Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Universal Indult a good thing?

There is a lot of talk about how a universal indult to celebrate the Tridentine Latin Mass everywhere would be a good thing. But I think we should pull back on the reigns a little bit on this one. Not because the TLM isn't amazing and beautiful, but with today's climate shouldn't we want to protect it? Consider these possible abuses that liberals might use JUST to make people angry or to save themselves from utter abandonement:

Coming to a Tridentine Parish near you (maybe?)

  • Female Altar Servers
  • Hand Raising Cantors
  • Lay epistle readers
  • Haugen/Haas tridentine mass liturgical music.
  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
  • NAB scripture readings
  • TLM Liturgical Dance
  • Or any of the abuses from the 50s the libs like to tell us so much about.
If the indult is given, I'd like it to specifically BAN all crappy music to go with it. The indult should call for an abrogation of the NAB for English liturgy, or any translation that doesn't meet B16's muster (depending on what language you speak and your country)

These things aren't necessarily "abuses" in the Novus Ordo. I don't have any problem with the Novus Ordo when its done well. This past weekend I had to attend an NO parish and they clapped after the homily like there was no tomorrow. It was also the first time I've witnessed anyone holding hands during the Our Father. And during the passing of the peace the woman behind me shook my hand and said "May the peace of Christ be on your heart." or something like that. I attend St. Agnes whenever I'm in West Chester but this was different than any other time I've been there. To boot, the music at Mass was almost all Marty Haugen. (We praise the animals, the trees, the earth, the sky crap...)

So I say bring the indult* with caveats. Take your time, B16, and do it right...we're in no hurry.


Anonymous said...

Ideally the liberals would get so annoyed that they would all stomp off to whichever Episcopalian church they have been wanting to turn the Catholic Church into these last forty years, anyway!

Your account of what happened at Mass last weekend has left me flabbergasted. Applauding after the homily?!!

Keep up the good work!

Moonshadow said...

for an abrogation of the NAB for English liturgy

What's your beef with the NAB, specifically? Thanks.

Matt said...

Hey Moonshadow,

This is going to sound wierd I know. But the main reason why I don't like the NAB translation for liturgy is because I honestly feel that liturgy should remove us from the world as much as possible. Should it be understandable? Sure, of course. I don't think we should use the original Douay-Rheims either. But a few "thees" and "thous" never hurt anyone either. :-)

Also, though I am not a bible-scholar, I understand the translation is not all that solid to begin with. I believe there were protestants that had input for it as well. Which, for benefit of the doubt, may be very credible. However, are there just not enough Catholic scholars? hrm...

My first Catholic bible was an NAB, and without it I might not have found the Church. (I got it when my grandmother died - after her funeral.) But by the same token, if I had not found EWTN, the NAB would have made me lose my faith entirely, due to the footnotes and book introductions.

For personal study its fine, but I keep away from the footnotes.

Virtually no catholic apologists or scholars (who speak english) consider the NAB the best translation. They all recommend the RSV Catholic Edition. I think that says a lot when the most knowledgable people don't want to use it for anything productive...

In retrospect, abrogate is probably the wrong term. Maybe, "advocate a switch to another version", is a nicer way of saying it.

Of course, this is all my own personal opinion. Some people might love the NAB, where I think its just "O.K." Should it be used for the "highest form of prayer" (ie. the Mass) we have? I don't think so, but then again, who am I? :-)

Do you like the NAB? I'd really like to hear your comments back if its something you connect with.

Moonshadow said...

Sure, a literal translation like the NAB doesn't play well aesthetically at worship. Nonetheless, it is preferred because the setting of Sunday liturgy may be the average Catholic's only regular exposure to the word of God.

The RSV has its place and you have nailed it: it's popular with scholars/apologists because it is the English version most often bound with the original languages in interlinears. (I'm thinking of this book and this book, specifically.)

