Voting in the Age of Spin


Having read the news from Catholic Review of Baltimore which was reporting that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) would vote at their November general meeting in Baltimore on 4 items pertaining to the Roman missal, I wondered how much truth there was in the Roman Catholic Church in the age of spin. The Catholic Review of Baltimore was reporting in this edition that the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments was expected to “to give its ‘recognitio,’ following the U.S. bishops’ vote on the Roman missal, the ritual called the language of the Mass.

I would suggest that Mark Pattison do a bit more research when he writes the Roman Missal has not yet been given final approval for use in the United States. This BINDING revised Order the Mass was announced more than a year ago. Your parish priest has been practicing all of the changes. The Catholic Review of Baltimore should checkout the website:

http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/missalformation/OrdoMissaeWhiteBook.pdf.
http://www.adoremus.org/Arinze_June08.html

In advance of a vote, former chairman of the U.S. bishops’ liturgy committee, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, sharply criticized what he called the “slavishly literal” translation into English of the new Roman Missal from the original Latin during a lecture on October 22nd at Catholic University of America in Washington. Someone should tell Bishop Trautman the horse is dead that he is beating. The race was fixed.

There had been quite an internal debate within the United States Conference of Bishops that dates back to 2006. Until the release of the BINDING revised Order the Mass by the US Conference of Bishops in 2008 which had been withheld for two years. This is a done deal. In 2011 the Mass was changing as some kind of nostalgia from Rome for the old ways, as if the old ways, like old wine in new wineskins, would work to bring the youth back into the fold. With the release of the news of the revised Order the Mass, English speaking Catholics are going to have to learn to pray in a new way.

In his speech last week, The Catholic Review of Baltimore reported Bishop Donald W. Trautman said the “sacred language” used by translators tends to be “elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable” and could lead to a pastoral disaster

I wondered if the Catholic Press was always this sloppy on historical accuracy as the Catholic Review of Baltimore, in their report of what would transpire at meeting of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). With its traditional sensibilities receiving too little attention, the Congregation for Divine Worship had stepped in to take over the English liturgical translations from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy, with the lingering dispute over authority won by the Curia. With the assertion of control by Vatican officials, the Roman way to pray for the English speaking world was now a fait accompli. In the real old boy network, Pope Benedict had supported Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The 2008 announcement of the revisions was: “Recently the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was granted the recognitio for the new English–language translation of significant parts of the Ordo Missae as found in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, including most of those texts used in every celebration of the Holy Mass. The recognitio was granted in response to the request of the USCCB by Bishop William Skylstad, then President of the Conference, who informed Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in a letter dated July 29, 2006, that we, the Latin Church Bishops of the USCCB, approved the translation of the Ordo Missae at its plenary meeting on June 15, 2006.”

Someone in charge of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Francis Cardinal Arinze, had issued his binding orders long ago. The debate had already taken place. In June 2008, arguing that the new translation of prayers and other texts for the Mass is too awkward to be proclaimed effectively in parishes in the United States, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Richard Sklba, said. “If I have trouble understanding the text when I read it, I wonder how it’s going to be possible to pray with it in the context of worship.”

Bishop Donald Trautman then used the example of the translation of the Latin “patibulum,” to translate the English “gibbet” as jut one oddity in the new text. In the end, The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), the translation body responsible for the Proper of Seasons, failed to gain a two-thirds vote from the bishops to approve the Proper of Seasons in Orlando. It did not matter. The collegiality of the Holy Sea however was missing when it came to the revision in the Order the Mass which was BINDING.

In his recent speech, Bishop Trautman talked of how Vatican II compelled the church to produce a translation of the missal that is accurate, inspiring, referent, proclaimable, understandable, pastoral in every sense – a text that raises our minds and hearts to God,” to be true to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. “Why do we now have a reversal? The Aramaic and Latin texts have not changed. The scriptural arguments have not changed, but the insistence on literal translation has changed.”

It is the re-translated version of the Nicene Creed that is sacrilegious, changing a communal prayer into some kind of Bull Durham “I believe.” Bishop Donald Trautman also objected to this in his recent speech to this change and opined that vocabulary used in BINDING revised Order the Mass is not readily understandable by the average Catholic, where the vast majority are not familiar with words of the new missal like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’

Bishop Trautman opined: “Since this is a creedal prayer recited by the entire assembly in unison, the use of ‘we’ emphasized the unity of the assembly in praying this together as one body. Changing the plural form of ‘we’ to ‘I’ in the Nicene Creed goes against all ecumenical agreements regarding common prayer texts,” he said.

Bishop Trautman quoted the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which said rites and texts “should radiate a noble simplicity. They should be short, clear, free from useless repetition. They should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.”

In Rome, the Constitution is not sacred, the press is not free, and elections are not fair. The race was fixed. The monarch of Vatican City was in charge.

POST SCRIPT from the USCCB website after Novemberr 19, 2009 gathering…..

BALTIMORE—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted to approve the last five pieces of the English translation of the Roman Missal during the November 17 session of the annual Fall General Assembly. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, called the bishops’ completion of their years-long work on the Missal “historic.”

The bishops approved the Proper of Saints with 195 in favor, 23 opposed and 4 bishops abstaining. The bishops approved the Commons with 200 bishops in favor and 19 opposed. They approved the Roman Missal Supplement with 203 in favor, 15 opposed and 3 abstaining. They approved the U.S. Propers with 199 in favor, 20 opposed and 1 abstaining. They approved the U.S. Adaptation to the Roman Missal with 199 in favor, 17 opposed and 1 abstaining.

These items will now go to the Vatican for recognitio, or approval, which Bishop Serratelli said is expected sometime in 2010. Once the new translation is approved in its entirety, the materials for its implementation at the parish level will be ready in approximately a year.

Keywords: Roman Missal, English translation, ICEL, Proper of Saints, U.S. Propers, Commons, U.S. Adaptations to the Roman Missal, recognitio, implementation

An announcement in 2008 by the US Conference of Bishops about the revisions read: “Recently the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was granted the recognitio for the new English–language translation of significant parts of the Ordo Missae as found in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, including most of those texts used in every celebration of the Holy Mass. The recognitio was granted in response to the request of the USCCB by Bishop William Skylstad, then President of the Conference, who informed Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in a letter dated July 29, 2006, that we, the Latin Church Bishops of the USCCB, approved the translation of the Ordo Missae at its plenary meeting on June 15, 2006.”

In the end, The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), the translation body responsible for the Proper of Seasons, had failed to gain a two-thirds vote from the bishops to approve the Proper of Seasons in Orlando. The approval of the US Conference of Bishops had been withheld for two years. However, Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments who does not even speak English, had issued his binding orders in 2008. Any collegiality of the Holy Sea when it came to the revision in the Order the Mass was missing. This new translation was binding. Thus the perfunctory re-vote in Baltimore last week.

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