Tuesday, February 2, 2010

FROM THE PRAY TELL BLOG: Fair and balanced, but on progressive side

This is from the Pray Tell Blog www.praytellblog.com
I'm not sure how this looks on my blog having pasted it on to mine. However, please read the subject matter, then the comments below. I have a few that got me into some hot water. But the comment that I really want you to read is the last one by Fr. Nathanael Hauser, O.S.B. His comment knocked my socks off--excellent and very well said and tactfully so, something I sometimes fail at with my hyperbole. But I am half Italian and my Canadian side isn't much better! I'm the incarnation of multi-culturalism, being half Italian, half Canadian and having grown up in the south! The following is a bit long.


“Liturgical Studies and Liturgical Renewal,” Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB

Jan 25

Posted by Other Voices in Inculturation, Reform of the Reform | 26 Comments

We present the entire address of Anscar Chupungco — follow the first link below. – Ed.

World-renowned expert in liturgical inculturation, Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB, challenged recent announcements on liturgical reform decrying their “absence of a historical and cultural approach to the liturgy, or, in a word, the inability to fuse together the two basic concepts of Vatican II’s liturgical renewal, namely sound tradition and legitimate progress.” He noted that recent statements coming from no less than the papal master of ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, which called for a reform of Vatican II’s reform were part of an agenda to turn the clock back 50 years, that “seems to conveniently forget that since Vatican II, the Church has been marching with the times, acknowledging the changes in social and religious culture, and adopting new pastoral strategies.”

Fr. Chupungco received a standing ovation for his paper, “Liturgical Studies and Liturgical Renewal” that was delivered at the launch of The Broken Bay Institute-University of Newcastle’s programs of Liturgical Studies (Graduate Certificate in Theology – Liturgical Studies and Master of Theology – Liturgical Studies). Fr. Chupungco, a scholar whose expertise in liturgical inculturation has placed him in a critical staging area for the Church, is the first Filipino on the Pontifical Institute’s faculty, serving as the Institute’s President for 12 of his 23 years in Rome.

Fr. Chupungco noted that students of liturgy should be aware of recent developments, including recent Roman documents “that are becoming increasingly perplexing.” Fr. Chupungco noted that the good “student of liturgy should know how to critique historical development in the light of Vatican II’s liturgical principles, like the central place of the paschal mystery, the place of God’s word, active participation with all that this implies (vernacular, congregational singing, lay ministry), and the ecclesial dimension of the sacrament and sacramentals. These constitute the guiding principles to decide whether things are liturgically acceptable or not.” Fr. Chupungco urged students to become “equipped with a critical mind that allows them to weigh the value of new norms and directives, though always in the spirit of ecclesial obedience.”

Fr. Chupungco concluded: “The long and short of it is that liturgical reform requires serious academic work, not mere romantic attachments to the past that close the eyes to the reality of the present time. The drive for legitimate progress makes us run towards the realisation of Vatican II’s liturgical reform, but we should not run as if we did not carry on our shoulders the weight, both heavy and precious, of sound tradition.”

Source: CathNews, Australia

This entry was posted on January 25, 2010, 8:52 am and is filed under Inculturation, Reform of the Reform. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
26 Comments

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#1 by F C Bauerschmidt on January 25, 2010 - 11:17 am

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I have some serious doubts about the rhetoric of “reform-of-the-reform,” since I think it often masks a nostalgic restorationism. But I become a bit more sympathetic when I read someone saying (approvingly) that “since Vatican II, the Church has been marching with the times.” Of course I know that Fr. Chupungco is a more sophisticated thinker than this single quotation would indicate, but it is these sorts of statements that give the reform-of-the-reform rhetoric its traction.
o

#2 by Karl Liam Saur on January 25, 2010 - 12:33 pm

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I agree; the rhetoric brings to mind images like this:

http://www.sovmusic.ru/jpg/posters/ussr0482.jpg

Rallying the like-minded tends to get in the way of persuading the opposite-minded. There’s far too much of it in Catholic liturgical discourse. Anyway, his remark “but we should not run as if we did not carry on our shoulders the weight, both heavy and precious, of sound tradition” is a helpful balance.
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#3 by J Peter Nixon on January 25, 2010 - 12:06 pm

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Any chance we can get a link to the full text of the address?
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#4 by Anthony Ruff, OSB on January 25, 2010 - 12:38 pm

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I’ll work on it.
awr
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#5 by Charles Culbreth on January 25, 2010 - 3:41 pm

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Dear FC Bauerschmidt,
I would offer the following video as examples of clearly defined “rhetoric” regard “Reform2″ proponents.

