In What Direction to Take An Ark To Safety?

The view of those who run Europe is that the truth is that its single currency must be saved. And so the story about what rain-makers and bailouts, and a flood of money …in a flood of new money — do to stave off impending doom, like in the 2008 financial collapse.

Before the time of Homer was a story of Noah, when the world was destroyed by flood. In the story of the second creation. In the book Sages and Dreamers, Elie Wiesal wrote of the world in which Noah was swimming in the polluted air of the earth which had resulted after ten generations of creation. In the story of Noah, God was still very conscious of the goings on in the world. The crimes of humanity, the corruption, which Noah was above, are never explained in the lines. Who did what to whom? Noah, who is all that others are not. Creation had become chaos. And the story of Noah, like most of the Genesis stories, dealt with the themes of fertility. Fertility and the pairing up — the fertility that you tried to control, just as your tried to plan your own future. It would be what you would leave behind, way beyond your control. All others die, yet Noah lives. There is a certain irony to read the perspective of a Jewish author who lost each and every one of his relatives in the Holocaust — a man who at war’s end tried returning to his hometown, which had done nothing to help the Jewish population, perhaps feeling like Noah where all he had left was family.

So what had Noah ever done to deserve his role, to save humanity? Little ever is said. All that the Good Book says is that Noah submits to God’s will and nothing more. God has chosen to talk to him. And he built his ark. To save humanity.

The NYU economics professor (former derivative trader) known as Dr. Doom, Nassim Taleb, who had predicted the 2008 crash, in a January 2009 speech about bailouts: “I want them poor. And they deserve to be poor. You cannot have capitalism without punishment.”

And so the stories about what the flood of money in our times has done, and the belief that someone ought to be punished. Because at least money was one value everyone understood. Through a medium of exchange which conveyed a sense of belonging. To a group of people. And then the attempt to pass on that culture. With a sense of belonging, through the stories. Where there were so many problems. About where to go with your money. For safety.

When you shared a heritage, or a culture. But your leaders attempted to form a union with the neighbors. And so the new stories about what a shared heritage, or a culture, pairing up, to save humanity. My fertility as a medium of exchange, which conveyed a sense of belonging. To a group of people. To a land. And then to pass on, in like the eggs. Or the euro.

“One reason the eurozone is tottering is that markets know that its members (by which they mean Germany) could produce the mere two trillion euros required to calm things down, but are refusing to do so.

In Europe “one crisis leads to another crisis unless you find a really effective circuit breaker,” said PIMCO’s El-Erian. The creation of the new government in Italy “is certainly not sufficient. You fundamentally have to convince the people that they have to sacrifice and come up with a set of policies that allows the economy to grow and not just austerity. Europe so far hasn’t come close.” PIMCO continues to favor sovereign debt of nations including the U.S. and U.K. where central banks are keeping interest rates low and embarking on monetary stimulus programs such as debt purchases, said Bill Gross during today’s interview. Canadian and German debt also remain attractive.

Nancy Lazar of Ed Hyman’s ISI Group makes it clear that the Germans are exhibiting an uneasy awareness of the limits of their own less-than-vibrant economy. Expressed as a percentage of Germany’s GDP, German bank exposure to debt from France is 6.1%; Spain, 4.8%; Italy, 4.4%; Ireland, 3%;Portugal, 1%; and Greece, 0.9%. As she comments, the total of German banks’ exposure to peripheral and French debt is equivalent to 20.2% of Germany’s GDP, “high by any standard.” About Germany, Lazar posits that even without capturing fully the fiscal drag and contagion from the crisis, inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, which in the September quarter rose 2.5% year-over-year, will head for zero growth next year. That rather glum prospect is in keeping with recent weak readings of, among other indicators, German business expectations and slowing consumer spending.

Since something like 70% of German exports go to the rest of Europe, German exports have softened. Paced by a 12.1% plunge in demand from the rest of the Continent, September German factory orders were off overall by 4.3%. Corporate earnings have begun to give, with a one-two punch of a weaker economy with the rise in unit labor costs. Retail sales, with diminished consumer confidence, are destined to suffer this holiday season and thereafter.

There was so much irony to read the quote of a French leader that the European Union was set up so that religion would not be the basis of war among nations again. And so the secular nature of Europe, in post war Europe. The EU as the defining instrument of the times, with the euro. When spokesmen for a system of government spent so much time disseminating illusion on issues of unity, if not union. What happens when the confidence is gone? And so the devaluations, the corruption, which came out of one means of exchange for the all nations. And the downward spiral.

Nov 16 (Bloomberg) – Europe has as little as day or weeks to act to avoid a default by a euro-region country, Citigroup Inc. chief economist Willem Buiter said today, “Time is running out fast.” In an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance Midday” with Tom Keene, Buiter said, “I think we have maybe a few months – it could be weeks, it could be days – before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it. So they have to act now.”

