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The attacks on the new English Missal are the last expiring gasp of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’

The battle is virtually over – and the good guys won

By on Monday, 14 February 2011

American bishops study a draft of the new translation in 2005 (CNS photo)

American bishops study a draft of the new translation in 2005 (CNS photo)

I didn’t intend, until I saw this week’s print edition of the paper (and incidentally, if you don’t take the paper, either online or in print, you should; this homepage gives no more than a taste of what you could have: it’s worth the price of the paper for the columnists alone – do it in two minutes by clicking on to the little square in the right-hand column) to say any more for a week or two about the new translation of the Mass, which we will all be using in church from September. I have made my views clear enough. I think that the new translation is wholly successful, and that if we had been using it from day one, thousands of people repelled by the banality of the ICEL translation now being superseded would still be regular worshippers rather than lapsed Catholics. I really believe it’s as important as that.

I return to the subject, however, inspired by this week’s splash headline: “Battle begins over new Roman Missal.” Now, I have written enough splash headlines myself to know that their purpose is not (mainly, at least) to convey accurate information, but to capture the attention of potential readers. This one certainly attracted mine: but of course, what one has then to do is to read the story to find out what’s actually going on.
The point is that there has already been a huge battle over this (which the good guys won), a battle which began when Pope John Paul published Liturgiam Authenticam, a document which made it clear that Mass translations in future should be faithful to the Latin text (not theologically and devotionally emasculated like the English translation currently in use) and then appointed a commission called Vox Clara, under the chairmanship of Cardinal the great and good George Pell, to make sure that this happened. A new chairman and secretary of ICEL (the International Committee on English in the Liturgy) were also appointed, and all seemed set fair.

But there had been an almighty struggle, the extent of which became clear when the retiring chairman of ICEL, Bishop Maurice Taylor of Galloway, made an astonishing attack on the new dispensation, in which he complained bitterly that “the members of ICEL’s episcopal board have, in effect, been judged to be irresponsible in the liturgical texts that they have approved over the years. The bishops of the English-speaking conferences, voting by large majorities to approve the vernacular liturgical texts prepared by ICEL, have been similarly judged. And the labours of all those faithful and dedicated priests, religious, and lay people who over the years devoted many hours of their lives to the work of ICEL have been called into question.”
Well, of course, he was dead right. The bishops who approved these awful texts had indeed, thank God, at long last been judged and found wanting. And so had the labours of all those “faithful” (but not to the texts they were translating) priests, religious and lay people who over the years had indeed (sniff, sniff) devoted many hours of their lives to undermining the real meaning of the Novus Ordo, leading many to suppose wrongly that the Church had now as good as protestantised the Mass. (Whatever else you say, the English Mass we have is by the skin of its teeth a valid Catholic rite: it just doesn’t, sometimes, seem much like it.)
The fact is that the “battle” now beginning over the introduction of the new translation is little more, by comparison with the warfare of the past few years, than a final skirmish, virtually over before it has started. It is, quite openly, the last gasp of those whose watchword has been “The Spirit of Vatican II” (“Spirit”, in quotes, rather than reality), the final faltering assault of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture. But these people have already lost. If you doubt that, have a look at the comments below last week’s online story headlined: “Irish priests claim new Mass translation is ‘elitist and sexist’.” In the end there were 124 comments on this story, all except a handful from outraged lay people hotly rejecting the complaints of these Leftist and anti-Roman priests. One of them was from me. My comment simply was: “The instant, massive and almost unanimous hostility these elitist dissidents – who ludicrously complain about the elitism of the new translation – have aroused (see below), from the people in the pews who have suffered at their hands for 30 years, says it all. What a massive own goal their ‘urgent plea’ has turned out to be.” Another of those who responded simply but eloquently asked: “Why can’t these priests do what Rome wants, we did not have these problems in the past… it’s getting like they used to say about the Anglicans and probably still do, a Pope in every pulpit.” Well, indeed; but the good news is that the tide has now turned: these dissident priests are ageing and on the way out. If we keep our nerve, we are virtually there: we shall overcome.

  • Mark Johnson

    Ben Travato,

    more rubbish from you. What ‘hieratic language’ was it that Jesus spoke? Or goodness me, could you be presuming that the exulted Johannine language is what Jesus spoke?

