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January 29, 2010

Comments

me

First, the opponents of the "reform of the reform" are simply behaving in an unreasonable manner. Either the church is continually called to reform or she is not. If she is then this would include the post conciliar reform. They are simply no different than SSPX. They too what a liturgy that is not subject to reform. The only difference is that the SSPX wants to stop reform in 1964 and Chupungco want to stop reform with himself.

Second, what is the essence of the objection to the "reform of the reform". Is it that is not sufficiently pastoral? If so this is an entirely subjective criteria. The only way to measure (assuming that there is no objective evil) would be to verify if the people of God feel ministered to. While clearly some feel ministered to an equally small number of Catholics do not feel ministered to. Most Catholics do not attend weekly Mass now so we have to assume that they did not find the ordinary form pastorally responsive. The problem with the proponents of the extraordinary form is that they argue that the EF will solve most of the problems in the Church. This is simply not going to happen. But the opponents of the EF have to admit that if the Ordinary form was supposed to be a pastoral response it simply has not happened and must be conceived of as a failure.

I also find it amusing that there is an insistence on inculturation. For this is the one thing that has not really been done. If one looks at OF parishes it is amazing at how similar they are in spite of the fact that they are often in very different cultural areas. The OF celebrated in Georgia is indentical to one celebrated in New York. While these two states share a common language, they do not share a common culture. Moreover, if one is seeking to inculturate the liturgy there is the now laugable problem of 60 year old men and nuns trying to make liturgy relevant to 20 year olds.

evagrius

me - perhaps the reason why the liturgy looks and feels the same in New York as in Georgia is that, surprise, they share the same culture albeit with some differences, but certainly more alike than different.

You'd do better to look at the difference between a Spanish language liturgy in the U.S. (or a French liturgy in Canada), in comparison to an English one.

Even there, there's quite a bit that's the same.

Inculturation has to do with situations such as in Japan where the word "spirit" has problematic undertones or where the kiss of peace is also problematic.

One could also point to India where sitting on the ground is a traditional way of attending religious services.

me

Evagrius,

First of all, those from the south do not share same culture as those from the north (although this is beginning to change). It certainly is the case that 30 years ago someone from New York simply lived in a different culture than someone from the south. You have just made my point about the cultural insensitivity of contemporary liturgists and their supporters. I would guess that you are a Yankee. Other than language we are more different than alike.

I would suggest to you that there are all sorts of cultural differences between what a southerner expects from a liturgy and what a northerner expects from a liturgy.

Perhaps you also think all African liturgies should be the same as well. Since clearly there must not be a difference between someone from North Africa and someone from central Africa.

Spirit of Vatican II

"They are simply no different than SSPX. They too what a liturgy that is not subject to reform."

On the contrary, most of the critics of the new translations refer to the 1998 translations which, though approved by the English speaking bishops, were suppressed by the Vatican. Are you aware of this?

"Most Catholics do not attend weekly Mass now so we have to assume that they did not find the ordinary form pastorally responsive." There is no guarantee that sticking to the pre-Vatican II forms would have prevented this from happening. Moreover, the new translations are based on the "subjective" idea that replacing an intelligible translation with an unintelligible one will have a good pastoral effect, even though this has been disconfirmed by the South Africa experience. There is no pastoral argument for the restoration of the 1962 liturgy or for the new translations.

I don't get the point about it being laughable that 60 year olds are trying to make the liturgy intelligible to 20 year olds. It is hardly 20 year olds who are pushing the restorationist follies denounced in the post. What are your own concrete proposals?

evagrius

me- Well, describe the cultural differences, if you please.

I'm not a Yankee. I live in Canada, in Quebec, so I do know a bit about cultural differences.

me

Evagrius,

Living in Canada, does not mean that you know anything about cultural differences. It does not even mean that you are aware of your own culture. Many individuals go through life not knowing that which is distinctive (both good and bad) about their own culture.

But my dear Evagrius you are a Yankee and apparently were unaware of it. ;) You live north of the MD line.

me

Dear Spirit,

Yes I was aware of this.

You write, "There is no guarantee that sticking to the pre-Vatican II forms would have prevented this from happening." I do not disagree with this point as I think I made clear in my previous post. My point was really if the principle is that one is to be pastoral, then one has to admit that a significant portion of the laity to not feel as if they are being pastored to by the current OF. If being pastoral is the most important principle then on this principle it would seem to follow that the best situation is to offer multiple forms of the Roman Rite. This is what was always odd about liturgists opposition to the EF; it was simply contrary to the way they typically spoke and wrote.

