usage, wordy and confusing. These changes were not reviewed by the bishops of the English speaking conferences; most were not even seen until the text was sent to the publishers, whose exchange of errata suggests a final version is still being formed.Confusion also seems present in the discussion of the text from 40 years ago. There was a two step process then, with first, the revision of the Roman Missal by Bugnini et al under the direction of Paul VI. This new Roman Missal was then translated by the ICEL, a grroup of bishops representing the English speaking bishops. The first part was Roman, driven and directed by Rome. The ICEL translation was directed by the English speaking bishops, though approval was given by Rome.I have heard little objection to the process that produced the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal, which is parallel the work of Bugnini. The objection has been to the translation process, where Rome not only revamped the process used by the ICEL, but also created a committee to advise the Pope on how to direct the translators and even revise the final translation, essentially wresting control of the process from the English speaking bishops.

"If these individuals had been the best, the brightest, the most skilled, and if they brought us a jewel of a translation, I admit wed soon forget the vagaries of how we got here. There is such a thing as giving the reins over to brilliant people artists in fact who need to be let alone to produce their very best. But that is not what happened."Well, neither was it the first time around. The English-language Church has been making do for fifty years - two generations - with flat, pedestrian liturgical language. Perhaps there are no poets left in the Church. Maybe the post-conciliar Church is filled with liturgists and empty of poets.

Claire (6/17 - 2:11), how is the new French translation?

David: I have heard internet rumors that there is a super-secret project working on it. No one I know knows anything about it. Anyway, I think that official authority in France carries much less weight than in the US. I can't imagine priests implementing a new translation if they and their congregations didn't like it. They are more worried about managing the decline in the number of priests and of practicing Catholics. When the number of parishes per priest is trending towards double digits, the average age of a priest is 70, our new priests are primarily foreigners coming from Africa and Poland, and the number of people going to Sunday Mass is around 4 or 5 percent (less than practicing Muslims), well, there are other priorities. France is mission territory.I had a friend visiting recently. He was raised Catholic but is anti-religion. His wife is Catholic. He said: "We're making progress. Already, we've done away with Sunday Mass. My wife no longer goes to Mass on Sundays. The children go to CCD because of her insistence, and she argued that it's important for their culture and general education, but I am pretty optimistic that the next generation will not go to CCD, and then we'll be done with all that silliness." He is cynical, but may be realistic about the mainstream evolution. Catholicism, as a living faith, is now marginal. France is mission territory.So a new Missal is just not on the radar of most French Catholics.

Claire --To what do you attribute the final loss of faith in France? I know it started many generations ago and there are all sorts of historical snd social reasons for it. But surely some or most of the bitterness directed towards the Church during the French Rrevolution and afterwards must have subsided by now, though I can picture your friend on the ramparts. Is it indifference? A felt lack of relevance? Or what? I know this is a huge question, but since France has oftten been at the cutting edge of Catholic thought as well as anti-Cathlic reaction, I think the question is proba bly very relevant for the non-French as well.

Here is my translation:Grant, we pray,almighty Godthis disposition of will to your faithful onesthat running with righteous works to meet your Christ coming ...It is stiff but it cleaves to the Latin.As for the the two you are considering:"2008 New VersionGrant, we pray, almighty God,that your faithful may resolve to run forth with righteous deeds,to meet your Christ who is coming2010 Final VersionGrant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,the resolve to run forth to meet your Christwith righteous deeds at his coming,"neither is as careful as mine, and the "Final Version" is not an improvement on its predecessor. I could offer an analysis of the syntax, but it would be of little use to one who is not a Latinist, and for a Latinist it would be superfluous

So a new Missal is just not on the radar of most French Catholics.---------I don't think many/most American Catholics know or care about the new missal, either. How many Catholics have a clue about the history of the mass? How many have read books like Jungmann's Mass of the Roman Rite? How many have ever heard a sermon on the history of the mass or have been invited by a pastor to a series of demonstrations of older forms -- a mass like that described by Justin Martyr, e.g., or a 6th-century mass, or a 12th-century monastic mass, or an 18th-century German mass, or a 1900 American mass, etc., etc.?(I know Catholics who are unaware of the three-year cycle.)

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, Your faithful ones this will, that Christ will come, thy good works meeting--Google Translate (Nice, imho. Poetic.)

