Some may weary of the translation discussion but Joseph O'Leary brings further light to the matter:"One of the most horrific statements of Card. George at the recent USCCB meeting was that the Vatican is also insisting that the French translation of the Missal be brought more into line with the original Latin. The current French translation is quite beautiful, thanks to the participation of poet Patrice de la Tour du Pin. Letting the philistines loose on it would be criminal."Ken writes: 'While it is a bit more formal, the new English translation does track closer to the current Spanish translation, and Latinos have been using the current Spanish translation for many years, without much wailing or knashing of teeth.' 'Gnashing' is the word. This comment is unconscionable. That the Spanish is closer to a literal translation of the Latin says nothing about the horrific infelicities of the proposed new English text. Closeness to the Latin is less likely to create problems in Spanish, a Latin language, than in English. But in fact the alleged closeness is not closeness at all: 'just' for 'justum' is fake closeness, then kind of mistake you get from non-native speakers of English. Even if the English translation were as close to the Latin as it claims to be, this would not excuse its lack of rhythm, syntactical common sense, communicative diction, and prayerfulness."

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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