Sat 1st Nov 2014 | Last updated: Fri 31st Oct 2014 at 16:19pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Latest News

Irish priests claim new Mass translation is ‘elitist and sexist’

By on Friday, 4 February 2011

The new English translation of the Mass (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The new English translation of the Mass (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A group representing more than 400 of Ireland’s 4,500 priests has made an urgent plea to the country’s bishops to postpone the introduction of the new English translation of the Missal for at least another five years.

The call from the Association of Catholic Priests came as the National Centre for Liturgy in Maynooth launched a new publication aimed at explaining and preparing priests and lay people for the changes in the Missal. The new texts will be introduced on November 27, the first Sunday of Advent and the start of the liturgical year.

At a news conference in Dublin, representatives from the priests’ group said the proposed literal translations from Latin had produced texts that were “archaic, elitist and obscure and not in keeping with the natural rhythm, cadence and syntax of the English language”.

The association also criticised the new translation for “exclusivist, sexist language”.

Fr Dermot Lane, president of Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin, said the priests were making an 11th hour appeal to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and urged the bishops to begin consulting with priests, liturgical committees and lay people to develop new texts that would inspire and encourage the faithful.

“We are passionately concerned about the quality of our liturgical celebration and about the quality of the language that will be used in the way we worship Sunday after Sunday,” he said. “If this goes ahead, instead of drawing people into the liturgy, it will in fact draw people out from the liturgy.”

The association said that it was “gravely concerned” that the “word-for-word translation from Latin into a vernacular language … demonstrates a lack of awareness of the insights gained from linguistics and anthropology during the past 100 years”.

The translation was mandated by the Vatican’s 2001 instruction Liturgiam Authenticam (“The Authentic Liturgy”). The International Commission on English in the Liturgy met for several years to develop translations that more closely matched the original Latin prayers. Local bishops’ conferences also worked on the translations and submitted them to the Vatican for approval.

The priests’ association suggested that the Irish bishops follow the example of the German bishops and assert the right to make their own decisions regarding the celebration of the liturgy in Ireland.

Fr Gerard Alwill, pastor of a rural parish in the Diocese of Kilmore, said during the news conference: “We are saying very clearly that this new translation of the Missal is not acceptable… We are deeply concerned that if these new texts are imposed, they could create chaos in our church. Our Church doesn’t need chaos at this time.

“How can we, the priests, be asked to introduce this with any conviction when we ourselves haven’t had any input into it and when we have such serious doubts and reservations about it?” he added.

Fr Alwill called upon priests, parish pastoral councils, religious men and women and lay people to read the texts and to raise any concerns they may have with their local bishop.

  • Anonymous

    Josepholeary, you just don’t get it, do you?

    We all KNOW that the Pope allows anything and everything and that he piles on the “instructions” for the rest of us NOT to do what he does, what he allows. No Communion in the hand, standing – unless a queen pops up in the queue. Kissing Korans, you name it. We’re in a time of unprecedented crisis. Lots of things that are forbidden (not least by the First Commandment) have been enacted by these modernist popes. Just as a certain other Commandment has been broken by certain OTHER popes in the past. So, your point falls at the first hurdle because, implicit in your reply, is the false belief, prevalent within the neo-Catholic community, God help them, that obedience to a pope is our primary obligation. Rubbish. Obedience to the Faith – as it has been handed down to us from the apostles – is our primary obedience

    That’s why when it comes to Archbishop Lefebvre’s turn to be beatified, there won’t be any of the shock-horror reaction that there has been to the fast-track beatification of John Paul II, who boasted of having prayed with animists.

    Behave yourself.

    ps I am truly nothing short of astonished to learn your claim that you pray the rosary every day. I have to presume you stick to the Gluminous Mysteries …

  • Anonymous

    I have frequently said as much myself about the priests who do not speak out – but having discovered the pressure that they are put under, I’ve a bit more sympathy. Still, in essence, I agree with you. None of us are asked to spill our blood for the Faith, just to suffer persecution to a greater or lesser degree and, really, we should all be prepared to do that for the love of God and the Catholic Faith that has been handed down to us from the apostles (as opposed to the version handed on to us by the likes of Mgr Dermot Lane.)

    I didn’t question the statistics, you’re mistaken about that – if anything I think 400 is a conservative (pun!) estimate. No, I said I wanted to know the names of the ACP members. They won’t mean anything to me, but I could alert our Irish readers to make sure they know the identities of the blatant dissenters. The fact is, of course, and it’s why I don’t question your statistics for ACP membership, the fact is that we have a dissolute priesthood in the western societies, at least. You’ve misunderstood me on the “silent majority” as well. When I said that priests who have traditional leanings are afraid to speak out, I didn’t mean to imply that they are in the majority (silent or otherwise) – if only. No, the Church has taken the “diabolical disorientation” prophesied by Our Lady at Fatima, and we are witnessing that fact day by day, with dissident priests like yourself, praised and promoted, while sound priests, the few there are, find themselves bullied into accepting their lot. You watch this space. Soon it will be “Monsignor Joseph O’Leary” and then, who knows, Bishop… – well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, Monsignor, eh?

