Yesterday, on the excellent Pray Tell blog, Father Anthony Ruff, OSB, reported this:
"A reliable source (no, not Msgr. Moroney), citing a most reliable source, reports that some 10,000 changes were made by the Roman authorities to the missal text submitted to them. Many of the changes make the English text unfaithful to the Latin of the Missale Romanum."
Father Ruff goes on to say:
"This is getting curiouser and curiouser."
After reading this, I decided to contact my most reliable source, a friend who has been closely associated with the entire translation process. I have never used our friendship to try to find any inside scoop or information. I just simple asked this person what was going on and if we would ever see the Missal.
He told me that this "10,000 changes by the Roman authorities business" is what he has been saying publicly and that he has a very strong feeling that the number is not far off.
He went on to say: "The missal is going to happen. My own personal guess is that we'll have the text finalized by the end of this month because the Vatican will not want it languishing over the August break. If we don't have it by the end of July, then it's anybody's guess."
Then this: "ICEL is very much in the dark. So are the conferences of bishops. We all wish we had more info."
Talk about "curiouser and curiouser." On this New Translation Thursday, my friends, I am tempted to not comment at all about these latest strange happenings and, instead, share with you my favorite risotto recipe (shrimp and Italian sausage make wonderful companions, especially when a bit of porcini mushrooms come along for the ride—or the stir—as the case may be. Let me know the next time you are in Chicago, and I'll make you up a batch!)
Seriously, think about the implications if we do not "get" the text by the end of July. And think about what it means when the situation at hand implies that the conferences of bishops are very much in the dark. I am left wondering, "What kind of Church is this?" Aren't we all called to try to be on the same page? Aren't there transparent processes in place so that, following them, we all have a sense that the conclusions reached are ones that have been the fruit of scholarly dialogue and sound pastoral debate?
And this is not to mention the predicament that publishers might find themselves in very soon. The clock is ticking. Right now, this Roman Catholic publisher is beginning to see deadlines on the horizon. These are deadlines for submitting the texts for our worship resources to the BCDW, ICEL, and CCD for what we plan to publish in 2012. We must work this far out in order to complete all of the proofing and permissions processes. This has not yet become a nightmare, but as the days slip by, my own nights are beginning to become more sleepless.
I feel so caught here. We are committed to serving the needs of the singing and praying Church, yet that very same Church is making it more and more difficult for us to provide that service. As a Catholic businessman, I am dedicated to ensuring that my own employees here are justly compensated for their fine work and dedication. These are people with mortgages, with kids who need shoes, with aging parents that need care and support. Imagine trying to conduct business when promises are taken back and established definitions of terms like "recognitio' are compromised. I remain a hopeful guy here, and a committed Catholic, but this is getting to be a serious issue for those of us committed to serving the needs of the singing and praying Church.
10,000 changes? A few weeks ago I was feeling like I was on that final turn before pulling into the final slowdown on that roller coaster. Now I feel like this particular coaster we are on has bypassed the disembarkation area and that we are slowly climbing that first huge hill again: can you hear the "click, click, click" as we climb?
Hold onto your hats and stomachs, kids; the ride ain't over yet. It may just be starting again.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.