Monday, October 18, 2010

A Disconcerting Monday

Hello everyone.

There is an article over on Pray Tell (distinct from the one I pointed to on Saturday) that is well worth reading. Check it out.

Folks, it seems that the reception of the new English translation of The Roman Missal will make more and more people less and less happy.

I find it remarkable that people who respond to articles like this begin their scholarly comments with the word, "Wow."

And that's how this writer is feeling on this Monday morning with regard to the current state of affairs with this translation.

What, in heaven's name, is going on here? Trying to hold on to hope here, folks, but my grip gets more tenuous by the day. Please read the article I mention above and you'll see what I mean.



What is your take on all of this?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

(You know, on a day like this, it's not too easy to type those last four words. But each time that I do, I am reminded that there is always something about which we can pray and sing. Some days, it's just tougher than others.)

25 comments:

FJH 3rd said...

Jerry, don't let them get to you! Conspiracy theorists always sound sort of credible.

Sure, perhaps there has been inappropriate meddling by some curia hack, and certainly the bishops might have been more resolute.

But a conspiracy to unwind the vernacular liturgy?

I'm reminded of what the CEO of Coca Cola said after the "new Coke" fiasco in 1985: "We're not that smart and we're not that stupid".

We must trust (hope!?) that the Holy Spirit is involved and protecting the Church, somehow!

Chironomo said...

Jerry;

I read the article with great interest, and the author has done good and extensive research. But I also have a nagging question.

The author admits that nobody has actually knows what the status is right now. We have the text that was approved. We know there are changes being made. But the source for the changes that he cites is what I find troubling. Is it possible that these "leaked texts" are in fact the malicious ones and that they are being leaked in an attempt to subvert the entire project? Is it at all possible that the revisions being made are not the ones being "leaked"? This whole project is such a political hot-potato that I wouldn't put it past anyone to go to such great lengths as to 'leak" erroneous flawed texts and claim that this is what is actually happening. It's just a thought....

Chironomo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

I'm sure you've already seen by now that there is a meeting in Rome tomorrow between ICEL bishops and others with the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. Rumors abound. We wait and see once again.
Jerry

Joan Grabowski said...

..lean not on your own understanding...Proverbs 3:5-6...lean not on your own understanding...Proverbs 3:5-6...lean not on your own understanding...Proverbs 3:5-6...lean not on your own understanding...Proverbs 3:5-6...lean not on your own understanding...Proverbs 3:5-6

Linda Reid said...

I read the article this morning, and the "lets-make-vernacular-so troublesome-and stilted-that-they go-back-to-Latin" theory does not seem so outrageous!
I share your chaos and confusion, Gerry! I have not been "sold" on this new translation all along, despite hearing you, Paul Turner and Michael Joncas putting a positive spin on the whole situation. (A positive in all this is the emergence of the new and re-fitted Mass settings - some of them are wonderful!!)
But being in limbo for this length of time is also a terrible situation! Do we purchase new Mass settings? Do we not purchase new Mass settings? Do we begin to learn new settings? Do we NOT begin to learn new settings? Do we begin to prepare our assemblies or not? And you, being involved with a publisher, have even MORE worries than the average priest/music minister.
You have been speaking all over the country (as have others) but none of us is sure what is really happening.
All I can tell you is "Hang tough, buddy!" The rest of us are hanging just like you!
peace, Linda

Charles said...

Most of these changes seem minor to me and do not cause me concern. On some of them, with the author, I also would personally prefer the 2008 language, but then again, unlike many of the translation's critics, I support Liturgiam Authenticam's emphasis on accuracy. I think what these changes show, however, is that CDW/Vox Clara, having comments of bishops as well, thought they were making improvements in proclaimability. One would think those in the Trautmann camp might support changes that loosen a bit the emphasis on accuracy in favor of proclaimability, but anything to beat up on the mean old Vatican, I guess. I think there may be one or two somewhat problematic texts in the new translation, but I do think the author of this article is overstating things. These changes are hardly the disaster Herr Rindfleisch makes out. I am confident that in the main, the new translation will still be a vast improvement over what we have now. And of course, there could be a few emendations after we have a few years of experience with the new texts, just as there was an emendated version of the Latin editio typica tertia of the Missale Romanum a few years after it came out.

Anonymous said...

As someone who prefers the current translation, I like these changes. I think that these changes will make the transition easier for everyone involved in the implementation, if this version is what ultimately goes through.

Anonymous said...