  • Anonymous

    You make a very common mistake by accusing me of adopting an arbitrary and illogical position.

    There is nothing arbitrary or illogical about my position on Vatican II and the current translation.

    Vatican II was/is an unmitigated disaster. In human terms, it has destroyed the Church. But, where Vatican II adheres to Tradition, such as (ironically, and to the fury of the so called ‘liberals) Paragraph 25 of Lumen Gentium, it must be obeyed, then I will obey. Not because it is a pronouncement of Vatican II, but because the teaching on the papal office found in paragraph 25 of LG is part of the ancient Tradition of the Church. That’s logical.

    Where Vatican II departs from Catholic Tradition, I am under no obligation to accept it and there is nothing to “obey” because no pope has the authority (and non have tried) to impose any of the novelties (such as ecumenism) on me, as an obligation. That’s also logical.

    Hence, the real cookies who are guilty of being arbitrary and illogical in their selective obedience to Vatican II, are those like the ACP, yourself and now the hapless Fr Mike Fallon of Edinburgh, who pick and choose what they want to believe about Vatican II. The fact that the Council documents allow of such arbitrary interpretation is lamentable and one of the reasons why Vatican II was/is an unmitigated disaster.

    Read any document penned by any pre-Vatican II Pope to see the way a really good Pope writes allowing no doubt that he is in control, that he writes to command and rule the Church. Roll on Pope Pius XIII – we’ve had enough of Popes Wishy Washy I-IV

  • Josephsoleary

    I congratulate your congregation on their love of Latin and willingness to invest in it.

    I recommended Ruff for answers to your “simple gal” “please help me” questions about Vatican II. Now it looks as if your request was not bona fide. He is an expert on the subject.

    As to female ordination and gay marriage my position is as follows: (1) these are topics that the Church needs to discuss openly and honestly, with proper consultation of all concerned; (2) the current Vatican arguments against both are tawdry and show a deep lack of study, reflection, dialogue and consultation; (3) both issues are in a broad sense quaestiones disputatae, and all points of view must respect this. On gay marriage I wrote a piece that left everyone unsatisfied because of the lack of dogmatic conclusions, since I believe such conclusions are premature. You can buy it here:

  • Josephsoleary

    Amazing that you set yourself up as the scourge of “dissidents” (a word that can have stalinist overtones) yet are yourself a blatant dissident against Vatican II and the “protestantizing” Novus Ordo and much much else. It seems to me that Benedict XVI has bent over backwards to make SSPX malcontents feel at home in the Church. A little tolerance would be welcome all round, not just for the naysayers. Liturgical dance has been patronized by John Paul II and Benedict XVI – are they “dissenters” also? From people who profess to be “simple gals” unable to understand how Vatican II could have permitted the liturgy implemented by the Pope and bishops of that Council, or who pontificate about the transcendental merits of the new translation without having bothered to study the text, calls for more work and study are fatuous. But you don’t expect to be taken very seriously, it seems.

  • Josephsoleary

    Any document from a pre-Vatican II Pope — such as Pius IX upholding the compatibility of slavery with divine and natural law, Innocent IV prescribing the duty of torturing heretics IAd Exstirpanda), etc? You have joined the counter-tradition of Marcel Lefebvre which rejects the wisdom of the contemporary Church — a very risky theological move — which I would see as suicidal. It leaves you with the talking-points of an embittered sect and an attitude of paranoid suspicion to everything that the best thinkers and pastors of the Catholicism have said and written since about 1943, when the great renewal of scriptural study, ecumenism, theology of the Church, liturgy that made Vatican II possible was underway. I hope you do not invest in the Lefebvrite rejection of the Church’s teaching on religious freedom and on Judaism — a point on which all five recent Popes, whom you blandly describe as wishy-washy, agree — though Benedict was nastily stung by the holocaust denier Williamson when he tried to reach out to the Lefebvrites.

  • Josephsoleary

    A Catholic steeped in the spirit of Vatican II can of course appreciate the Rosary. I urge you to reconsider the wisdom of your investment in the negative ideology of Lefebvre — it may lead you to worse than he, to Maciel or Williamson.

  • Josephsoleary

    I feel better about being called a modernist since I discovered that John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paull II and Benedict XVI are also modernists — in your eyes. Securus iudicat orbis terrarum.

  • Josephsoleary

    “Blatant dissenters” — do you not see the huge hole in your logic? They criticize a new translation of the Novus Ordo. You reject the authority of the five popes who lie behind the Novus Ordo as well as the Council. Talk of motes and beams, pots and kettles falls far short of the absurdity of your position.

  • Armyarty

    I am so THANKFUL that our Holy Father is coming to our aid, putting an end to all of poor English that we have been suffering with all these years.

    It is like something from my childhood daydreams. God’s champion, coming in and cleaning the house of the Lord. Putting to flight the “liturgy mafia”, just as the Christ drove the money changers from the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Just like a good father.

    Thanks be to God!

