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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Titanic redux?

In all the hullabaloo surrounding our seemingly endless Centennial celebrations, not to mention the up-coming Centenary of the Maryknoll Sisters next year, one very important 100-year anniversary is creeping up on us and should not pass unacknowledged: April 15, 1912.

The sinking of the Titanic.

Granted our 14 Centenary committees have enough on their plates, so I suggest the first official preparation for the Memorial to the Titanic Sinking be the gathering here at Maryknoll this afternoon from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Asia Room where Monsignor William Belford from the New York archdiocese will instruct us on the New (Improved?) Roman Missal.

Folks, the unsinkable Roman Catholic Church has already hit several ginormous icebergs and is taking on water fast. Passengers are abandoning ship in droves. We are listing severely to the far right. And what comes from the Captain's quarters? The emergency announcements shall henceforth be given in theologically questionable, linguistically awkward and pastorally dubious albeit poetic terminology.

The argument for the need for said new retranslation is bogus and has been discredited by real Latin scholars who have pointed out that the 10,000+ changes that were made AFTER the U.S. bishops approved the "final" draft are not, in fact, closer to the Latin. Nor do they adequately represent sound Biblical and theological statements.

With all the serious issues our church faces, it is quite disheartening to see so much energy, attention and money given to making the Mass less accessible, more incomprehensible, yet "closer" to the Latin (at least as our Lord spoke it, anyway).

Oh sure, there are some nice revisions such as "Behold, the Lamb of God" and even "And with your spirit," but "Consubstantial with the Father" and "Incarnate of the Virgin Mary" won't come trippingly off the tongue. I'm not even sure if "consubstantial" is an SAT word.

For the most part, I doubt most parishioners (those that still come to church) will notice, much less care. It does, IMHO, give yet another indication of just how oblivious the clergy are to their real spiritual needs.

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