Chironomo: The "leaked texts" are from a 46 page document prepared by ICEL and the BCDW for the Congregation to alert them to MANY, MANY serious problems with the 2010 Received Text. As soon as I saw the article, I knew the author had seen the same report I had. Trust me: the three examples in the article were the proverbial "tip of the iceberg."

Linda: Some of those putting "a positive spin" on the new translation were working from the 2008 text, and (by the way) were paid well, flown first class, lodged and dined five star to do their spinning. Were they sincere? Maybe. Was it "pro bono"? Ha Ha Ha.

Charles: Anyone who mistranslates PROFUSIS as OVERCOME and VALIDUM as HAVING VALUE and who, contrary to Chalcedon and Nicea, thinks Jesus became Christ and Lord at his Baptism is not just attempting "proclaimability." They're wrong, and as my old seminary professor used to say, "They'd be heretics, if they were smart enough!"

"It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but (on this night / on this day / in this time) above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed" and "Bestow in abundance upon us your mercy" are as ridiculously incorrect English as "Come by the house and whistle me out" or the author's example "Throw me down the stairs my hat." For this we waited 40 YEARS?

It will be interesting to see if Fr Z and other champions of accuracy and orthodoxy are willing to go bat for this turkey.

And it will be interesting to see if we ever find out WHICH of Vox Clara's luminaries gave us this goofy stuff.

Chironomo said...

Anonymous;

What you are saying may well be true... that in no way precludes that the point of these texts being leaked is to subvert the project as a whole. You also seem to sound as though you are one who is not in favor of the new translation, and as such I have to take what you say with some amount of caution, particularly as what you are saying is both non-verifiable ( a report prepared by ICEL and the BCDW that is not available for public scrutiny) and your ability to know of such a report is non-verifiable as well (and hence the "Anonymous" designation). It's true that I use a screen name, but finding out who I am is as simple as clicking on my link and doing a little research.

Of course, what you are saying certainly COULD BE true... but to throw out a phrase like "trust me" in an anonymous posting gives little confidence to the reader...

Anonymous said...

Chironomo:

Suit yourself, of course, but there would be very little chance of me knowing that a report had been prepared by ICEL and BCDW, far less that it was 46 pages long, unless I had seen the thing. Which is precisely why I have to be anonymous.

Musicians should be particularly concerned, it seems to me, by the fact that the antiphons have come back in the form documented in section 2 of the Leaked Texts part of Rindfleisch's article. What a shame that the seasonal appropriateness of some of those antiphons will be lost by 2010's decision, contrary to LA, to nix the Vulgate base and go with the New Grail.

By the way, for the record, I stand with Rindfleisch: I see NO place in which 2010's multitudinous changes, many of them as he says, "utterly gratuitous", are an improvement over 2008.

2008, which the bishops approved was, in my opinion, nearly perfect, exactly what we who wanted a new translation had been waiting and hoping for.

It will be interesting to see if those on my side of the aisle, so to speak, the conservative side, will have the courage to point out the erroneous translations not to mention the innumerable English gaffes of this 2010 text. Again, it is hard to justify bemoaning mistranslations and deviations from directives in the 1974 ICEL and ignoring the same problems in 2010 just because it comes from Vox Clara from whom we expected (obviously mistakenly) better.

Chironomo said...

Anonymous;

Point taken about your credentials... again, I have learned to be overly "internet skeptical", but for now let's assume that you have seen this report. If all of this is true, and there is this considerable effort going into this "new" new translation, then I have to ask: In your opinion, WHY is this happening? I'm not buying the "they're too stupid to know better" or the "it's the beaurocracy" arguments. If there was a perfectly good translation in '08 (Which I DID get to see... and it was, as you say, very good), then why the major effort to do "something else"?

Linda Reid said...

"were paid well, flown first class, lodged and dined five star to do their spinning. Were they sincere? "
Dear Anonymous,
I am aware that some folks have been TOLD to bolster acceptance of this translation despite their own misgivings (putting it mildly). This has just served to deepen my dislike (putting it mildly!) of this whole process!

pendean said...

I do wish Anonymous and Rindfleisch would come out. If we could break with this dreadful culture of anonymity on this subject, the quality of the discernments would be greatly enhanced.

Philip Endean SJ
Oxford
(google me if you want to get in touch)

Anonymous said...

Chironomo:
My guess as to the Why and Who is speculation of course. Several of us wonder if the thinking of Vox Clara/CDW went something like this: "Nothing will please those who oppose a new translation. But even some 'good' bishops have reservations and concerns about 2008. They'd never publicly criticize, but here's a list of their concerns. See what you can do."