    Then explain how that legitimates using an imperial langugae by us? Do you know nothing of the history of the church, or like so many that flounce around today, do you simply exalt an imagined period as how it ever was?

    Dont castigate dfc for ‘unsubstantiated anecdote’ when that is exactly what you do.

  • Mark Johnson

    That’s just a ridiculous value statement on your part elevated to statement of fact. So you are saying that the previous translation is nothing more than ‘for the kiddies’? On the contrary, you know that you are over-stepping the mark Oddie just to merely elevate your own taste.

    And once again by your empty condescension you show the real agenda of those supporting the changes: aesthetic elitism and cultish exclusion over and against the embrace of all the People of God.

  • crouchback

    Thanks for that Mark….cultural snob…..Gee whodav Thunk it……

    I read the English side of the missal when I attend Tridentine Masses….I don’t have Latin O level….

    I have got English grade “C”, Geography grade “B”, and Metal Work grade “B” O levels

    I’m an electrician…I work on construction sites and oil rigs….I’m unemployed at the momment….Geez – a- job….????

    But being a cultural snob has it’s advantages……..”Smithers where’s my Chateau Musar”…???

    Bloody servants….what’s the use if they can’t serve a man’s Chateau Musar when needed….????

  • Mark Johnson


    the clique you refer to were the bishops, this translation is from a true clique with the absurd and deeply egotistical self given title of ‘Vox Clara’.

    perhaps you think Vox clara has more authority than the bishops?

  • Mark Johnson

    Lots of non-sequitors there Oddie.

    Could you explain the difference between what you see as what the council said and how it has been widely conveyed?

    Also, oh oracular one, what in your view was the Council ‘really about’?

  • Anonymous

    Chris: Somebody hasn’t read their Gospels : No offence but you seem to be the kind of person who thinks John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is a beautiful song – whereas to me it’s probably one of the most vile, perniciously maleficent things ever written…perspectives I suppose.
    ..and I’m sorry we aren’t called to live according to the Beatitudes – we’re called to live by God’s law – which Christ announced Himself as the fulfilment – sure the commandment is to Love – but what do you mean by love?
    Love of neighbour ? That’s indicated within the parable of sheep and goats in Mtt 25, and the parables of Lk 10-15 – but so far you’re stated version of Love bears no resemblance to this Living love – it seems more like being a compromising, relativist, pragmatist ‘niceness’ for a peaceful life – one where one’s soul does not fly – but rather shrinks back and hides…

  • crouchback

    Christ also asked ….when the son of man returns will he find faith on earth..??

    75 % of our parishioners have stopped going to church these last 40 odd years.

    One 92 year old priest who only ever says the Traditional Mass, but watches the “new mass” in his little sisters of the poor nursing home told us two weeks ago that the New mass was….Boring….and …..slow…How’s it supposed to attract the young when a 92 year old finds it….Boring…..and …slow….

    It’s also excruciatingly embarrassing ……. Will the English Bishops please up load links to this blog of Liturgical Dance at Lourdes……I’ve seen Lancaster Diocese liturgical dance…..I have pictures in this very computer……I could post them my self….

    But lets see the Heroic defenders of Vatican II share their Liturgical practices with the wider world.

    How long do you think we’ll have to wait before ANY of the Bishops have the courage to fulfil my little request…..???

    Come on guys…..we are waiting.

  • crouchback

    Forget the new paper…..

    Invest in an old paper, second hand Tridentine missal, cheaper…..better English, and soon you’ll have your faith back.

    No more mass leaflets I’d have thunk that the drippy types that go to the “New Mass” would have at least welcomed the “environmental” benefits of the New translation if nothing else.

  • crouchback

    Judith…you were born a catholic…..but you stood by and watched as the church turned to dust around you.

    With your concerns about inclusive language, what did you go to mass to see…..Kings…or should that be Queens..?? in fine Garments…??? Lexicographers worrying over the etymology of Aardvark….female of the species first, of course ???
    Or did you go to prostrate your self before the living God, ask him to forgive your sins, then wonder as the Priest assists the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity to sacrifice Him Self again….for your sins…on the Altar……

    Probably not, you went for the sing along hymns, and Father Wayne’s cute way of getting the children to act out the Gospel…..go on, admit it, your amongst friends,….we won’t laugh….honest.

