What if we were to be obedient?

Recently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in an overwhelming majority, gave final approval to the new translations of the Roman Missal for use in the United States and English speaking countries.  This translation process has dragged on for many, many years.  I was told by a prominent theologian that we would have a new translation in about two years, that was 27 years ago.  The translation in current use is riddled with poor translation.  Some of the prayers in no way resemble the original Latin text.

The problems the new translation faced were many.  In the beginning, most of the translators wanted to put everything into inclusive language, even where it affected the veracity of the prayers.  Because of political correct thinking of the time, so people would have removed “He”, “Him” and “Lord” when referring to Jesus, just to appease a small group of extreme feminists.

The whole translation war came to a grinding halt with “Liturgiam Authenticam“, a document from the Congregation for Divine Worship & The Discipline of the Sacraments, on May 7, 2001.  This document made it very clear what the Church required for official translations of Her Liturgical books.  This document was a major blow to those who wished to water down the Liturgical translations or even compose their own prayers for the Liturgy.  The CDW ” makes it clear in very strong language that poor translations of Liturgical texts have caused harm to the Church and hindered the true renewal intended by the Council Father at Vatican II.

During and right up until the final vote, certain people fought tooth and nail to stop the new translation from being approved by the US Bishops.  They failed!  As we know, it was approved and is not awaiting final approval from Rome, before it goes to press.

If we were handed a horrible translation, like the one in current use, we would be expected to use it, no questions asked.  And if we were to question it, we would be called disobedient, radicals, non-conformists and maybe even traditionalists.  However, since the new translation has been approved, there is a new group, who wants to do their own “grassroots review of the new Roman Missal”.  This group has a website called “What If We Just Said Wait?”.  On the website is a petition with a “Statement of Concern”.

No!  Enough is enough!  No translation is perfect, and if that is what we want, then let’s just go back to the Latin.  If not, there is no more time for waiting.  We have waited long enough!  Maybe the signers of the “wait” website should ask another question, “What if we were to be obedient?”

5 thoughts on “What if we were to be obedient?

  1. Thank you Father Jay. There is a disturbing trend nowadays where people seek to dispute anything coming from the USCCB that doesn’t align with their views. We in the USA are a very independent people, and the internet makes it easier for people to elevate their own views. However, once the Magesterium has listened to us and made its decision, we need to accept that decision and move on. Energy spent attempting to dispute a decision that doesn’t align with one’s own desires could be much better spent in worship or examination of one’s conscience. In a very crude analogy, why do people pick out the speck in another’s eye and ignore the log in their own?

  2. Fr Jay-
    I dont agree with revising, but I certainly don’t agree with a weak translation-effectively handing water to folks that come seeking wine is doing worse than doing nothing.
    Would a return to the Latin mass be so bad? It could invigorate the faith in the US. It happened to work for around 19 and half centuries and since we cant seem to get our act together on the lingua franca here it might be a nice change.
    Maybe a re-read of Deut 18:9-15…or we should water that down in the next translation. Bottom line, most respectfully, is that we should not co-opt our faith for political reasons- our Master didnt.

  3. The new translation will be fine with me. I try to be as obedient as possible as well as open to change. I must say, as someone who only grew up post Vatican II I am having a hard time with the Latin. I don’t see why our Spanish community gets to worship in their language, use their up beat music and we have to use only the organ and put in Latin prayers here and there. I feel connected to the world wide church without using the Latin language. Had we kept parts in Latin from the beginning I probably would have been fine with it but throwing it in now feels awkward. I have to say if the Mass goes entirely Latin I don’t know what I’ll do-I don’t find the Latin Mass beautiful like others do. We’ll just have to trust the Holy Spirit.

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