http://www.vimeo.com/8941838
o

#6 by Fr. Allan McDonald on January 26, 2010 - 8:38 am

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Thanks for that video! Are we going to let the liturgical experts, i.e. elitists, tell us that our nearly 1500 years of Latin Rite heritage are nothing compared to what “they” say is the “spirit of Vatican II” which in only 45 years supposedly trumped as “new and improved” everything that preceded it? ? I prefer what Msgr. Marini speaks of, as it is in continuity with the Holy Father’s writings and example. The Holy Father is calling for “organic” development of the Liturgy, which an “elitist” committee in Rome foisted upon the universal Church after Vatican II. Vatican II was much more measured and nuanced about any future revisions compared to what a small body of so-called liturgists eventually imposed upon us with the help of Pope Paul VI. These revisions, while authoritative and yes valid, are in no way comparable to the liturgical document of Vatican II–therefore Vatican II actually must be the hermeneutic we must follow in the “reform of the reform.” We must go back to what Vatican II actually requested! The Holy Father is on to something. Liturgists still living in the pseudeo-euphoria of 1965 need to sober up–it’s 2010! We’re not trying to turn the clock back on Vatican II, only on the ill-advised post Vatican II revision of the Mass and lack of oversight on vernacular translations and just what inculturation means. Not everything in any one’s culture is good or should be dragged into the Latin Rite liturgy. Some things are good. The question is, who decides? I think our Roman Catholic Tradition and ecclessiology makes that quite clear.
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#7 by Anthony Ruff, OSB on January 26, 2010 - 8:46 am

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Fr. Allan, I live right in the thick of liturgical reform in Collegeville, and I honestly don’t know anyone who is “still living in the pseudo-euphoria of 1965.” I do know lots of sincere people of differing opinions who are doing their best to serve the Church. I’m finding some of your stereotyping and word choice to be divisive.
Pax in Christo,
awr
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#8 by Robert Burns on January 26, 2010 - 7:31 pm

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“I’m finding some of your stereotyping and word choice to be divisive.”

It may be divisive to conclude that many liturgists are “still living in the pseudo-euphoria of 1965”, but I think it’s largely true. To “march with the times”, was the governing principle then and is still as the preceding quote from Fr. Chupungco proves. That desire to bend the essentials of the Faith to suit modern sensibilities, which had been gaining strength since the beginning of the 20th century, was held back from spewing its poison largely by The Anti-Modernist Oath required of all clergy and professors in philosophical and theological seminaries. If some Catholics feel a little outrage at the junking of that oath and the seemingly consequent dismantling of the sensus Catholicus, perhaps a little understanding is in order.

Fr. McDonald’s disgust with modernists and “elitists” hijacking Vatican II in the name of the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” is justified and Fr. Chupungco’s insistance that any Reform of the Reform requires “serious academic work” smacks of that modernist elitism. Just what does he think has been going on in Pope Benedict’s head? Oh, that’s right – he told us – “mere romantic attachments to the past that close the eyes to the reality of the present time”. His claim of finding “sound tradition” “precious” rings hollow.
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#9 by Todd Flowerday on January 27, 2010 - 12:01 am

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What hampers many tradition-advocating musicians is a set of presumptions which, though not divisive, are fairly insulting. I have no reason to doubt Fr McDonald’s experiences with bad eggs. I have some of my own. Let’s talk about them over a beer or something.

But lets not imagine or elevate our personal subjective experiences translate somehow into good theology.
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#10 by Charles Culbreth on January 27, 2010 - 12:21 am

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That’s not playing fair, Todd.
What presumptions exactly have you deemed insulting as advanced by those who advocate respect for tradition.
Please enlighten.
o

#11 by Todd Flowerday on January 27, 2010 - 11:27 am

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Fair? I’m only playing with what was posted here. Let’s make a list: liturgical experts, i.e. elitists, so-called liturgists, pseudeo-euphoria, need to sober up–and that’s just in one comment. Do you want me to go back to other threads?

I don’t know that Fr McDonald advocates *respect* for tradition, as much as he conducts a pep rally for it. Authentic respect is cultivated by everything a person writes, says, and does. Fr Ruff is the model of respect, and he manages to poke a bit–respectfully to alter the tone.