"the new translations are based on the "subjective" idea that replacing an intelligible translation with an unintelligible one will have a good pastoral effect, even though this has been disconfirmed by the South Africa experience." If I may make two point in responce. First, I have read the new translation and it cannot be said to be unintelligible. It does not read as well as the older translation but that hardly makes it "unintelligible". You should not overstate the case. Second, there is nothing about the reception in South Africa that has anything to do with its reception in the South of the United States, for example. Again if the principle is to be pastoral, it may be that south Africa requires a different translation that the south in the U.S.

"There is no pastoral argument for the restoration of the 1962 liturgy or for the new translations." In my post above I did not suggest that the 1962 Missal should be restored. I do not think though that you can actually make this argument seriously. What is pastoral? Am I to understand that your position is that in order for one to be pastoral then a liturgy must look the way you think that it should look. In this way your position is not far from that of the SSPX. They just happen to think that in order to be pastoral the liturgy should look the way they think it should look. The enduring popularity in some circles of the EF suggests this. These individuals simple do not find the OF "pastoral". So what pastoral principle can you invoke other than simply being pastoral against some individuals celebrating the EF? So far you have only gratuitously asserted that the 1962 missal is not pastoral and therefore it may be gratuitously denied.


"I don't get the point about it being laughable that 60 year olds are trying to make the liturgy intelligible to 20 year olds." If one looks at the younger generation of committed catholics one sees an obvious disconnect with the older generation. Anyone that has any knowledge of major and minor seminaries around the U.S. at least knows this. The seminarians are typically more conservative (I do not like these descriptors but they are the ones frequently employed) and the faculties historically at least have been more liberal. Even in conservative seminaries there is a noted difference between the older conservative faculty and the young more conservative seminarians. This is further compounded by individuals in their 60's attempting to make individuals in their 20's understand what the liturgy through signs. You will almost always find that the disconnect between older and younger is not percieved by the older generation as acute as it actually is. Many of the hymns, for example, currently in use in Catholic Churches strike the ear of the youth as coming from the 70's and 80's. This is equally true of vestments in puke green polyester used by the older generation of priests. To the younger generation these choices strike one as what their grandparents had on the floor in their living room. Even Catholic greeting cards strike the younger generation as looking like vestiges of the 1960's. Evangelical churches have done a much better job of connecting with contemporary culture. This is the problem of attempting to inculturate in modern society. Modern society is rooted in constant change. If this is one's goal one should be aware that one's target culture will constantly be moving. Sometimes the cultural will move "backwards" so to speak and therefore the thing to do it would seem would be to reflect this movement liturcially but moderate it.

evagrius

Dear me- Since you don't live in Canada, you obviously don't know much about the cultures here.

I mentioned I live in Quebec, specifically Montreal. Please do a search on Google and peruse the information there.
Obviously you don't know much about Yankees either.
People north of the Canadian border are not Yankees.

Perhaps you have shown a cultural difference- I'm willing to inquire and ask questions to learn something while you seem to be....

Your remark about the relationship between those in their 60's and those in their 20's is very humorous.

It's obvious, ( if you give it some thought), that those 20 year old seminarians are just as much out of touch with the contemporary culture as the older professors. After all, they're involved in a rather peculiar activity. I seriously doubt that they have any inkling of what's really out there.

me

Dear Evagrius,

You may have noted that when I made the point that you are a Yankee, I ended the the sentence with ";)". This symbol is used to signify a wink and a smile. I was being playful. I would suggest that perhaps you should google emoticon.

So I do not think it is obvious that I do not "know much about Yankees". Nor do I think that I am generally ignorant of Canadian culture. I will only say that I did not grow up in the States.

"I'm willing to inquire and ask questions to learn something while you seem to be...." It seems like you are actually more comfotable making accusations than raising questions.

"It's obvious, ( if you give it some thought), that those 20 year old seminarians are just as much out of touch with the contemporary culture as the older professors." I agree that it is obvious which was rather my point. So thank you for making the point that I made in my post above. I never stated that those in the 20s were not out of touch. My point was rather that liturgists (after all they are the ones telling us what would be pastoral) are out of touch with the younger generation. If these two groups are equally out of touch and in fact represent very different ways of thinking then the pastoral responce should produce a responce that is different for both groups and not the same.

