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Saturday, 26 March 2011

What if we just said pray?

Louie Verrecchio, a columnist for the Catholic News Agency has just launched a response for faithful Catholics to the "What if we just said wait?" campaign of dissent against the new (corrected) translation of the Roman Missal. Here is a link where you can sign up to the Statement of Concern.

Louie explains the background in an article for CNA. I agree with him that it is possible for priests who are opposed to the new translations to "infect the faithful with their personal biases against the forthcoming translation." It is also true that those priests who welcome the new translations will be able to encourage their people to rejoice in the greater richness of the language of our prayer now that we will be able to pray the texts of the Missal in an accurate translation.

A priest commented to me the other day that it is easy for us to imagine that people will see things as we do, and attach the same importance to them as we do. I have now had some experience of using parts of the new translation. Having heard much passionate argument on either side, I was amused to find that most lay people have shown little or no reaction at all.

That is why the new (corrected) translation is an opportunity for catechesis. We can forget the scaremongering of some groups of clergy and the leftist agitation that alleges that it is an imposition on the people from the evil empire of the "Institutional Church." Our task is rather to inform people that something good has happened, to explain why it was necessary, to show how much the English texts have improved, and to point the way to a richer life of prayer.

Basically the new translation is necessary because the old one was so bad; but we can put that more tactfully and emphasise the wealth that is contained in the prayers. More important catechetically, is to show how the new translation helps us to understand our faith better, draws us closer to the true context of the scriptures which is the Sacred Liturgy, and provides richer food for praying the liturgy itself.
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