New Translation of the Propers of the Mass struggle to get up in the States

John Allen has a fascinating report of what happened at the USCCB meeting in Orlando when the new translation for the Propers of the Mass were put forward for voting. Thought to be a laid down mazaire, it turned out to be a hung vote:

After all that the bishops were unable to reach a decision, largely because of the electoral math.

The rules of the conference require that the text be approved by two-thirds of its members, not just those physically present. Since there are 250 Latin Rite bishops in the United States, 166 “yes” votes are required to approve it, while 83 “no” votes are necessary to reject it.

As it turns out, the Orlando meeting was sparsely attended – one headcount yesterday found just 178 voting members. As a result, this morning’s ballot failed to get enough “yes” votes to approve the text, or enough “no” votes to block it.

As a result, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the conference, announced that bishops who were not present will receive ballots in the mail in order to settle things one way or the other.

The Propers have, of course, been passed in Australia and the other three Bishops Conferences who will be adopting the English translation. If the US bishops vote differently, that means they would dissent from the rest of the English speaking Catholic world on this matter.

I have some sympathy with the position presented by Bishop Galeone, although my own main criticism of the texts is largely a single stylistic one involving the strict translation of the Latin second person singular relative “who” clauses (a form that is very common in the latin texts but which reads very awkwardly in English). It is not surprising that Bishop Trautman should use Bishop Galeone’s criticisms as the chance to put in his own two bob’s (or is that “two dime’s”?) worth, and it goes without question that I have no sympathy with his opinions.

Anyway, there is little doubt that the postal vote will get the required support eventually. But it is just one more hold up for the Americans. And if they do get a different version, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a number of Australian priests who will use the American version rather than our local version.

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3 Responses to New Translation of the Propers of the Mass struggle to get up in the States

  1. Past Elder says:

    God bless me ten times, then blow me out the door! Who’s not attending the banquet now? 250 successors to the apostles and only 178 show bloody up, and with the text of Mass at stake? What stunning leadership!

    Well, no matter. The only thing worse than bad translations of the novus ordo is better ones.

  2. eulogos says:

    For Past Elder: Oi vey so you are a Lutheran now already! The Catholics, let them worry about it, who comes to their meeting. You should care, why?

    Herr Schutz, could you explain a little bit more about “Latin second person singular relative “who” clauses” and why they are awkward in English? Could you give examples?

    The Nicene Creed has lots of “who” clauses in it, doesn’t it? The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life “who proceeds from the Father [and the son], who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke through the prophets. Or, as in the old BCP, ‘Who spake by the prophets”

    Or doesn’t the translation they are using now have these “whos”?
    I know we have them in the translation we are using in the Byzantine Church.

    (What upsets me about the new translation is that I hear they are leaving “men” out of it As in “Who for us men and our salvation came down from heaven.” They did this in the Ruthenian revised Divine Liturgy, but I thought Rome had abandoned all that PC stuff. The creed says anthropos, we should say men.)

    I say the Nicene Creed in so many different forms- The old BC prayer one at the Anglican Use mass, the new BC prayer one at my husband’s church, the revised Divine Liturgy one at the Ruthenian Church, the one used in the Orthodox church I visit, the Novus Ordo one, that I suppose I am confused. I do faintly remember a creed with lots of short choppy sentences and no “whos”.

    But I see nothing wrong with “Who”.
    In fact, I am one of those people who uses relative clauses all the time and who prefers them to short choppy sentences!

    Susan Peterson

  3. Past Elder says:

    Judas H Priest.

    There is a considerable distance between personally caring if they show up and remarking that they don’t. Personally, I could care less what these self-important impostors do or don’t do.

    I do care that many are taken in by their anachronistic presumptions, and one of the many things that betrays them as such is that these supposed successors to the Apostles didn’t care enough to show up in sufficient numbers for a definitive vote on how the Eucharist itself is said, let alone the expected absence of local pretenders at the upcoming staged papal spectacle was likened to the parable of those who didn’t come to the banquet.

    As to the Creed, it says homines rather than vires, so make what you will out of that, or affect Greek. Once, the Latin Rite spoke Latin? Imagine that. These things didn’t come up, except among, oh no, Protestants.

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