"I seriously doubt that they have any inkling of what's really out there." This position is absurd. First they are at least aware of their own generation and as such do have knowledge of some of what is "out there." I would agree that they are generally unaware of the older generation's (50s+) concerns. But this is no different than the situation of the older generation of priests and liturgists who are equally ignorant of the concerns of the younger generation. (again here I am speaking of preists to seminarians).

evagrius

Oh gee, "emoticons" are so important.

Well, I did ask you what the cultural differences were between the "South" and the "North", and you never described them.

Hence my stopping at... and not going further.

Exactly what should liturgists do in order to be in touch with the "younger generation"?

If you listed some suggestions, then I might be able to discern what your point is.

I found an interesting essay on Rorate Caeli about Latin and the liturgy.

If I read the article correctly, the Latin used in the Roman liturgy is somewhat of an artificial language. It was not even the common language of the people of Rome, ( and the rest of Western Europe), at the time the liturgy transitioned from Greek to Latin, ( a somewhat long transition).

If the article is correct, that the Latin is artificial, it goes much to explain the difficulties in translating to a living, mutable language such as English, ( which is extremely malleable).

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2007/11/pope-received-in-audience-this-morning.html

me

Dear Evagrius,

"Oh gee, "emoticons" are so important." Emoticons, for better or worse, are important. They are a way of delivering information in ways that are either not possible or difficult with mere words. They are, if you will, part of the "culture" of the internet. For example, one could easily read your first sentence as sarcastic (I chose not to read it this way). But an emoticon could have conveyed a certain playfulness on your part rather than mere sarcasm which often suggests a certain condescension.

"If you listed some suggestions, then I might be able to discern what your point is" I did list a few suggestions. If we are to assume that the we are to approach liturgical matters pastorally, then it seems as if we should granted to different groups different forms of the Latin Rite. To some this will mean that they will require the EF, to others the current translation of the OF, to others a more "literal" translatin of the OF. This point, I think, was clear in my above posts.

"the Latin used in the Roman liturgy is somewhat of an artificial language."
The article was interesting and thank you for the citation. I would suggest that the English currently employed in the OF is as equally artificial as the Latin of the Latin Rite. All languages are composed for the most part of conventional signs and as such are artificial. No one language is anymore living or artificial than another. Languages do not live, only humans live. These living humans artificially chose or created one set of signs as a a way to convey information. Therefore, all languages are artificial.

The state of Isreal, for example, took a "dead language", Hebrew, converted it into a "living language". Now there are millions of people who speak what was really a dead language.

My favorite example is the English word "dude". Here is a word that can be used a dozens of ways based merely on inflection. While these usuages through inflections are utterly artificial, this does not make them bad or useless. This usage of dude is a language movement that was to a loose usage of language (as are emoticons) while it may be desirable in some circumstances to do precisely the opposite through an insistance on the denotations of words. For example in medicine we really want a one for one correspondance on most medical terms. A "leg" should be a leg. Medicine "A" should refer to medicine A. Precisely so that one does not receive medicine B. This may be desireable in the liturgy sometimes and sometimes not.

evagrius

me- you still haven't described the cultural differences between North and South.

Your suggestions are not really relevant.

I'm not quite sure why one group of English speakers should need a different English liturgy than another.

Elizabethian English is now artificial. I don't think a liturgy with that type of language is living. Neither would a liturgy that is based slavishly on a word for word equivalence.

I don't think you've really given a good response to my questions.

Again, what's the cultural difference between North and South?

me

Evagrius,

"Your suggestions are not really relevant."

Where is your proof of the this. What is your counter argument. You should recall a basic principle of logic - what is gratuitously asserted is gratuitously denied.

"Elizabethian English is now artificial. I don't think a liturgy with that type of language is living. Neither would a liturgy that is based slavishly on a word for word equivalence."
My point is that languages do not live. All language, including contemporary english, is artificial. If it lives, please show me empirical evidence of this. What creature will you show me? Does it breath? Does it grow? No, it simply is an arbitrary set of signs used to communicate. It is as arbitrary as red means stop, or green means go. Why is one set of letters any better than another set of letters. They are again only as good as the associations we make with them. To be clear, my only point here is all language is artificial and therefore any claim that one language is more artificial than another is gratuitous and cannot be the basis for rejecting some particular type of liturgy.

