National Catholic Reporter in Full Melt Down Mode

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Having sat through some pretty dreadful masses since Vatican II, I guess I have a wee bit of schadenfreude right now.  The National Catholic Reporter has an editorial that has to be seen to be believed.  This is a choice paragraph:

The Vatican issued new translation guidelines, Liturgiam authenticam, in 2001, reorganized ICEL to report not to the English-speaking bishops but to the Curia, and appointed a committee, Vox Clara, to advise it on the approval of English translations. All this was done ostensibly to ensure the authenticity of the translation, but it was clear from the beginning that a clerical, imperial ideology was being imposed on the translation. The poetry of language and beauty of prayers were secondary concerns.




I love the phrase “clerical, imperial ideology”.  These people are truly their own parody.  Go here to read the hilarious rest.  Additionally, many of  the comments are truly priceless.




Call me “Mr. Tambourine Man”. I suggest that in ten years you do a count of how many young people were drawn to a translation marked by antiquated vocabulary, tortured syntax, clumsy/run-on sentence structure and poor grammar.  We will have fewer Catholics then than we do now because the People of God, young and old are sick and tired of tyrannical rule from the Vatican.

By the way, we tambourine people had a better translation in 1998 which was approved by the bishops but Woytyla shut it down.  He and Ratzinger have one goal in mind: roll back Vatican II and return to the medieval church with its feudal system.

Nothing is sadder than old revolutionaries who are now reactionaries, railing at change and longing for the glory days of their youth.  Better make sure that Kumbaya is played non-stop at the nursing homes where most of the readership of the National Catholic Reporter will soon be receiving their issues.

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  1. This is the first I’ve heard of the 1998 translation. I looked it up and it’s somewhere between the 1973 and current translations but much closer to the 1973. So close that I don’t even see why it warranted change.

    I do see Mr. Tambourine’s point though. It’s a step back for comprehensibility. But then again, it is more poetic which I prefer to simplicity. On the third hand, the Mass should be accessible to the masses. I keep on returning to the idea I have about bifurcating the missal into high and low versions or maybe even more.

  2. RR:

    Can you post a link to the 1998 translation?

    The editorial was actually much better than the irrational “Leave Britney Alone!” freakout I was expecting (and have seen before).

    But I’m really getting tired of the refusal of those wetting their beds over the change to admit that the ’73 was a steaming pile of crap, and not just the product of “aw, shucks–we were carried away by enthusiasm!” In some sections, it’s a bad paraphrase, which prompts fair questions as to the motives of the translators.

    Until the protesters admit to the awfulness of the previous translation, I’m inclined to roundfile their objections.

  3. I keep on returning to the idea I have about bifurcating the missal into high and low versions or maybe even more.

    I can understand the motivation, but the liturgy is already diverse enough by having four eucharistic prayers in the new rite and the ’62 Mass. “Indulting” the ’73 (so to speak) is pretty close to fracturing the rite altogether.

  4. The English Mass was hardly a translation from the Latin to English. It was a re-write.

    E.G., Et cum spiritu tuo is And with your spirit in English, not And also with you. Big difference in meaning and intent.

    The youths won’t be there because their parents weren’t there.

  5. Well, given the way the NCR editorial staff feels about the new translation – how they will cringe with the new words – they might have a better appreciation at how faithful Catholics feel when they read the cr*p they consistently publish.

  6. I guess this fellow commenting on the NCR thread can be the one to turn off the lights for the Episcopalians:

    “Oh, Heavens!! The Catholic Church lost me 50 years ago & I’ve finally “grown up” and left it ~ HOORAY!!!! My Methodist-raised spouse & I joined the REAL Church of the Good Lord, the Episcopal Church ~ our church does Mass the correct way with all the former “High Mass” trimmings EVERY SUNDAY morning AND the fabulous formal choir (in ROBES!)always sings ALL the verses to the lovely Christian hymns. The congregation dresses properly ~ not in junk clothes like the Catholics these days (at 5 p.m. Masses, especially) ~ and really WANTS to be there to praise & thank the Good Lord…unlike Catholics who just “show up” so they won’t “commit a mortal sin & go to Hell” ~ or so they were trained to believe they will!

    No wonder there was the Protestant Reformation ~ the Episcopalians got it right!!”

  7. We tambourine people! Oh my goodness! LOL!

    I see where this is going now, they really just want the jingle-jangle worship that is entirely the sound of tambourine, and will avoid any language whatsoever so as not to offend anyone who is offended by Latin, English, commas, unfamiliar words, the idea we are sinners in need of mercy, or religion and belief in God in general.

  8. I’m thinking a chorus of “Listen To What The Flower People Say” from This Is Spinal Tap would pretty much sum up the Tamborine People…

  9. Donate to NCR? You have got to be kidding. The Mass this past Sunday was beautiful, poetic and reverent. The thing is that we must get out of “auto pilot” with our responses. At daily Mass yesterday, “and also with you” was said several times. There is a difference between “and with your spirit” and “and also with you”. When the Mass was translated into other languages, the translations were much closer to the Latin text. Only in English speaking countries was the translation so abominable. The Eucharistic Prayers are beautiful. I am thankful to JP II and Benedict for this beautiful and faithful translation.

  10. I’ve written quite extensively on the new translation, having examined and commented upon every prayer in the ordinary, and every collect, offertory prayer, preface, postcommunion, special blessing, and prayer over the people, for every Sunday and every feast day, even the minor ones, throughout the year. The translation we have now is immeasurably superior to what we’ve had for forty years — and superior in the very poetic qualities that the Distorter pretends to long for. The 1998 translation was a Trojan Horse — and the Distorter doesn’t want to admit it. They did actually try to translate, sort of, the collects and the prefaces (as opposed to the lame paraphrase of 1973), but they left the bad translations of the ordinary alone, and they introduced some really bad and stupid stuff, via the feminist syndrome.

    As for the young people: I have spent my whole professional life around young people. I teach them for a living. If I offered a class on singing Renaissance polyphony, I’d have thirty kids signing up overnight, half of them boys. The students I know who love their faith are more, not less, interested in learning Latin and recovering their Catholic heritage. Haven’t oldsters been pretending for all these years that they knew what would attract young people? Haven’t they already tried making things “cool” and “hip” and “relevant” and so forth? Haven’t the kids seen through all that and shrugged? When I’m at a Mass where the people sing the atrocious muzak from Haugen, Haas, and Schutte, and the “choir” consists of a bunch of middle aged women who like to be looked at, some old guy going along with it to please his wife, and a teenage girl or two, it doesn’t take much genius to see behind the stony faces of the boys in the congregation — if there are any.

  11. Thank you Tony. I too have noticed the young people preferring the new translation. There are more young people at Eucharistic Adoration. Yesterday, I noticed more young people at daily Mass. Those to whom I spoke after Mass, said that they prefer the new translation.

  12. My sons are 20 & 22 and they want to be told the TRUTH, even if it is harder than a sugarcoated lie. They will do great with the new translation because its TRUE. One of the most disrespectful thing that people can do is to lie to get a certain response from others…it tells them that you don’t respect their capacity to have the correct response from the actual truth.

    Noone likes disrespect but young makes especially dont will violently remove themselves from situations when disrespected. Give them the TRUTH….as close as we have it, the new translation is the truth.

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