Also just published in America Magazine is this: “Defending the New Missal: A response to Father Michael Ryan” by Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas.
I was a freshman in high school when the “vernacularization” of the liturgy began and a junior in college seminary when the process reached its climax. Having majored in classical languages, I naturally was quite interested in the process and flattered when I was invited by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) to participate in the translation effort. Frankly, I was also surprised that someone of my thin experience had been asked to take part in a project that would influence the spiritual lives of millions of Catholics for decades to come.
When I first reviewed the translation guidelines sent by ICEL, I was disappointed. Ideology, it seemed, had taken precedence over accuracy. Anima was not to be rendered as “soul,” I was informed, because doing so would set up an unnecessary dichotomy between body and soul. No feminine pronouns were to be used for the church, and common words were favored over precise theological or liturgical vocabulary. The goal was to capture the general meaning of the text, rather than a faithful rendering of a rich and historically layered Latin prose. I tried to work within these parameters, but I found it difficult to do and still remain true to the original text. My translations were evidently unsatisfactory because, upon submitting them, I was politely but firmly uninvited from serving on the commission.
His defence of the missal translation is along the lines that are now as standard as its criticisms, but it includes this:
In his essay, Father Ryan argues that not enough consultation has taken place, and that “we should just say, “Wait’” before implementing the new translations. I disagree. As a Web site set up to defend the new translation proclaims, “We’ve waited long enough!”
The Website to which Fr Stravinskas refers is We’ve Waited Long Enough, and it was started on December 19. It now has 4175 signatures. Unfortunately, the poll does not gather geographical locations for the purpose of comparison, although it does allow you to indicate your state of life in the Church.
I urge you to sign the “We’ve Waited Long Enough” petition. Just a note though: because he is using the ipetitions website, after signing it you will be put through to the standard ipetitions appeal for money. Such donations do not go to the creators of the petition, but to ipetitions. Just close the window at this point, as it doesn’t give you the option not to pay. But your signature will still be recorded.