The irony in the story of this flood of money and ancient Greece. And the mottled German leadership role in all of this, seventy-five years after the Third Reich. When money helps to create the illusion of grandeur in this life. When money was a DEFINING INSTRUMENT OF THE Culture. It was the language we communicated, in western civilization. It was how we exchanged things, beyond words. It was a way of understanding. Money reflected the values of a community. Systems of money were created. Capitalism. Communism. We fool ourselves with the systems of grandeur. By nationalism. Fascism. In castes. Or in Aryan supremacy. In the debates about theologies, and the defining instruments of communication, so often stifled by popes, or about radical authoritarianism, with a missing collegiality. With the missing debate not so much over valuations — about buzzcuts on those holding Greek debt, or just needed pruning back — but how to measure valuation. With a meaningful DEFINING INSTRUMENT of the culture.

You cannot have capitalism, the one size which is supposed to fit all, like really the one size that fits Germany. As people without their own currencies, or their own language, cannot correct their own errors, as their debt compounds. As Germans overvalue their currency and the remainder of the EU’s along with them. Without punishment.

Yeah, up until one month ago the view from Europe was that its single currency must be saved. At all costs. Was there an irony, a certain sense of satisfaction, to see the currency pain in Italy and in Germany at the same time, with their real pain in a devaluation in the use of dynamic equivalence. As old men from Italy led by a German, put in place this currency adjustment, at all costs, affecting the way I prayed? In English.

This devaluation, the change in translation, was not about just prayer but about the medium that I used, that all of us within these borders use. So now comes the change. It was a currency adjustment, a devaluation in the use of dynamic equivalence. As these things happened in international systems of exchange. And with it, a change in the spiritual lives of many in these united states. Mindful of the intense suffering and pain which is part of fertility, it took more than 10 years for all of this to bear fruit. And after the translation comes the real life interpreting, as a church’s true mission has been in the field of interpreting and translating, just like in those services offered for interpreting and translating, to lawyers and court services. With my own ignominy watching the story of the euro play out, I had a certain response – like that found in Germany – that the pain in places all over Europe would not happen here. And I now understood the Occupy Wall Street protest which was now leading to a world-wide movement, about leaders who had no idea where or how they were leading people. The protest like the one over the leadership of the financially chosen people.

From the economic discussion of “Too Big to Save,” came me. Questioning who these leaders were and what they hoped to accomplish — who they thought they were really serving. I felt that somehow my prayer life was caught up in the European wholesale sovereign debt mess, and I was part of the write-downs. It was being packaged as The New Evangelization. And I was a part of the write-offs. And in the aftermath, there was a disproportionate size of Europe’s biggest cathedrals relative to their real life use which would be coming to America. As Germans overvalue their currency and the remainder of the EU’s along with them, there was the missing debate over sovereignty. And like the feelings of animosity towards a distant far-away authority, I empathized so much like the Greeks today and the Spanish tomorrow.

Before the time of Homer, when the world was destroyed by flood, except for the story of a man named Noah. When one man was responsible for carrying on. It was what happened in a world during a devaluation in the use of dynamic equivalence. This was the same story later played out in the past, among Chosen People. Like the perverted story eighty years ago with anti-semitism. And members of a church – the ones who see themselves as chosen people concerning issues of salvation – can, in discovering the subtleness of God, play a critical role. Or not. In interpreting the meaning of Creation. Like Noah. Like my own priest, who in navigating closeness was above all the petty human politics, with a perspective in the broken world about the truth that its single currency cannot be saved. Without punishing the poor in spirit. With his services carried out, like that by the seasoned and professionally trained interpreter, far from the Holy See and its philosophy based upon a single currency.

“In very ancient Greece, Homer tells us, the giants tried to scale Heaven by piling Mount Ossa on top of Mount Olympus, and then adding “wooded Pelion”, another mountain in those parts, on top of that. They failed, of course, and “piling Pelion on Ossa” became a by-word for reinforcing failure.” –Charles Moore in “The Left and Right Should Join Forces Against the Great Euro Take-over”
Copyright © 2011.


6 comments so far

  1. paperlessworld on

    Liturgiam Authenticam

    One size fits all. This prayer becomes an Imitation of attachment – when you flew the flag, as an Italian-American because the mother country sided with Germany. And you thought Mussolini was not so bad?

    Restoration, dealing with loss? The Church in the Modern world. Leaving. Getting along, in old age, in the modern world….. or not.

    Memorizing … Hamlet. The Gettysburg Address. To be or not to be? What does it mean to be? A Catholic? With the cost of Catholic education. In Paul’s definition of love, put away your toys. “Love is not ….” To be or not to be? What does it mean to be an American. The State in the Modern world. Your connection to your people.

    Behold the motu proprio now!

    Without content the world-wide web would be a sea without any water.

    Victimized. In the metaphor of taxes to sacrifice, government levies taxes not to finance its operations, but to give value to its fiat money as sovereign credit instruments. And the language of sacrifice was the currency that was now being devalued in the English-speaking translation of the Mass. That oblation of the Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship in the way of these changes was risking – like so much of Europe where there was no THERE there – the currency of a living language. Did you feel the soul of the living being cut into with such German indifference, from the days of a church with a missing collegiality, as public worship is put into the private practice of the Vox Clara members?

