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Friday, November 26, 2010

Let's not have the wheels fall off the bus

While the secular media continues to analyze and overanalyze the recent statement made by the Holy Father in "Light of the World", the Church, at least in the Anglophile world, faces a very serious problem almost along the lines of the infamous Wikileaks that have plagued the national security of the United States and her allies. 

It seems that someone has anonymously leaked the revised Roman Missal in its entirety.  The Pray Tell blog has posted the link on its website:

Unfortunately, rather than causing great joy throughout the English-speaking world, the leak has yielded much consternation, debate, concern and, in some cases, indignation.  Sadly, most of these reactions from the very folks who have been in favor having a revised translation in the first place.

I have started to wade through the 1,000+ pages in this revised Roman Missal.  The trouble is, no one really knows if this is the final version that will make its debut in our parishes exactly a year from now.  While the prayers proper to the faithful are unchanged (NB: it is confirmed that the Holy See denied the final request for the inclusion of the very problematic, "Christ has died..." acclamation), the controversy lies in the parts reserved to the celebrant:  the propers, prefaces and commons.  Folks who seem to be in the know call what is on Wikispooks a bad translation.  Some say that the original 2008 release was far superior.  However, unless one is a bishop, or a very close friend of his or her local Ordinary or Metropolitan, there is little chance that the books that the USCCB voted on during this long, drawn out process, will ever make their way to the internet.  If someone has the link, I would like to see it to make comparisons.

Of course, I can understand the need for revisions, especially on a document of this magnitude.  Translations, especially liturgical ones, are never an easy process.  It's almost like writing new legislation or amending existing law.  There is an old saying at the Texas Capitol that watching the legislative process unfold is a lot like watching sausage being made.  Neither is a pretty process.  I ought to know.  I partcipated first-hand in the legislative sausage-making process for 12 years.  I suspect that a lot of sausage was made by both Vox Clara and ICEL during the deliberations.  But, while the process is ugly, the result can be quite delicious.

Natrually, there are naysayers who debunk the whole thing and will try to derail both the process and the end product.  To make matters worse, the opponents of the revised translation, mainly the ones who started the infamous blog, "What if we just said wait", are having a field day.  They seem to be taking pleasure in what many think is an implosion of something that many of us have longed for and anticipated with great hope.  As I see it, these dissenters are succumbing to pride.  Pride always comes before the Fall. 

This whole brouhaha reminds me of comments that the Holy Father made to the bishops when he announced that he was lifting the excommunications sanctioned on the four SSPX bishops:

 If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another."
I fear that this is what is happening here.  There are not a few people who would like to see the wheels fall of this particular bus.  More would also like to see those of us who have ardently supported this revised Roman Missal, including Pope Benedict XVI, the CDWDS (past and present prefects), Vox Clara the improved ICEL, and Bishop Arthur Serratelli, thrown under the bus.  While some of their concerns might be well-meaning, there are some who have just been full of venom when expressing their total displeasure with even the idea of a revised translation.  Sadly, these have been the ones doing the most biting.  Having read some of their comments, it seems to me that they would be willing to start pushing the defenders of the final version of the revised Roman Missal (whatever that may be) under the bus, one by one.

I remember an incident that happened to me back in my days at the University of Texas at Austin. I was catching the West Campus shuttle.  Somehow, the overzealous driver slid the doors shut and I was caught halfway between the back steps of the bus and air.  This went on for a few blocks.  I hung on for dear life because I needed to stay on that bus.  I managed to make it safely to my destination in one piece.  As far as the revised Roman Missal is concerned, I am bound and determined to hang on to this bus.  I am confident that the driver, Pope Benedict, is not one who is going to let the wheels fall off of  the bus nor is he going to put the CDWDS, Vox Clara, ICEL, the clergy and the faithful who have long supported this revised Roman Missal under it.

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