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not morons

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 20, 2007

George Weigel gives us his take on "John & Mary Catholic" and argues they're not as dense as Bishop Trautman would have us believe.

Bishop Trautman worries that the new translations are just, well, too darn much for "John and Mary Catholic," whose participation in Sunday Mass will, he suggests, be impaired by a translation of the Creed that describes the Son as "consubstantial with the Father" and "incarnate of the Virgin Mary." But that's hardly the end of it. Will "John and Mary Catholic," Bishop Trautman asks, "understand these words from the various new Collects: 'sullied,' 'unfeigned,' 'ineffable,' 'gibbet,' 'wrought,' 'thwart'?" What will "John and Mary Catholic" make of the Collect for June 27, which hails St. Cyril of Alexandria as "an unvanquished champion of the divine motherhood"? Can they grasp the depiction of St. John of God on March 8 as "suffused...with the spirit of mercy"?

My hunch is that they'll do just fine. "John and Mary Catholic," in these United States, are among the best-educated Catholics in history. In my rather typical parish, "John and Mary" can understand legal contracts, Russian novels, architectural plans, IRS forms, the Atlantic Monthly, columns by George F. Will, the calculations necessary to compute an Earned Run Average, their children's math homework, the Federal Register, New England Journal of Medicine articles on osteoporosis therapies, the fine print of their pension plans, and Sports Illustrated stories on the Cover-2 Defense; they're not going to come unglued over "unfeigned" or "consubstantial" or "thwart." In a word, they're not morons.

True. But the contrary claim is very useful indeed to the Liturgical Apparat, which exists to convince us that the liturgy it wants to give us is the Mass we really want to have, though we don't know it yet.

In this respect, we've been slow, really slow, learners.

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Show 20 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 23, 2007 2:05 PM ET USA

    "Ineffable" was in today's first reading (in the US, anyway). This seems to run counter to +Trautman's argument.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 22, 2007 7:24 PM ET USA

    The period in the first sentence needs to be placed after the word "Trautman". It wold then read: George Weigel gives us his take on "John & Mary" Catholic and argues they're not as dense as Bishop Trautman.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 21, 2007 11:40 PM ET USA

    Uncle Di, I'm waiting for you to post a picture of a consecration featuring the teletubbies as concelebrants.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 21, 2007 9:43 AM ET USA

    Bishop Trautperson wants us all to become fishers of people. PC nonsense aside, no wonder Trautman & Co. are so horrified at the spectre of the motu proprio looming on the horizon. Methinks they are the brink of open rebellion against the Holy Father. Time will tell.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 21, 2007 9:22 AM ET USA

    Is it any wonder that the Bp. Trautman's of this world live in mortal fear of the Traditional Mass.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 8:01 PM ET USA

    Coco, I live in a spanish speaking country and am able to defend myself in the local code. There are some translations that are well done, Spanish is much closer to Latin than English so it is easier. However there are some translations of collects that send me running to see what it really says in Latin. In short it is a mixed bag.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 7:57 PM ET USA

    Bishop Trautman and his other bishops are upset because we DO understand what they say. They are out of touch with the Faithful; we see them for what they are. Thank God for the 15 or 16 stalwart ones like Bishop Burke.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 5:22 PM ET USA

    Uncle Di, where ***do*** you get those fabulous pictures? They are hilarious!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 5:06 PM ET USA

    Part 2 - "people of the pews" I attended a "Catholic Writers retreat and conference" in 2002 with about 50 people, including 15 priests, 15 nuns ,15 Catholic professors/educators and about 8 spirit filled, Church and Christ dedicated writers. We lay people found ourselves maligned by the "professional" church people as we heard them constantly talking about dumbing down words, explanations and expectations of "the people in the pews". We questioned the labeling as biased,and even judgemental

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 4:59 PM ET USA

    PART 1 -Perhaps it will help we "people of the pews" it we understand Bishop T's expectation that we are second graders and un-able to understand compound words, accept an explination or use a dictionary if we recognize the Boshop is not alone in holding this mis-perception of us. While backs were turned, convent and seminaries emptied, God was drawing the very same "ignorant" people of the pew to HIM and drowning them in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, raising mystics, martyrs and more...

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 4:07 PM ET USA

    Such bishops as Trautman also, of course, assume we are stupid enough to think we will continue to contribute generously to their "annual appeals" if they only assure us that absolutely none of our money will go to pay damages to people their priests have abused. After all, if John and Mary Unwashed can't understand incarnate, consubstantial, ineffable, wrought and thwart, surely they can't understand fungible. But they don't need a dictionary to know what a gibbet is.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 4:06 PM ET USA

    It seems to me that the bishop is saying that Joe and Mary Catholic are completely uneducable. He sees himself, perhaps, not as a teacher of the Faith, but as a kind of glorified day care professional.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 2:49 PM ET USA

    The teddy bear and panda fit right in with a super imposed Goofy in place of the bishop. The pope who appointed him certainly did not rely on Divine inspiration when making the appointment. Trautman needs to retire from the scene ASAP.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 2:35 PM ET USA

    Maybe somebody died at the Altar? Sigh ...

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 1:29 PM ET USA

    Maybe the arrogance of our bishops (like Trautman) give the excuse of why they as bishops fail to instruct and educate. They beleive that we are beneath the very theology which underpins of our faith. Take away our Eucharist, let us eat cake. We are too ignorant to know the diffrence.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 12:30 PM ET USA

    We happened to attend a Spanish Mass recently. I don't speak Spanish, but could understand a bit. The Spanish translation of the Mass seems to remain true to the original (for example: the "in your spirit" and "under my roof" responses by the Spanish-speaking congregation). Trautman likes to teach that we well educated Americans are too dumb to understand such archaic phrases, yet, the uneducated Mexican masses, right under his nose, can understand such linguistic nuances...hmmm.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 12:05 PM ET USA

    I suspect the good bishop himself is too dense to realize that if John and Mary encounter a word they don't recognize, they are bright enough to use a little book called a dictionary.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 11:09 AM ET USA

    Note the absence of men at the altar! As for the panda, maybe that is to show solidary with the persecuted Chinese Catholics? Nahhhhhh!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 10:48 AM ET USA

    I think what Buscemi meant to say was "Knocking over the statues was part of growing up, but we'll stick them back together again."

  • Posted by: - Jun. 20, 2007 10:18 AM ET USA

    One wonders if even Buscemi could have imagined these teddy bear or doggie "liturgies? He wrote--an unknowing prophet as it turns out-- "our iconoclasm was not the final answer, but part of a transitional period that is endemic to every growth process. Because we have been iconoclastic, we are able to re-image." Gag.

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