How the Change in the Mass in English Came to Be

AFTER a time, some of us learn that life comes down to some simple things – how we love, how alert we are, how curious we are. In ways mysterious and comforting comes the profundity of style, of stories, in language, by others more articulate than I. Layer by layer, we discover and peel away superstition, fantasies, ideas of grandeur, levels of confusion, of anger, of hate, in order to experience the people and the world around us – and our life in the world – as directly and clearly as possible.” –Scott Walker of Graywolf Press

To have learned firsthand, through, with, in …. prayer, in the minor Elevation. 

When they come to take you away. The fear, the unsettling fear associated with power, like getting a letter from the IRS. The fear, like on Holy Thursday. There was a certain vintage of fear which came alive, not at all unlike if you had lived in Eastern Europe forty years ago. Over issues of trust. Of people with legal power. When you felt so powerless, as “they” took away my prayers.

In third grade geography, the teacher had discussed the things which made up a regional character. The mountain people seemed different, from the people of the plains. At least in the times when there was a lot less movement, and those people mostly looked alike. With a LANGUAGE which defined them, until the movement in the story changed the people. Language is the reference point for the nuanced subtleties of all relationships. Language is just a measure of what people think about worth. When valuation is so much only what was in a person’s mind, we all are just extrapolating and thinking – and that is perhaps what everyone thinks language is worth. A developed self-worth, when you were touched by the language.

Mindful of this subtlety, day in and day out, of language — the reference point for all delicate human relationships – the significance is when people gathered to say together words which to people somehow connected have recognized meaning. Here!  With a living language which defines us to each other, if not to God.

There is something exciting within when something grips you. It happened when you came across a great epic in which you could identify.  Poetry is a medium connecting the unconnected, measuring a past to the ever-growing present.  And the language of the Mass is what connected us: not only to God but to each other – those graduates of the parochial school.  Prayer is best described as “when you really looked deeply at something, it becomes part of you.”

How alert we are about Divine worship – over power and might? Under John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger had been the Prefect of the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Get your programs and scorecards ready, concerning issues of power and might. Concerning by whom he had been surrounded. Had there been plots about worldly power, concerning Divine worship among a group of the well-connected? This was like watching the same plot found in The Caine Mutiny?

George Pell was a a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and president of the Vox Clara Committee, which supervises for the Vatican on English translations of liturgical texts used at Mass. George Cardinal Pell had been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge. The son of a professional fighter, his infamous polarizing remark once was that he did not “think a Christian can say ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter.’ ”

William Joseph Levada, the current Prefecct of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. He is an American from Southern California.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone was Cardinal Ratzinger’s chief canon lawyer having been named in 1995 Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before Archbishop Bertone left the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to become Archbishop of Genoa. In 2006, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone became Secretary of State under Pope Benedict. He is a current member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments.

The current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is Antonio Cañizares Llovera. Nicknamed “Little Ratzinger,” Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera had formerly been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge, since 10 November 1996, and was named Archbishop of Granada on 10 December 1996. He does NOT speak English.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, one of Pope Benedict closest friends, is also a voting member of the the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He is the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

The men from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had long focused upon punishment with those who disagreed with their perspective about shared belief. And now the men were scattered throughout the Curia to implement their vision of a universal church throughout the world. IN ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, one more blow to episcopal collegiality.

In an all too politicized church over what groups can legitimately call themselves Catholic, today it is reported the Vatican was “extremely irritated” by the WORDING, as the Irish foreign ministry was closing its Vatican embassy because “it yields no economic return”, particularly as the Vatican sees its diplomatic role as promoting human values.  Maybe like in days of old, in the reign of monarchs, as in the Sport of Kings, in the breeding, not always noticeable or understandable by the unwashed, or those who are being pruned away who also are “extremely irritated” by the wording, in the revised English Order the Mass, affecting the intimate ability to pray with a possessive fervor. In our native tongue.

There is a noted difference between translators and interpreters. When all along the goal of a good translator, on a dead language, should be to promote quality services of its people – in union. And there was a lot more power and might in having a good interpreter, when you sent missionaries out to the salvage world.

