See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"What if we said 'wait'".

Wait...
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They've been saying that all along haven't they? 
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I know I'm late to this party (the debate over the new English translation of the Roman Missal) and there has already been petitions circulating saying "We've waited long enough" with many blog posts defending the new translation, but that is because I just don't see the new translation as a problem.  Obviously a minority of English speaking Catholics do.
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Fr. Z has an excellent commentary on a Fr. McBrien article who joins with Fr. Michael Ryan of Seattle in urging priests to be disobedient and refuse to implement the new translation of the Roman Missal.  I hate to say it, but many of these dissident types have pretty much been disobedient all along - so what is new here?
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Anyway, I honestly don't get it - why are they so resistant to the new translation?  It is just a translation, they still have their English, so what's the problem?.The language is much more theologically and doctrinally clear and accurate - so why would they not welcome such a thing? 
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Photo:  Renovated Cathedral of St. James, Seattle, Washington, home of Fr. Michael Ryan, Pastor, and author of "What if we said 'wait'".  Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen was instrumental in promoting Fr. Ryan.  Fr. Ryan is not exactly a fan of Pope Benedict XVI, as evidenced by the following archive:
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Ryan (the Very Rev. Michael G. Ryan, pastor at St. James Cathedral) recalled the significant role Ratzinger played in the scrutiny of Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen two decades ago. In 1985, Ratzinger, as head of the Vatican's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — essentially the church's guardian of orthodoxy — issued a report disciplining Hunthausen in areas such as ministry to gays and lesbians, divorce, and the role of women in the church.

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That report led to Hunthausen being relieved of some of his power and the appointment of an auxiliary bishop. Eventually, the Vatican removed the auxiliary bishop and restored Hunthausen's full authority.
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"I'm sure there would be some resentments against Cardinal Ratzinger because of it," Ryan said. "I always wished the Holy See had come up with a better solution to the problems they perceived in Seattle." - http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002246832_popelocal20m.html

14 comments:

  1. Fr. Ryan, not surprisingly, is an elderly gent.

    John Paul II tried to get Huntshausen to resign by appointing Bp. Wuerl of Pittsburgh as an auxiliary with more than normal responsibilities, taking some away from Hunthausen. But Hunthausen wouldn't cooperate so Wuerl soon went back to Pittsburgh and then to WDC.

    Hunthausen was a progressive leader in his day and no doubt that led to being Seattle being one of the least churched cities in the country.

    Among the issues, from Wiki: Among such matters were the re-marriage of divorced Catholics who had not obtained a declaration of nullity (annulment), ambiguity regarding the proper role of ordained priests and laity in the administration of the Catholic sacraments, the formation of Catholic priests, the use of laicized (resigned) priests in Catholic ceremonies, and issues related to the acceptability of homosexual behavior. Catholic hospitals in the diocese had also been performing surgical contraceptive sterilization procedures, despite Church teaching condemning such operations as immoral.

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  2. Ray - Before I got to 'know everything', in my simplicity, I just had an instinct of 'good bishop, bad bishop' or, 'good priest, bad priest' - so back in those days I thought of Hunthausen as a bad bishop... as a matter of fact, I still do.

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  3. I lived in Seattle during the time of Hunthausen. It was a difficult to find a parish we could attend (without numerous abuses). For a time we attended a Ruthenian Byzantine parish, then the beautiful ancient Dominican rite (which was eventually and tragically abandoned/eliminated). Eventually, I figured Mass was about spending time with the Lord and as long as the consecration was happening (valid), I attended the nearby parish. The parish was a mess, but if Jesus could hang around there, then I could too (although I must've received many graces that kept me from committing hari kari).

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  4. Monica - that was exactly what I used to say - "as long as the words of institution were valid" or "as long as the words of absolution were valid." I'm not kidding. I recall going to the Newman Center at the U and spending time alone in the closet where they kept the Blessed Sacrament - I loved the solitude and intimacy - though the staff thought I was weird - cute but weird, looks got me in places you can't imagine. Anyway - I just learned to live with the abuses.

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  5. The definitive history of the American Church in the last half of the 20th century (which probably won't be written for another 30 years) will be a very sad book.

    Let's hope and pray that the first have of the 21st century will be a much happier era.

