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By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Oct 27, 2009

Leading the charge against approval of the latest English-language liturgical texts, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, worries that "ordinary Catholics" will be unable to understand words like "incarnate" and "precursor" and "inviolate" and "oblation." 

It's not just that "ordinary" Catholics don't know these words; they can't learn them, either, apparently, because the language of the new translations is "beyond their comprehension." 

Who are these "ordinary" Catholics, whose capacity to learn new words is so severely limited? Bishop Trautman explains that he is worried about how these awful new translations will affect "children, teenagers, adults, those with varying degrees of education, and those with English as a second language."

Aha! Children, teenagers, and adults. Chances are pretty good that you fall into one of those categories (although the good bishop adds a few other special classifications, just in case). The bishop is concerned about you. If the news translations are approved, you might hear words that you haven't heard before, and then what would you do? It's a "pastoral disaster" waiting to happen. To the "ordinary" Catholics.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Oct. 31, 2009 10:51 PM ET USA

    The big trouble with our educational system is the "Dumbing Down" of America. We must be lifted up and how good and fun it is to learn new words, improve our vocabularies. My dear mother and grandmother and I used to play a game by way of letters, listing new words and challenging each other with: "Do you know these words?" Then, we would write back listing several new words with the same question. By all means, let us be challenged to learn these words soon to come in the new translation!

  • Posted by: SentimentalGent - Oct. 29, 2009 9:17 PM ET USA

    Bishop Trautperson should also consider that whenever the Church went through rough and rocky times, it wasn't the bishops who saved the Church, it was the "ordinary" Catholics. Trautentity maybe?

  • Posted by: parochus - Oct. 29, 2009 1:29 PM ET USA

    Can't understand gibbet or inviolate or oblation or ignominy? Well, heck, you'd better not learn them! And don't be teaching your children the "Our Father" with "thy" and "art" and "trespasses"!

  • Posted by: Pete - Oct. 29, 2009 12:21 PM ET USA

    If the "Successors of the Apostles" refuse to preach the Gospel, who will? What a shame that bishops aren't subject to "judicial review" and impeachment! Rome has spoken definitively that the "inclusive language" is OUT. What happened to the vow of OBEDIENCE the priests and bishops took? Does their "leadership" and dissent mean it's all right for us to "bend or bruise" the Ten Commandments and Church law? Truatman is a disgrace and should at least be removed from that committee!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 28, 2009 5:16 PM ET USA

    One last time...it's Trautperindividual!

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 28, 2009 10:53 AM ET USA

    Trautperson? You guys are killin' me! I seriously needed a laugh despite the serious nature of this discussion and the many kooks who managed to end up leading us. Just remember, when Henry VIII told all the English clergy to join or else, only ONE bishop stood up for Christ and His Church, the rest rolled.

  • Posted by: Antonius - Oct. 28, 2009 8:49 AM ET USA

    To all those who have taken to calling the prelate of Erie "Trautperson," please be sensitive. We all know, rather, that it should be "Trautperdaughter."

  • Posted by: TonyLCR - Oct. 28, 2009 12:52 AM ET USA

    I think it's about time to stop baby-ing "ordinary" Catholics and start bringing about extraordinary Catholics!

  • Posted by: malber02 - Oct. 27, 2009 11:51 PM ET USA

    This is absolutely ridiculous. We "ordinary Catholics" have heard these words all of our lives. Especially those of us who have English as a Second Language. No wonder our bishops are in such a bad shape to lead this country's church in the right direction. May God help us.

  • Posted by: brinleer4763 - Oct. 27, 2009 10:57 PM ET USA

    As the least educated of my friends once explained to me, "Poor folks ain't dumb". Bishop Trautman can relax. We ordinary folks will figure it out, and in the meantime we will understand that in the liturgy important ideas ought not to be dumbed down.

  • Posted by: michaelwilmes - Oct. 27, 2009 10:52 PM ET USA

    Amen! And Bishop Trautperson is not your "ordinary" "Ordinary".

  • Posted by: Ken_H - Oct. 27, 2009 10:15 PM ET USA

    Dear Bishop Trautman - it is good to learn new words! Thank you... an ordinary adult Catholic, who has trouble comprehending the Bishops sometimes!

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 27, 2009 10:06 PM ET USA

    I have no problem with "inviolate"...etc, but what about gibbet? Who uses that word? All I can think about is gravy as some clergy member stated.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 27, 2009 7:38 PM ET USA

    What Bishop Trautman is really upset about is "pro-multis" being returned to the authentic translation "for the many" instead of "for all" in the words of Consecration. It doesn't fit in with the heresy of "universal salvation" that has crept into the Catholic Church.

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Oct. 27, 2009 6:39 PM ET USA

    There's an aspect that is seldom mentioned: truth. The current translations are untruthful--and this is concerning the most sacred encounter with God--who is Truth itself. It is wonderful that efforts are being made to restore truth to the translations--pray that Trautperson will fail.

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