So why do languages die? Like Latin, or Irish? In Ireland, when your people had lived under a dominant culture…. because English was a language forced upon the Irish… and you were supposed to reflect THEIR culture. To convey how you overcame anger, through stories of power and might. In song. There the people had come to know how to convey knowledge or understanding. “To be loyal to the church is to expose evil for the good of the church,” Paddy McCafferty said about Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests who were complaining about the new translation, among other things, where the sentences were so long they could be seen from outer space. Yes, there was a storm in Ireland about the new translation, among other things. Where historically the people mindful of the subtleties, day in and day out, of language — the reference point for all human relationships — knew something about a dying language.

So why do languages, like currencies, die? Like Latin, or Irish. The significance was when people gathered to say together words with a living language which defined us to God. Precise words which to people somehow connected had recognized meaning. Here! When all along the goal of a good translator, on a dead language, should be to promote quality services of its people – in union.

The fallacy behind the call for language change in an English — which has NOT changed — is that you lose something when things change through the life of a living language. Simply what would be lost is union, layer by layer. So you gave up your own currency to use something more universally accepted?

Language was just a measure of what leaders think about worth, and apparently the one-time members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith do not think much about the English-speaking world and the manner of our prayers or the strength of the faith within the congregation, as expressed in the measure in language, since 1965.

It was as if the chosen English words have not been valued by the English-speaking people in my country. The fallacy, as if these were just words. When the North American bishops who fought the change understood, until the command came down from Rome to “Just do it.”  As if this just was the Nike Corporation, or one with German-engineering like a BMW. 

This pope who as theologian had discussed the need to prune back in the universal Catholic Church — perhaps with his German obsession over clean exterior-dirty interior, or clean form and dirty content while losing sight though the human discussion, in a human perspective, over what would result in, who at the end of the story, exactly would be saved — over who exactly was Catholic? On the question of union, and human relationships, this everyday question was about union and possession where translations did have to be interpreted into every day life.

So why did people quit using or studying language? Was the death of a language just a result of, the victim of, a dominant culture, on issues of power and might? And when a dead language was revived, how could modern people pretend to explain how to translate for the world? When the real issue was the English words – ones like ‘ineffable,’ ‘consubstantial,’ ‘incarnate,’ ‘inviolate,’ ‘oblation,’ ‘ignominy,’ ‘precursor,’ ‘suffused’ and ‘unvanquished.’.

What would happen when English speaking people were not on familiar terms, when they no longer recognized their own language? When this new language was an imposed language. And this was somehow going to affect relationship supposedly based upon real authority, on matters spiritual?  Who really wanted to go to Mass and hear what was the music of language played in the wrong key?   As your language came credentialed by the Authorities who did not actually KNOW the nuance of English, but provided a BARE substitution of English for the Latin. Behold the clericalism in the power struggle to prove you carried a divine Authority. With the take-away – the sacrifice – into a direct English interlinear translation, in what Latin can never reveal what the Vatican II translation until now had.  And the real issue in these changes is about abandonment, in the ongoing papal wars with Modernity.

Read the following edited NCR column by Jamie L. Manson (with a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics), which recently appeared in the National Catholic Reporter.  About the tone-deaf leadership, as one man lost his hearing, just as he came to power, in Rome.

”Anthony Ruff, OSB, is a monk of St. John’s Abbey and professor of liturgy, liturgical music and Gregorian chant at St. John’s University in Minnesota.  In 2005, Ruff accepted an invitation to join the team of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).  Ruff joined ICEL for reasons similar to those that led him to associate with the editors of First Things. He was committed to guarding and promoting faithfulness to church tradition. Back then, he believed that the current Missal used in the United States “was a symptom of a mistake: that Vatican II had implemented these texts in a way that was too liberal and too much a sell-out to the secular world.”

