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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.

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