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  6. Austringer4:05 PM

    Ray, I think that we're already seeing some better times in the American Church, at least in some areas. Time is no friend to dissent: many of the Pied Pipers of liturgical craziness and dissent are graying and losing steam, or have already met their Maker. Our own St. Paul Seminary is in far better shape than it was a few decades ago....

    Having said that, it's my belief that much of the damage is irreversible. I think we'll eventually have a much smaller but more cohesive American Church, as the poor catechesis and our toxic pop culture will do away with Catholic-Lite, leaving a more unified remnant. (At any rate, the 1.6 children of the Catholic Lites may be less likely to maintain any connection to the Church -- dissent is sterile.)

    Terry, my eyesight isn't that great, so it took me a bit of squinting to make out the action in that photo: What the...???!!!Looks like the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater is part of the procession there....

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  7. Austringer:

    Agreed. But since seminary reform didn't take effect until about 1990, that means that a lot of our "old seminary" priests are only 50 years old or so.

    There are a lot of great priests older than 50, but I'd bet the percentage isn't much higher than 50% The great priests percentage rises steadily among the younger priests.

    So we still have some time.

    It will be interesting to see what the local reaction will be to the new Roman Missal. It's been very quiet on that front.

    It looks like it will begin to be used sometime in 2011.

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  8. Austringer5:14 PM

    Ray, yeah, you're probably right about the 50% figure...rats.

    Regarding the new translation: Our priest has mentioned it very positively from the pulpit a few times, and has put a few examples (old text vs. new text) in the bulletin twice now. That's good leadership -- I wonder if others are doing this as well?

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  9. A - The puppet represents St. James, patron of the Cathedral - I do not know the context of the presentation, but at least it evokes the memory of the saint in a sort of traditional neo-Spanish Colonial way. Don't get mad at me - I also like the Cathedral in L.A. - but on the other hand, no, I do not like Mass in the round at the Cathedral in Seattle.

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  10. Anyone who speaks more than one language understand that you cannot literally translate from one language to the other and make a lick of conversational sense. Word arrangement and grammer styles play a big part, as does the audienc eyou are speaking/writing for. Then there's the problem of arranging the translation "to be spoken," as opposed to being "read." Then try to set everything to music, and often I chose one particular word over another just because it flows better in a song..

    Often certain words are chosen for prayers to be memorized because they "flow" and are easier to learn, especially for children. Perfect example "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray My Lord My soul to keep..."

    I am anxious to see for myself the new translation....but also apprehensive if that means i will have to "unlearn" a buch of stuff I have pretty much on auto Pilot now....

    Terry--I too love the LA Cathedral..But I am also a big fan of modern art and architecture..much to the chagrin of my dear priest... :)

    Sara

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  11. Sara--
    The problem with the old translation was that not only was the language pedestrian and 'dumbed-down' but also it was ideologically driven. Words, phrase, and sentences were left out. The clear meaning of the text was altered to fit a dubious theological agenda. I too am not looking forward to having to relearn things, but it is a prize we should be willing to pay.

    Terry--Giant puppets are just plain creepy and way to goofy for the liturgy.

    (Terry and Sarah need architectural re-education.)

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  12. You are right Father - puppets have no place in liturgy.

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  13. LeoRufus8:34 AM

    Hmm puppets - you mean like carved or stuffed figures animated by the actions of a human being or mindless human beings following an outdated liturgical translation which is a mere paraphrase of the Latin original? If we mean the latter - this is clearly not in keeping with the mandate in the liturgy vis. Sacr. Concil.VI.113. which mandates active participation in the Mass. This is miming, mimicry and mummery. Example, the cookie platter gesture of the laity in response to the Priest's gesture at "The Lord is with you". Mimicry. And the hands up in the air in response to "Lift up your hearts" - miming. "We have lifted them up to the Lord" does not even approximate the English of "Dignum et justum est." Paraphrase and not close at all - why are so many American Catholics opposed to proper language?

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  14. LeoRufus8:42 AM

    Sorry I meant to say the response to "let us give thanks to the Lord Our God" is better rendered "It is right and just" which approximates the original Latin in meaning and intent better than the sentimental paraphrase "it is right to give thanks to the Lord Our God". I edited out a whole sentence there before posting - sorry. But you get what I am saying.

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