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Time article on new missal translation

April 15, 2011

In what purports to be a news article rather than an op-ed piece, Time magazine’s Miami and Latin America bureau chief lashes out at the forthcoming revised translation of the Roman Missal without sparing the “Kumbaya crowd.”

“The Catholic missal melee is unfortunately a reminder that the tiresome practice of theological hairsplitting is still alive and well in the 21st century,” Time reports. “If you thought modern Christendom was beyond that kind of medieval nonsense, think again.”

The article continues:

The source of the fuss, like so much Catholic dysfunction today, is Vatican II. That modernizing 1960s church council reformed the Catholic liturgy, allowing Mass to be said in the more accessible vernacular instead of Latin. But one of its more tedious byproducts was the way it emboldened liturgical liberals--the Kumbaya crowd, who often turn Masses into hand-holding, guitar-strumming services that even progressive Catholics find grating--and how it embittered conservatives, including Pope Benedict XVI, who want to take the Mass back, at least partway, to the Latin of the more rigid and remote Tridentine tradition.

“Even if it doesn't restore the Latin, it requires the vernacular to be as faithful a translation of the Latin as possible,” the article adds. “And that's where the trouble starts, not just for Catholics but also for English majors. It's sad when Rome's cassocked scholars subordinate their intellectual gifts to church expediency. The specious logic they use to justify an all-male priesthood (none of Jesus' apostles were women, they argue) is one example, and the new missal seems another. The Vatican boasts some of the world's most talented linguists, yet their missal revision commits a cardinal sin of translation: forcing the square peg of one language into the round hole of another.”

The article then criticizes “incarnate of the Virgin Mary” and “consubstantial with the Father” as inferior to the current “born of the Virgin Mary” and “one in being with the Father.”

“That's not thoughtful translation; that's just theological arrogance,” Time, referring to “consubstantial,” reports.


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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2011 10:45 PM ET USA

    I actually feel sorry for Time Magazine. What's the regular "offer" I get in the mail so frequently that throwing them away is probably creating an ecological landfill disaster? "5000 weeks for $9.95" Of course Time knows that not even with that kind of deal that people will actually read their rag but maybe the advertisers will stick around a while longer so a few of Time staff can continue their sheltered workshop existence. This article on Catholicism is proof of how lousy Time really is!!

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 15, 2011 9:48 PM ET USA

    Now, folks! How many of you would ever have cracked open a Time magazine to read this article?

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 15, 2011 8:31 PM ET USA

    Count on Time mag to comment on that about which it knows nothing. Another Catholic-hating rag.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2011 7:36 PM ET USA

    "one in being with" sounds warm and fluffy and understandable. Maybe, just maybe, the people who left it at "consubstantial with the Father" remembered reading Heidegger's 'Sein und Zeit' and didn't want to poke the word 'being' with a stick.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 15, 2011 2:57 PM ET USA

    "consubstantialem" translates better as "one in being with" than as "consubstantial"? Strange linguists, these. And, in general, it occurs to one to remark on the arrogance of some typist who happened to get a job at a magazine in criticizing the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and the Successor of Peter. But, then, quite a lot of men who happened to get jobs as Catholic priests show equal arrogance, so perhaps one ought not to criticize Time.

  • Posted by: umpynelson3459 - Apr. 15, 2011 10:27 AM ET USA

    I think I've heard this tune before.Seems the Holy Father can do nothing that will satisfy everyone. So let him do as the Holy Spirit leads him to do...