Friday, October 27, 2006

We don't often hear stories like this.

Imagine, if you can, the persecution of several hundred catholic priests at a time. Imagine a state that would round up priests and hand out a death sentence for their faith. Sound like something that would happen in Afghanistan or Iran? There aren't enough priests there. How about France?

Read here and find out. Think it can't happen again?

Vox Clara more pastoral than most people expected

Toward the end of my seminary experience, a small but significant revolution took place in the english speaking catholic world. I imagine most people were totally unaware of it. Had I not been in seminary, the hotbed of catholic rumor mills, I'm quite certain I wouldn't have known a thing.

The vatican enacted a second group, called Vox Clara, to oversee the translation of latin liturgical texts (texts for mass and other sacraments and prayers) into english. It was thought that this group would make it almost impossible for english to be translated into anything but the most literal of translations. I find it intersting, therefore, to find this article on catholic news service this morning....

Commission looks for balance in English liturgical translations

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Work on a new English translation of the Mass continues to seek a balance between a highly formal prayer language and preserving liturgical phrases that have become part of an English speaker's prayer tradition, said Australian Cardinal George Pell of Sydney.

Cardinal Pell chairs the Vox Clara Commission, an international group of bishops who advise the Vatican on English liturgical translations.

Vox Clara met Oct. 23-26 at the Vatican to study translations developed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

Describing many of the texts as "outstanding," Vox Clara members also said they gave the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments an "extensive commentary on certain problems" found in the translations.

Cardinal Pell told Catholic News Service Oct. 27: "It is important to be clear that they are small problems. They are not major problems at all."

In general, he said, the bishops were concerned about "some interesting terminology that was different from the traditional -- unusual."

While declining to give specific examples, Cardinal Pell said the phrases in question replace phrases -- judged to be faithful to the Latin -- used in English since the Second Vatican Council.

"Provided the Latin is rendered faithfully, we are keen to keep terminology the people are familiar with," Cardinal Pell said.

He also described some of the phrases as "too grammatical" in the sense that they sound like they are the result of an advanced grammar lesson rather than a faithful translation into a living language.

Vox Clara's Oct. 27 press release praised the energy with which everyone is working to get a high-quality, faithful translation of the Mass into parishes as soon as possible.

It also said commission members conducted a final review of a congregation document meant to serve as a guide for English-language liturgical translations.

The congregation is expected to publish the guide, formally called "'Ratio Translationis' for the English Language," before Christmas.

When will we learn that it's just not that easy to move bishops into categories of "liberal" and "conservative"? These are pastors, shepherds who care a great deal for their flock. They don't want to impose any agenda other than Christ Jesus and the salvation of souls.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

I was reading Catholic News Service this morning and came upon this story. I found it to be a very interesting story and one that will affect the American Church. As a priest, I'm glad to be able to shake hands with people as they leave and connect with them then. I sort-of take it for granted that someone else will be purifying the sacred vessels and I can take my time with the people of God. This may shorten the time that I spend there. It's to be determined if that's a bad thing or not.

This will have other affects as well. No more will I hear people say, "Time to go do the dishes!" with a heavy sigh. Nor will I see people pour the sacred species directly down the drain of the saquarium before I can correct them. I'm sure that some will say that this is another case of the vatican taking away the power of the laity and I'm also sure that they are wrong. This is a case of the vatican seeking to give the proper people the proper roles. The priest, acting in the person of Christ, confected the eucharist. He should be the servant whose responsibility it is to clean it up.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A reminder of a great movie

Recently, a good friend was in town and we got to watch the movie 1776. It's a musical with some notable figures in the movie version and a great opening sequence...actually the opening sequence is the best part of the movie. You can see it on youtube here.

There's a great quote by the obnoxious John Adams that Starts it off.

"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more are called a congress."

I think in the church we could adapt it slightly. Bear with me on this. This isn't meant to be taken literally...

I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a theologian, that two are called the tribunal, and that three or more are called the chancery/a committe....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Heroes....the coolest show ever!

Have you caught the new show on Monday nights called Heroes? Here's what it has going for it:

1. Great Actors
2. Great story/writers

It keeps me riveted to the screen. It's a myth in the ancient sense of the word. I tape it every week and I'm going to keep the tapes until I have them all and then I'm going to by the DVD's. I have the idea that I will wear the Video Tapes out.

It's not trying to push an an agenda at us. It's just telling a story and doing it well.

I love it!