“ICEL is a translating agency formed in 1963 by English-speaking bishops at the Second Vatican Council in response to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy’s decree calling for translations of the Missal into the vernacular. Article 22 of the constitution stated that these translations were to be “prepared and approved by territorial bodies of bishops,” such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

”But six weeks after the bishops approved the constitution, the Vatican sent out its first instruction stipulating that these translations would have to be sent to Rome and be approved by the Holy See. The bishops’ memories were long enough to recall that they did not agree to this arrangement.
”Assuming goodwill on the part of the Holy See, the bishops acquiesced.

“Ruff took pains to chronicle the history of the translation of the Missal beginning in 1963, and was careful to ensure that his portrait of its development was accurate and balanced. He read directly from a number of church documents and explained the theological implications of liturgical language.

“Ruff pointed out that Rome gave ICEL a remarkable amount of freedom as it embarked on translating the Latin into English. In a 1969 document, the Vatican reminded ICEL that it was ‘necessary to take into account not only the message to be conveyed, but also the speaker, the audience and the style.’ By providing this guideline, the hierarchy was working from their own theory of how Christianity ought to relate to local cultures.

“In 1969, the Vatican recognized that these translations would be somewhat loose, and that eventually translations from Latin would not be adequate. The ultimate goal was that all the texts of the Missal would be created in the original language rather than translated from the Latin.

“But history did not pan out that way. The bishops ‘did not know that in future years, further instructions would give more and more power to the center,’ Ruff said.

“By 2001, Rome’s primary emphasis had shifted from respect for receiving cultures to respect for, if not idolization of, the original Latin language of the Missal. This shift was made evident by the Vatican’s 2001 establishment of an advisory committee, known as Vox Clara, to oversee ICEL. Previously, ICEL was directly supervised by Rome. Under this new arrangement, Vox Clara’s power was upgraded, and ICEL’s authority was significantly downgraded.

“Vox Clara was a committee that met several times a year for three days at a time. ICEL was a high-functioning office staffed with full-time employees, consultants and translators. And yet, Vox Clara was suddenly entrusted with the power to override any of ICEL’s work.

“More than 7,000 consultants worked on various aspects of ICEL’s translation of the new Missal. Every translator was appointed by invitation only — and he was appointed by someone to whom he was ultimately obedient. Ruff himself was not appointed since, as a musician, his task was to set the new translations to melodies.

“The process was highly secretive. No progress reports were ever published, and no drafts were made available to those who requested them. This was a marked departure from the protocol followed by ICEL in the 1980s and 1990s.  Apparently, the Holy See tired — as older people often do — of the long struggle into twilight with first the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). This had been the main English liturgical translation body. The Holy See ordered the then body of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) restructured, with its bylaws changed, and then mandating a new philosophy concerning translations for the new edition of the Roman Missal.

“ICEL completed its translation of the new Missal in 2008, and the text was handed over to Vox Clara and the Vatican. Rome made more than 10,000 changes to ICEL’s text, many of them unexplainable. The resulting translations from the Latin were so literal that some of the renderings in English sounded convoluted, if not confusing.

“Worst of all, the Vatican’s version wasn’t based on the final draft submitted by ICEL.

“‘It was as if they pulled up the wrong file to work on. The last three years of consultation felt as if it was all for nothing,’ Ruff said. Even though more than 100 bishops approved ICEL’s work, Rome trumped them all.

“’The bishops would be critical of Rome’s translations over drinks at night, but the next day we would read that they were publicly defending the new Missal as a great moment of renewal. Our problem is that our structure doesn’t allow people to say what they believe for the good of the church.’

“Ruff said he doesn’t think all of the changes in the new Missal are bad. But because the process was so cloaked in secrecy, it necessarily became tainted.

“‘If there had been more collaboration at the table, those who are upset or confused by the new translations might have had the opportunity to see the reasons for the changes,’ Ruff said. ‘This lack of transparency leads us to automatically assume the worst of church leadership.’

“Beyond his objections as a liturgist, on a pastoral level this cumbersome wording worries Ruff. These are large problems that pervade the church, though in a church that Ruff intends to engage in and be a part of for the rest of his life. ‘Our system is not set up to tell the truth. It is not possible for those doing the work to say to those in charge “this isn’t working.” This,’ he said, ‘is not exactly a hot-button issue in the way issues of sexuality are. I would hope that we could at least have a variety of opinions about translation.’