I have never mentioned either "Elizabethian English" or "a slavish word for word equivalence" a single time in any of my posts. So I do not see how they are relevant.

"Again, what's the cultural difference between North and South?" I am not sure why you are fixated on this point. I mentioned it but in passing as an example. It would frankly take too long to explain. You could equally select for example Nigerian usage vs. that of Texas and probably find enough differences to entail different translations of the English text.


me

Evagrius,

My main point has always been rather simple. If our goal is to be pastoral, then why do we not offer different forms/translations of liturgies for various groups?

Or is it simply that on a priori grounds you do not like the other proposed forms because they do not suit you?

evagrius

"why do we not offer different forms/translations of liturgies for various groups?"

What kind of "groups"? Little old white Anglo-Saxon males? Little old females? Philipinos? Black Americans from Ilinois? Black Americans fron Louisiana? Athletes? Bankers? Theologians?
Children under 8? Under 12?
Teens up to 18? Latinophiles?
Anglophobics? Gays?
Physically challenged?

As you can see, groups are "artificial".

The Church is not "artificial". While "groups" may be found in the Church, the Church itself is not a "group".

Languages are "living" when spoken and used in everyday life. They are "artificial" when used only in certain ways, ( scientific language is artificial, philosophical language, theological language etc;). The artificiality of a language can change if it becomes an integral part of everyday life.

Of course, these days, everyday life can itself be quite artificial.



Spirit of Vatican II

No, there is surely room for a variety of English translations of Scripture and Liturgy adapted to different cultures using an English liturgy -- New Zealand, Ireland, the Philippines. There is no reason why a great variety of Eucharistic Prayers adapted to various cultural contexts should no be composed. The Vatican has been very closed on this; the Japanese bishops were refused the chance to replace their sawdust collects with seasonal-themes prayers.

However such delicate inculturation is a luxury concern at a time when what we still need to secure or defend a solid usable liturgy.

me

Evagrius,

All language is artificial. It is a construct of man.

"What kind of "groups"?" This is obviously not a real question given what follows. I recall you saying something in an earlier post about asking questions. Nevertheless, what follows is a reductio ad absurdum.

"As you can see, groups are "artificial"." This does not follow from your fallacy. Now I will offer evidence. There are numerous rites in the Catholic Church already. The Catholic Church already does what I am suggesting. The serious question is: to what extent should it be extended? As I stated in a previous post, it might be desirable for the Church in South Africa to have a different liturgy from the North America on pastoral grounds. Even within one country it may be desirable to have mulitple versions of a liturgy. Many countries in Africa are simply artificial constructs of the European powers. There are often very different cultures in one country. Why should these cultural differences not be respected?

me

Dear Spirit,

I agree with the main thrust of your comment.

"However such delicate inculturation is a luxury concern at a time when what we still need to secure or defend a solid usable liturgy." This sentence leaves me scratching my head. It seems as if in the case of the English OF you are only willing to grant one version. You seem to grant that in other countries it is possible to conceive of multiple versions of the same liturgy while in English speaking countries (except in Africa, I suppose) you deny it. Why is it not conceivable to have if you will a "higher" (I use these terms as they are colloquially used) form of the OF next to a "lower" form of the OF? Clearly there are a number of individuals in this country who find the "higher" form more comforting and vice versa. I think that there is, a general growing cultural divide, on these issues. Or perhaps the liturgy is merely an occasion by which the divide became visible.

Spirit of Vatican II

" Why is it not conceivable to have if you will a "higher" (I use these terms as they are colloquially used) form of the OF next to a "lower" form of the OF? Clearly there are a number of individuals in this country who find the "higher" form more comforting and vice versa."

I don't see any objection to this; liturgies are already differentiated in this way in their music, etc. The only danger is that the church breaks down into non-communicating cultural ghettos; but Anglicanism seems to be able to handle that danger well enough.

If the new translations were being proposed as an optional set to be used if found useful, I would have no objection. They would sink or swim on their merits.

But the Roman mentality prescribes that there be one official text for all, inscribed in heavy, expensive books. I have supposed that the new translations will be made mandatory from a certain date and that continued use of the current ones will constitute an act of disobedience (sure to be reported by liturgical vigilantes). I would be very surprised if the Vatican allowed both the current and the new translations to be used.

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