Monday, May 22, 2006

Vatican Calls American Liturgy "Defective" -- Demands Reform

Vatican prods US bishops on liturgical translations

In a letter to the president of the US bishops' conference, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has strongly underlined the importance of proper translations for liturgical texts.

Cardinal Francis Arinze warned Bishop William Skylstad that his office could not approve new translations unless they conform to the principles set forth in Liturgiam Authenticam, the Vatican instruction of March 2001. The cardinal also said that existing texts must be brought into conformity with Liturgiam Authenticam, and the US bishops will not receive permission to continue using defective texts...


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Though my knowledge of Latin is minimal, even I can tell there is a substantial difference between the original Latin text of the modern mass, and the English counterpart. This exists in many places, and I've always felt that something was lost in the English translation we currently use today. I'll give you just one small example. During Mass, when the priest says to the congregation "The Lord be with you," the response of the congregation is "And also with you." However, this response is NOT what it says in the actual Latin text. The official Latin response is "Et cum spiritu tuo," which is more accurately translated into English as "And with your spirit." The argument of the English mass translators is that the response "And also with you," is a more dynamic translation that supposedly captures the meaning of the original Latin text more accurately, even though it's not technically an accurate translation of the proper liturgical response. A lot of people buy into this argument, but I'm not one of them. Catholic Americans are not stupid. They are perfectly capable of understanding that when the text says "And with your spirit" it is a reciprocation of the priest's blessing "The Lord be with you." DUH! The American English translators have no need to 'dumb it down' for us. In doing so they effectively cut out a mystical element of the liturgy, which elevates the mind up into spiritual thinking, and they insult our intelligence.

The prodding letter from Cardinal Arinze to Bishop Skylstad was a response to an argument the American Bishops were using in an attempt to keep the current defective liturgy, even though the Vatican had instructed them to reform it five years ago. The gist of their argument was that Catholic Americans have been using the defective liturgy for so long, that it would be too hard on them to change it now. What a crock! The Vatican's polite response from Cardinal Arinze spelled it out plain an clear. It essentially said the current English translation is "defective." There is no excuse for that. Now fix it!

It will be interesting to see how long it takes while the U.S. bishops drag their feet on this one.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Church To Sue Ron Howard and Dan Brown?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Can you say "libel?" Can you say "slander?" Some Church officials are calling for a massive lawsuit against Dan Brown for his fictional book "The Di Vinci Code." The fictional novel implies that some of its background information is factual, and therein lies the basis of a potential lawsuit. Much of this background material accuses the Catholic Church, and Opus Dei, of a massive cover-up involving murder, genocide, and conspiracy to commit crimes against persons and people. In addition, this same background material implies that Christianity itself is a lie, and that Jesus Christ was anything but the the Son of God. The same are calling for a similar suit against Ron Howard for failing to provide a disclaimer on his film by the same name, which is based on Brown's novel. Surly, if the subject of the novel was Microsoft, instead of the Catholic Church, there would be legal hell to pay. Maybe it's an idea who's time has come. Perhaps it's time Christians start flexing a little legal muscle. This following story will elaborate...

Cardinal urges legal action against Da Vinci Code

In the latest Vatican broadside against "The Da Vinci Code", a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception."

Arinze's appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.

"Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget," Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.

"Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others," Arinze said.

"This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected," he said, without elaborating on what legal means he had in mind.

A transcript of the documentary, due to be screened in Rome later this month just before the release of the film version of the best-selling book at the Cannes Film Festival, was made available to Reuters.

The book, written by Dan Brown, has sold more than 40 million copies.

The novel is an international murder mystery centered on attempts to uncover a secret about the life of Christ that a clandestine society has tried to protect for centuries.

The central tenet of the book is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children.


"Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive and to love even those who insult us. There are some other religions which if you insult their founder they will not be just talking. They will make it painfully clear to you," Arinze said.

This appeared to be a reference to protests by Muslims around the world over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Last month, another broadside against "The Da Vinci Code" was launched by Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office which was headed by Pope Benedict until his election last year.

Amato urged a boycott of the film and Arinze, like his fellow cardinal, also blasted the credibility of the book.

"'The Da Vinci Code' presents (Christianity) wrongly ... any film produced on the basis of that book is already in error from the word go, no matter how interesting it might appear," Arinze said.

Catholic group Opus Dei has told Sony Pictures that putting a disclaimer on the movie stressing it is a work of fiction would be a welcome show of respect toward the Church...

read full story here