Example: 2008 has one "I believe" at the beginning of the Creed, as in Latin, governing the whole text. 2010's Creed has added three, violating LA and the Ratio Translationis. Why? Bishops and Conferences complained about having only the one "I believe."

So the "underlings" revised 2008, attempting to please the acceptable critics, but lacking sufficient Latin skills and English style to produce anything comparable to 2008.

How else account for "overcome" in their revised Easter preface, awkward placement of modifiers and erroneously constructed sentences in Collects and Prefaces?

Rinfliesch didn't get into other seemingly gratuitous changes that violate the norms Vox Clara/Congregation were supposed to uphold: for instance, quaesumus (we pray) has NOT been translated seven times when it appears in the Latin; but "we pray" HAS been added nineteen times when the equivalent Latin word isn't present.

Among the revisers' other problems with English usage is an inability to get the word order of subject and the auxiliary "may" right in subjunctive clauses: "Grant that, just as, being conformed to him, we have borne by the law of nature the image of the man on earth, so by the sanctification of grace may we bear the image of the Man of heaven." Obviously, the line should read "we may." "Look upon us and have mercy, that as we follow, by your gift, the way you desire for us, so may we never stray from the paths of life." It should be, "so we may never stray". There are a dozen such errors.

Placement of adverbs has also baffled the revisers. "Graciously" should come BEFORE the verb it modifies as in 2008: graciously hear, graciously grant, graciously bless. In 2010, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, with such unpleasing results as: "Grant graciously" "Bestow on us graciously" "Constrain them mercifully" especially when the adverb separates verb from object: "Sanctify graciously these gifts" or "Grant graciously to your Church". A modicum of English style sense would have kept the revisers instinctively clear of such errors.

Who gave us this mess? Who knows? Several candidates. There is one Vox Clara advisor, for instance, who says "Between you and I" so often it has become a joke with those of us who regularly meet with him.

The point here, and I presume of the Pray Tell article, is that errors of translation and English usage need to be fixed BEFORE the Missal is published. Let more eyes examine more of the REALLY SERIOUS FLAWS in 2010 NOW. But whether 2010 is corrected or published with errors, the bishops conferences as well as the rest of the Church must be allowed to question the competence of a Commission and Congregation that could have the near-perfectly translated 2008 text go into its "processor" only to have the 2010 comedy of errors come out.

Anonymous said...

Chironomo:
Look at the Vox Clara group picture. The "normal" person sees a gathering of benignly smiling prelates and earnest, yea even ascetic-looking advisors: clerics, monks, religious.

Now try not to let this diminish your faith in the ecclesiastical bureaucracy, but those of us who have worked with this cast of characters see a gathering of egos that would put to shame Hollywood and the NFL combined!

As I've heard the story told, the idea is to phase out ICEL and replace it with Vox Clara, and of course the Congregation. Didn't Msgr. Moroney remind us in his Pray Tell interview that Vox Clara merely makes suggestions and offers advice to the Congregation?

Fact still remains: if a perfectly beautiful translation like 2008 can go into the Vox Clara/Congregation "processor" and have the 2010 comedy of errors come out, there's going to have to be a pretty serious deflation of egos and inflation of competence before that happens.

The immediate challenge at hand is to reverse the incompetent revising of 2008 by Vox Clara and the Congregation that is now poised to be dumped on the English-speaking Church as the Received Text of 2010.

Charles said...

Anon. said:

"Charles: Anyone who mistranslates PROFUSIS as OVERCOME and VALIDUM as HAVING VALUE and who, contrary to Chalcedon and Nicea, thinks Jesus became Christ and Lord at his Baptism is not just attempting "proclaimability." They're wrong, and as my old seminary professor used to say, "They'd be heretics, if they were smart enough!""

"Overcome" and "Having Value" are clearly not heretical. "Made Christ and Lord" is a little dicier, but the sentence quoted does not necessarily specify that the "making" of the Son as Christ and Lord took place at the Baptism. It could perhaps be interpreted has an eternal "making" just as the Son is eternally begotten of the Father.

Anyways, I am not sure that a handful of perhaps infelicitous (which I will admit for some of Herr Rindfleisch's (Fr. Ruff's?) examples, but for the most part minor changes makes the translation a disaster.

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

+JMJ+

I agree that urgent and immediate action must take place.

Anon, good points all, except for "may we" vs. "we may".

Look upon us and have mercy, that as we follow, by your gift, the way you desire for us, so may we never stray from the paths of life.

