On freedom in the liturgy

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 15, 2004

In November the US bishops elected Bishop Donald Trautman to chair their Committee on Liturgy. That vote was an obvious slap at the Vatican; Bishop Trautman has publicly criticized the Holy See's "interference" in liturgical matters.

Writing in America magazine, Bishop Trautman charged that the Vatican's approach to liturgical translation runs counter to the teachings of Vatican II. What do you suppose would happen if a priest in his Erie diocese expressed the same sort of public disapproval of Bishop Trautman's liturgical theories?

Contrary to Vatican directives, Bishop Trautman continues to promote "dynamically equivalent" translation: a discredited method of changing the meaning of liturgical texts. How long would a priest of the Erie diocese remain in good standing if he dared to translate Bishop Trautman's administrative decrees into practice, using the same "dynamically equivalent" method?

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 17, 2004 2:01 AM ET USA

    (Contd. from my Dec. 16 blog) We cannot look to the USCCB for any direction (did we ever?). As a body of bishops, the body is dead. Most of us younger priests & the laity see this clearly. Card. J.Bernardine did his damage. The USCCB needs re-forming. We need to look to the individual bishops who are in union with the Holy Father, Magisterium, Teachings of the Church; such successors to the apostles as Cardinal George, Cardinal Rigali, Bishops Burke, Bruskewitz, Morlino, Chaput, Vigneron, etc.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 16, 2004 11:21 AM ET USA

    Get rid of the Trautman's and Mahony's, the geetars at Mass and the burlap and polyester vestments ... bring back the guilded vessels and what do you have at Mass? Lipstick on a liturgical pig. You've got everyone on the verge of breathing a sigh of relief at the return of "orthodoxy" whilst "worshipping" at a service more like the Book of Common Prayer or a Lutheran service than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered by our parents and every western Catholic for a thousand-plus years.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 16, 2004 10:52 AM ET USA

    That the bishops continue to defend the wretched ICEL translations is incomprehensible. Does ANYONE like them? I have never heard them defended. Do these successors of the apostles care about the their flocks at all? More and more, I think that the church is going to have to collapse in order to be rebuilt brick by brick. The levels of corruption and sheer stupidity are beyong staggering. These mitred morons have forgotten everything and learned nothing.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 16, 2004 1:23 AM ET USA

    Amazing that the bishops think "obedience" applies ONLY to those BELOW them in the hierarchy. When are they going to learn, "children learn by example"? Why should we obey them, when they don't obey Rome? Look at their new budget: Over $1M for eccumenism, but less than $500K for vocations. I thought we had a shortage of priests and religious!! Less than $200K for evangelization. I guess we know where the bishops' hearts really lie. No wonder the phony liturgies we keep getting.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 16, 2004 12:05 AM ET USA

    Yes, it was unacceptable & disgraceful that the bishops nominated a traitor such as Bp. Trautman from the floor & that they voted the traitor into the chairmanship. The bishops also broke tradition by doing this (unlike their keeping tradition by voting their Vice Pres. in as President, aka Bp. Skylstad), & sent a message to Cardinal Rigali & Bp. Vigneron. Overall, the message is this: the body of bishops known as the USCCB has no moral authority & is a dead body. Jesus have mercy on us all.

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Dec. 15, 2004 11:22 PM ET USA

    There are those who believe the American Catholic Church is in de facto schism from Rome. In my view, this is an overstatement. But the election of Bishop Trautman gives support to the view that the U.S. Catholic Church is not in sync with the Pope on liturgical matters.

  • Posted by: Fr. Walter - Dec. 15, 2004 8:00 PM ET USA

    One might say that His Excellency, the Bishop of Erie, is "dynamically equivalent" to a flea, irritating and annoying, but of no real purpose or benefit. Forgive the harshness, but for 14 years he's been Bishop of Erie, with the "freedom" to implement his version of liturgical and spiritual renewal. The result? Nothing! Sadly, like so many American Biships, the Most Rev. Trautman is ineffective and uninspiring.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2004 7:48 PM ET USA

    Leo XIII, I'd like a STOOL sample, please.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2004 1:22 PM ET USA

    Those who want some liturgical testosterone should have beads of sweat dripping from their brow as they pray to the one day canonized Fulton Sheen.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2004 10:30 AM ET USA

    Bishop Trauman is not to be blamed. He is either being set up or has been elected to lead the charge of the liturgical Light Brigade. The Holy See, but particularly the Congregation for the Sacraments and Worship cannot compromize away the Mass, can they? I choose to view this whole matter as the last desperate attempt by the culturally challanged and scandal shaded hapless bech of bishops attempting to bring back the good old days. Never!

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2004 10:25 AM ET USA

    Give the Holy Father credit where credit is due. He has laid the basis for reform, but he has not been an enforcer. Reform will come as litnicks die off and retire and others take over. The next pope may be more of an enforcer. In the meanwhile, those of us who are impatient should join STOOL: Society to Obliterate Obnoxious Liturgy.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2004 9:50 AM ET USA

    It seems obvious that the current pope, intelligent and holy as he may be, has limited himself largely to teaching, leaving governing the Church to others. Today and probably for some time he has not had the strength nor the focus to govern the Church even if he wanted to. Governing, afterall, is not merely giving orders or directions, it also requires persistent and sustained follow up and accurate, independent auditing pertinent to those directives. What gets measured, gets improved.