Sunday, March 27, 2011

Support and concern for the new English translation

Louie Verrecchio, a columnist for the Catholic News Agency, has put together a petition by which people can show their prayerful support of our bishops as they begin (or continue) their catechetical efforts to prepare people for the new English translation of the Roman Missal:  "What If We Just Said 'Pray'?"

The petition reads:
We are very concerned about those who are attempting to undermine the new English translation of the Roman Missal. We believe that by [sic] imposing their negative attitudes on our people - especially before a program of preparation - will have an adverse effect on our prayer and cause serious division in our communities.

We are convinced that adopting these new translations, which are highly faithful and which leaders among our bishops as well as many highly respected liturgists and linguists consider to be substantially richer than the text we’ve been praying lo these past forty years, will be a great grace.

For this reason we earnestly applaud the bishops of the English-speaking world for their contribution to the new translations and we welcome this great opportunity to grow in our awareness of Holy Mass through liturgical catechesis.

Furthermore, we hereby commit ourselves to earnest prayer for our bishops; that they may be strengthened in their ministry, as well as for the conversion of all who oppose Holy Mother Church - especially those who struggle to embrace the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

We are convinced that this approach will lift up the entire People of God who have so much to gain by the corrected translations.

We realize that the power of intercessory prayer is unlimited, as are the graces made available to those who approach the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with humility.

Ad Iesum per Mariam!
Now, I would not go so far as to say that people who are "struggl[ing] to embrace the new English translation" are people "who oppose Holy Mother Church", but the petition has a laudable aim.  I signed it because I am aware of efforts by various people to discourage Catholics from approaching the new translation inquisitively and calmly, and I think this makes any attempt at liturgical catechesis that much harder.  I think we do need to pray for the bishops, and for all involved in liturgical catechesis, that they may be able to teach the people well.

At the same time, there are continued "reports" of flaws and deficiencies in the new translation.  I am becoming less and less convinced of the degree to which the new translation is "highly faithful" to the Latin and to the principles of translation put forth in Liturgiam Authenticam and the Ratio Translationis.  Examples such as the post-communion on the First Sunday of Advent, the translation of adstare as "to be" rather than "to stand" in Eucharistic Prayer II, the complete dropping of a phrase about an angelic messenger from the Preface for the Annunciation.  These examples come from the contributors to and readership of the sometimes-controversial but resource-abundant Pray Tell Blog.

1 comment:

Julianne said...

If you want to support the bishops then complain about the way they have been treated. They seem incapable themselves.
Julie Mackey