“He has learned, however, that this new translation ‘reflects deeply problematic views of the relationship between the See of Peter and local church, the relationship between the church and culture, and the relationship between tradition and the ongoing need for renewal,’ he said.

“His own disillusionment with the institutional church has sparked a new kind of creative vision. He now dreams of a renewed church that honors the prophetic tradition while also celebrating the beauty of tradition. ‘I would love to belong to a community that was working for the transformation of unjust structures in church and society as well as offering direct outreach to the victims of oppression,’ he said.”

Forty-five years after the groundbreaking and liberating document on the sacred liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium – that great Magna Carta which transcended ecclesiastical politics in an overwhelming consensus of the bishops of the world which had passed 2,147 to 4 – now comes this obscure 1960s-era strategy known as Operation Twist. Like in the strategy employed by the Federal Reserve Bank, in August 2011.

From the Latin, tyrannus

Officials of The Federal Reserve Bank want to know how investors might respond to changes in monetary policy and to avoid surprising markets. According to interviews and hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Nancy Lazar, an economist with International Strategy & Investment Group Inc., is among a group of well-connected investors and analysts “with access to top Federal Reserve officials who give them a chance at early clues to the central bank’s next policy moves. The access is part of a push by hedge funds and other traders to get more information about the inner workings of government. Developments in Washington have become more important, after the financial crisis in 2008 spawned new regulations and a stronger hand by lawmakers in businesses. … Conversations are important to both sides, making it difficult for the Fed to completely close its doors to traders and analysts,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

In ways mysterious and discomforting comes this change involving the foundation of the profundity of style, of stories, in language of the WORD ethic. Mindful of the subtlety of human language and its power, this subtlety of language is one reference point for what divides me and my community from outsiders. (If you recall the Christmas story, Jesus was born as an outsider.) Those temporal rulers from far away had what interest to preserve our local language, when language was the outward sign to the insiders, about things working deep within? Language, my language, was the communal means, before Geiger counters and seismographs, to find the Truth before upheaval. It was a real relationship thing. Here.

This perspective of the institution – its connection of this community to the outside world as well as its own connection to communal sins – as a church was trying to pass on the old robes of authority, not recognized by the next generation because of a recognition of what this approach had caused the prior generation. Attempting to address the issues but in a vernacular that was not readily understood here, a church now wanted me to now pray, if not live, unquestioning when inheritance and fertility had once seemed so personal. 

When the decision to change the manner of prayer was about communal sins, like in Germany. Post-war, when there had once been the shame in such a nation. When the seat of Saint Peter now wanted me to now pray unquestioning, based upon the same mysterious foundation which had led to cover-ups and misunderstandings exposed throughout the world. When you obeyed rules based upon a relationship you were born into. When a child obeyed authority, without a developed interpreted perspective into every day life of power. When the best part of my prayer life was in the questioning of Creation.

About the continual movement in the story of communal sins. There was the affect on each and every relationship of the invisible communal sin. Whether just living unquestioning, or trying to figure the world outside.  About acceptance, within a relationship, over past inheritance, and then over presenting that inheritance to the next generation.  Why did I have all of this, and what was happening here in comparison to what once had happened here, to this community?

Did we have communal sin here?  What were we doing to change?  About communal sins, like in Germany. Post-war, the shame of a nation. Did Israel now have some kind of communal sins of their own these days? What were the causes?  Language?  Nationality?  Ways of thinking? There was just a banality of goodness and/or evil, or there were causes? To live unquestioning on issues of authority? And the expiation?

Yes, as the Seat of Saint Peter forces the biggest ‘stress test’ on the English speaking world, English sentences heard at the preface will be more than eighty words long. The fear, the unsettling fear associated with power on issues of infallibility over matters of faith if not morals – in the Church Too Big To Fail – on issues of unity, in the decade when there has been epic challenge to unity in the apostolic visits to nunneries, to the reality of those child abuse cases.

