Cleansing Fire

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Another Rochester Priest Uses His Bulletin to Criticize the Revised English Translation of the Roman Missal

January 14th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Last week it was Fr. William Spilly of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, this week another Rochester priest has devoted his bulletin column to criticizing the revised translation of the Roman Missal. Fr. Michael Bausch, pastor of Church of the Transfiguration, took aim at the new translations in his upcoming bulletin. And of course, he encourages his parishioners to make their way over to the “What If We Just Said Wait” petition opposed to the new Missal translations. Below is what Fr. Bausch wrote, followed by a scan of the bulletin article (for those considering writing letters, which I definitely encourage you to do).

Father Baush’s letter with extensive commentary in red:

“Over the last few weeks parishioners have been asking me about the proposed changes of the prayers in the revised or new Roman Missal and why they are happening [And what did you say, Father? Take a moment to educate your flock.]. The proposed changes were recommended and approved at the November meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is not known for sure when the proposed changes will be implemented because they need to be approved by the Vatican. This implementation may take place with the beginning of Advent 2011. [More likely it will be Lent 2011, not Advent]

There is mounting resistance [Including yourself] to them because a number of the prayers are unusual, and perhaps, unusable English, especially from the point of view of reading them in a public forum. An example is the following Prayer over the Gifts: “Accept, O Lord, these gifts and by your power change them into the sacrament of salvation, in which the prefiguring sacrifices of the Fathers have an end and the true Lamb is offered, he who was born ineffably of the inviolate Virgin.” Other examples include phrases such as: “consubstantial with the Father” [I think it’s self-explanatory that con-substantial is of the same substance], “incarnate of the Virgin Mary” [Do your parishioners understand what the Incarnation is?], “oblation of our service”, “He took the precious chalice” [Hold on — I’m lost… what is the incomprehensible word in this last sentence… is it “He”?], serene and kindly countenance. These are just a few of the phrases included in the new proposed prayers. From my experience of 61 years of speaking the English language [9 years until retirement] these phrases and words are not familiar to my ear in my daily conversation with people [The Mass is not your daily conversation with people; it’s the Church’s prayer to the almighty God. At Mass we leave the secular for one hour of our lives and join our hearts and minds with the priest in offering prayer to God].

I assure you, I am not opposed to learning [You say so], but our Church’s liturgy is often accused of being out of touch or boring [How about bland as a result of the current, uninspiring translation which is now being revised?]. Now we may further complicate the liturgy by using words and phrases that are not part of our common language [But they are English words… these aren’t made up. Pop open the dictionary and learn, Father]. I am sure that some will accuse me of not being supportive of what our leadership has decided [Have you yet said one kind word of the new translations to make us think otherwise?]. The issue is not about our leadership; it is about the Church’s credibility as an institution [This credibility which is being challenged and undermined by yourself through this bulletin article? You, a priest of the Church who has made a promise of obedience.], an institution meant to inspire people’s faith in God who created us and Jesus who redeemed us. By using language that is difficult to pronounce [Again, I refer you to the dictionary] and relate to can we really say we are encouraging people in their relationship with God? I am not sure what the answer is to my question. What I do know is I deal with numerous people in pastoral settings who are trying to understand their relationship with God. From my point of view, as a pastoral minister [I think he means priest, but ok ,go on], using language such as the example I have given may make their path more difficult [You know what else is making their path more difficult? A priest spending time bitching about the translations rather than educating his flock about them].

Much more could be said about this topic [Oh thank the Lord, he’s almost finished] and some have called us to ‘wait’ and slow down the implementation of these language changes [Again, Father, you’re wasting precious teaching time by complaining instead of educating your congregation]. The suggestion has been made that we pilot them in a few parishes and test them before implementing them in all parishes [This is a crock. The translations will not change as a result of such a pilot program. To wait is nothing more than to delay the inevitable. These translations will become the norm whether you like it or not. The age of experimentation is over. These translations will go into force, and priests better use them 100% accurately. Why wait? Do you want to wait until the current Pope dies and the next one, progressives may think, will decide the translations aren’t necessary? Are you waiting for a change in the makeup of the USCCB? What? What are you waiting for? Enough waiting. We’ve had inaccurate and shabby translations for decades; something the Church has recognized. Time to move Forward in Hope, so our Bishop likes to say.]

For further examples of the changes you can go to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website. For a fuller explanation of why we may want to consider waiting to implement these changes I refer you to: www.whatifwejustsaidwait.org [He gives the link to the petition but not the USCCB… wonder which one he really wants you to visit. And there it is again, two weeks in a row a Rochester priest has provided the link to this dissident petition; a petition which claims that the revised translations are overturning the Council. Yes, read the statement of purpose, and you’ll see their purpose is nothing more than to derail any reform of the reform that the Church is working on.]

Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!

In peace and courage,
Fr. Mike”

The Diocese of Rochester is having some serious issues with its east side priests speaking their minds (to put it politely) about Church issues in their bulletins and from the pulpit. Wake up DoR, these priests are making fools of our diocese. The good thing is that within the next decade, most of these men will have reached retirement age. We may end up with just 25 priests in 10 years, but they sure will be a solid 25.

Below is Fr. Spilly’s article from last week, lest we forget:

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4 Responses to “Another Rochester Priest Uses His Bulletin to Criticize the Revised English Translation of the Roman Missal”

  1. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    It's truly amazing and sad how many priests in the DOR are fighting this. It just confirms how far out many of our priests are. You fellas are doing a great job of keeping us up to date.

  2. avatar Excalibur says:

    A priest has no place to question the authority of the nearly unanimous decision of the bishops.

  3. avatar Nerina says:

    The Mass translations are what these priests, servants of God our Father, are choosing to waste bulletin space on? With the impending passage of "healthcare reform" that will violate so many consciences by providing federal money for abortions, they can't find anything better about which to pontificate? Really?

    The new translations are not just for the English speaking citizens of the U.S. They are for the entire English speaking world! How arrogant can these priests be? Where is their humility? Where is their obedience? Is it any wonder the faithful are disinclined to obey Holy Mother Church when her son's are blatantly disregarding her on liturgical matters?

    Do you suppose these same priests would have issued similar missives after the proclamation of VII?

    Dr. K. you rightly point out that the Mass is not "everyday conversation." Our liturgical language should be noticeably different. Before VII, it was always this way. The Latin used for the Mass was liturgical Latin with a specific use – to convey the mysteries of the Faith.

    Do these priests think we are too unsophisticated to recognize the poetic nature of the translations? They need to attend my 9th grade son's Pre-AP English class. He diagrams sentences like the ones referenced by the Fr. Bausch on a daily basis. Apparently, Fr. Bausch would not do well in this class.

    When I read the referenced translations, I am immediately impressed by the mysteries conveyed in each sentence. For exammple:

    "Accept, O Lord, these gifts and by your power change them into the sacrament of salvation, in which the prefiguring sacrifices of the Fathers have an end and the true Lamb is offered, he who was born ineffably of the inviolate Virgin."

    I concede that the language is unfamiliar as is the sentence structure, but it is rich with imagery and catechectical opportunities. I will go over this line with my children for a whole week at dinner, breaking it down and digesting (pardon the pun) what it is saying to us.

    These priests need to step out of the way and place their trust in the Church, not their own egos.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    The new translations are rich, and allow the person praying and listening to become fully immersed in the message of the words. The new translation is more poetic, while the previous translation was bland, and hardly uplifting.


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