  • Josephsoleary

    Have you looked at the English of the new translations? It is AWFUL. I agree that we have suffered much banality since 1973 and that the preces in particular are bad. But our real linguistic sufferings are just about to begin… Benedict has not acted as a good father in this debacle.

  • Anonymous

    You see, you just don’t understand that the adjective you ALWAYS need to put in front of “authority” when speaking of papal authority, is “legitimate.” I do not, never have, never will reject any pope’s legitimate authority. But you do, as evidenced by more than one of your recent posts, to which I will respond properly later.

    Because, something very unusual has happened today up here in not-so-sunny Scotland and I just can’t miss out. The sun is shining! I’m going out, therefore, to spread Easter joy around me (and to guzzle some ice-cream, no doubt) in the company of a couple of novus ordo Catholics who haven’t got a theological clue but are good fun, just the same.

    But, Sugar Plum, I will be back. Count on it!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve just written a really long reply to you, Josepholeary and lost it by (I presume) hitting the wrong key. Clearly, heaven believes you’ll get by without my pearls of wisdom. So, this will be comparatively short, if not very sweet.

    In essence – when I said “any document from a pre-Vatican II pope” I meant any document issuing a binding order, stating a command – that sort of language as opposed to the silly “have a nice day now” that characterises contemporary papal language. These modern popes wouldn’t know how to order a fish supper.

    So, if you can find me a document that orders and commands Catholics to own slaves and to torture heretics, I’ll take a look. Presumably, by the way, you object to one of the few (if not the only) modern examples of slavery common to just about every society – the imprisonment of criminals? Nobody needs to convince me of papal errors in private teachings down the centuries – that is not in dispute, with me. You’ll find plenty of the Catholic Herald staff and bloggers screaming “schismatic” at you for stating the obvious, but not me. These papolatrists would run out a buy an umbrella if the pope said it might rain tomorrow, but don’t tar us all with the same brush. I know that you will find NO binding teaching from any pope teaching us to go out and own slaves, so, good try, but not on.

    And on the subject of the Inquisition, torture and death of heretics, well, it seems extreme to us, but then we have lost what Fr Faber calls “a hatred of heresy (that should makes us) angry for the love of God.” At the time of the Revolution against the Church euphemistically called the Reformation, the Catholics and the new Protestants accepted that the punishment for heresy might be torture and death. They knew the truth of what the CCC teaches today, that “God so willed that we be saved through knowledge of THE TRUTH” (emphasis in the CCC.) Unfortunately, we’ve lost that comprehension of the supreme importance of objective truth and so the notion of giving our lives for it, does not bring a smile to the proverbial lips.

    Bishop Williamson did not deny the holocaust. He merely did the unthinkable, question the numbers. Shock, horror. We are encouraged by liberals and modernists to open our minds, question, challenge everything from male only priesthood, to celibacy to the “ban” on “gay marriage” but the holocaust? Get outa here. That’s up and beyond questioning and if you dare to do so, be prepared to go to prison. Very “let’s dialogue” NOT. A truly “academic freedom” mentality NOT.

    Hilarious, too, that you think it is a “very risky theological move” to attend Masses offered by the priests of the SSPX. Not “clown” Masses or “folk” Masses or any of the other baloney Masses on offer – they’re jes fine, just don’t risk your soul by attending the same Mass that nourished the saints and martyrs down the centuries. There’s nothing “embittered” about any SSPX priest I’ve ever met. What an odd thing to say. Odd, too, that you refer to “Lefebvrites” – what do you think would happen if I started referring to the O’Leary-ites or the “Fallonites” on this blog? The powers-that-be would undoubtedly lecture me about charity and being tolerant of the views of others, and who knows, I might even be summarily dismissed from the blog – the modern equivalent of and Inquisitional execution.

    Finally, the “great renewal” of which you speak exists only in your fertile imagination. The Church is falling apart all around us. If you really can’t see it, I suggest a visit to Specsavers. Soon.

  • Rich

    Not true, the new translation is great – nothing wrong with it at all.

  • Anonymous


    Ruff, like every other “professor dissenter” is no expert on Catholic Theology. I took a quick look at your link and have sufficient grasp of French to have noted your academic qualifications (yet another “theologian” in our midst – we must have the best educated apostates in the entire history of the Church) but I’m afraid these things, qualifications, authorship of articles/books, doesn’t impress me one bit. I am impressed, however, forgot to say above, that you pray the rosary every day (if that is true) because, in the end, that will be God’s means of bringing you to your senses before you have to explain yourself at your judgment.

    Because right now, you are spectacularly wrong on both female ordination and “gay” marriage. That the Church has no authority to ordain women, is part of the deposit of the Faith.
    Now, the only possible Catholic attitude to this ‘Responsum Dubium” (answer/response to the doubt)
    is assent. Check out Vatican II – that’s one of those ancient teachings that was re-stated at Vatican II, and we all know that we must accept Vatican II – right?

    So, you wrote a piece on “gay” marriage “that left everyone unsatisfied because of the lack of dogmatic conclusions…” Well, allow me to be the first to be “satisfied” with your lack of dogmatic conclusions on “gay” marriage because I am very satisfied indeed that you are pro-”gay” marriage. “Premature” doesn’t come into it. The Church has spoken clearly enough to repeat the traditional condemnation of ALL sexual activity outside marriage, and the disordered same-sex activities have, likewise, been condemned. You clearly do not agree with the Church on this, among other things. Otherwise, you would have come out to openly condemn “gay” marriage. Why no dogmatic conclusions about this clear cut matter of sexual morality? After all, there’s no lack of dogmatic conclusions with regard to the new translation of the novus ordo Mass, is there? Nobody is in any doubt at all about what you think of that.

    And I’m in no doubt whatsoever from my skimming of your link above, and from your unwillingness to openly defend Catholic sexual morality on the subject of homosexuality / “gay” marriage, that you are a supporter of the “gay” rights movement. If I’m wrong, tell me, plainly, and I’ll apologize for my rash judgment.

  • Josephsoleary

    “Skimming of your link” means that you did not subscribe and read the article.

    Note that we are living in a context in which gay marriage or civil unions is legal in Europe, and in which 70% of American Catholics support it. Mouthing about apostasy does not even begin to address this issue, which concerns the welfare of human beings. Skimming your own site I see rabid homophobia and I wonder where it is coming from. Hardly from church teaching, since you play fast and loose with that with the greatest aplomb, putting us liberal theologians to shame. I don’t recall talking of schism, but surely the SSPX is a schismatic group? — though they may have negotiated reintegration; or perhaps you have some ingenious interpretation of the word “schism!. There is still a huge hole in your logic — you want to make utterances of recent popes infallible on sexual ethics and ordination, for example, at the same time as you fundamentally reject their authority and that of the Council. You cannot stomach the fact that the popes since John XXIII have been liberals, and you come close to seeing them as apostates. See Or are you yourself the pope?

  • Josephsoleary

    I find that some — very few — of the commenters below actually say that the new texts are excellent and that there is nothing wrong with them. I know it is absurd to argue about taste, but it seems to me that if one compares the new texts with the 1998 ones that the Vatican rejected — “Look on this picture, and on that” — there can be no doubt as to which are superior. The sad thing is that the people of God, unconsulted, will be the guinea pigs in this experiment in dubious taste for decades to come, when a close to ideal solution was so near at hand 13 years ago. What might have been…

  • Josephsoleary

    The TEC is shrinking? But so is the RCC — at least in any countries I have been in. You can feel the shrinkage almost physically. You may say it is producing a better, stronger church, a holy remnant. But it does not feel like that at all. Maybe we are living through some huge change in the nature of religious culture that we cannot understand yet?

  • Josephsoleary

    The charismatic renewal is growing? But it is only a tiny phenomenon in today’s church compared to what it was in the 1970s.

    The Eastern Orthodox churches are growing? Can you give statistics? Russia and Greece seem to me just to go on as they always have.

    One Council cannot contradict another? Do you mean to insinuate that the new bits in Vatican II are false?

  • Josephsoleary

    Do I support gay rights? Of course — they are human rights. I played a small part in the legal process that brought an end to anti-gay laws in Ireland in 1993 — and I am totally sympathetic to the civil recognition of gay unions, counting several official gay couples, both male and female, among my friends. I think the Vatican document against civil recognition of gay unions is just a collection of barren talking points, due to the total lack of dialogue and consultation behind it. Since the authors of such documents are all unmarried men, many of them attracted to their own sex, I find the performance just bizarre. Two people who build a life together, against huge odds, deserve respect from those who have never made such an investment. Similarly I find the business of poking around in the marriage bed to ensure that contraception is done “naturally” just spooky and bizarre. Does that make me an apostate, or am I just sharing the common sense of most Catholics?

  • Josephsoleary

    It could not be worse, true, where the preces are concerned. But it has made the Eucharistic Prayers uncommunicative and it has made an unholy mess of the Prefaces. It is in every way inferior to the 1998 texts, which the Vatican suppressed for no good reason, wasting 11 years of work from the ICEL and the world’s bishops. It amazes me to see to what lengths the defenders of the new texts to to avoid any reference to the 1998 ones. It is always the critics who refer to the latter — a sign of how dishonest the propaganda in favour of the new texts has been.

  • Josephsoleary

    So now the people of God are the “alleged faithful” — all out of step except yourself!

  • Josephsoleary

    We are neither bullies nor cowards. We speak the truth as we see it, and we would appreciate some recognition of this.

  • Josephsoleary

    Excellence? You are dreaming. Read the 1998 translations for excellence, the 2010 ones for MEDIOCRITY. And the people of God deserve something better than medicority.

  • Josephsoleary

    Jesus did not preach that he was God incarnate, although Jewish mythical schemas of the time gave him ample possibilities of doing so. The Church discerned that the divine Word enters history in a fully incarnate way in the life, mission, death and exaltation of the Son of Man, but Jesus himself did not say anything about htis ultimate sense of his mission and idenity.