    Note the names of The Vox Clara Committee, chaired by Cardinal George Pell (Sydney). Participants in the meeting were Bishop Thomas Olmsted, First Vice-Chairman (Phoenix), Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Second Vice-Chairman (Bombay), Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Secretary (Paterson), Cardinal Justin Rigali, Treasurer (Philadelphia, Emeritus), Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. (Chicago), Archbishop Alfred Hughes (New Orleans, Emeritus), Archbishop Michael Neary (Tuam), Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J. (Ottawa), Bishop John Tong Hon (Hong Kong), and Bishop David McGough (Birmingham, Auxiliary).

    Also assisting the meeting were Monsignor James P. Moroney (Executive Secretary), Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B (expert), Reverend Dennis McManus (expert), Monsignor Gerard McKay (advisor), Reverend Joseph Briody (special assistant) and Reverend Gerard Byrne (special assistant). Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (advisor) was unable to be present.

    The representatives of the Holy See in the devaluation in the English-speaking translation included the Delegate to the Vox Clara Committee, British-born Anthony Ward, S.M., Marist Undersecretary of the Congregation, quite involved in the translation process including the massive last-minute revisions, likely in cahoots with his friend Msgr. James Moroney, a professor of liturgy at St. John’s Seminary in in Brighton, Massachusetts. Archbishop Alfred Hughes (New Orleans, Emeritus), is also a graduate of St. John’s Seminary in in Brighton (as was John D’Arcy, the former bishop of Fort Wayne who publicly criticized the University of Notre Dame for its invitation to President Obama to speak at its graduation).

    APRIL 16, 2013: Yes, it is of note that Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; and George Pell of Sydney were two of the eight named to the group “to advise him (Pope Francis) in the government of the universal church.” I would suggest that they did not have enough time or collegiality to see that their last major task was put effectively into place.


  2. paperlessworld on

    In Nov 2014, there was the sudden “retirement” of Fr. Anthony Ward, SM, as undersecretary 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) 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.

    And do you ever get the impression that THIS pope is trying to convey if not teach by way of worship and language this softness like the softness of the music used for worship.

  3. paperlessworld on

    At Last. The story today about the language utilized in prayer.

    From CruxNow: “Spanish texts must go through a ‘translation verification’ process that is supposed to render the English-language catechism faithfully. Concerning the language of the captive — the Subcommittee on the Catechism which uses bishops, staff and trained contracted reviewer to read proposed catechetical texts from publishers, is charged with certifying that they are both age-appropriate and in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Said USCCB chairman, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, ‘We don’t have the resources, the personnel with the competency to review a culturally sensitive work via the protocols . Quite frankly, as these catechetical materials in Spanish and other languages might bleed into the digital content, we do not have a clear answer on how to proceed. We do not have the competency or the resources to date to review those cultural materials in those languages other than English.’ “

  4. paperlessworld on

    The State Of the Union, 2018

    “English-speaking Catholics like us have never given up hope that we may be able, one day, to celebrate Mass in our own native language. Despite our efforts, we have never been able to take to our hearts the halting, clumsy word-for-word translation from the Latin imposed by the rulings of a peremptory 2001 Vatican document—titled Liturgiam authenticam—that overturned thirty years of meaning-for-meaning creative work.

    “Until that point, we had felt that ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) was getting there, as it tackled the huge job of translating hundreds of liturgical texts from the Latin. The translators had proceeded in accordance with the 1969 ‘Instruction on the Translation of Liturgical Texts,’ issued in six languages and named Comme le prévoit after the original French edition. This instruction specified that ‘the “unit of meaning” is not the individual word but the whole passage.’ Hence “a faithful translation cannot be judged on the basis of individual words.” Pope Paul VI had read the instruction and made minor corrections to it.

    … First the version from the 1998 rejected Missal:

    ‘In your goodness, Lord, receive the sacrifice of salvation which we offer on the feast of the immaculate conception. We profess in faith that your grace preserved the Virgin Mary from every stain of sin; through her intercession deliver us from all our faults.’

    Now the version from 2011 Missal:

    ‘Graciously accept the saving sacrifice which we offer you, O Lord, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grant that, as we profess her, on account of your prevenient grace, to be untouched by any stain of sin, so through her intercession, we may be delivered from all our faults.’

    “From Evagrius of Antioch to George Steiner, there is unanimity that a genuine translation must communicate well. This aim was completely ignored by Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, a Chilean who was shifted to Rome, in his decree to accompany the third, “typical” edition of the 1970 Missale Romanum, issued in the year 2000. The new vernacular versions of this Missal should be “faithfully and accurately” prepared, he insisted. But Liturgiam authenticam defined that aim too narrowly.”

    –Gerald Collins, S J

  5. paperlessworld on

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