Keep in mind that the MR3 was completed in 2000-2001. English speaking conferences (roughly 11 countries) are the first to have had a "new" vernacular translation and order of mass based on MR3.\German bishops recently pushed back on Rome in the case of funeral rites.French, Italian, Spanish are just now organizing their equivalents of an ICEL; etc. It is another story in terms of why english first (beyond obvious reasons) and why Rome leaves Italy, Spain, France until later. Appears that European conferences are not afraid to tell Rome when to get off.

When the bishops' conferences approved the translations, they also proposed amendments, as I understand it. The changes subsequent to those amendments must be part of the difference between the texts as approved, and the final text. Or am I missing something?

Completely - you really need to go above to the third posting - link to the whole documented story. Conference voted in three parts - after the first vote; very few, if any, amendments were accepted by Rome. That being said - Rita has posted for two reasons:- the sordid history of how the 2008 voted/approved translation was hijacked and changed by a small number of folks led by Vox Clara (w/o any type of conference approval, etc.)- the fact that the 2008 vs. 2011 texts are significantly different - and that Vox Clara itself is not consistent in applying their own translation rationale (LA)To others, there have been distinguished experts in biblical studies; linguistics; translation theory; canon law who have written and described Liturgiam Authenticam as a less than desirable, legal, or credible pronouncement. It basically was implemented without JPII's explicit permission - it became a tool/law without his pronouncement but rather as part of a typical curial process along with many other documents.

Bill, I can't possibly be expected to follow every one of dozens of links in that posting you linked to, in order to find the answer to the one question I asked.The bishops of our conference proposed multiple proposals from the floor, and spoke of lists of changes as well. This feedback was built into the process. Bishops could recommend changes for pastoral reasons. Why is it surprising that there were changes?

Bill d. - Perhaps I'm naive, but I continue to believe that the translation we'll be using is, almost entirely, prepared by ICEL, approved by the bishops of each English-speaking country, and given the recognitio by Rome. As I've described it here, this is identical to the production of the edition we've been using since the 1970s. It is a bottom-up approach, in which the English-speaking countries, via the common service they jointly support (ICEL) produce their own translation. It's a concrete instance of subsidiarity, adapted for the necessary element of unity (thus the requirement for the recognitio).The chief difference seems to be that, this time, Rome has imposed a relative handful of its own corrections to what the bishops approved. Perhaps there are analyses of the changes and explanations of why they were made - or perhaps Mickens will address it in his series of articles. Absent that sort of analysis, we're left with a fact - the bishops of the various countries submitted texts, and Rome revised them to some unknown extent - about which it's difficult to draw any conclusions. I'd be more pleased if Rome thought that its national conferences got it 100% right. I'd like to know more about what Rome thinks they got wrong.

To what do you attribute the final loss of faith in France?I wish I knew.Maybe there is a new acceptance of the status of a land of mission, and possibly a plan to restart from the seeds formed by lively communities that exist here and there. Aside from the apathetical mass, who, like my friend's wife, appear to be gradually losing faith, there are pockets of life. I don't see how a new Missal would help a revival, but it is possible that esoteric language and strange sentence structures would help solidify the identity of a Catholic minority just by virtue of being weird and singular.

JimP - like Kathy, the documented evidence of the process and translation are there to be read, if you care to. On the other hand, you can continue to put your "blind" trust in your own approach; ignorance; and denial. Really can't stop you. Jim - your description of the process is not supported by facts or the reality - your description sounds nice....just has nothing to do with the actual process or history. Your attempt to compare apples to apples doesn't work - the ICEL of 1970 and the ICEL of the 21st century followed different directives; translation rules; and the second ICEL had to contend with Vox Clara which had never existed before and whose rules enforced secrecy; the opposite of transparency; avoided experts in the necessary fields to produce a worthy translation.Kathy - your one question is easily answered. Read Rita's initial post and part one of Micken's article. Your response is so consistent with most of the ridiculous statement syou make - rather than a desire to educate yourself and come at things with an open mind; you start with your inbred bias and ideology. The 2nd ICEL that produced the 2008 version has been changed - this is not a bottom up process. And the second ICEL was not a bottom up process compared to the original ICEL/ICET process. But, believe what you want.

Claire (10:58):

To what do you attribute the final loss of faith in France?
I wish I knew.

French intellectuals seem to me very focused on themselves as persons of reason, scientific enlightenment - clear, ruthless thinkers who courageously follow logic wherever it goes. I think there's a natural telndency among people like this to construct internally consistent systems that have - or can appear to have - no loose ends. God is a loose end.