    Before you die, you should read Archbishop Lefebvres Open letter to confused Catholics. Even if you disagree with him, at least you’ll have had your eyes opened to the root of the crisis.

    To bleat about wanting to hang on to the wreckage is just not good enough.

  • crouchback

    Actually there is a lot wrong with Vatican II….that’s why the SSPX are in talks with the Vatican right now.

    The original schema for the council was binned right at the outset….that tells you something.

    Archbishop Lefebvre said that 250 of the council fathers were Conservative, 250 were Revolutionaries …..the rest sat on the fence….????

    Cardinal Heenan warned that the new mass would be a disaster…and it is…..

    Archbishop Worlock, Heenan’s secretary during the council, went to Rome a conservative, sniffed the air, and decided he must be a liberal. I’ve heard it said that when Cardinal Heenan was sending letters back to England from the Council….priest used to say…..”Who is this Heenan chappie who signs Mgsr Worlocks letters”….

    My old man, God rest him, used to call Worlock….Archbishop Devil.

    He had a witty way of changing some of the vowels around in at least one present Archbishops name….modesty forbids….do your own research….!!!!

  • crouchback

    Our Bishop loves us…’s taken two Bishops and three and a half years….but at last we are to have a Traditional Mass 10 miles from here, once a month mind, dangerous thing the Traditional Mass so we can have 12 masses in a calendar year……the next nearest is 85 miles away…..

    So I’ll have two masses every first Sunday…..the SSPX… to support them, if all else fails they will still be here, and they are probably on a more sound financial footing than most diocese….

    We will also attend the new diocesan mass….it might attract others to the faith……where the diocese are failing.

    Cardinal Hume….he set a great example in loving people…..after one particular Traditionalist meeting in London many moons ago…..he dashed from Archbishops house and tried to throttle a poet on the steps of Westminster Cathedral…..I didn’t see this outrage myself, but reliable witnesses told us about it.

    Maybe someone else can back this up…..or shoot it down…..if it’s wrong I’ll be glad to be rid of that unfortunate image after all these years …..

  • crouchback

    Well…..when it all falls down you can always come to Society of St Pius X churches, they’ve opened a new church in Gateshead just two years back, they have a new house in Scotland in the last two years….

    All this is good, when ….ever…..the Society is accepted back into the bosom of the church…..your surviving priests will be able to attend in depth retreats that will enable them to become fully functioning Catholic Priests once more……those who insist on hankering back to Vatican II will not be turned into pillars of salt……they can…it’s getting late….too ….too, late for robust criticism…..but you get my drift…???

    By the way…this is already happening…..but my lips are sealed.

  • Bishop of Brunswick

    Sorry Jorge, time to read your early Church history just one more time. The “divine institution” has taken many twists and turns throughout history. Democracy is indeed the heart and soul of it. The Holy Spirit is a “democrat”. I refer you to the failed attempt at reunion of the churches at the Council of Ferrara-Florence. What a wonderful and a beautiful example of it.

    Clerical elitism and pontificating buffoons restoring the cappa magna are a most fitting sign of the latest, benighted, and perverted tendency to restore this dying pseudo-Levitical priesthood. An invention of clergy. Developed following the decline of Rome and the outgrowth of a multi-tiered class system.

    This hierarchicalism and the liturgy to go with it were largely the outgrowth of the Church’s response to growing divisions between clergy, nobility, and the simple laity. The time came centuries ago to put this to rest and to tuck it into the museums where it belongs.

    Benedict XVI , his cronies and apologists are trying to carry the Church on his magic carpet to Alice’s Wonderland of a renewed medievalism, via a return to the liturgy as show, performance, and the last great stage of a decaying institution. He’s fearful, and he should be, that in response to the growing power of the laity, the death of the institutional Church and it’s perceived failure to respond to widespread corruption, prevarication, and the obstruction of justice in dealing with sexual abuse the world over, the remnants, the hierarchy and clerical caste system, have managed to sound their own death knell. Now, the laity are voting with their feet and with their purses.

    The Church as we’ve known it since Constantine’s time, when it finally emerged from the catacombs, may very well have to return to the catacombs. To the “suffering Church” as the late Jesuit ,Karl Rahner, once called it. Perhaps, the most prolific theologian since Thomas Acquinas had predicted what is happening today. Of course, his colleagues, with few exceptions ,dismissed his warnings.