George Cardinal Pell, was the Australian bishop believed to have been a “campaign manager” behind Joseph Ratinzger’s 2005 election to the papal chair. This one time jock, educated abroad in Rome, was a force behind the scenes changing the rules of engagement. George Cardinal Pell had been chairman of the blue-ribbon Vox Clara Committee – think of it as some kind of supercommittee in Washington – which “consulted” the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments overseeing the text’s preparation, on the wholesale new translation of the Mass-book, soon to become the first vernacular text employed across the whole English-speaking world. With regard to liturgical reform, which is fundamental for the New Evangelization, and so after the corrections on the part of the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. When the enforcement of the existing rules seemed totally out of control, due to the existing apparatus, and the language of the Mass is now being used as a tool – some would even say as a weapon — to advance specific agendae with promises of unachievable historic fixes which could be approved by only paid staffers and blood relatives. Because we were such imperfect beings. In need of the approval of such liturgical innovations.

The continual movement in the story: Like within the Mount of Olives when they come to take you away. As the new scribes and Pharisees like George Cardinal Pell made me feel like an outsider each and every Sunday at Mass. And I felt so much like Mary Magdalene that first Easter asking: “Where have you taken my Lord?”


Foundation for Evangelization through the Media (FEM)


9 comments so far

  1. paperlessworld on

    Not everyone thinks about the art of language, what language is worth in my homeland. There was this developed self-worth, when you were touched by the language. So with the New Evangelization, the cornerstone of this pope’s administration, men and women were supposed to sacrifice their self-worth for issues of unity, or what this pope’s vision was of unity, based upon his German past.

    At a meeting on November 10, 2012 of the “Santa Cecilia” association — the Italian association Santa Cecilia for sacred music — Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree creating a new pontifical academy for Latin studies to boost interest in the Roman Catholic Church’s official language which is out of widespread use elsewhere. As part of the Vatican’s culture office resurrection of Latin at the Vatican, the new pontifical academy will promote Latin through conferences, publications as well as instruction in Catholic schools, universities and seminaries. Saying in their seminaries future priests nowadays often learn only a “superficial” appreciation of Latin, Benedict acknowledged Latin’s fall from grace. And perhaps maybe this pope has felt the suffering of the English speaking world over the translations substituted by George Cardinal Pell in the new English translation of the Roman missal.

    Meanwhile, at St.John’s College at the University of Sydney in Australia, Father Walter Fogarty, the honorary dean of the college, announced he was ending his 20-year association with the college, saying attempts to effect change were being undermined. Fairfax Media reported “the 150-year-old college had descended into anarchy, with widespread vandalism,” per the Sidnney Morning Herald. Father Fogarty said he had seen cultural change at St John’s but that had gone backward thanks to the efforts of some alumni and those on the executive. “Tradition is often used as a way of justifying behavior,” he said. “Some of the things that are happening now certainly were not part of college life when I first became involved 20 years ago … some of the sexist behavior hasn’t changed.”

  2. paperlessworld on

    “The problem that keeps coming up and won’t go away is the credible exercise of authority. It is a structural issue that has to do with power and accountability. The new missal has shown us how a secretive central authority, absent mechanisms of accountability, can impose its will. Of course, top-down absolute monarchy need not malfunction in this way. In the Catholic model of governance at its best, the ruling class is accountable to the Gospel and exercises authority humbly and lovingly, with a listening ear and a view to consensus, though the institutional structures do not require this.

    “The proper response to the new missal is not to storm the Bastille and topple the monarchy (though it is interesting that the small group inclined to this view seems to be growing). Most Catholics are merely disappointed and irritated, which is hardly the basis for a revolution. Most of us who see the deeper problems represented by the missal are committed to working collaboratively with our leaders to make a constructive contribution to the renewal and reform of our church. It is not unreasonable to hope that voices like the voice of Bishop Rober Brom of San Diego will grow louder, with a revision of not just the missal but also the misguided translation principles that made it possible…To frame the question accurately is one of the most important services we can offer. There are issues of collegiality and the violation of Vatican II’s explicit stipulation that approving translations belongs to bishops (not the Holy See); ecumenism and the abandonment of liturgical texts formerly held in common with our Protestant brothers and sisters; inculturation and the imposition of a liturgical aesthetic from above onto widely diverse cultures; and collaborative leadership and the rejection of input from experts in liturgical translation. There is much to face up to.” — Anthony Ruff, OSB, of St. John’s Abbey, one year later.

