Welcome to this edition of "New Translation Tuesday." Where is the text?
So, what is the "state of the union" with respect to the new English translation of The Roman Missal? Frankly, it surely is anybody's guess at this point. I have been speaking with several people who are always "in the know." And, it seems, right now, there is no "in the know." At a conversation at a meeting at the NPM convention a few weeks ago, a highly placed Church official said—of the purported 10,000 changes to the text—that these were mostly issues of punctuation and capitalization. Then, someone else who had more direct knowledge about what is going on assured the official that these changes were much more substantial. Most people wonder openly about who is actually doing the work on theses changes. Where is the text?
This behavior is a marked departure from the processes that our own bishops have set up with the Vatican and which have been in use since the Second Vatican Council. When statements (which appear to be completely true) such as, "The English-speaking bishops conferences and ICEL are in the dark" begin to appear, I can only start to think that there is much more going on here than meets the eye. Why, for instance, after such a long process of translation and debate, has the text itself disappeared like a submerging submarine? All of a sudden, after what appeared to be a transparent process (for the most part), the doors have been closed and those who should know what's going on are left in the dark. Where is the text?
As a Roman Catholic publisher, we rely on a steady stream of information from ICEL and from the Bishops Committee on Divine Worship in Washington. We have a good relationship with both organizations and I believe there is a level of mutual respect. There is absolutely nothing of substance coming from either of these two bodies. We are more than ready and willing to serve the needs of the singing and praying Church, but our best efforts at trying to approach all of this in as organized a fashion as possible are eroding as each day passes. I have no doubt that the talented and dedicated staff here at WLP will do everything we can to serve our peoples' needs. But, it is beginning to get a bit scary.
Where is the text?
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.