    The Caesarian model of ecclesiastical feudal barons preening themselves in the trappings of former power and glory, such as Cardinal Burke and other’s with a cleric’s fondness for trappings of earthly grandeur , appear to wear a train to their cappa magna longer than the one Her Majesty the Queen wears for the state opening of Parliament. This should tell us something very disturbing.

    The days of the reputed “let us enjoy the papacy together”, to quote Pope Leo X, may still be very much alive for the decadent hierarchy, but that party is over as far as the enlightened People of God are concerned. Let us consign it and those who defend it to the trash bin of history.

  • Jorge

    You don’t believe the Church is a divine institution (you put it in quotation marks). But being divine is essential to the Church. Saying you are Catholic while denying the Church is divine is like saying you are Christian while denying the Bible. It is weird, to say the least. No offense, but are you Catholic? And if not, why do you care about our Church’s governance?

    And most importantly, what is the logic of popularly electing bishops? Bishops are supposed to be guardians of faith. Theologians. We vote on secular politicians because they are supposed to be our servants. But bishops are not only our servants but also our teachers. Not even in secular schools are the teachers chosen by popular vote. It could not possibly work. I think I have above average doctrinal and historical knowledge, and I sure as hell wouldn’t trust myself to vote on the bishop. I don’t have even 10% of the necessary knowledge. I trust the successor of Peter, who has God’s mandate to confirm the brethren (consult your Bible).

    If bishops and the Pope were elected by the laity, the Church would certainly become confused and heretical, and most likely would become more politically correct. Would the Church teach the Truth about contraception if the bishops were chosen by popular vote?

    Also, in your argument you seem to imply that your idea is “the idea of the future”, while the Pope’s idea is “medieval”, and belongs to “the trash bin of history”. I never respected this kind of argument. Arguing that an idea is wrong just because it is old, is illogical. It shows that you lack reasonable arguments, and have to resort to saying “your idea is outdated”. I can’t imagine Thomas Aquinas debating theology and saying “You are wrong because your idea is so outdated”.

    And it is not even true that the Catholic Church is shrinking; it is actually growing. So does the Eastern Orthodox Church, which, although rebelling against the Pope, is far from your fanciful idea of popular bishop election.

    What’s more, inside the Catholic Church, politically incorrect movements such as charismatic renewal and Opus Dei are growing. Liberation theology, however, is not only shrinking but barren – how many young enthusiastic liberation theology priests do you see? Many of the rebelling people in our Church are 50 years old or more. Young priests, on the other hand, are much more orthodox than the previous generation. That’s why that petition by German theologians (asking for remarriage and homosexuality) was called “rebellion from the nursing home”.

    It seems that the Truth, even if politically incorrect, is attractive, while falsehood is barren.

    But this was just to correct your idea that “Catholics are voting with their feet”. Because even if they were, we wouldn’t falsify the Church to become popular. We prefer to preach the Truth to 7 people than to lie to 7 billion. Popularity is secondary. We are the Church, not a teenage girl.

    Finally, you made some weird accusations about widespread corruption, prevarication? I know nothing of this. Do you have any sources? Any comparative study between corruption in the Catholic Church and corruption in protestant communities?

    And you mention the abuse problem – without mentioning that the rate of abuse in the Church is smaller than in Protestant communities, and smaller than in secular institutions such as schools.
    So in fact, your accusation had nothing to add to your argumentation and was just a cheap attack.

    Oh, and I read about the Council of Florence, and fail to see how popular elections of bishops would have made it more successful. Please be more specific.

  • Jorge

    Vox Clara was instituted by the Pope.

  • Anonymous

    Bishop of Brunswick

    There are strong overtones of “power to the people” in your post. It seems as if man is the centre of your view of what the Church is, and how it should be managed.

    I beg to differ.

  • Anonymous


    I did not say that Our Lord established the Tridentine Church. We know what He established. There is nothing delusional about it.

    I don’t see a great deal in common between the views you are expressing and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Have you thought about starting your own religious cult?

    To earn authenticity, you would need to offer yourself for crucifixion, and afterwards rise from the dead of course.

