Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Translation Tuesday: "Areas of Difficulty In the Received Text of the Missal"

Welcome to "New Translation Tuesday."

Well, "the report" — "Areas of Difficulty In the Received Text of the Missal" — is now completely public, having been released by the National Catholic Reporter yesterday.

I have just now begun to look at the document; I am sure you will agree that this is quite amazing, to say the least. I am stunned.

My lingering question: will publishers receive texts in time for the actual Missal itself to be published in time for November 27, 2011 and will worship resources publishers receive the texts they need to produce worship resources for that timeframe as well?

I am beginning to wonder if we here in the Unites States might need to take the same course that New Zealand has taken, namely to begin praying the texts of the Order of Mass on the First Sunday of Advent 2011, then the rest of the Missal texts at a later date (entrance songs, collects, prayers over the gifts, the majority of prefaces, communion songs, post-communion prayers, blessings). Since the music publishers have been given the go-ahead to publish, print, and sell the musical settings of the Mass (this permission was granted a few weeks ago by the BCDW), it has become obvious that we will be ready to begin singing the parts of the Mass on the First Sunday of Advent in 2011. But what about the rest of the texts? The report "Areas of Difficulty In the Received Text of the Missal" casts doubt on where the translation process is at this point. For instance, the report could be wholly ignored. If that is the case, the text is the text, and we should see it soon. If not, there appears to be a large amount of work to be done to address the issues in the report. One wonders if this planet's English-speaking bishops are deciding to take some other course of action to address what some have termed a "debacle."

These are very strange times. I'll say it again: more and more people are less and less happy about all of this. How could this have been avoided? Comments welcome.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Anonymous said...

But the scores still are not available...do you really mean this Advent 2011. The only publisher that has scores available is OCP.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

We waited for official permission from the BCDW before we went to press. The scores are being printed right now and will be available in a few short days/weeks. Let's be clear about Advent 2011. The implementation date for the Missal is November 27, 2011, over a year away. Is this your understanding, Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Ah, OK. I thought you meant this Advent. My fault.

Anonymous said...

This is Geoff here...I am currently reading Joan Chittester's book "Called to Question" and one paragraph jumped out at me this morning after thinking about this whole mess that is the new Roman Missal. Chittester writes: "Religion gives us the structures that weld the habits and disciplines of the soul into one integrated whole. Those same structures can also, however, smother the very spirit they intend to shape. We can get caught in the structures and the forms that are the basilica of religion. We can be overcome, even repulsed, by the power of God incarnated in ecclesiastical pomp. We can make the mistake of thinking that God and religion are synonyms and make religion God. We can, as the general semanticists teach us, mistake the way for the thing and the thing for the way." (p. 23)

It seems to me that this is exactly what has happened in this wayward process: the structures and systems put in place to provide us with new prayers which are supposed to lead us closer to God are, in fact, smothering "the very spirit they intend to shape."

Having just celebrated Reformation Sunday a couple weeks ago at the Presbyterian Church at which I now am the music director, it caused me to think...what if there were another posting of 95 Theses? Luther was a Catholic priest who never wanted to leave the church...only to help his beloved church see where it was smothering the spirit, so to speak. What if modern-day Catholics simply did the same thing? When the institution gets in the way of the people's ability to grow closer to God, isn't it time for the people (the sensum fidelium) to say "enough is enough!"

To use Chittester's analogy, the "thing" is union with God and one another; the "way" is the Roman Missal. If the way is obscuring the thing, then perhaps it is time to re-imagine the way!

Don't get me wrong: I am not advocating for a mass exodus of Catholics out of the pews. What I am advocating is this: instead of conducting workshops on how we will implement a change that very few people asked for or wanted, why not conduct sessions where we simply start to show people the new translations. We should also talk openly about how secretive the process has been and how the voice of the faithful has rarely, if at all, been listened to. Perhaps simply laying the facts out on the table for people will empower them to demand change. We are not talking about changing the Nicene Creed...we are talking about empowering people to demand a book of prayer that helps them to enter into the liturgy rather than propelling them further away.

Remember the Agreement that Lutherans and Catholics signed a few years ago on Justification? Many (if not most) of Luther's points are now seen by the RCC as having value. And we are even able to find much meeting ground! It only took a few hundred years, but perhaps the Church will come around on this issue as well.

Anonymous said...

One of the AMAZING changes in the 2010 text is the addition of THREE "I believes" to the Creed! The Latin has only the ONE, at the very beginning. It has been understood since the formula was set (Nicea, 325), that the one I BELIEVE governs the entire document. And so ICEL explained its ORIGINAL translation. Now the text has come back, not only with an additional "I believe" before the other two Persons of the Trinity, but with a FOURTH before the Church!

This seems to be in complete contradiction to Saint Thomas Aquinas: "Reply to Objection 5. If we say: "'In' the holy Catholic Church," this must be taken as verified in so far as our faith is directed to the Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies the Church; so that the sense is: "I believe in the Holy Spirit sanctifying the Church." But it is better and more in keeping with the common use, to omit the 'in,' and say simply, "the holy Catholic Church," as Pope Leo [Rufinus, Comm. in Sym. Apost.] observes." Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part 2b, Question 1, Article 9

At the very least, the heads of Vox Clara should roll over this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"One of the AMAZING changes in the 2010 text is the addition of THREE "I believes" to the Creed! The Latin has only the ONE, at the very beginning."

That was done simply to avoid turning the Creed into a large run-on sentence (in English - whereas in Latin, and other Romance languages, the "et" can restate the subject and verb of the previous sentence, that does not work in English).

Even if you want to say that's not a direct translation of the Latin, it is still - relatively speaking - mild compared to the Areas of Difficulty document, where whole concepts appear to have been changed. For example, there is a BIG difference between "only Son" and "only begotten Son."

Chironomo said...

Reading through the report right now. It's very dense, and while very specific and certainly thorough, I wonder if many of the issues brought up and addressed are not more matters of technical conflict with LA that will go completely unnoticed by listeners and, in the long run will have no effect really. Not that they are petty or trivial, just that the issues might have more to do with LA than with the translation.

Other issues border on opinion, particularly where word choice is concerned. I'm no "Latin Scholar", but I'm no novice either, and to begin the report saying that “straying” is not a translation of “perditum” is a matter of opinion, or actually of personal taste. Okay... "lost" and "straying" are perhaps two different degrees of the same thing (Scriptures refer to both the "lost sheep" and the "sheep that have gone astray"...there they are fundamentally equivalent terms). Perhaps they could have conveyed the image that mankind has been lured away and translated it as "Absconded humanity" but I can imagine the cries over that one. "Lost humanity" would be straight forward and a safe translation, but you don't "recall" or "call back" things that are already lost...you "find" them. You "call back" to things which are in the process of getting lost, such as those that are "straying". There is a strong Sheep-Shepherd image going on here, and in that context "straying" is a good choice in my opinion... maybe not the best, but at least fitting. Certainly not something to point out as a FLAW or ERROR as a first example. The authors are right about the next few issues... "Paschal Feast" is a poor translation of paschalia sacramenta, although certainly consistent with the Eucharist-As-Meal viewpoint expressed throughout the current translation. The Author is also right: "tuis" is very definitely mis-translated and renders a very different meaning to the passage cited, turning the sacrament into something temporal and coming from "us" (this sacrifice) rather than an eternal and everlasting one (your sacrifice).

There are many good points made in this report, but it is one of those things that will convince only those already convinced and do little to change the minds of those who, deep down would really prefer a return to the Latin because of problems just like the ones cited. It fuels two very different fires!