Action Alert!

treachery triumphant

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 28, 2006

"Death by misadventure, monsieur. Trans-sexual Lectionary found hanging in the WC. No identification in the pockets ..."

Methinks they've been closeted too long with Oliver Stone, or with those Dean Dongs who believe the 2000 election was stolen. The NCR has an editorial on the liturgy language wars that reads like Dan Brown on the Mystery of the Missing Missal. After the Council, you see, back when our original innocence was intact, a "host of liturgists and Bible scholars" gave us that 1974 English Sacramentary we all know and love, and, more importantly, instituted a Process of re-translation so that we'd get a new Sacramentary -- and a new Lectionary -- we could love still more. But then envious Patriarchy (convincingly played by Helen Hitchcock) worked its sinister mischief so as to subvert truth, beauty, and the moderate use of gender-inclusive pronouns:

If wars ever have winners, then the winners in this one comprised a small crowd of powerful actors in the Vatican, in league with others passionately opposed to the direction that translation of documents had taken in the 35 years since Vatican II, who managed to overthrow that process and put in place one of their own. In 1997, as John L. Allen Jr. reported nearly eight years ago, 11 men met in secret in the Vatican "to overhaul the American lectionary, the collection of scripture readings authorized for use in the Mass. Short-circuiting a six-year debate over 'inclusive language' by retaining many of the most controversial uses of masculine vocabulary, and revamping texts approved by the U.S. bishops, this group decided how the Bible will sound in the American church."

The fiendish cunning! I wonder if Allen employed Fordham University metaphorologist Elizabeth Johnson to explain the significance of The Eleven, viz., the number of the (male) apostles minus the "Judas" -- doubtless the guy who, after having signed his name in blood on a parchment proferred by Medina-Estevez, repented of his treachery and leaked the truth to the NCR. It gets better:

Of the group that met in secret, only one man (no women were included) held a graduate degree in scripture studies; two members were not native English speakers; another was from the United Kingdom and had spent no significant time in the United States; and the group included several members who came in with reputations for opposing inclusive language. "Powers in Rome handpicked a small group of men who in two weeks undid work that had taken dozens of years," the NCR report continued.

You have to love the melodrama of the phrase, "powers in Rome handpicked ..." Those anonymous but omnipotent "powers in Rome"! Crafty saboteurs, they "handpicked" unusually industrious incompetents to do their dirty work. Thirty years of biblical and liturgical scholarship must have been woven so meticulously into the fabric of the texts, after all, that to identify and excise that much learning, wisdom, and poetry in a fortnight is an astounding testimony to the energy that evil gives to ignorance. One of the vandals, it pains us to note, being from the United Kingdom, had minimal exposure to the diction and prose rhythms of Gilligan's Island and Joe Imesch, and thus was sure to scotch the American translation of leproi by "persons with leprosy" and restore the insensitive "lepers." A staggering loss. No women were included in the plot, though it's unclear whether we're meant to be indignant at the omission, or relieved that no woman agreed to traduce her own sex in the cause of reactionary Romanism. It's all very sad, but the NCR is keeping its chin up:

Life goes on and so will the community, even if we have to wrap our tongues around awkward constructions that treat Latin as if it were the language Jesus himself spoke and even if we have to wait longer for our own official language to acknowledge that more than half the human race is female.

P.S. The letters of Liturgiam authenticam can be re-arranged to spell A Right Immaculate Unit. What further need have we of witnesses?

An anonymous Vatican power, without a graduate degree in scripture studies, short-circuits a six-year-old debate between her eyes.

Sound Off! 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 21 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2006 12:35 PM ET USA

    Pete makes a good point.The old Latin at Communion is much longer but more meaningful in comparison to the current form. Bring back the altar rails, and let the faithful kneel in large numbers. Let the priest or ministers move down the line as done previously. At a recent Mass, where this condition existed Communion was completed in a much shorter time than the current system. And while they at at it , the "kiss of peace" should be moved to the beginning of Mass where it makes more sense.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 30, 2006 4:37 PM ET USA

    I find it interesting that the degree in question is "scripture studies" rather than "Sacred Scripture". Whenever I see the phrase "scripture studies" I intuitively think: Ok, I'll bite, WHAT does scripture study? Aren't you missing an object for your verb?I Its odd, also, that its called scripture studies when women's studies is not called woman studies. I think the phrase scripture studies is sexist, and needs to have a stronger feminine image imputed to it. Think of the bumper stickers.

  • Posted by: sparch - Jun. 30, 2006 1:37 PM ET USA

    It is odd how small and distorted the world can look when seen from the bottom of deep deep pit. The vatican is supplying the rope to get out. Only the dead who prefer to stay buried will remain in darkness.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 29, 2006 12:06 PM ET USA

    Quick question re: Florida Bishops. Is there anything in Canon Law that allows the Holy See to tell wayward Bishops to take a vow of silence for a year or ten? The faith would be better protected if many of these men, simply said nothing for a great length of time. Eloquentia perfecta arises from Silentio perfecta.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 29, 2006 11:15 AM ET USA

    It was a small crowd of powerful actors in the Vatican, led by His non-Excellency Annibale Bugnini, and in league with Protest-ants, Freemasons and the devil, that gave us the irreverent nonsense of the N.O. liturgy. The current English translation (as modified each Sunday by the hip “presider”) is a good fit and should not be touched. BTW: There's no such thing as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. There is only an ordinary minister and he must be a priest or bishop. Pro multis!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 29, 2006 9:28 AM ET USA

    Thoughts from my good Bishop: Prior to implementation, we will need to work together to prepare some catechesis. ... "The Lord be with you" as "And with your spirit." What does that mean? More later. And just prior to receiving Communion you will now say "Lord, I am not ... that you should come under my roof ... " What does that mean? More later. ( ) Pray for us, please....

