Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More on Translations....

Alongside the sterling piece on ICEL in the upcoming Commonweal is the maiden piece in its pages by Kevin Eckstrom, national correspondent for Religion News Service.... Do check it out.
In thirty pages of written comments released by Trautman’s committee, there are harsh responses from several bishops. Trautman said the divisions among the bishops fell along traditional “liberal/conservative” lines, but declined to elaborate. Some bishops complained that the language seemed “too British.” Others called the new translations clumsy, awkward, archaic, wordy, or stilted. “Painful to the ear,” one bishop noted. “During the years I was teaching Latin,” another bishop observed, “had a student submitted comparable translations for classical Latin texts, I would have given him a low grade.”

Not all bishops were critical. Some praised the new translations as more dignified and elegant, with “an air of solemnity and formality that is sometimes missing from current translations,” which were completed under great time pressure in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. The most frequent commendation of the new translations concerned the text’s “fidelity” or “faithfulness” to the original Latin (two terms, frequently used by those of a conservative bent within the conference, which echo Benedict XVI’s view that a “reform of the reform” is needed).

On the whole, the bishops found more things to dislike than to praise. “The new ICEL translation is like doing drastic major surgery on a patient in need of a few cosmetic procedures,” one bishop said. One archbishop seemed positively frightened by what might happen when trying to introduce the new translations to the laity: “Some usually quite civil people turned ugly about more changes,” he said....

Beyond all the sparring over grammar and sentence structure, the bishops demonstrated a deep pastoral concern for their flocks, a concern that is not always evident in the operation of the church’s administrative bureaucracies. Time and again, bishops said their people would not understand-and probably not accept-changes to the prayers they had come to embrace over the thirty-five years since the council’s liturgical reforms were implemented. “What ought to be a source of stability-the liturgy-will become a source of uneasiness and frustration for the good people who continue to come to the Eucharist,” one bishop remarked.


Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

"Some bishops complained that the language seemed “too British.”"

*Grumble* closet IRA supporter *Grumble*

30/11/05 11:07  
Blogger justplaincath said...

I'm not real sure I'll like the changes, but I'm willing to give them a fair hearing.

What I really don't like is the condescending attitude of the bishops who say I "won't understand them." How do they know?

You can tell that bishop that my number is Beechwood 4-5789, and he can call me up, any ole time.

30/11/05 11:10  
Blogger Father McCarthy said...

Yeah, why do we never know which bishops are complaining about the translations? We only read "one bishop" or "another bishop." I'll take a too British translation any day.

Moreover, I am Irish too.

30/11/05 11:17  
Blogger Jon said...

“What ought to be a source of stability-the liturgy-will become a source of uneasiness and frustration for the good people who continue to come to the Eucharist,” one bishop remarked.

And what, exactly, was the Novus Ordo a source of after SIXTEEN HUNDRED YEARS of stability?

Where, Excellency, was your concern in 1970?

30/11/05 11:22  
Blogger Jeff said...

Yes, I think these guys who object are just Traditionalists. And no doubt there will be some people in the pews who will object on the same grounds...

"Try something NEW? For a good reason? Pastoral care requires that we not have to MAKE any changes to what we're used to. Why, we've been using these texts for simply HOURS and HOURS!"

30/11/05 11:40  
Blogger Fungulo said...



You mean the Mass stayed the same from 362 AD?

Goodness, I never knew!

30/11/05 11:56  
Blogger Barry Manilow said...


There you go AGAIN, changing the words of the songs!!!!

RE: "You can tell that bishop that my number is Beechwood 4-5789, and he can call me up, any ole time."

In the interests of AUTHENTIC OLDIES ROCK, the ORIGINAL words of that anthem are:

"And my number is Beechwood 4-5789,

you can call me up and have a date

any ole time.

The original text is extremely impoverished by altering the words like that.

The richness of the original (the purpose of the phone call is to hook up) is completely lost in your modern revision.

Oooops wait, in light of that new letter on homosexuality, I guess he can only have a date if you're of the female persuasion.

And would he have to wait three years before doing the next Confirmation? Or is that only for the homosexuals?

30/11/05 13:40  
Blogger justplaincath said...

Barry, you are correct. There I was, changing the words to a song, in a combox about translations!!!

But I deliberately left out the phrase "and have a date" because, while I am of the female persuasion, he is of the celibate persuasion. And I am of the married persuasion. So dating is out, but phone calls are in.

Just think how Marvelettes it would be if Bishops actually spoke WITH the justplaincaths of the world before they spoke FOR the justplaincaths of the world.

But I'm too much of an idealist!

30/11/05 22:44  

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