  • John of Norbury

    I am old enough to have been trained to serve Mass in the Tridentine Rite – shortly before the Second Vatican Council. Many seem to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses. I remember how Mass was mostly low Mass – ie. simply spoken, without singing. I also recall how the Latin was often mumbled very quickly by priests and servers. The congregation was more of an ‘audience’. Yes, we followed the Mass in our missals by reading the English translation on the opposite page – but why was that thought necessary if Latin was sufficient? I also served at sung Mass in Latin – not always High Mass. Often, it seems, the present celebration of the Tridentine Rite is High Mass with beautiful musical settings sung by well-trained choirs. This was not always possible in the old days. I have had the privilege of singing four-part polyphony and know its power and wonder. I also know how awful it can sound when sung badly!

    English as a spoken language has few equals. This is the language of Shakespeare! Yes, the present translation (Novus Ordo) leaves much to be desired – but then perfection is unlikely in any language. The important thing is that we have the real and valid Sacrifice of the Mass and Holy Communion in the Body and Blood of Our Lord. To have comments on this blog refering to the “mass” in inverted commas is little short of blasphemy and heresy. Was the Holy Spirit asleep during Vatican II?

    Perhaps I have been very blessed over the past 40 years or so but the two parishes I have lived in and the priests who have served those parishes have never fallen into the dreadful habits described by some on this blog.

    I have taught RE in Catholic schools for 35 years and have witnessed the fall away from religious practice by many – especially our young people. I have taught the Faith in its fullness. I have tried to live up to it in its fullness – including the difficult aspects covered by Humanae Vitae. Would there have been less lapsing if we had kept the Tridentine Rite or have kept the Mass in Latin? I don’t think so. You have to take account of the world we live in and all the many factors which militate against religious belief and practice to explain why the young have fallen away in worrying numbers.

    Should we be pessimists like some on this blog? No. To be a Catholic Christian is to be ever-hopeful but we should use our wits to understand where we are and why. Teaching and living the Faith are what count. Our example will be more eloquent than any amount of Latin hymns or settings. We may have the most beautiful of Liturgies but without charity it will count for naught. Yes, Liturgy is very important – “Lex orandi, lex credendi” – it always has been. But we must beware of what we see elsewhere – so-called “cultural Christians” ie. agnostics who like old fashioned translations of the Bible and traditional music but don’t believe a word of it! I am not suggesting that they are represented here on this blog but the danger is real.

    How sad that there should be so much discord over the Mass – where we should experience unity and love of each other (I think St Paul had similar problems at Corinth). We should pray for each other.

  • Anonymous

    John of Norbury,

    Despite your track record as a Catholic, in my humble opinion you do seem to put more emphasis on the form than on the substance. It isn’t the Latin that makes the Mass. It is the sense of holiness that the Mass inspires within us.

    The Tridentine Mass is a sacrificial rite, and its wording puts us into the frame of mind appropriate to such a momentous event. I too have experienced both the old and the new forms of the Mass, and I have to say that the new form, with its emphasis on the commemoration of the Lord’s supper with a presiding priest at its centre, just does not confer grace on me in the same supernatural way as does the Tridentine Mass.

    I have just finished reading Fr Martin von Cochem’s book called “The Incredible Catholic Mass” obtainable here and I commend it to you very highly. It will change your perceptions for ever and it will certainly open your eyes to why there is, justly, discord about the near loss of the old Mass in favour of the new.

  • John in Australia

    Judith you have put that so well. I entirely agree. I may be a few years older than you but I too found Vatican II like a breath of fresh air. To me, the Catholic church at last started to make sense.

  • jorge

    John, you are mistaken.

    This is not about the Vatican II. The Vatican II is not under attack.
    How could it be? The Holy Father WAS PART OF IT, when he was priest Ratzinger.
    The Holy Father has praised and pledged obedience to the Vatican II on numerous occasions –
    and in fact, it is hardly a surprise that the Pope “approves” the documents of an ecumenical council that were already promulgated by the Church! If he didn’t “approve”, that would be a surprise.

    Don’t you realize that certain people are making a fool of you? Certain people want to disobey the Pope and perform their own liturgy and, worse, teach their own man-made doctrine. When they are questioned, they respond with paranoia – “We are defenders of the Vatican II!”, “The Vatican II is under attack!”, “the elitist reactionaries are trying to turn back the clock!”

