Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fr. Kenneth Smits' Skullduggery on the New Translation of the Roman Missal

Grab yourself a nice glass of wine, put your feet up on the couch. You've going to really love this former seminary professor skullduggery new translations of the Roman Missal. It's even better than NoNoMen's It's Looming Like a Root Canal.

As a former professor of liturgy at St. Francis Seminary who trained many of the priests of Milwaukee Archdiocese, I deplore the English translation of the Roman Missal that has been foisted upon American Catholics.

By a very slavish translation of Latin, these texts have brought us as close as possible to the way Romans prayed between 500 and 1000 A.D., together with the social and cultural baggage of that time. The spiritual universe of those Roman times is there, along with an almost groveling approach to God and an overriding preoccupation with getting to heaven, rather than the Gospel emphasis upon discipleship, loving our neighbor and service.

Only antiquarians and Latin scholars (the people who made these changes) could love this turn of events. I would advise Catholic people to turn for spiritual nourishment to the hymns we sing, where they shall find the scriptures and contemporary spirituality more readily available.

The new texts are cumbersome, wordy and difficult to pray publicly. They shall not wear well, but look increasingly archaic with time, fostering the search for alternate prayers. Unfortunately, the silk purse of our expensive new Roman Missal contains, when opened up, alas, a sow's ear.

Father Kenneth Smits, Capuchin
Fond du Lac

That's right. There is a God and you're not it. After 40 years of listening to your drivel, sinful and sorrowful, we're groveling back on our knees with a preoccupation of getting into Heaven.

You have no idea how good it feels to finally see the shoe on the other foot. Boohoo in your Dewars, baby. You're going down!


Anonymous said...

Oh MY! I bet he wants everyone to call him Fr Ken too. I just went to Confession, going to leave it at that, Oh MY!

Anonymous said...

Have I seen this face at St Anthony's in Boston? Looks awfully familar, I imagine he helped secularize that Shrine so now there are no Confessions 5:30am thru to 7pm daily or Masses every 30 minutes, probably even had the Novena on Thursdays to St Jude removed too along with his statue so as not to scare anyone! God Forbid!

Maria said...

Carol--they all figure there are no entrance requirements for Heaven :) Everyone gets in for nothing now, didn't you know?

I attend Mass at NIH on a daily basis. A priest who says Mass there actually made an announcement, during Mass, that he has some print-outs of commentary on the new transaltion. I read it. I knew what he was up to and just wanted to see how bad, exactly, was it. The commentary was hateful and intended to incite hatred of the Church. He has assigned someone to distribute handouts of banal St. Louis Jesuit "music", in th emiddle of Mass ( don't want to leave anyone alsone to pray in silence) in an effort to over ride the changes. Can any of these men who hate the Church Christ founded even spell humility. Nope. Not in their vocabulary.

Carol said...

Actually, I thought he looked familiar too. I'll have to run a google and see if he's from Boston. The shrine has gone to the dogs, but please don't tell me they stopped confessions?

Carol said...

Maria, I honestly think if I ever was present when some wayward priest passed out something like this, next week, I'd be handing out my own handout.

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

What part of 'received tradition' and 'faithful translation' doesn't Fr. Smits understand?

breathnach said...

I'm confident we'd get deeper insight into Catholic liturgy and spirituality from Jimmy Smits than his namesake Father "Smooth it Away" Smits.

Maria said...

Carol: Ha!! What a G-R-E-A-T idea !!!

Carol said...

It sure is, but don't you try it!

Maria said...

Oh, but I am. It is my last day. I am going to leave commentary found at the Adoremus Bulletin in the back of the church.

Restoring the Words, Beauty, and Truth

“Those Catholics who grumble about the new translation without looking at the Latin have no idea how much has been lost to us English speakers these last forty years”, writes Anthony Esolen in an essay, “Restoring The Words”, in the November 2011 First Things.

“To call the translation ‘conservative’ and ‘pre-Vatican II’ is nonsense. It is a faithful English translation of prayers composed for the liturgy after Vatican II. That would be much, if it were all. But there is more”, observes the professor of renaissance literature and English at Providence College, translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy, and commentator on the new translation for the Magnificat Roman Missal Companion.

Esolen compares several texts from the 1974 translation of the Missal with the new translation, showing the impoverished Scripture references and lack of poetic imagery in the old, and the accuracy of the new, which makes visible very striking images that had been lost. On this recovery of the sacredness of the Latin text, obscured by inept translation, Esolen comments:

“Imagine a young priest rummaging about in a storage room in the church basement. He turns on his flashlight, and there, lying under a pile of newspapers, empty boxes, and dust is a sculpture of Our Lady. He carefully retrieves it from the rubbish. He wipes away the grime. Indeed it is a lovely work. The gold of her hair against the blue of her robe reminds him of the colors of stained-glass windows from centuries ago. He restores it to the church and watches with approval as people pass by and say, ‘I remember her!’”

The author concludes:

“The prayers of the Mass are not gray. They are colored with all the splendor of truth. Now the color returns. Beauty removes her shroud. The holy word of God is allowed to speak. Who knows why the translators did what they did? It was doubleplusungood; but that is between them and God. When the springtime comes, who cares to remember the winter? Let it pass. For the flowers appear on the earth, and the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land”.