Bill,Why don't you just quote the "documented evidence" that answers my particular question? I would be glad to see it, whatever it says. My question is, did the bishops' conferences' suggestions change the translation, as planned, between the version they approved and the final version?

NOFrom Canon Allan Griffiths - member of the 2008 ICEL:A caricature of the textAlan Griffiths explains how some of the changes made to the text after it was approved by the bishops violate the Vaticans own guidelines It seems generally accepted that in creating their approved text of the English translation of the Missal, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, aided by Vox Clara, made substantial alterations to Icels new translation, which was completed in 2008. As many as 10,000 changes have been alleged. It seems that both the quality of these changes and theprocesses involved have generated some disquiet.An instance of this may be found in the Approved Text of the Prefaces for Eastertide.These texts have a distinctive opening and concluding paragraph, which is the same in every Paschaltide Preface. So these words will be repeated daily during the season of Easter to Pentecost. The Latin of the opening paragraph reads:Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare, Te quidem, Domine, omni tempore confiteri, sed in hoc potissimum gloriosius praedicare, cum Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus.A more or less literal translation would read:It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation to praise you O Lord, certainly in every season, but to proclaim you yet more gloriously in this one above all, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.The approved translation reads:It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord,but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.The two verbs confiteri and praedicare are translated as acclaim and laud. Icel seems originally to have proposed praise and proclaim. It seems hard to see why the editors of the approved translation should have chosen the terms they did. Acclaim seems a little unjust towards confiteri which has the sense of enumerating Gods wonders rather than simply acclamation. Surely, the original praise conveys this better? As for laud,it is difficult to understand this choice of a term so distant from even formal modern speech. The guidelines contained in the Congregation of Divine Worships instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, claim that in some cases archaic language may be the right way of expressing theological terms.However, there is no such justification here. The choice is particularly strange since, elsewhere in the Missal, the Latin of the Common Preface II and the Preface I of the Blessed Virgin Mary has the expression: per quem maiestatem tuam laudant Angeli This is translated as through whom the Angels praise your majesty. So why laud in this case? Moreover, laudare is the Latin origin of laud, not praedicare. There seems to be an inconsistency here, which an editorial process should have sorted out. There is also the risk that laud will be misheard (lord?). Have the editors thought about this? As for the concluding paragraph, here the Latin reads:Quapropter, profusis paschalibus gaudiis, totus in orbe terrarum mundus exsultat. Sed et supernae virtutes atque angelicae potestates, hymnum gloriae tuae concinunt, sine fine dicentes: Sanctus ...A more or less literal translation would read: Therefore, with overflowing paschal joysthe whole world, the globe of earth, exults. The heavenly virtues also and the angelicpowers together chant the hymn of your glory, saying without end: Holy ...The approved translation reads: Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise, and even the heavenly powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy ...For example, overcome. The Latin profusis paschalibus gaudiis refers to the abundant outpouring of joy at the Lords Passover. Within that joy, the whole world is joyful. It seems that Icels version of the first line had the words Therefore, overflowing with paschal joy which would just about do. However, the Approved Text has hanged overflowing to overcome with paschal joy and thus altered the sense. The approved translation now refers not to paschal joy overflowing but to the world as being overcome. The active is changed to the passive voice and the language of objective joy becomes psycholo - gised, something that translators were warned against doing. A better correction would be therefore, with overflowing paschal joy Furthermore, overcome usually refers either to a defeat or to a state of prostration or fainting. It could be argued that this translation makes a caricature of the text. It is hardly the faithful translation insisted on in Liturgiam Authenticam. It must therefore call into question the competence of the Vatican editorial process.

Bill,Yes, exactly. The bishops' conferences would have recommended some changes based on pastoral considerations. The resulting version would be less strictly literal, making concessions for pastoral reasons.10,000 does not seem like an excessive number of changes to me, considering the 11 English-speaking conferences which are full members of ICEL.