    The case about the new missal is simple: a duly appointed papal commission of experts has performed a better translation, more faithful to the Latin texts. Some lay people did not like it, yes; but that is not the point. The Mass should be a faithful liturgy – it should renew the sacrifice of Christ. It most not be taken lightly. The English text must faithfully represent Catholic doctrine. The Church is about Truth; popularity is secondary. We are the Church, not a teenage girl. If we were all about popularity, we would not only make a more vulgar mass, but we would also defend contraception,women priests, homosexuality, everything the secular world wants. But then we would betray God’s mandate, and would lose the very purpose of our existence.

    Pope Benedict is merely continuing the John Paul II work of defending Catholic orthodoxy. And John Paul II himself was merely obeying the job description for a Pope – confirm the brethren. For a pope, defending orthodoxy is not optional.

  • jorge

    Correcting myself:
    When I said “the Vatican II is not under attack” I meant “the Vatican II is not in danger”.

    Of course there is a small minority that dislikes the Vatican II. They are quite vocal on the internet.
    But they have as much chance of “overturning Vatican II” as I have chance of becoming the king of England (and I’m not even English). In fact, I think it is not even possible to overturn an ecumenical council.

    The existence of these anti-Vatican II protesters, however, is very useful to spread paranoia about “the Vatican II is under attack”, and this paranoia justifies the disobedience (and in some cases, outright treason) of some priests and nuns.

    Fortunately, these dissident priests and nuns are in the minority too. Thank God the Church improved a lot since the 70s!

  • Jameshughes

    Thank you for that! I have been a catholic for 63 years and started learning latin to serve mass when I was about six years old. I then served mass for about 15 years (in Latin). Then the tsunami struck it was like they had let the vandals loose in the Sistine chapel with spray pain cans. In 2000 I went to mass in Strasbourg cathedral. The choir sang the Gloria etc in Latin and I could hardly hold back the tears, overcome with emotion at hearing the mass the way it should be . Now we have a pope who is ex -facie ,giving us back our liturgy in spite of some recalcitrant clergy who seem to think that the catholic people are too stupid or lazy to understand the mass. Indeed we even have a bishop who allegedly explains that mass in latin is the least of the interests of his priests in regards their pastoral role and further that it is not clear what the Holy Father means in his SP. Perhaps he could reflect that leadership comes from the top and that his priests will or at least ought to follow his lead. Further if he is unsure what the Holy Father means, he is a bishop and particularly in regards media and comms., so the very least he should do is contact Rome and ask the Pope. I for one want my mass mostly in Latin and I thank God daily for giving us a Pope who is a real leader of His church. With all the steam that is being generated I am still confused as to why this is so apparently controversial . As far as I am aware the Jews still read the Torah in Hebrew and the Muslims the Koran in Arabic. Are the people opposed to the Popes intentions stupid that they can’t either learn Latin or at least follow the English translation in their missal? Anyway I am certain that fifty years after I have gone, hopefully to a better place, I am sure the mass will be in Latin ,the universal language of the church, and that catholics will look back and wonder what caused the aberration!
    It’s pretty clear that with all the new found ‘liberalism ‘ of the happy clappy brigade the hierarchy took their collective eye off the ball and failed to notice the abuse going on in our church. We are now paying for it and those at fault should be handing back their mitres and retreating to monasteries to beg the Lord’s for their gross negligence.Indeed any other business/government officials who ruled over this mess would be doing time in Siberia. However I am still certain that the Holy Spirit will overcome. Pray for our Pope and remember that He sent us him; Though art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will never prevail against it ! God bless our Pope and keep praying that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide him; remember his great appeal when he visited us in Scotland and England.

  • john m

    T’would be nice if we could all grow up and calm down, just a bit. We are talking about a few syllables of English here. This is not rocket science. Anyone who accesses this site can read English and can therefore understand the new translation. Those who oppose the new translation: get over it. It isn’t going to change. Those who crow victoriously over the death of burlap banners and do-it-yourself liturgy, get over yourselves as well. We as Christians have enemies in this culture, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s time to start minding the store. Sheesh! No wonder the left hates us Christians…

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    Leprechaun – you wrote
    “… you wouldn’t be referring to the Tridentine Mass and to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church prior to Vatican II, would you? Was not the “fabricator” Our Lord Himself?”

