Friday, April 15, 2011

Time article on new missal translation

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.

Read the article here.

1 comment:

  1. And how exactly is it, TIME, that English poses such thorny square peg / round hole translation issues, while somehow our Spanish brethren have managed just fine all along with "Y con tu espíritu," "de la misma naturaleza del Padre," "se encarnó de María, la Virgen," etc?