    A) See

    B) See

    All of these changes were made to allegedly help have a better understanding of the liturgy. Words of the Agnus Dei will not change. However, before the distribution of Communion, after the priest announces “Ecce,” the revised response is: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my ROOF, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” The new translation with the insertion of the word “roof” refers to the account of the Roman Centurion’s encounter (described as the backbone of their army, the leader responsible for 100 soldiers of the State’s 6000 in the Roman Legion), with Jesus about his ill daughter back in his barracks. Perhaps this change in the English translation of the Roman Missal is Pope Benedict’s manner of admission of his own failure – that you should enter under MY roof – relating to the coverup of the all the sexual crimes, under his office in charge of faith and morals. Because the Vatican II prayer encompassed a much wider perspective of the Lamb of God than a focus on a ROOF: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Compare this reading to what happened on Calvary, with a Roman Centurion in charge who in the end noted the identity of the One crucified. As a Roman Centurion somewhere on Calvary was in charge of the Crucifixion. These centurions for the evangelist do not come across like the German Gestapo but represent an occupying power of STATE, with the divided power of CHURCH and STATE. And it was only after the Roman Centurion verified for Pontius Pilate that Jesus was dead that the body of Jesus was given over to Joseph of Arimathea. “Give unto Caesar….” There is no change in reply to the invited words upon reception of Communion – You will still answer “Amen” to the Eucharistic Minister’s “The Body of Christ.”

    Concluding Rite—Note new options for the priest to the missioning, as he might say, in the dismissal: “Go in peace.” Or “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” Or “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” Or “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” And your response remains unchanged … or is supposed to.

    All these changes have come down from Rome, where clearly the spin from the start by those with or without power was that those from Rome were the good guys, just like the Roman centurion. Yes, after a time, some of us learn that life comes down to some simple things – how we love, how alert we are, how curious we are. In ways mysterious and comforting comes the profundity of style, where no one in the English speaking world should question Rome when it comes to changes. If you lived under a dominant power, you never were going to get ahead as a church in this church based upon clericalism by telling the powers-that-be how wrong they could be, again — people like George Cardinal Pell and the Prefect in charge of all of this who does not speak English. And when I think about what has been done to this Sacrifice of the Mass, I knew the Victim and now had a better idea of who were the perpetrators, if anyone ever could really be an innocent bystander … like in the oblation of the body by that Roman Centurion in the story.

    Theologian, Hans Kung, wrote in his book The Church (Burns & Oates, N. Y.: 1968): “For all the gravity of its (the Church) message, it must not judge and condemn but heal, forgive, save. Its inevitable warnings must not be an end in themselves but a reminder of the offer of Grace held out by God….”

  3. paperlessworld on

    Missing from the papal entourage to South America in July 2015 was Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops—to perhaps explicitly keep him, in his capacity as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (CAL), out of there. In that Cardinal Marc Ouellet should have been included on the papal trip, “word around the Vatican is that Papa Francesco and Cardinal Ouellet – fluent in Spanish – don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on almost anything to do with bishops or the church in the Americas,” Commonweal reports. What kept the cardinal from the historic papal visit was a missioning from Pope Francis to preside at a closing Mass in central Italy for the Jubilee of St. Celestine V, the late 13th century pope who abdicated to return to monastic life as a hermit. And if that was my boss, I think that I might see a vision, with the new refreshing transparency.

