“We’ve Waited Long Enough”

Also just published in America Magazine is this: “Defending the New Missal: A response to Father Michael Ryan” by Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas.

He writes:

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!”

Fr Ryan’s “What if we just said wait?” website is now well known (notorious?). It currently has 12704 signatories, 276 from Australia. I don’t know when it was started.

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.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to ““We’ve Waited Long Enough”

  1. PM

    Done!

    Did you know that the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology, Susan Parsons, has welcomed Summorum Pontificorum as an antidote to the ‘sheer crushing banality’ of too much contemporary liturgy? See her report on the Society of St Catherine of Siena’s conference, Ever Directed To the Lord, at , and, in fuller version, . The Oxford Declaration of 1996, given in the second link, is well worth reading.

  2. Son of Trypho

    The author of the “We’ve waited…” site has explicitly written that they are not Fr Stravinskas and he has nothing to do with the site.

    You may want to amend your blog post?

    • Righto. I got the impression from the way he wrote the article that Fr S was claiming the site as his. I will change the post.

    • Susan Peterson

      I read this simple sentence over four or five times trying to make sense of it. The author ..has explicitly written that they are not Fr. S…..
      that WHO is not Fr. S? What group of people could be Fr. S? That they are not connected with Fr S?
      I finally realized (I think) that Son of Trypho means “The author of the website has stated that HE is not Fr. S.”
      This is a case where “they” has been illegitimately used when the sex of a singular subject might be either male or female, lest a female feel excluded by the use of “he,” traditionally used as the common gender in English. If the owner of the website should chance to be female, I highly doubt she would feel this way, since she is championing the new translation, which makes no attempt at gender neutral language.
      Let subjects and predicates agree in number, now and unto ages of ages! Amen.
      Susan Petereson