  • Josephsoleary

    We do acknowledge that the 1973 translation is flawed, especially in the preces, but it was never intended to be a permanent text. Most critics of the 2010 translation hold up the 1998 translation as the ideal. The suppression of that translation is the great crime here. As the ghastliness of the new translation becomes apparent, we will be obliged to revisit and retrieve the 1998 text (which some congregations already use in their worship — after all the translations were made for man, not man for the translations, and if you have an excellent, prayable text, why waste people’s time on banality — 1973 — or dreck — 2010?

  • Josephsoleary

    Actually the pluggers of the new translation say that it will put the priest at centre stage more than ever — it will demand certain airts of articulation and elocution not previously required. And of course one of the points of the new translation is to suggest that the Priest is the one who really offers the sacrifice, the faithful being only secondary participants. Hence the mistranslation “my sacrifice and yours” for “meum ac vestrum sacrificium”.

    I see that you refer to clown massses — the most jade talking point — have you ever seen a clown mass? I haven’t and pretty much no one has. Our liturgies suffer not from excess of creativity but from the opposite. As to liturgical dances, have you not seen them in papal ceremonies at the Vatican (beatification of Mother Teresa) and at papal masses abroad? But I keep forgetting, the Pope has no authority except when you decide.

    Your parody of bidding prayers is extremely reactionary. I suspect you want no reference to peace and justice issues in the liturgy.If so, this is NOT “a Catholic thought” or a Catholic way of thinking. But I suppose you hate the social justice dimension of Vatican II and the encyclicals of John XXIII and Paul VI. What kind of cave have you buried yourself in?

  • Josephsoleary

    If the 1998 texts had been introduced they would indeed have provided an opportunity for catechesis and revival of eucharistic life. Alas, the new texts have so far provided occasion merely for bureaucratic damage control exercises. The faithful are touched by the interest now suddenly shown in catechizing them, and the catechizes avoid discussing the details of the bad new texts as much as they can. In sevreral cases when the faithful got to actually see the texts the reactions were disappointment, deflection, embarrassed tittering.

  • Josephsoleary

    I thought the liturgical dance at Mother Teresa’s beatificaiton helped people to pray. Dancing like singing can be a contemplative activity. As to “sexy” what do you make of the Song of Songs? Does that not help people to pray? Not to mention the homoeroticism of much traditional liturgical prancing in cappa magnas and the like.

  • Josephsoleary

    That comment verifies that you have not read the new translations at all. You have just bought the propaganda. Your entire case stands or falls with the quality of the new translations, so if I were you I would take a week off to study them carefully, from the point of view of clear translation of the Latin in particular.

  • Anonymous

    I’m tempted to wait and see if there is a priest out there with the slightest sense of duty to respond to this blatant heresy (from a priest): “Jesus did not preach that he was God incarnate…. Jesus himself did not say anything about his ultimate sense of his mission and identity.” But, since I’m pretty sure I’d have a very long wait, here goes…

    In the Syllabus Condemning The Errors of The Modernists, Pope Piux X pronounced “condemned and proscribed” the proposition that “While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messiah, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.” (# 28). In other words, this statement is not true, and Catholics are not free to believe it.

    Again, in the same document, the following belief is condemned and proscribed: “Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.” (#35). “…His Holiness …ordered that each and every one of the above-listed propositions be held by all as condemned and proscribed”. July 3, 1907.

    Scripture clearly reveals that Jesus who exactly who He was…

    1) He describes Himself as the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5)

    2) Mt 26:63ff ” Caiaphas: “I adjure you by the Living God that you tell us if you are the Christ the Son of God. Jesus said: Thou hast said it…. and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God.” (this statement alone, from the lips of Jesus, proves that He knew He was divine.)

    3) Lk 10:22 “All things are given to me by my Father; no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom He chooses to reveal Him.”

    4) Jn. 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one”

    Josepholeary, it seems clear to me (and I’m a simple gal, remember) that Christ knew He was God and God tends to know everything, so I think we can rest assured that Jesus was in no doubt at all about “his ultimate mission and identity.”

    But anyway, since, as Cardinal Newman said: “God gave us the Church to save us from ingenuous speculations and reasonings of our own” even if we insist on reading the rubbish penned by the likes of Raymond Brown and Karl Rahner on this topic, we have the condemnation and proscription of these false beliefs to keep us right.

    Now, let me return to pondering how it came to pass, that in this time of massive crisis in the Church, priests like Joseph O’Leary can find the time to write books, articles and blog comments to lead the faithful astray, while the so called orthodox and traditional priests are just too busy in their empty churches to preach the truth to the hungry sheep? Yip,you got it. My tiny supply of patience just ran out.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you shouldn’t feel good about being called a modernist. You should repent.

    Securus iudicat orbis terrarum? Cerritulus ne.

  • Josephsoleary

    Please note that I say THIS ULTIMATE SENSE not THE ULTIMATE SENSE. Jesus may well have thought of himself as having Messianic dignity and may have said what Mark 16:62 has about the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power — the language come from Daniel 7. But Jesus did not preach the JOHANNINE theology of the ultimate sense of his mission and identity.