You don't get it......these are changes that were made after the fact; after B16 approved the text (in fact, there is no evidence that he has seen this 2011 text yet). These changes were surfaced, compiled, and then released because ICEL was concerned that "someone" later came along and made changes without ICEL involvement; without the knowledge or approval of any of the conferences.These changes are not "pastoral" - they are inconsistent; all but heretical in some places; etc. They have been detailed and the ICEL members clearly document that these did not link to or come from any type of bishops' recommendations. Your conclusion misses the factual record; it makes up excuses with no attribution or reason. Your last sentence makes no sense - ICEL is staffed by folks from some of the 11 conferences but that doesn't mean that the "total" conferences had much input, etc. into this process. In fact, by ICEL's own admisstion and if you listen to the three USCCB sessions passing phases of this translation work, what you find out is that very few recommendations were considered (much less enacted) during the first session and by the second and even more so the third session, the USCCB membership had basically disengaged from the approval process. Again, doesn't speak much to their integrity given that the eucharist is the "summit" of the church's activity. Your comment: "...resulting version would be less strictly literal, making concessions for pastoral reasons." This statement violates LA and RT which supposedly was the stated reason for MR3 and a new translation. Your comments remind me of the US political season - guess we can have Tea Party Catholics in terms of liturgy, translation, etc. Statements with no factual basis but they plug into someone's emotional state increasing polarizations with no resultant improvement in the common good.

Bill,Perhaps you would consider toning down the personal nature of some of your comments. I would appreciate your consideration on that point.Built into the approval process was the possibility of making amendments for pastoral reasons, an exercise of episcopal ministry. They spoke about their submission of changes in the third session. It was telecast and is a matter of public record.

Here is the process:The process:ICEL, its staff with its outside consultants and advisors, prepares a translation draft.The Green Book translation is sent by ICEL to each national bishops conference forevaluation and comments.Each national bishops conference sends the Green Book to each Bishop. He is free tosend this to any advisors he selects, generally from his own diocese.Each national bishops conference, through its national liturgy committee or nationalliturgy office, sends its comments to ICEL.ICEL prepares a revised draft based on these comments, a Gray Book. This is sent toeach bishops conference, and again to each Bishop.Meanwhile: Because Rome now takes a more activist role in involving itself in theprocess, ICEL sends its drafts to the CDW and Vox Clara for their feedback andrequests for improvement.Each bishops conference deliberates on the Gray Book, and makes its amendments ifany, and sends the text it approves to the CDW for its approval.CDW considers all the submissions from conferences, and seeks advice as it wishes fromVox Clara or any other advisors. The CDW gives final approval for the Order ofMass, this meant that it merged together all the conference submissions and createdone uniform version for all nations. The approval of the CDW is called recognitio.When the president of a national bishops conference gets the final text with recognitiofrom Rome, he sets the date of implementation. Cardinal George, president of theUSCCB, for example, has set the US date for the First Sunday of Advent 2011.Then the exceedingly complicated process of layout and production of altar missals andworship aids begins. Before a publisher may publish in the U.S., everything must beproofread and approved by the USCCB.Gray to Green to FinalSorry, but the process as outlined in LA and RT has no statement that considers "pastoral reasons" - these are only allowed and tightly controlled by Vox Clara (in secret).The point of Rita's blog is that after the FINAL recognito more than 10,000 changes have been made by an unnamed group with accountability only to Vox Clara. These are not just minor changes, typos, etc. (as the link above details).If you rewatch and listen to the third session, you will note that Bishop Trautmann raised a procedural question about the psalter, responsorial psalms, and USCCB approval. George stated that USCCB approval had been forwarded to Rome. Trautmann raised the fact that the USCCB had not considered or voted on these sections (read - amendments, pastoral reason, etc. were skipped over). George attempts to make a joke and turns to the executive director who makes a "lame" excuse about a secretarial error.Sorry, the public record does not support your re-telling or rewriting of facts or history.Questions to you in an effort to tone down:- have you read the book by Bishop Taylor that details what happened to the original ICEL and the overwhelmingly voted/approved 1998 texts?- have you read the article "Lost in Translation" mentioned by Mollie?- did you read the cited work by J. Peter Nixon?- have you read anything beyond Fr. Z, etc. that may shed light on this process, the points raised by Rita's posting, etc. (btw, even Fr. Z has been forced to question last minute changes that violate LA/RT; smack of heresy; poor linguistics; etc.)From the referenced link above:Holy See Confirms English Third Edition of the Roman Missal the headline reads in the issue which just arrived of the US Committee on Divine Worship Newsletter. This is old news we all read this some time ago. Cardinal Caizres, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, signed the decree on March 26, 2010 approving the entire missal, and wrote in the accompanying letter that the official text, after final editing, would appear in short order. (I think weve already missed that). On April 28th, members of the Vox Clara Committee hosted a luncheon with the Holy Father to celebrate the occasion. The Holy Father was presented with an elegant bound copy, what has become known as the presentation text or presentation version.There are a few photocopies of this presentation text floating around. There is much speculation on how much final editing of this text will take place, since this text introduces over 10,000 changes, not all of them improvements to say the least, to the text prepared by ICEL (working with the national conferences) and then given to the conferences for their submission to Rome. And this does not count the fiddling around with the text of the Order of Mass which received the recognitio in 2008. (This is a novel canonical situation, as far as I know can Church officials alter a text to which theyve already given recognitio? Apparently they can now.)The Newsletter reports that the final copy is expected from the Congregation before the end of the summer. And then the implementation will proceed as planned.Another papal meeting, another press release, the usual formalities no big deal, you say. But what is not said, and how the things that are said are said, is the real story here. The Pope, the members of Vox Clara, the officials of the Congregation anyone you know missing from this happy picture? ICEL, for example? Helloooo?Over the years I recall seeing posted in the monastery every so often a photo of Fr. Godfrey Diekmann with the Holy Father another meeting of ICEL in Rome. But this time, nobody invited ICEL. Dont you find that strange? The bishops conferences, and ICEL, which is the bishops inter-conference translation commission, have spent years and years working on this translation. Vox Claras role, we were told, was merely to advise the Congregation as it reviewed and approved texts. But now, Vox Clara hosts the festivities, Vox Clara celebrates with the Pope, and ICEL is shut out. Do you suppose the slight was unintentional? Yeah, right.The Pope thanks Vox Clara for their work over the last eight years This has been a truly collegial enterprise. The Pope continues, you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from Bishops Conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world. Now that is interesting wording: Vox Clara coordinates the conferences! The Pope welcomes the news that the missal will soon be published, so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed Vox Clara prepares texts now?? The Pope wants them all to know how much he appreciates the great collaborative endeavor to which you have contributed. Collegial, collaborative how nice.