    In Nov 2014, there was the sudden “retirement” of Fr. Anthony Ward, SM, from the Congregation for Divine Worship. Father Ward was widely thought to be the mastermind – together with Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B and an obscure American monsignor James Moroney [Cut and pasted from a Pray Tell link: “Msgr. James Moroney – executive secretary of Vox Clara. Formerly head of the BCL (now called BCDW – bishop committee divine worship) office in the U.S. Reputed orchestrator of the ten thousand-plus changes made to the missal translation and approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship after the national bishops’ conferences had submitted their approved versions.”] of Liturgia authenticam and of the hundreds (thousands?) of mistranslations and mistakes in English grammar and usage that came out under “Vox Clara, along with the sudden “retirement” of Monsignor Juan-Miguel Ferrer Grenesche as undersecretary, who came into the Congregation of Divine Worship under Pope Benedict at the request of the recently resigned Prefect, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera. He was seen most recently attending to Cardinal Burke during the Summorum Pomposity celebrations. The two of them [Ward and Ferrer Grenesche] were replaced by one person, Father Corrado Maggioni, 58, said to be a friend of Archbishop Piero Marini, who was an associate of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini who had been largely responsible for the development and implementation of the liturgical reform of 1969/1970.

  4. paperlessworld on


    Behold the seeds of clericalism. In the power struggle to prove you carried a divine Authority, why do strangers – like in Rome – pray for vocations? Why are some shown affection –favor – in the crusade promoting ‘vocations? Behold the foundation of the sin of clericalism, with the take-away – the sacrifice – into a direct English interlinear translation, in what Latin can never reveal what the Vatican II translation until now had revealed. The real issue in these changes is about abandonment, in the ongoing papal wars with Modernity. That the bishops and archbishops were all better than the people of the Americas, Australia, and certainly of England if not Ireland. Behold the sacrifice to pursue priesthood solely for personal gain. Behold The Elect changing the way that I pray, at Mass.

    Poetry is a medium connecting the unconnected, measuring a past to the ever-growing present. And language, with OUR language, is what connects. The means of exchange is through story. Beware the men who destroy/kill, in the name of the LAW. For the law? That these men might retain their power.

    What is interesting to note, on matters of those skilled in the language arts, in September 2013 is the missing Irish names on the The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop who authorized the issuance of the document as a formal statement of the Committee on Divine Worship. And these too were the people responsible, on matters of giving voice, as authorized by the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, for changes in matter of song, used in liturgy. And the current prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship gave signals in the summer of 2016 of favoring the old ad orientem Mass where a priest faces the altar and not the people while celebrating the Eucharist, for all the world.

  5. paperlessworld on

    ….finally. Good news out of Vatican City.

    To quote a bit about what is in this article: “

    Bishops’ conferences of Germany, Italy and France had dragged their feet on implementing “Liturgiam Authenticam.” Perhaps other language groups, thanks to our experience, will be spared questionable translations like the New Roman Missal in English.

    “Significantly, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to be its president. For 10 years chairman of the International Commission for English Language in the Liturgy, addressing the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in September 2014, the English-born archbishop is the number two official at the Congregation for Divine Worship, with more experience in the liturgical field and a more open approach to liturgical questions than its prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah.

    The Vatican has not provided details on the commission, which is scheduled to hold its first meeting soon. Nor has it published the names of the commission’s members. In a transformational moment, this pope has ushered in for the church—the fresh air, the invitation to dialogue, the resetting of priorities, the quest for simplicity. And there also os in his writings – especially “Evangelii Gaudium” — a discussion about talk about language, communication, modes of expression, and cultural adaptation—all of which have significant implications for the way we pray. So far this pope does not focus on the Mass or the Missal; Pope Francis points to the importance of simplicity, clarity, directness and adapting to “the language of the people in order to reach the sheep.

    He writes: “We cannot demand that peoples of every continent, in expressing their Christian faith, imitate modes of expression which European nations developed at a particular moment of their history, because the faith cannot be constricted to the limits of understand.”