  • Josephsoleary

    Mark 14: 62 I mean. The claim that this text shows Jesus proclaiming his own divinity is unconvincing.

    Of course if the words of Jesus in John’s Gospel were the ipsissima verba of the historical Jesus things would be different. But following the authority of the vast majority of exegetes I do not believe that they are.

  • Josephsoleary

    On the propositions condemned in the anti-modernist syllabus, Ratzinger has written that it is the general thrust of the text that counts, while individual propositions may have an acceptable meaning.According to Ratzinger, Lamentabili condemns radical evolutionism or historicism, but ‘individual theses, taken in themselves, can have an entirely good sense’; the document of Pius X adds nothing to Vatican I, but in practice it has led to ‘a dismissal of the question itself’ concerning the historicity of dogmas (Das Problem der Dogmengeschichte in der Sicht der katholischen Theologie. Cologne: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1966, p. .10). Yes, EditorCT, you need a lot of patience to sustain theological arguments.

  • Josephsoleary

    The correct text of the Newman quote is: “Christ has so willed it, that we should get at the Truth, not by ingenious speculations, reasonings, or investigations of our own, but by teaching.”

  • Anonymous


    I try to simplify things to make discussion easier but you want to complicate matters. Yes, I collapsed Newman but, if anything, I understated what he said. Perhaps you didn’t realise he meant “teaching of the Church” by “teaching” so let me supply the entire quotation in context, which comes from Parochial & Plain Sermons, 2, Sermon 6 – The Mind of Little Children.

    “Christ has so willed it, that we should get at the Truth, not by ingenious speculations, reasonings, or investigations of our own, but by teaching. The Holy Church has been set up from the beginning as a solemn religious fact, so to call it,—as a picture, a revelation of the next world, as itself the Christian Dispensation, and so in one sense the witness of its own divinity, as is the Natural World.”

    Clear enough, even to a simple gal.

  • Anonymous

    That was one of the major clues about the future Pope Benedict, that he tried his very best to bury the Syllabus, as he tried to bury the Third Secret of Fatima, should have set alarm bells ringing in the soul of anyone with a truly Catholic sense.

    I didn’t say I was out of patience sustaining theological arguments but with the noticeable lack of allegedly orthodox and traditional priests doing so. It really should not be left to me, a simple laywoman (with the emphasis on laywoman) to correct a dissenting priest. But don’t worry, I’m not going to be like my own critics who resort to personal abuse by telling you to read my posts carefully or get with the programme or pay attention, or any such cheek. No siree….

  • Anonymous

    So, John’s Gospel is to be ignored in all that he reports that Jesus said?

    Sez who?

  • Anonymous

    Your problem there, Josepholeary, is that “the vast majority of exegetes” don’t HAVE any “authority.”

    The authority to teach about Scripture lies with the Church, not individual alleged “experts.” Having caused havoc with his daft theories, the more or less original exegete, Bultmann, for example, is now thoroughly discredited. Scripture scholars speculate.They may even disagree with one another. They don’t teach. Certainly not with the infallible authority of the Church, whose task is to interpret Scripture for us. What was it that Newman said… Oh yes: “The Holy Church has been set up from the beginning as a solemn religious fact, so to call it,—as a picture, a revelation of the next world, as itself the Christian Dispensation…” (Parochial & Plain Sermons, 2, Sermon 6 – The Mind of Little Children.)

    You have fallen into (another) error by arguing that the words of Jesus (in St John’s Gospel) are not His own words – that the evangelist has put words into the mouth of Jesus, thus deceiving us. Several condemnations and proscriptions in the Syllabus of Pope Saint Pius X, forbid Catholics from holding this false belief. You will remind me that Cardinal Ratzinger attacked the Syllabus – but as pope, he has not produced any document of similar weight, to tell us that Pope Saint Pius X got it wrong, and, in fact, Jesus wasn’t really God at all.

    Because – bottom line – that is the aim of so much modern(ist) exegesis – to “demythologise” the Gospels, to – in other words – undermine Christ’s divinity. If Christ is not God, the Church is not of divine constitution. Enter “gay” marriage, women’s ordination, the lot.

    See how it helps to watch Columbo?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I know exactly what Cardinal Ratzinger said about the Syllabus just as I know exactly what Pope Benedict XVI said about condoms. We’re in an unprecedented crisis, remember? He keeps contradicting Traditional Catholicism and we can’t – won’t in the end – get away with it.

    Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  • Anonymous

    On the contrary, what I said stands, as far as it goes. The new translation is nothing more than what the original 1970 Mass was intended to be. If it had been introduced then, you wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. Removing some of the key doctrinally loaded prayers (pro multis being the most obvious) has enabled the false ecumenical kidology that poses as theology, to get into your soul and you are fighting hard against the restoration (limited though it be, I accept) of the authentic prayers of the Mass.

    Nothing short of a full restoration of the Mass will end the liturgical chaos in the Church – everything I say about the new translation must be viewed in that context.