  • Posted by: - Jun. 29, 2006 8:35 AM ET USA

    Reading the NCR editorial was a hoot. Gracious in defeat? They got smoked 11,000 votes to 2 in a performance last seen by General Custer. They're being gracious in defeat to keep the 2 votes they got. The end is nigh for Little Bighorn Catholicism.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 10:10 PM ET USA

    Hell hath no fury like a ruling-class manque seeing itself about to be deposed (let's hope). But let's be realistic, if not generous. It wasn't we who did this. And, indeed, it's not really a done deal yet. If you read the other link you get an inkling of what their strategy will be. Stall, stall, stall. Establish committees in charge of implementation. Insist on diversity norms for membership. Demand all members possess certificates in liturgical dance, etc.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 9:55 PM ET USA

    "But the recitation of the history is significant in demonstrating that ...": Holy Spirit - 173 Bad Liturgists - 29 ------ "... jarring and extreme changes.." - what a hoot! ------ Now will come the "professional liturgists" and the DREs to explain to dumb-cluck ordinary laymen like me what this all means, and they're going to be desperately counting on the estimated two years to craft the spin. From the quality of this editorial, it seems they'll need it.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 9:32 PM ET USA

    I'll volunteer for the gang of 72 that were always around the 11. Or, if all those positions are gone, then I'll gladly join the larger group of disciples. I'd sure like to hear most Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, and I'm one, grapple with the pre-VII Communion blessing at the distribution of the Eucharist, "Corpus Domini Nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen." (May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.)

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 7:37 PM ET USA

    NCR's editor forgets that the banal translaction we have suffered from for 30+ years was hardly the product of open dialogue. Rather, a small band of elite liturgists perpetrated this putsch. Many unprepared and unsuspecting Catholics protested by staying home or dropping out. Others, gritting their teeth, stayed on to fight another day. So --- at the risk of sounding vengeful --- isn't this really a case of "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander"?

  • Posted by: fisherman129 - Jun. 28, 2006 7:33 PM ET USA

    Might I add "And with your spirit"! Such trivial changes! Oh yes, don't let the extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist come forward too soon, lest the poor befuddled congregation confuse them with the priest. Wait till this poor befuddled group try to get their tongues around the "new and improved language changes."

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 6:37 PM ET USA

    How much longer must we suffer the "secret 11" who put the needs of the universal Church ahead of those of AmChurch? Don't they understand that the English of Australia or India is inferior to American English? Must they substitute the archaic "and Jesus said, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees" for the more sacred and loftier "and Jesus goes, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees!"? I go, "I want more of that anonymous Vatican power."

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Jun. 28, 2006 6:32 PM ET USA

    Your story adds to the horrible news these days, battleships in the Pacific rim, North Korea treatening the US, Russia giving Iran secret weapons, a huge astroid passing near the earth July 3rd, and Christians who don't follow Christ the way they should--- should have us shaking in our boots. Our Blessed Mother promised at Fatima, "in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph." But there is also a warning, "various nations will be annihilated" and then we have these progressives who care lessl

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 6:02 PM ET USA

    "Pseudodionysius" is nasty, but right! :-)

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 5:29 PM ET USA

    This is great news! I have been harboring the forlorn hope that somewhere in the Vatican a small group is working on "the reform of the reform." Now to learn that exactly that once happened gives me real hope. The real reform will be unveiled in good time by B16 as the organic development from the 1962MR. As he just noted about the authentic renewal of sacred music, it will be firmly in the path of the traditions of the past. Lex credendi, lex orandi will be restored as the rule of the Liturgy.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 4:01 PM ET USA

    Talk about awkward languange!!! Has the NCR ever tried to proclaim the new Lectionary or pray the Sacramentary? I think the translators were in love with the words: guide (our Lord as guide? silly me, I thought He was our Savior), fidelity (an odd word from them) , sincerity, and the ever popular phrase for the spiritually elite; make us. Can we not email the new translations for faster approval?

  • Posted by: Charles134 - Jun. 28, 2006 3:33 PM ET USA

    Love how the peace and justice subcommittee got the qualifier "If wars ever have winners" in the text.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 3:06 PM ET USA

    There are some ideas so stupid that only someone with a graduate degree in scripture studies could believe them.

  • Posted by: ILM - Jun. 28, 2006 3:00 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, I get much hope and enjoyment reading your work.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 28, 2006 2:54 PM ET USA

    But will Ron Howard direct the film version? And who might write the screenplay? And when these changes are finally implemented will "persons with paranoia" (note the sensitivity) be protesting in all the parish (whoops, communities of faith) parking lots at the 10:30am Sunday masses (whoops, liturgies)?