Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Translation Thursday: Saddened Today

Welcome to "New Translation Thursday." And greetings from beautiful Santa Clara California after a long day of travel.

There is really only one thing to report today, and that is Bishop Seratelli's report to the US Bishops yesterday about the state of the Missal. I am confused about the difference between faithful and slavish. And frankly, I have become so jaded throughout this process that, sad to say, I have a hard time believing anything said about this translation, from anyone. Folks, this really saddens me. I guess I am a more grown-up Catholic now, after having lived through this and trying to serve the People of God throughout what I can only describe as a mess.  Perhaps I've been on planes too long today, but I am really suspect of it all. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel differently.

Anyway, here goes:

There has been some discussion recently about a report surfaced through some segments of the Catholic Press regarding the present state of the text of the Roman Missal, Third Edition. A number of facts will hopefully clarify the situation and, in so doing, give us the calm needed to welcome and implement the new text.

First, it is helpful to keep in mind the genesis of the final text that is now being prepared for publication. The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) prepared for the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops preliminary drafts (“green books”) of the 12 sections of the Roman Missal. After incorporating the feedback and responses of the individual Conferences of Bishops and the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ICEL then prepared the final drafts (“gray books”). These were approved by canonical vote by each of the member Conferences. In approving the gray books, each conference also had the opportunity to make further suggestions to the Congregation, as was done in particular by our Conference. We submitted many amendments to the texts. The Congregation, working with the Vox Clara Committee, carefully listened to what the bishops said. The Congregation incorporated many of the suggestions of the various Conferences (including our own), combined with their own review and changes, and put forth the final text. The Congregation followed the principles of Liturgiam Authenticamfaithfully but not slavishly.

This is the final text now being readied for publication. This process includes a final review and copy edit which, given the size of the text, uncovers some minor questions of consistency, typographical errors, and layout. Those questions are being addressed by the Congregation for Divine Worship. This review has not dealt with the translation itself. The critique that has circulated has necessarily failed to take into account the final version of the text, which incorporates some corrections issued by the Congregation since the transmittal of the full text to the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops in August 2010.

To sum up, there is a final text. It has received a recognitio. As the work of editing and assembling nears completion, there is assurance that the published text will be available in more than ample time for implementation in Advent 2011. It is good to note also that the catechetical preparation for implementation is already underway and has proceeded with much enthusiasm and wide acceptance by both clergy and laity. It is clear at this point in time that there is an attitude of openness and readiness to receive the new text. Let us pray in this time of transition and change that the Roman Missal, Third Edition, will enable all to understand more deeply the mysteries we celebrate.

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
November 18, 2010

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


David said...

These two quotes have me laughing to the point of tears:

"enthusiasm and wide reception"
"attitude of openness and readiness"

Give me a break.

David Haas

David Haas said...

Here are my two favorite quotes:

"enthusiasm and wide acceptance"
"attitude of openness and readiness."

Give me break.

I share Jerry's jaded feelings... I am with you, brother.

David Haas

Paul said...

This Bishop will be held accountable, I'm sure. Let's hope so. Isn't he the one that pushed us all under the bus?

Rick Reed said...

I'm not hearing much enthusiasm and readiness as much as I'm hearing the nearly deafening of the bleating of sheep.

Chironomo said...

I'm a bit perplexed that nobody has addressed the issue of what happened in Africa. The texts were not carefully guarded, and as such they got "out there" and were implemented by a few rogue individuals with possibly dubious motives. Is it any wonder that there is a strong move to keep the texts under wraps until such a time as it is decided to implement them?


Again, I think it's a mistake to project one's feelings on a wider audience. The "gimme a break" attitude which you seem to think is universal certainly doesn't describe me, and isn't the attitude shared by those who are actually looking forward to the implementation. We are not illiterate morons or some kind of radical papists or something... simply Catholics who look forward to the new translation. The "debacle" view of the translation per se is just that...a view. That it is a view shared by a group of individuals who also share a great many other liturgical agenda items in common is really not surprising. When that "history" of this translation is written, I think that we will find that it is really not as spectacular a story as might be thought... rather, there is a lot of guessing and filling in the blanks going on by a lot of people who have a tendency to think the worst about anything involving the institutional church.

Anonymous said...

Seratelli, it should be noted, has never served as the PASTOR of a parish!!!! His career has been as as Seminary instructor at a third rate seminary in Seton Hall, NJ. He is universally disliked by the clergy and people of Paterson, NJ, and he's widely considered to be a Papal cheerleader...who will never be critical of anything that comes from Rome...especially these changes from the "Congregation." Frankly...this guy wants to be a Cardinal...somewhere, "Over the Rainbow"...

Simon Ho said...

Anonymous @2.54am:

That's an unfortunate ad hominem argument, besides a most immature line of reasoning.

But unfortunately, the Church in some parts of the world, such as the US, has become so polarised that many cannot see beyond their party position. Many have also become so unbelieving in a God who guides the paths of history that they have become hysterical over the matter. No one has seen the final texts yet - and despite the assurances of Fr Ruff, the exact relationship between the leaked texts and the previously received final texts is not clear.

Is this a mess? Probably. But then, so are human lives, and the ultimate victory belongs to Christ. For those of us who are not in any responsibility to influence the new translation, praying and fasting for the new translation of the Roman Missal might be more productive than adding to the hysteria.