    By the way, you keep mentioning the 1998 translation and the song and dance created over that by the dissenter, now decased, Fr John Fitzsimmons and the former Bishop of Galloway, Maurice Taylor. Listen, even if I’d never read a word of it, the very fact that these two gentlemen were behind it, tells me all I need to know. A feast of feminist claptrap and dodgy-theology – right?

  • Josephsoleary

    To bring in “authority” here is misleading. The papal and episcopal magisterium throughout the ages has been extremely sparing in offering concrete exegesis of Scriptpure. this sort of prejudice and ignorance.Instead it has encouraged scriptural study and the work of exegetes (Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus; Pius XII, Divnino afflante spiritu; Vatican II, Dei Verbum). THis is a COMMUNAL endeavor that has greatly enriched the fabric of Catholicism, not a matter of individual experts.

    The statements of the Pontifical Biblical Commission which you quote are at best status quo holding operations. If teachers of Scripture were obliged to uphold the Mosaic authorship of Genesis or the literal historicity of the Johannine discourses, biblical scholarship would grind to a halt. There are far more helpful documents from the new PBC, notable one on the Interpretation of Scripture in Church. Since you regard our recent popes as modernists these will not cut any ice with you — an attitude which reallly amounts to self-stupification, or intellectual suicide. That you should find Ratzinger’s 1966 comments on the interpretation of Lamentabili a sign of Modernism speaks volurmes. In 1966 Ratzinger was perhaps the only theologian who took any notice of Lamentabili at all. To see his judicious hermenutics of the rather notorious document as an attack is to confuse Ratzinger with Kung.

    Your view of the fourth gospel is fundamentalistic. You cannot accept the literary and theological artistry of the Evangelists who did not feel confined by your expectations of literal reproduction of historical facts.

    The divinity of Christ, as taught in the Johannine Prologue and at Chaledon, is a far subtler doctrine than you think. See

    Your talking-point about Bultmann is as absurd as your fake alarm about “clown masses”. Bultmann was the most successful theologian of the last century — the author of deeply respected classics such as Jesus; Theology of the New Testament; History of the Synoptic Tradition; the commentary on John; as well as the four volumrs of Glauben und Verstehen — to say he was daft and is now discredited is totally groundless. Even a “simple gal” should know better than to indulge in such facile utterances.

    What is sorely missing in the attitude you have taken up is any desire to learn, a sort of contented bunkering down in ignorance, and belligerent ignorance at that. I can see that you get great satisfaction from lambasting the contemporary Church and idealizing the Church of the Inquisition and of Pius X, but there is greater satisfaction in learning, by studying the admirable works of Raymond Brown and John Meier for example, as Benedict XVI is not too proud to do. I would say you have wasted years of your intellectual life by playing a childish game when you could have acquired some kind of theological education. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Sincerely, I wish you success in retrieving the lost opportunities.

  • Rich


    I’ve read your link, there are lots of words but I need clarification / simplification please, are you saying Jesus Christ is not the second person of the Trinity? A one word answer would be fantastic. Thanks.

  • Josephsoleary

    Jesus Christ in his divine nature is the second person of the Trinity.

    But note that the hypostatic union of the man Jesus Christ and the eternal Word (= the 2nd “person” of the “Trinity”) is a very subtle concept. You must avoid the Nestorian extreme of separating the identity of Jesus from the eternal Word. But you must also avoid the Monophysite extreme of mixing the human and divine natures, something it is hard to do if you just declare that Jesus is the Word. I would see it like this: the eternal Word is spoken into history in a unique way in the life, death and exaltation of Jesus Christ. The ultimate identity of Jesus is discerened by John as that of the Word incarnate in history. The divine Word is the ultimate horizon of Jesus’ identity. This leaves plenty of room for a Christology from below that fully recognizes the human and historical textures of Jesus’ presence and activity.

  • Rich

    Just to be clear then, you’re saying the Word isn’t exclusive to Christ or to Christianity?

  • ronnie

    This new liturgy isnot of GOD 

  • Jorge

    > I note your lengthy silence on the links

    I am sorry; I am very disorganized.

    > I sent you two months ago with irrefutable evidence of just how wrong you are about the SSPX. Interesting.

    The links you gave me simply said that the Holy See has not declared the SSPX to be in formal schism. However:

    4. Therefore, all the sacraments offered by Society of St. Pius X priests, with the exception of Penance and Matrimony, are valid, but illicit, meaning “illegal.” Penance and Matrimony both require faculties from the local bishop, which the Society of St. Pius X priests do not have; therefore, they are invalid. Cases of supplied jurisdiction apply to those who are, for example, in danger of death. Those who read and understand the PCED’s response can no longer claim ignorance regarding the Church’s official teaching on these two sacraments’ invalidity.

    5. Catholic laymen may attend Mass at a Society of St. Pius X chapel without committing any sin nor incurring any canonical penalty. However, the PCED guidance is that it “cannot recommend” attendance at the Society of St. Pius X chapels due to the danger of imbibing a “schismatic mentality.” In other words, someone might find some Society priests fomenting division from full communion with the Church, their local Ordinary and/or the Holy Father in their sermons. The PCED’s recommendation is not to attend their chapels habitually


    > Do you modernists

    I am not a modernist.

