Igitur non dormiamus sicut ceteri.

You’re Too Stupid (According to the Jesuits)

A story at the Washington Post on the new English translation of the Mass, with these little gems:

“It will impact every Catholic in every parish because they will have to learn new responses in place of the ones they have been using since Vatican II,” [Jesuit, Fr. Thomas] Reese said. “I believe that the new translations are a step backwards and confusing to the people in the pews.”

And don’t forget this one:

Prayers offered by the priest will include more complex terms such as “consubstantial,” “inviolate,” “oblation,” “ignominy” and “suffused.”

Critics like Bishop Trautman argue that Jesus Christ taught in the language of the common man and, further, that Vatican II reforms that first allowed the Mass to be translated from Latin to the vernacular are being unraveled by the more complicated words used in the new translation.

I don’t know why these clerics believe themselves to be acting in a pastoral way when they essentially call the average practicing Catholic in America a complete ignoramus who can’t understand complex words like “oblation”.  I will also counter His Grace, +Bishop Trautman, by stating that while Christ did teach in a language that may be called common, he certainly challenged those who listened.  Further, there is nothing simple or common about a man who claims to be the Son of God and in fact the God itself incarnate in flesh.  I am college educated and I still find the Word of God to be a challenge, as it ought to be.

I have not read the new translation, so I will reserve judgement until then.  My only wish is that the bishops and priests would give their people a little more credit.  If the blue collar folks at a rural baptist church in Oregon can read the King James bible exclusively, and if people from across the globe could participate in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, I somehow doubt that the average Catholic in the wealthiest and amongst the most educated of nations will find a few new words to be a stumbling block.

(Hat tip to Carl at Ignatius Press)


5 responses

  1. In re: the Jesuits, I’m pretty sure that if Ignatius were to return to earth and see what they’ve been up to since their reconstitution, he’d ask if there was a consumer-level version of a flamethrower he could come by cheaply.

    As far as the new translation goes, I’m going to advance the proposition that we’d probably not be in this mess if they hadn’t decided to buck centuries of tradition at Trent and turn Western liturgy into a homogenized mess for five hundred years. Rites, as such, would be informed by the character of the cultures they arose from, then sanctified by the eternal truth of universal Revelation.

    I’m not advocating for a liturgical chaos theory, here. It’s not as if we’d be wresting any authority from Rome…she would still have the responsibility and the power to police the various rites to make sure they didn’t wander off into strange territory, such as a denial of the Filioque or the worship of Presbyt. And they would still have the “nuclear” option for intractable tinkerers like Card. Mahoney: assassins from the Reformed Society of Jesus, trained by the returned-to-earth Ignatius himself. (And let’s be clear, here, that “returned-to-earth” is just a respectful way of saying “zombie.” So we’re talking about ninja Jesuits trained by a zombie Basque. I think I just scared my own crap out of me.)


    31 August, 2010 at 12:30 am

  2. M. Jordan Lichens

    It does seem a little messy since Trent, but the last 130 years are unique for how often the Mass of Rome has undergone changes, mostly minor but quite a few severe changes as well. Frankly, living in Chicago has told me that Rome needs another council to clear up the confusion of the last council. For all our attempts at homogenization, I can truly say that the Mass at my local parish shares practically nothing in common with the Mass being celebrated in Rome or even at Ste Marie’s in New Hampshire. Perhaps a better counter to Fr. Resse should have been, “Let’s be honest here, Padre, no matter what we do to the Mass the Jesuits will f#$@ it up, somehow. I see you already have puppets for the new translation.”


    31 August, 2010 at 11:36 am

  3. Yeah…puppets.

    My big problem is that what I pine for are the old Western analogues to the various ethnic Eastern rites…but there’s a lot of the world nowadays where you don’t have the kind of ethnic unity that allows that to be a foundation to inform a liturgy. In the US particularly, even the Eastern rites are sort of open. Still, they have the benefit of those centuries of tradition that they built up while they were, in fact, relatively isolated.

    *sigh*…I’m impossible to please.


    31 August, 2010 at 11:57 am

  4. M. Jordan Lichens

    You and I both. So is the mass of humanity. Then again, let’s also face this fact: we already have different rites. We can get the clown mass from St. Peter’s in the Style, or we can get the mass where they don’t believe in sin at St. Thomas the Post Modern, then there’s tin-foil hat crazy trads at Our Lady of the Remnant :-D.


    31 August, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  5. Also true. I just like my rites without the bat-shit in the sacramental wine. 😉


    31 August, 2010 at 12:10 pm