THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's been a VERY long time in the making, and it's coming not a moment too soon. The revised English translation of the mass will be implemented in the United States after it's final approval by the Holy See in early 2010.
The Vatican has described our current English translation as "defective," and has revoked permission to celebrate it in the US Catholic Church. This was reported in May of 2006 (read more here). The current English translation we are using as of the date of this blog entry is illicit. This in no way means the sacrament is invalid. We're still receiving a perfectly valid Eucharist, but the liturgy that frames our celebration of this event is "defective" meaning it does not accurately translate the ordinary form of the mass promulgated in Latin by the Vatican back in 1969. Yes, that's right folks, this means that no English-speaking Catholic in the United States has celebrated a proper English language mass since 1969! What we've been celebrating is a watered-down paraphrased English version of the liturgy, some of which is patently inaccurate and actually violates the original Latin text. Probably the most blatant example of this is in the creed, where we have recited for forty years "we believe" when the actual Latin text specifically says "I believe." This may seem insignificant to the casual observer, but to one who understands the historical sensitivity associated with altering the creed, and the profound difference between saying "we" as a collective and "I" as an individual, this English mistranslation really does violence to the original Latin text. Examples like this go on and on, throughout the mass, which the US Catholic bishops have now made public on their newly launched website.
So the US Catholic Church celebrates our current liturgy illicitly, and the Vatican only tolerates this for the time being because a replacement translation has not yet been fully approved. That is about to change, and we should have final approval in early 2010. Once that final approval comes, the new English liturgy will be promulgated, and we will soon all be saying the REAL and AUTHENTIC English translation of the ordinary mass! For English-speaking Catholic Americans under the age of forty, it will be the first time in their lives.
Lex orandi, lex credendi - translated "the law of prayer is the law of belief," or more simply, how we pray is how we believe. Of course, how we believe also effects how we behave. Is it any wonder then that forty years of watered-down liturgy has produced little more than an entire generation of watered-down Catholics? Where has our Catholic youth gone? Sure some of them still go to mass, but only a fraction of those who were born to the Catholic faith. It isn't just mass attendance that's the problem. Even among those who do attend, there exists watered-down worship, just going through the motions, having little to no effect on their lives in the outside world. Indeed, our watered-down English translation of the mass has done much to facilitate and promote watered-down worship, followed by watered-down faith, followed by watered-down morals, resulting in watered-down Catholicism across the United States of America, from sea to shining see. Granted, the new revised and corrected English translation won't cure all the US Catholic Church's woes, but it will go a long way to start setting things back in order. Much more will need to be done, and it cannot be stressed enough that US Catholics need to be reintroduced to the historical Catholic traditions that once made us great. Ultimately we look forward to a day when a whole new Roman Missal will be released, merging together the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the liturgy, and this will go a long way to repair the damage to the Church done over the last generation. Until then, what we have is a new English translation of the ordinary form, and that at least is a very positive step in the right direction.
It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired. I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue. I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe. I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great.....