    … which is, by the plain rules of English, an assertion that Our Lord Himself “fabricated” the Tridentine Mass.

    You now correctly state that He did not do so. It’s best to come right out and say you misspoke, rather than to deny your plain words.

    Or don’t; you have that right to deny your own words, even three times ere the cock crows. But a rigid refusal to admit error is as unhelpful in an individual as it is in a church hierarchy.

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    Translating “homines” as “men” rather than “people” or some other non-gender-specific term is a literalism that is a theological mistranslation. Jesus did not die for men only; He came to save women as well. There is no reason grounded in sound theology to belittle women for the sake of retaining 18th century uses of the word “man”.
    The bit about “begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father” is just comical. I appreciate that the comedy is not apparant to those who love the distinction between those three concepts, but stuff like that is the real reason Mass attendance falls whenever a population becomes more educated.

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    RJ – you are incorrect. The use of “Men” to refer to “Men and women” is a classic example of discrimination against women through language. You might as well say that “English” includes “Welch” since, after all, most of the planet doesn’t distinguish between the two – only those Welch who are, to use you term, “oversensitised”.

  • Ben Trovato

    Mark Johnson

    You reveal your ignorance with every comment. The worship of the Jews at the time of Our Lord was conducted in the formal Hebrew language in which their scripture was written, very different from the conversational Aramaic of every day use.

    I don’t have time to flounce around much, but I do believe that the Church was wise to use a universal language, and the benefits of a dead language are there for all to see with the idiocies perpetrated on us by the translators of the 1960s/70s. I also believe that one can legitimately speak of time-hallowed usage, though I suspect that will be ridiculous if not anathema to you.

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    Well now THAT was a loving reply … not.

    IIRC Jesus never commanded the Tridentine Mass; it was written by others. I’d stick with the words of Jesus.

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    The point is: the translation is not “better”.

    More literal? Surely.

    But “better”? Not likely.

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    Or you could have written simply “STFU”.

  • Randall (Randy) Winn

    Your response is that you are afraid to answer the actual question, but respond with a linguistic quibble.

    That’s really enough of an answer.

  • Ben Trovato

    Mark Johnson

    You may describe what you see, and I what I see. Perhaps C S Lewis was right when he remarke we can’t appeal to the evidence until we have settled the philosophical issues as best we can.

    For it is in the light of our philosophy that we interpret, or even notice, the evidence. You look to have your strange views confirmed and cna find evidence to support them. I look to have my more orthodox understanding confirmed, and guess what, the evidence is there.

    You can doubtless point to enthusiastic youth who have subsequently drifted away: I know many who are still intent on converting the world – but not, admittedly, ‘pentecostal types’ as you call them.

    Try doing the Chartres pilgrimage at Pentecost and you may get an inkling into what I’m referring to – if you’ve the stamina for it.

  • Anonymous

    As Lewis Carroll wrote through his character Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word, it means precisely what I meant it to mean, neither more nor less”.

    I know what the contributor Mark said, and I know what I said. Go and practise your barrack room lawyer stuff in a more appropriate forum.

  • Anonymous

    Dear me, Randy. You really are the angry young man, are you not?

    There are no “linguistic quibbles” in my response above to Fred Dunn. I have simply made the factual statement that in a Latin Mass, the priest does not preside. He is not at the centre of the Latin Mass. God is at the centre of the Latin Mass.

    Furthermore, to answer the question that you wrongly presumed I was afraid to answer, the charge of dissidence can hardly be levelled at a priest, ageing or not, who loyal to Tradition, offers the Sacrifice of the Mass using the Tridentine rite.

    It is quite clear from Dr. Oddie’s words that he is referring to the priests who were the driving force behind the Aggiornamento. They were the ones who were in dissent against Tradition, and they are the ones who are now ageing and whose influence is waning in the face of the revival on the part of Tradition.

  • Anonymous

    but it was all done in official ‘above board’ ways.

    Yes, but how low was the board?

  • RJ

    In this context, “Men” doesn’t refer only to male individuals of the human species.

    Some people now claim that it does on the basis that language has changed, but it seems to me that they want to exclude the more general meaning stated above so that they can then change it. There’s an agenda behind it. I think there is an extreme oversensitisation to what are apparently (but are not really) “sexist” words.