Thanks to all who have commented. I apologize for taking this long to reply, as I am only now back at my desk since posting this. Mr. Harden, you asked if I support 2008 or the current translation. The answer is a little complicated, so bear with me. The 2008 ICEL translation was produced in careful compliance with the directives of Liturgiam Authenticam. Because I believe that Liturgiam Authenticam is a deeply flawed and wrong-headed document, I generally regard the 2008 translation as the appalling fruit of an inadequate and unfortunate approach to the task. I do not believe that the texts thus produced will foster the prayer life or the active participation of the people. On the contrary, I expect that they will befuddle and bemuse them and, if anything, increase alienation from public worship. The 1973 translation is not free from flaws of its own, different flaws, which of course I had hoped would be remedied by the retranslation. Nevertheless, whatever its weaknesses, I do not agree with the idea that the past 38 years or so we have been cursed and afflicted by it. The 1973 has its good points, and it has nurtured our prayer. It is worthy of respect in my opinion. So, do I support the 1973 translation? Until a better one is produced, yes, I do. In 1998 we did have a better one (with yet other flaws, admittedly, but better on balance than either 1973 or 2008), and the bishops of all the English-speaking conferences approved that text by canonical vote. (Jim P., note well.) It was at that point that the end run around ICEL and the bishops conferences and the established process -- the nub of the political situation referenced by Mickenss article -- was accomplished by a few who appealed directly to Rome. Rome then intervened, and in a big way. The 1998 translation was dumped altogether, Liturgiam Authenticam was written, ICEL was reconstituted, Vox Clara was born, transparency ceased, and we got a whole new ball game. Supporters of Roman centralism always say its Romes proper role to give the final say-so to any translations, and there is some truth to that, but in all fairness it must be acknowledged that this was special. This was not giving or withholding approval of a translation pending the resolution of specific problems or issues in the text, it was the changing of both the game and the players in a radical way.Because part of the new game is to carry out the work in secrecy, new potential for intrigue was of course unleashed. As youve seen from Bill DeHaass cites, between the approval of the 2008 text by the English-speaking bishops, and the release of the 2011 text that we shall receive, an estimated 10,000 changes were introduced into the Missal translation. We know that these changes come to us courtesy of Vox Clara, but they bear no names, no reasons, and no explanations; and they come with no court of appeal. Kathy, thanks for your comments. The idea that these changes represent amendments made by the various Episcopal conferences is kind, but it doesnt square with the facts. The changes are far too manymany more than the number of amendments proffered by the conferences. They include theological errors much too often. They include too many idiosyncratic word-choices, additions of we pray at infelicitous points, and other strange minutia. Could some of them have been requested specifically by individual bishops? I suppose. But not as a matter of amendments sought by a conference. The problems would have been caught. For those who may assume the changes are punctuation points and the like, check out this recent post from Xavier Rindfleisch on PrayTell, which shows that even the doctrine of the Trinity has been muffed up. http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2011/06/18/whoops-heresy-in-that-%... re the change from 2008 to 2010, Jim P., you point to the thumping majorities of bishops who voted in the new translation but you dont seem to have taken in the fact that the translation they voted on (2008) was substantially altered after the time they voted on it (2010). (Anecdotal evidence suggests that the bishops themselves remain blissfully ignorant of this fact, so you have lots of company!) So, to continue, Jim P., yes, the bishops did vote the 2008 translation in. If you look at the whole history, however, it becomes evident that only a few have been enthusiastic about it. A lot of reservations and a lot of resistance accompanied the process leading to the affirmative vote in 2008. A lot of pressure was brought to bear from within the US conference. I would suggest that the bishops, in the end, were tired of it. They knew this was what Rome wanted, and they gave in. Also, they are company men. They were handed L.A., and the 2008 translation was what L.A. required. All roads lead back to Liturgiam Authenticam.

