BY MICHAEL MULLINS
The ecumenical liturgy blog Liturgy commented on the arrival of the New Zealand Roman Missal, which was delayed for reprinting because the pages did not lie flat when the book was open.
Blogger Bosco Peters writes that he was dumbfounded by the translation’s apparently tortured Englisn:
“I unwrapped it and flicked it open enthusiastically, in the presence of some well-educated adults, to the Sunday collect: ‘O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son’ … “It hasn’t been proof read”, was the immediate response of one person.”
Father Hugh recommended English Grammar for Dummies to Peters and his friends.
“On first reading [Peters’ blog], my eyes reflexively darted to the calendar; but no, it is not 1 April. Then the thought occurred that maybe it was a Kiwi larrikin-priest taking the proverbial ‘mick’ … Just so that we are all clear, there is of course a basic grammar principle at work… Perhaps they were confused by the use of ‘who’, because let’s face it, subordinate clauses are dying in the face of text-message English.”
David Timbs at v2catholic.com is also troubled by the missal’s grammar.
“A new source of grief and betrayal that has emerged in recent months is an imposed translation of the Eucharist texts with its clunky literalism, grammatical gymnastics and overall tortured English. While the official line is that this translation opens up for the faithful, long oppressed by the contemptibly mundane and vulgar texts, a whole new world of courtly, poetic, theologically and scripturally rich language, the absurd realities of this translation have now assumed parody status,
“‘Their (the translators) task was much simpler: giving us a rather bone-headed rendering of the Latin, exactly as it was written. This, after all, is what Liturgiam Authenticam required them to do. Had the Latin said, vulpes velox brunnea super canem ignavum salt (the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog) then this is what they would have written or, more likely, fox brown over dog lazy jumps.’”
John Allen at the National Catholic Reporter blogs on the widely talked about papacy transition.
“One month from today, Benedict XVI will turn 85. He's now the oldest pope in the last 109 years … It's not just a birthday that has people thinking about succession. There's also a mounting perception that for all of Benedict's brilliance as a teacher, something isn't working in the internal governance of the Vatican, and it's not likely to be fixed on his watch … With this perceived crisis of competence in the background.”
Australia Incognita suggests some arguments are better than others when it comes to dismissing the idea of female altar servers. The international representative body for traditionalists Una Voce put forward the idea of the sanctuary of a church as “heaven”. Incognita understandably wonders if they mean to suggest there are no women in heaven.
“I think I know what they are trying to get at, but personally, I think the better arguments for male servers go to the history of the Temple liturgy, and the continuity between Old and New Testaments; to the need to send clear messages early that women cannot aspire to be priests rather than lead young girls on to nurture false hopes.”
Gay marriage has been a particular battleground in the UK during past week, with reaction to Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s sharp denunciation and the English and Welsh bishops’ calling on Catholics to protest against likely government legislation backing same sex marriage.
Damian Thompson of The Telegraph says:
“The Churches will lose their fight against gay marriage becoming part of the law of the land – and it’ll be a messy business. This week various bishops have pointed out, quite correctly, that giving heterosexual and same-sex marriages the same legal status means redefining a concept that lies at the heart of religious life… The passing of this legislation will mark a significant moment in Britain’s history: its emergence as a post-Christian society…
“Archbishop Vincent Nichols has really drawn the short straw… [For instance] in a pre-recorded interview with Jeremy Paxman. Although he argued his corner with skill, his expression said: get me out of here.”
America’s In All Things blog notes that Tony Blair, one of Britain’s best-known Catholics has expressed his support for a proposed same-sex marriage law.
Meanwhile Welsh youth minister Fr Ceirion Gilbert blogs at The Tablet with his view that the bishops have got the Christian message out of perspective with their hard line in prosecuting their position against gay marriage.
“God as a God of an inclusive and all-embracing Love … The purpose and mission of the Church, surely, is to be an effective and coherent witness to and expression of that love … I saw little of that, sadly, in the words of [Cardinal O’Brien].”
Father Chris Ryan MGL at Seeing Swans at Night has an insightful blog on friendship.
“Last night a bunch of my friends got together … I couldn’t help but reflect upon the significance of those friendships in my life. I had been a pretty lonely kid, wounded by the taunts of school yard bullies … I have recently had cause to wonder about whether young people find friendship more difficult today than in the past. There seems to be fresh pressures that conspire against deep friendship at work in our culture …
“While friendship is one of life’s chief joys, I think it is possible to fall into a certain idolatry of intimacy that paradoxically punctures the very thing it most desires. Friendship, like all forms of love, needs a little air to breathe, and it can be suffocated when people make it an end in itself.”
Michael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every Monday.
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.