"So we may" would make sense if the prayer were just "Look upon us so (that) we may never stray." But that's not the prayer; it's: "Look upon us, that as we follow, so may we never stray."

(Cross-posting to GSGP)

Anonymous said...

Observe, dear and gentle readers, and note well:

"Charles" is exactly what the 2010 revisers at this point are hoping for. Knowing by now that a chorus of Hosannas (or at one blog "Huzzahs" and "Do I hear an 'Amen'?") is (or should that be are?) probably not in the cards from either the chronically discontented Left or the sadly disappointed Right, they'll probably settle for the "Charles" reaction: "Well, it's not a total disaster!" Our old parish priest used to contrast the fervent "If only" approach to the Christian life manifested by the Saints with the "at least" resignation of the rest of us.

And who was the social commentator who said that when the history of the demise of the great institutions of the 20th century was written, it would be seen that those institutions had been "done in" by two groups of people: unloving critics and uncritical lovers.

There's still a chance, many of us hope, to keep both groups from "doing in" this singular opportunity for a translation that the author who started this discussion described as "both accurate and elegant."

Te rogamus, audi nos!

Charles said...

"Anonymous" said:

'Observe, dear and gentle readers, and note well:

'"Charles" is exactly what the 2010 revisers at this point are hoping for. Knowing by now that a chorus of Hosannas (or at one blog "Huzzahs" and "Do I hear an 'Amen'?") is (or should that be are?) probably not in the cards from either the chronically discontented Left or the sadly disappointed Right, they'll probably settle for the "Charles" reaction: "Well, it's not a total disaster!"'

Dear "Anonymous":

My name actually is Charles, not "Charles". And I rather resent being used as a rhetorical foil for your agenda-driven pronouncements. Actually, I look forward to the new translation with eager anticipation and do not have the reaction that you have attributed to me that the new translation as a whole is not a disaster. I believe it will be a vast improvement over the current ICEL translation. I love the new order of mass, even the 2010 version. I haven't seen the rest. I am only commenting on, and can only comment on, the handful of comments that have been reported on a blog, based in part on alleged leaks of texts that have not been seen by public, and that seems to be driven by an agenda to attack the new translation and the Holy See come what may. First of all, I can't trust that the leaked portions actually will be in the final text. Second, these are a handful of issues that have been pointed out by Herr Rindfleisch, and even if I would prefer the specific 2008 texts in the specific instances pointed out, that does NOT render the overall translation a disaster or even bad. Most of the changes mentioned by Rindfleisch are ones that don't take away from my appreciation for the new texts. Moreover, for all I know, the revisers may have made five questionable changes and fifty five great ones. I would venture to state that no matter what the translation is, everyone will be able to point to at least a handful of places where they would prefer some different words. I will wait to see the final text before trashing the entire translation. Finally, the process has taken too long already, so we need to move on to the implementation and stop cavilling about everything. If there is anything obviously egregious, it will presumably be changed in subsequent emendation.

Anonymous said...

For any still doubting how much worse 2010 is compared with 2008, here are two from the first page of each edition.

First Sunday of Advent

Prayer over the Offerings
2008
Accept, we pray, O Lord, the gifts we offer,
gathered from among your blessings,
and as the fruit of our temporal offering
grant us the reward of your eternal redemption.
Through Christ our Lord.

2010
Accept, we pray, 0 Lord, these offerings we make,
gathered from among your gifts to us,
and may what you grant us to celebrate devoutly here below,
gain for us the prize of eternal redemption.
Through Christ our Lord.

TEMPORAL OFFERING / ETERNAL REDEMPTION, the beautiful parallel in Latin and 2008 vanishes completely in 2010 with the wretched: HERE BELOW.
HERE BELOW????

Prayer after Communion
2008
May the mysteries we have celebrated profit us, we pray, O Lord,
for even now, as we journey through this passing world,
you teach us by them
to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what will endure.
Through Christ our Lord.

2010
May these mysteries, 0 Lord,
in which we have participated, profit us, we pray,
for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
you teach us by them to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what endures.
Through Christ our Lord.

YOU TEACH US BY THEM: by what? the passing things? I suspect our erudite revisers, like the Latin author, meant us to profit by the mysteries we have celebrated (in Latin and 2008) or in which we have participated. By how ridiculous is this 2010 construction which has us being taught by passing things to love the things of heaven.

Is English the first language of the revisers?

This is just PAGE ONE, folks!