  • RJ

    Webster’s 3rd International Dictionary 1971

    Man: 1a A member of the human race

    American Heritage Dictionary 2000
    2. A human regardless of sex or age; a person.

  • RJ

    Sacrosanctum Concilium 10

    “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows.”

    The Eucharist, I would think, is the heart of the liturgy. It is a liturgical act.

    Athe heart of the Eucharist is Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, which is made present, so it’s not something separate from Christ. And we receive Him in Holy Communion, so, for that reason too, we are not somehow failing to encounter Him.
    One might also add that we are fed from the table of the Word when we hear the Scriptures in the liturgy. Christ is also present in that way.
    Is there further grounding required?

  • Chris Moore

    Tnaks Randy. The first Mass was spoken by Jesus at the last supper in Aramaic. The only reason we have Latin is that was the language of the Romans who ruled much of the world including the Holy Land at the time of Jesus. As a result, Latin was spoken in many other countries and was adopted by the universal Church at a time when few people were literate so symbolysm (bells and smells) played an important part in the Mass. Now we have an educated laity – some more so than the clergy on occasions – who are perfectly able to understand the solemnity and holiness of the Mass in their own tongue. Latin on the other hand is no longer taught in schools or seminaries, the so called ‘Traditional’ Mass has therefore rightly been replaced with Mass in the vernacular. Those who wish to hear it in Latin have plenty of opportunities to do so, with or without the presence of the SSPX. But it should never be imposed on the rest of the faithful. Having heard Mass in other languages abroad, I find that I attend, know what is going on but miss hearing it in my own tongue. I guess that those young people who find Mass a struggle, not least because few of their friends are present, would simply up and leave if we went back to the Latin and the Church in this part of the world would die out. Bishops in Ireland give the Church there just 10 years – briinging back irrelevant traditions will simply hasten that collapse. Masses held at Charismatic Conferences with vibrant musical liturgy can last two hours or more and usually have a significant ptoportion of people under 25 – 40% at some I have attended. With a universal Church present in every corner of the globe, it is good that the Mass is celebrated in a variety of forms. After all, God created each one of us differently, and so it is right that the celebration of Mass should reflect our differences, yet bring us together in one communion.

  • Ben Trovato

    “The only reason we have Latin is that was the language of the Romans who ruled much of the world including the Holy Land at the time of Jesus. ”

    This kind of simplistic and reductionist analysis wouldn’t even do at GCSE level history… Any sentence beginning “The only reason…” is immediately suspect – and when we are dealing with matters of the Church, in which we can perhaps assume the Holy Spirit has some interest, it is clearly a minimalist approach.

    Was it outside the will, foreknowledge and plan of God that He entered humanity at just that moment when the Roman Empire provided both the language and the mechanisms to spread the Faith across Europe, and just after the Greek philosophers had done the intellectual groundwork, and the Jewish people had done the spiritual groundwork?

    It seems to me that a Catholic way reading of history is very different from yours…

  • Cjm1957

    I thought this was an adult discussion, not a place to insult people …

  • Patt

    I feel confident that our Pope knows what he is doing. I, a unknown to most of the world, look forward to the changes. It should be a learning experience like when we were in school and learned new vocabulary words. Now we’ll have that opportunity once again, possibly to explain them to young people. It might shake things up a little, get us on our toes to tackle the challenge. I assume people will either adjust or stomp out the door to the nearby Protestant “service” where they will discover were Vatican II changes originated..
    That’s my guess for what it is worth..

  • Josephsoleary

    The people who reject the Irish priests’ stance have not yet been exposed to the full horrors of the new translation.

  • Josephsoleary

    Sorry, but the new translation is not beautiful. You cannot put lipstick on a pig.

  • Josephsoleary

    The trouble is that the liturgy in its deadness is the most painful symptom of what is wrong with the church, as so eloquently voiced by many on this thread. But why should we think that the people presiding over the mess are going to be able to suddenly change this painful symptom into a blessing? The new translation more nakedly shows the misery of Catholicism today than the 1973 one.

  • Josephsoleary

    The debate is kept going by tawdry talking points, in the absence of anything more substantive.

  • Josephsoleary

    There is no hieratic language in the synoptic gospels.

  • Josephsoleary

    This is another vacuous talking point. The language of the Psalms is not hieratic either.

  • Tiggy

    Just as well your in Japan then Fathger!