fait accompli

By Diogenes (articles ) | 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.

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  • Posted by: Meg Q - Jun. 17, 2006 6:11 PM ET USA

    My husband (an English professor and a Scotsman by birth): "Well, there's American English, and then there's *proper* English!"

  • Posted by: - Jun. 17, 2006 12:55 AM ET USA

    IIRC, the Catechism was translated by an Australian (after the Americans couldn't get it done acceptably) and it worked out just fine.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 16, 2006 9:58 AM ET USA

    Another good one is Bishop Gerald Wilkerson saying that these translations were made by translators from Britain and Australia and that Americans may have problems understanding British English.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 3:52 PM ET USA

    Brilliant, Di! If you really believe what you wrote, then write a follow-up OTR that recounts how the New Order Church overturned centuries of Catholic teaching and tradition, not just in translating the liturgy, but in new translations of Scripture, the creation of new sacramental rites, a new Catechism, a new Code of Canon Law, and a new definition of Church, and, how, after all that, they told many of us, “We won, you just shut up!” (And that’s what the Vatican calls “communion.”)

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 3:44 PM ET USA

    I doubt we will see a new translation in use at Mass for another decade. The bishops who want their way have been playing this waiting game since we were handed the current translation in 1973. They read selectively from the VII constitutions. The current translation bears no resemblance to what is described in the Const. on the Sacred Liturgy - else the unchanging elements would be in Latin and this debate would not be taking place! Bp. Trautman is using selective truth... lie by ommission

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 3:21 PM ET USA

    The revisionists of the '70s removed rail, statues, etc. believing that they were making a welcome environment for protestants to come back to the Church. They might give other reasons to hide the total error of their thinking. Now, the Pope should take charge of the issue. I recall a high school teacher who informed his class that he ran a democracy, and they would all have a vote on class issues. The count 30 students-1 vote each. Then he said: I get 31 votes. Same for Pope Benedict.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 3:08 PM ET USA

    The ratchet theory in application. Can't we all just stop talking about it?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 2:42 PM ET USA

    Interesting, also, that a 'question' which has been settled for 2,000 years (viz. the impossibility of female priests) and which was given a magisterial 10-count by Pope John Paul II is not accorded the same sense of finality that a forty-year-old two-level abomination like the Novus Ordo's translation into English by ICEL. No, liberals ("progressives" to their way of thinking) are never bothered by the illogic of their many positions.

  • Posted by: Hammer of Heretics - Jun. 15, 2006 2:40 PM ET USA

    I think one of the reasons that modern day liberals are so intransigent once they get their way is connected to the disasterous impact their ideas have on those who must live with them. It takes a firm hand to force people to accept your will, when those people can see quite clearly that your will is likely to destroy civilization as we know it.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 2:03 PM ET USA

    As the pastor of a parish using the liturgy for the Anglican Use, approved by Pope John Paul II, I am excited about these proposals. In our liturgy, the people answer "And with thy spirit;" they make the response, "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof..." I remember how many of the "liturgists" screamed when our liturgy was approved, and then it was only for a handful of converts. They must be curled up in the fetal position, since this will affect the whole Latin rite.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 12:05 PM ET USA

    The American bishops do not speak for the universal Church. Like so many children in America today, they rebel against parental authority and demand they be allowed to make their own rules. English is also the traditional language of other nations. It is arrogant to assume American English should become the norm in Australia or Ireland or any other place. But then arrogance is not an adjective our local bishops would ever use to describe themselves.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 12:04 PM ET USA

    Excellent commentary and analogy, Uncle Di. Too often we're afraid of change. This is only natural. However, we can accept changes for the better (abolition of slavery e.g.) when they are rationally presented. Yes, it will require some "period of adjustment" to get fully accustomed to the changes. Unfortunately, the obstinate refusal of many of our shepherds to obey the laws of the Church they are required to teach, must not be allowed to continue.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 11:47 AM ET USA

    I like Mark Shea's quip, in a different context, regarding the US Bishops: "Stop looking at us that way!"

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 11:40 AM ET USA

    This vote is possibly the most critical sorting out of where our bishops stand in the post VII Church. Reading the Chicago Tribune article on this topic, thanks to the lukewarm comments made ostensibly by Cardinal George, the prospects of the required outcome are not exactly encouraging. The Holy Father should take things--no, must take, into his hands because many of us are ruled by bishops who are in--de-facto-- schism.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2006 11:32 AM ET USA

    Liberals are not known for their tolerance, even though they decry the "rigid" views of traditionalists. What ever happened to "diversity" --- the darling of the liberals??? Diversity is just fine unless it represents a view they don't like. This is called the principle of contradiction (e.g., "all dogmas are bad").