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Saturday, 11 June 2011

Losing a sense of proportion?

Fr Ray Blake has written a good post on how "And also with you" damages us. Meanwhile there is some really quite crazy reaction going on in Ireland. Recently, a group of Irish priests had a woman theologian along to say how the new translation was wrong and that refusing to use it would be like passive resistance to oppressive regimes. I wonder what grandma would think of this comparison: having hid in the coal hole from the Black 'n Tans, would she approve of comparing a more accurate translation of the Mass with her experience?

In the ensuing discussion (which, as we hear, had a turn out of even more than 25 people):
Words and phrases such as “dominance,” “control,” “incompetence,” “bullying,” “lack of courage” and “fascism” were used by many of the speakers.
We are not told how the words were used by the speakers but it is a fair bet that a hysterical description of the implementation of the new translation was involved somewhere along the way.

Another speaker, a priest, asked various rhetorical questions, the funniest of which was:
If a priest feels that it is impossible for him to intelligently read a prayer with 60 or more words per sentence, what is he supposed to do?
Answers on a postcard please (or indeed in the comments box - but no swearing.)

Read the full account at Independent Catholic News. It is so completely barmy it is entertaining. On the downside, though, the keynote speaker identified four moments in the life of the Church since Vatican II in which she thought that the Church had erred and we should campaign for a copernican revolution.
The first was the way that the Encyclical Humanae Vitae was implemented and, especially, the treatment which was meted out to those who raised questions about it. The second was the refusal of the Catholic Church in Ireland and right around the world, to face up to the clerical abuse scandals in the 1970s and the 1980s. The third moment she highlighted was the Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II – Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in which he stated that women could not be ordained to the priesthood. The fourth moment was the imposition of translation of the new Missal without adequate consultation.
To say that this lacks a sense of proportion (new translation on a par with child abuse?) really doesn't quite address the lack of judgement shown in this blind determination to trash the new translation.

On a lighter note: the other day I was at a meeting where a brother priest, an old friend (and someone with whom, let us say, I might not see eye-to-eye on all liturgical and theological matters) made fun of the new translation by talking about "And with your ghost."

I kicked myself afterwards for not responding "NO: it should be 'And with THY ghost.'"
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