I would be interested to know whether the number 10,000 makes any allowance for repeated changes. If "we pray" is inserted many times, for example, is that counted as one change, or many changes? Regarding the Trinitarian doctrine, is it wrong to say that the unity of the Trinity is the Father's unity? It is the Father's unity, because the Father is one of the three Persons. Couldn't one say to the Son, "your unity" [with the Father and the Holy Spirit], and to the Holy Spirit, "your unity" [with the Father and the Son]? As the Catechism number 255 pointed to mentions, everything that is not relationally opposed, in the Trinity, is common. "Indeed everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship. I think the charge of "heresy" goes quite a bit too far.

Correction: I shouldn't have said "everything is common," but that "everything is one." The unity of the Trinity is numerically one, and belongs to the three Persons.

We in the pew wonder why, after our own revisions to the Mass of Paul VI which in their clear and concise brevity contain the essence of the original prayer (in our understood language): "Lord, I am not worthy the recieve you, but...." Contains for us the fullness of the meaning of "Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. but only..."THe whole point of the prayer is to acknoledge and communicate as an assembly that we are aware of our poor and sinful nature and that we, indeed, are unworthy to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.The more correct version which refers to the official who asks Jesus to heal his servant, and when Jesus indicates that he will go home with him to tend to the servant, the official tells Jesus that he is not worthy for Jesus to step into him home (under my roof).But, I believe that the clarity of the prayer as we pray it now, contains in se the richness of the quote.... without having to explain to very young first-communion candidates that we are not here speaking of the roof of our mouth, but referring to the Gospel story...Keeping in mind that much of what in this translation is old.And with your spirit... at least we have done away with the formal...The priest would address us in the informal, 'The Lord be With You' and we would answer in the formal. 'and with THY spirit'. That was one of the bad exchanges we dealt with in our first step away from Latin. Mass of Paul VI (V1.0) THe next version (V2.0) was better and continued refinments brought us to where we are today.Some of most beautifully written liturgical texts come from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (1982?). The english prayers just flow through your mouth and are uplifting to even just hear. Next time, we should buy the rights to their texts and adopt them.

Thy (and thou and thee) are informal, personal. Like t in Spanish, du in German, etc.That's why Friends/Quakers address each other as thee. They got in trouble in the old days for addressing everyone by first names instead of with honorifics.

All roads lead back to Liturgiam Authenticam.That's what it seems to me too, and that's also what Bill de Haas explains. Apparently people in the Vatican were worried that, left to themselves, Americans would produce a text with the wrong emphasis, leading our understanding of our faith to diverge over time. The solution was to set rules for translation that were so tightly constrained that they would have no freedom to adapt the texts according to their national sensibilities, on subjects such as inclusiveness or acceptance of monarchical hierarchy. Liturgiam Authenticam is motivated by a lack of trust and a need to control more than by the rationales of a good translation.

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About the Author

Rita Ferrone is the author of several books about liturgy, including Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium (Paulist Press).