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

Charles, I think you're being a bit too laid-back about these translation issues, and too up-tight about the people raising them.

"seems to be driven by an agenda to attack the new translation and the Holy See"

It "seems to be", but you can't be sure, any more sure than you are about the veracity of the 2010 texts provided by "anonymous". For that matter, how can you be sure the texts of the 2008 translation that you've seen are real?!

"Anonymous" here says he is a support of the 2008 text. I am too. I'm disappointed with some of these changes in the 2010.

"a handful of issues that have been pointed out by Herr Rindfleisch [do] NOT render the overall translation a disaster or even bad."

They do if the issues are systemic, if the same erroneous method of translation pervades the whole 2010 text.

"I will wait to see the final text before trashing the entire translation."

When will this be? I am getting antsy about this. Just when will the translation of our corporate and most important prayer, the Mass, be made public to the faithful?!

"the process has taken too long already, so we need to move on to the implementation..."

That's an irresponsible mindset. Does that work in architecture? Finance? Theatre? Parenting? Shepherding?

"anything obviously egregious [...] will presumably be changed in subsequent emendation"

It took a long time to get this translation. How long will the emendment process take? And how expensive will it be? It's irresponsible. I am firmly convinced that solid catechesis on the liturgy now will help clear up the problems in our current translation while simultaneously paving the way for a new and better translation in a couple of years.

"I love the new order of mass, even the 2010 version. I haven't seen the rest."

I think some changes in the 2010 Order of Mass were steps backward from the 2008, in terms of accuracy, proclaimability, and understandability. "I believe IN one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church" is a mistake which the Tridentine Catechism mentions explicitly. The reversion to the old absolution, "forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life," is lamentable. The closing doxology to the Eucharistic Prayer is clunkier now too.

Chironomo said...

Anon;

You're not making the convincing argument that you think you are.

The arguments you make against the 2010 version in the above examples seems to come down to a matter of opinion. You think they're awkward... others apparently don't think so.

You ridicule the use of "here below", but you don't have the Latin text up so that we can see whether "here below" is part of the Latin original. And why is it worthy of ridicule anyway? These seem to be rather personal hang-ups of yours and not actual "problematic issues" with the texts themselves. I think we can agree that everybody would be able to find things they disagree with in any translation. But I think you exaggerate greatly in portraying such issues as catastrophic, inept, or otherwise evidence of severe misconduct on the part of either ICEL, Vox Clara or whomever. They're just things you would prefer to have otherwise.

I can vouch for "Charles"... he actually exists and that is his real name.

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

Chironomo, and all other interested parties, you can find the Latin text of the MR3 here, at clerus.org.

DOMINICA I ADVENTUS

Super Oblata Súscipe, quaesumus, Dómine, múnera quae de tuis offérimus colláta benefíciis, et, quod nostrae devotióni concédis éffici temporáli, tuae nobis fiat praemium redemptiónis aetérnae. Per Christum.

(The "temporal" vs. "eternal" juxtaposition is clear in the Latin; why obscure it in the translation?)

Post communionem Prosint nobis, quaesumus, Dómine, frequentáta mystéria, quibus nos, inter praetereúntia ambulántes, iam nunc instítuis amáre caeléstia et inhaerére mansúris. Per Christum.

The "quibus nos ... instituis" means "by them ... you make us". Even in the construction of the Latin, the "by them" is visually linked to the "mysteria". Why obscure or confuse that in the translation!?

You can also find the Latin, the 1973 ICEL, and a plainly literal translation of the Super Oblata and Post communionem at Fr. Z's blog, of course.

Anonymous said...

Chironomo:
Suscipe, quaesumus, Domine, munera
quae de tuis offerimus collata beneficiis,
et, quod nostrae devotioni concedis effici temporali,
tuae nobis fiat praemium redemptionis aeternae.
Per Christum.

If you can find "here below" in that Latin, I'd love to have you point it out.

But, hey, you and Charles are right (I dropped the quotation marks because you vouched for him - that clinched it for me!): just my personal hang-ups.

And there should be no problem whatsoever in emending, according to one of the advisors, "10,000+" revisions if they turn out to be not just my pesonal hang-ups but actual verifiable mistranslations and real live grammatical and syntactical errors.

Now you gentlemen will have to excuse me: I'm just going to walk amid passing things here below and see what they, as opposed to the sacred mysteries, can teach me about the things of heaven. And I have to go right now: One of my friends just came by the house and whistled me out. His being kept waiting for me, with all speed, to answer him, he does not like, definitely!