    A wonderful opportunity seems to have opened up. Archbishop Roche said the major difference between “Comme le Prévoit” (1969), which governed translation for the first liturgical books after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), and “Liturgiam Authenticam,” which has since determined the translation of the Roman Missal in English, French and some Spanish-speaking countries, “was that the Holy See in its directives opted for a shift of the guiding principle of translation from that of ‘dynamic or functional equivalence’ in 1969 to the principle of ‘formal equivalence’ in 2001.” But this approach has become “outmoded,” he said, as over the last 40 years, specialists in language “have become more aware that the form we choose for an utterance is itself expressive of our purpose in speaking.” The Holy See in “Liturgiam Authenticam” opted for “the formal equivalence,” he stated.

  6. paperlessworld on

    The war with modernity continues, per the address by the current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, on March 31, 2017

    RE: The Second Vatican Sacrosanctum Concilium

    “A significant number of Church leaders today underestimate the serious crisis that the Church is going through – relativism in doctrinal, moral and disciplinary teaching; grave abuses; a de-sacralization and trivialization of Sacred Liturgy, along with merely a social and horizontal view of the mission of the Church. Many declare loudly and long believe that Vatican Council II brought about a true springtime in the Church. A growing number of Church leaders nevertheless see this ‘Springtime’ as a renunciation of a centuries-old heritage – a rejection. Certainly, some fine initiatives were taken along these lines. “We” however cannot close “our” eyes to the disaster, the devastation and the schism that the modern promoters of a living liturgy caused by remodeling the Church’s liturgy according to their ideas. [And so the belief that Christian roots have been attacked at its foundation.]

    “It is hence necessary to recognize that the serious, profound crisis since Vatican II that has affected the liturgy and the Church itself is due to the fact that the CENTER of the liturgy no longer is God and the adoration of God, but rather humanity and the alleged ability to “do” something to keep themselves busy during the Eucharistic celebrations. Many even see a radical questioning of her past and Tradition. While “Political Europe” is rebuked for denying its Christian roots – with always and everywhere the theme of leaving if not abandoning – wasn’t the first to have left, or abandoned the roots of the past, indisputably the post-conciliar Church?”

    So the old guard lost the war, and here is the statement that ‘the CENTER of the Liturgy’ that significant number of Church leaders oversee is the devastated disaster? And this guy who happens to be in charge of the Divine Worship and the Sacraments is promoting a new schism against the modern promoters of a Living Liturgy – or against the generation of cardinals that preceded him? There seldom has been many young people in the College of Cardinals, which means that the modern promoters of a Living Liturgy are mostly over sixty years old, required to give up their vote at the age of 75.

  7. paperlessworld on

    After being relieved of his duties as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said: “I cannot accept this way of doing things. As a bishop one cannot treat people this way.”

    Did you ever consider the first time you cut, as a surgeon?

    The prefect of the congregation for five years for Pope Fancis complained afterwards in an interview with Bavarian daily ‘Passauer Neue Presse’ on 6 July, 2017. Did anyone ever count how many of the ordained he has cut along the way? And Cardinal Müller particularly was aggrieved that three of his team were removed earlier this year. Behold the leader who tries to govern collegially by setting up a panel of cardinal advisers, dealing with a cardinal who could never be collegial. When Müller himself cannot accept that someone had authority over him?

  8. paperlessworld on

    At Last. The story today.

    The Vatican City journalist John Allen jr remembers “vividly listening to Japanese prelates, for instance, complain in the late 1990s that carefully-pondered translations were being rejected or modified by the Vatican’s liturgy congregation – where, needless to say, no one spoke Japanese, so the decisions were being driven by nameless “consulters” someplace, taking precedence over the official judgments of an entire conference of bishops.)”

  9. paperlessworld on

    “Since for many years I was part of the National Liturgical Commission,” writes Bishop Thomas McMahon, bishop emeritus of Brentwood, in this week Tablet, “as Bishop Crispian Hollis indicated in his letter, the volume of work at the Bishops’ Conference is considerable and sometimes we failed to do justice to something as important as translations for the Missal. However, I was also very aware that whatever text we came up with, Rome was intent on complete oversight and having a translation closer to the Latin; hence the rather convoluted prayers that we now have.” Bishop Crispian Hollis of England had recently apologized for the unfortunate English translation of the Roman Missal of 2011.”

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