Scholars grow up with the RSV, if you will, in their educational studies. In academic circles, the RSV is an acceptable translation to all concerned. But read how it's rejected by conservative Protestants.

Most of what I know about the NAB pertains to its revised NT. And my concerns always rest with the Greek text from which the translation is made. And the RSV uses the same Greek text, so that's not an issue here. That's not true for other modern English translations.

I know less about the NAB's OT but have read just enough and heard just enough from people involved in the work to know that some decisions were made that might better have not been made. Vast segments of Hebrew text were flipped around. I want to give you precise examples but can't at the moment. I'm thinking of passages in Hosea, Daniel, probably Job and other wisdom literature. Maybe I can get you some verses. I need to find my Collegeville commentaries because it calls out where the text has been shifted but doesn't say why. Who but the translator knows why?

At any rate, I have been eagerly awaiting the revision of the NAB's OT and this past summer had the chance to ask Fr. Boadt. What he said is here. I would expect the revision to fix those ill-advised rearrangements of the text. Then, I won't have any concerns at all.

However, are there just not enough Catholic scholars? hrm.

Not at all. Look at the list of translators inside. Our Catholic scholars are great! Protestant involvement is simply in keeping with the dictates of the Second Vatican Council. It's actually a major disappointment to me that Protestants who quote the JB or NJB all but ignore the NAB. Some have outright criticized it.

Since joining the ranks of biblical scholarship 50 or so years ago, Catholic Scripture experts are making a contribution to the field. Their biggest asset, IMO, is their knowledge of biblical archeology, ANE history, mythology and religious practices, Jewish literature especially the DSS (QL) and apocrypha. Too many conservative Protestant scholars shun such a broad knowledge base but it's an indispensable frame of reference when making sense of the sacred text.

Kate P said...

Ugh, clapping. I was very happy to flee the parishes in the Exton/Downingtown area last year so I could return to my parents' parish. Our pastor is orthodox and wonderful. It's a hike from WC but maybe sometime you can check out Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Plymouth (this is the mission parish of Holy Saviour/Norristown, not the separate parish in Bridgeport). Sunday's N.O. is at 10 a.m. (probably the worst things are a female extraord. minister and the occasional Haas song--but my dad is the organist and I'm often the cantor, from the choir loft NOT in the sanctuary) and there's a TLM at 11:30.

Matt said...

Thanks Kate,

Next time I'm in the area I'll seriously consider making the hike up to Norristown. Do you know of the St. Maximillian Kolbe parish in WC? I thought of trying that one too. I don't know anything about it though.

Kate P said...

Hey Matt, a couple of years ago I did ask someone about St. M. Kolbe parish after I had had a very good Confession experience at (I think) SS Peter & Paul (one of those cluster things I guess) with the priest I thought was the pastor of St. M. Kolbe. The person I asked gave me a really negative answer--that said, I don't consider that person a particularly reliable assessor. Well, I don't know why I just said all that. . . I guess I just took the long way of saying, um, nope. Sorry.
The strange thing I noticed about the Exton/Downingtown area is that it's developing a lot, so there are a lot of families with kids in the parishes and the Masses tend to be all the same, kind of watered down, kind of warm-n-fuzzy, for some reason. And I'm not saying that just b/c I'm a single young adult (probably that's what also makes me scratch my head at the Archdiocese's OYYA stuff) or I'm not a warm person. It's just that Mass isn't about what I want, you know? And why bother incorporating the babyish/hip stuff when (hopefully) we will outgrow it--but we shouldn't be given the illusion that we might outgrow God.

Matt said...

St. Agnes in WC has a knave that would make any traditionalist catholic drool. They've kept the altar rail, high altar, and even the confessionals(2!) in tact. The ambo is beautiful as well.

Unfortunately whenever mass is celebrated it seems like all that breaks down. I think I will try St. M.K. next time I'm down there even though the structure is probably modern. Perhaps I'll still have a better experience.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton