fait accompli

By Diogenes (articles - email) | Jun 15, 2006

As the US bishops gather to discuss a new translation of the Mass, critics of the more accurate translations demanded by the Vatican are fretting that the changes could upset lay people. After 30 years, the words of the Mass are now familiar, they observe. The people won't like sudden changes.

Funny: Liberal pastors weren't terribly worried about that effect back in the 1960s and 1970s, when they tore out the altar rails, removed the confessionals, and sold off the statues. Liberal prelates weren't worried about introducing an entirely new liturgy, discarding traditions that had been built up over centuries. But now, when the Holy See moves to recover some of the reverence lost in the liturgical revolution, now the liberals warn against sudden change.

Consider this parallel: In 1973 the US Supreme Court, in an arbitrary exercise of power, overturned the established laws of all 50 states restricting abortion.Now, a generation later, defenders of legal abortion solemnly inform us that we cannot possibly reconsider Roe, because any change would endanger public confidence in the rule of law. Well, the Roe court certainly didn't prop up that public confidence when it obliterated state laws. Continuity wasn't regarded as such an important value then.

We'll keep fighting until I win, but once I do win, any thought of another fight is un-democratic. The question is settled; why do you keep bringing it up?

A dynamic-equivalent translation of fait accompli might be: Shut up. There's nothing you can do about it.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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