Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: The Papal Election Doesn't Really Matter

Greetings on this "Black Smoke" "New Translation Tuesday."

I have had more than one Catholic friend say something like this in the last week or so: "It really doesn't matter to me who is elected pope; what matters is what is going on in my own parish."

And my response (especially on this "New Translation Tuesday") is this: "Are you kidding me?"

The biggest change that most of us have seen in our Catholic lives is the direct result of a papal action, namely the publication of Liturgiam Athenticam during the pontificate of Bl. Pope John Paul II. This is why we have a new English translation of The Roman Missal. Bl. Pope John Paul II simply changed the translation rules, pure and simple. So, it doesn't matter who is elected pope? Think again.

And the process of the new translation seemed to be on a track that was observable; we watched and listened for years as bishops' conferences in the English-speaking world debated and wrangled at times about a word or phrase. And, when they finally sent their decisions to the Vatican, what came back, under the pontificate of Benedict XVI was quite different than what they had approved. So, it makes no difference in the parish who is elected pope? Think again.

And consider the addition of the title "Divine Mercy Sunday" to the Second Sunday of Easter. This grew out of Bl. Pope John Paul II's personal commitment to the devotion that grew around Saint Faustina Kowalska. Popes don't really affect what happens in parish life? Really?

Praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit at this important time in our history.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Alan Hommerding said...

I think the sad reality that people are communicating when they say the election doesn't matter is that they're telling us, in a way, that the prayers of the Mass and the rhythms of the liturgical year don't real matter that much to their awareness or self-image as Roman Catholics. As large as the realities of LA and the new RM and the Divine Mercy novena beginning in the middle of Triduum (and the revisions to the eucharistic rite in Redemptionis Sacramentum) might be, for most average/pew/everyday Roman Catholics the impact has not been that large.
If anything, it is the long-term shifts of papal policies (such as the "smaller but more faithful [more obedient to the hierarchy] church" that continue to effect faithful Catholics over the course of time, but without much notice.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus!

Liz said...


Danielle Knott said...

Great post, Jerry!