  • Jorge

    And from;wap2

    An interview with bishop Fellay of the SSPX:

    Q: Just this morning, July 10, 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a document defining the meaning of subsistit in and the doctrinal development on the ecclesiology of the Church. The document is entitled, “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.”

    The secular media is reacting like two nuclear bombs have gone off around the world within three days with the freeing of the Traditional Mass on Saturday, July 7, and today with the reaffirmation on the Catholic Church being the one, true Church, and the defects in the Orthodox Churches and Protestant ecclesial communities. This document seems to be geared specifically toward attempting to clarify some theological concerns with certain passages of the Second Vatican Council’s key documents. What is your initial reaction?

    A: My reaction? In the declaration about the motu proprio, we insisted in saying that the confused excerpts of places in the letter show that the need to enter into theological discussions was reinforced very, very strongly by this document which is telling us that a circle is a quadrangle.

    You have a perfect illustration of what we have said for 6 years. That is that Rome is continuing in a confusing way because they don’t seem to give much care to contradiction and non-contradiction.

    This document seems to be a clarification of nothing but assuring once again that “Yes” means “No.”

    Q: Your Excellency. Can you give us an example?

    A: Sure. One example is precisely the question about subsistit. [The question is] “Why use the expression “subsistit in” and not “est”? You read the answer and you conclude nothing.

    They say it is “est”and that there is an identity with the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church; and there is no change of doctrine. And then the next phrase is precisely a change in doctrine. So… It is a contradiction.

    In his sermon in Ecône, Bishop Williamson said that in Rome they say something like two plus two makes four, but maybe it also makes five. And here you have a perfect illustration of that.

    The only positive thing [in the document] is about the Protestants which are now barred from the title of Church. Great! [Ed. Note: This doctrine on Protestant “ecclesial communities” has already been outlined previously by Dominus Jesus and other authoritative Church doctrinal clarifications.]

    Besides that, it is a confirmation of what we say. This text tries to tell us that there is no contradiction between the doctrine of the Church of the past and of Vatican II. And we insist by saying that Vatican II is in disharmony—is in contradiction—is even teaching error opposed to the traditional teaching, especially on ecumenism. And here [in this new document on ecclesiology] you have both sides put together; that is, the past and Vatican II.

    MY OBSERVATION: the SSPX does have doctrinal issues against the Holy See; their disobedience
    is not merely of discipline. I wouldn’t get my Catechism from them.

  • Jorge

    Regarding you text on obedience (, I still
    disagree the attitude of the SSPX. There is no comparison between virtuous criticism of saints
    such as Saint Catherine of Siena and that of the the SSPX bishops. Saint Catherine of Siena criticized
    personal failures of the Pope (namely, his lack of courage to defy the powers that wanted him in Avignon);
    but the SSPX actually wants to lecture the Holy See on doctrine. The SSPX also tries to convince us that
    our Masses are invalid, which is absurd.

    > There is no need to “deny” Vatican II – as Pope Benedict has said more than once, Vatican II was a “merely” (his word) pastoral Council which proclaimed no new dogma.

    Hum, but I read somewhere that, to recover good relationships with the Church, the SSPX had to “accept Vatican II”.

    > such as the ecumenical enterprises that have led to religious indifferentism among Catholics

    The ecumenical principle is one thing. Another is the problem that some people *think* that ecumenism means
    religious indifferentism. I think that is another area where the dissident “spirit of Vatican II” corrupted the message
    of the Council.

    > who now openly opine than one religion (and certainly one denomination) is as good as another.

    Yes, that is a horrible problem. And I have a relative who is spiritist and is impossible to convert,
    because the person is so drunk with relativism that communication is impossible. It is made worse by the
    fact that spiritism uses a corrupted vocabulary, so sometimes you think you are communicating, but are not.
    For example, you talk to them about Hell, and they talk as if Hell does exist. You think you are communicating,
    and that they accepted the truth of eternal damnation. Then they, by chance, mention
    “Hell is a place of suffering from which the spirit comes out after it evolves”. Argh!!

    > Oh, they’re not perfect – not at all. But they’re a heck of a lot more
    > perfect that the “priests in good standing” who are poisoning the Faith
    > in just about every diocese in the western world.

    But the SSPX is explicit in their disobedience; therefore, by attending their
    Masses, you spread the message that disobedience is OK.

    And, merely by disobeying the Pope in areas where the Pope has authority, they are wrong. And they even say that the ordinary Mass is is invalid! God promised us that the Church would never lose to the forces of Hell. But if the Magisterium had become modernist, and if the Holy See had instituted an invalid Mass, we would have lost.

    Second, I once read the FAQ of an SSPX website. It was full of attacks on the Church and the Pope, and conspiracy theories (the Vatican is full of communists and freemasons, etc.).

    Also this kind of attitude ( does not help.

    I know only one other Church movement that disrespects the Church and the Pope like SSPX does. That movement is liberation theology.