Hello surfers, In April, 2001, I was reading a blog post from Fr. Green about how Catholic worship has its roots in Scripture. I originally posted this blog back then, and I am updating it now that the 3rd Edition Missal has officially launched. I have more background information on the translation in a follow up blog post.
Fr. Green seems like a good guy. Once you read his blog post you will get the feeling that parishioners were coming up to him to ask questions and provide comments about the new Roman Missal. I hope that they still are asking questions. He felt that the people in the pews were getting conflicting messages. Fr. Green did not elaborate on those conflicting messages, but I am hoping to use this blog post to make the waters a little more muddy.
Why don’t we tell the Bishops that we are not interested in this new Roman Missal? We still can do that. I have heard only complaints from the pews about making this change. All the people I heard from are confused about why the Bishops are just changing a few words, and for new words that mean the same as the old words. The Church in the pews want to know who cares about these seemingly insignificant changes and why the Bishops feel the need to just change a couple of words. I can tell you that the Bishops do care, and they are probably the only ones.
Fr. Green stated:
“The translation we have been using up to now [in the current Roman Missal] followed a certain method of translation that often yielded somewhat simplified and altered texts. One of the results was that the references to Sacred Scripture sometimes are obscured.”
What Fr. Green did not tell you is that those words were chosen purposefully during Vatican II. The Church leaders had the same latin texts then as they do now. Why do the Bishops feel that there needs to be a change? We get the notion that the word changes better reflect the actual words used in the Latin, but the people in the pews don’t care about that. Why do the Bishops care?
There have been a select few who have been crabbing about the Vatican II changes for over 40 years. In my parish we now have a Latin mass on Sunday that was sanctioned by the Church hierarchy (Bishops). This is a conflicting message to the progressive minded Catholic Church in the pews. Are we to believe that the mass said in Latin is using the same Roman Missal with only the words in Latin? This is not the case.
In my last blog post I was fairly harsh on the Bishops. They adopted a language for the new Roman Missal that, in my opinion, was a condemnation of the progressive minded Catholics. Progressive leaders within the hierarchy of the Church can only speak harshly of the Bishops if they want to be reprimanded. If you would like to read more about this I found a discussion on Facebook. For more scholarly folks I would like to point you to a journal article from 1993.
To better understand the Bishops position I would like to point to the Papal Encyclical Quanta Cura. This is what I like the call “the Bishops know better” encyclical.
From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an “insanity,”2 viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.” But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching “liberty of perdition;”3 and that “if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.”4
– Quanta Cura
These sentiments that the “Bishops know better” were reiterated by the current Pope, while Cardinal, under the title of dictatorship of relativism.
Changing the Missal is not bringing the people in the pews closer to God. The Bishops have a motive that revolves around taking back things they feel they lost in Vatican II. We should not let them make these changes without an earful of complaints. The Bishops need to move us forward, not be rear-facing, and we can stand firm in our resolve. History will bear us out. Use Father John Courtney Murray, SJ as your example. Don’t know him? Start here.