I believe that tradition-advocates have a sound case and should be heard. But Fr McDonald shoots the reform2 effort in the foot with posts like this. I sure wouldn’t want him as a spokesman for post-conciliar liturgy.
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#12 by Fr. Allan McDonald on January 27, 2010 - 5:08 am

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Admittedly, there may be some hyperbole in metaphorical choices in terms of our liturgy today and just what the “spirit of Vatican II” is. I have no doubt about the sincerity of anyone who loves the Church, but we certainly can question advisability of what has occurred over the last 45 to 50 years. Church history also proves that the Holy Spirit somehow works through the chaos that ecumenical councils sometimes bring to the church immediately following their deliberations to elevate the Church to a higher plane, but that takes about 100 years. I have no doubt that Fr. Anscar voice is needed as well as others like Pope Benedict and his favorite liturgical theologians. But alas, we are a hierarchy no matter how much some would wish it wasn’t so. So some voices will carry more weight than others as we continue to go back to the actual documents of the Second Vatican Council and read them through a new lens. In terms of some of my rhetoric, it is to excite discussion. I know the liberal theologians of my major seminary days (1976-80, Baltimore, MD) did it to me and I enjoyed it.
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#13 by Karl Liam Saur on January 27, 2010 - 8:58 am

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My perspective on rhetorical excess that is designed to excite discussion is that it is better in person than on blogs; blogs are so bloated with provocative statements that they no longer function as they are intended (to engage the skeptical), but more as shibboleths to rally the like-minded.
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#14 by Paul Schlachter on January 27, 2010 - 11:53 am

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Fr. Chupungco has certainly paid his dues, for his long service both to Philippine Catholics and to the universal church. From his position at the Anselmiano he taught many of us to learn our history and be attentive to the prompts of the culture in which we now live. He has never been a wild-eyed zealot on behalf of gratuitous change. Indeed, he has reminded Americans that we have to experience liturgy first, in other words, stop “hearing mass” and start entering into the paschal mystery with all our senses, before we can consider “reform/renewal.”

As an aside, another professor at the Anselmiano told me once that the Congregation of Worship and the Sacraments had no consultative relationship with liturgists on his faculty. And not a single cardinal prefect of that congregation in recent memory has been either a liturgist or scripture scholar by training. If this is the way our leadership is chosen and behaves, it is not a surprise that there are so many local disconnects among us faithful Catholics.
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#15 by Carlos Antonio Palad on January 31, 2010 - 5:44 am

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Fr. Chupungco’s speaks of the “cold chill” that has come over the proponents of liturgical reform, and claims that inculturation is now spoken in “hushed” tones. I think those words are more applicable to Filipino Catholics who speak in favor of the “Reform of the Reform” and who support Summorum Pontificum. Certainly in the Philippines, “inculturation” remains the order of the day, and those who favor the approach of Benedict XVI are routinely insulted, marginalized and persecuted.
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#16 by Robert Mickens on January 31, 2010 - 12:33 pm

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Why has no one that is actively supporting this “reform of the reform” movement responded to the points raised by Fr Chupungco?

He has been a major force in liturgical theology, having been elected to four consecutive terms as president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and four years as rector (or president) of the entire Atheneum of Sant’Asnelmo, which includes all the various faculties (and specialised areas) of philosophy, theology and monastic studies.

Why no reasoned and sound reply??
o

#17 by Fr. Allan McDonald on January 31, 2010 - 2:52 pm

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I’ve not heard of him before, so this blog is quite useful. To be quite honest, inculturation has both negative and positive overtones. As an white American in the south, I’ve had many ministerial experiences with African American Catholics and now with African Catholics. The two have totally different cultural likes and dislikes. Africans for the most part do not care for “Negro Spirituals” but certainly African Americans do as well as whites. In fact one of our Masses had a Gospel Choir and many whites preferred it to our standard “Anglo” Masses–but then comes the rub, the division this creates in a multi-cultural parish–so I would like to learn and listen, but more and more I’d like to see some unity in the diversity. I do think that the African liturgies that Pope Benedict celebrated in Africa, what Pope John Paul celebrated for the canonization of St. Juan Diego are inspiring and a starting point for understanding as well as local adaptations.
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#18 by Ioannes Andreades on February 1, 2010 - 5:36 am

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Without a doubt, the poorest paragraph in the speech (abounding in sloppy reasoning) is that beginning, “A serious study in liturgy…” He dismisses as simply a historically conditioned statement (”peculiar circumstances surrounding the Council”) the Conciliar pronouncement that Latin remain the language of the liturgy and that Gregorian chant have the chief position of music in the mass (princeps locus). Apparently no other material in Sacraosanctum Concilium is attenuated by such “peculiar circumstances.” It is exactly this kind of cafeteria legalism that drives RotR’ers like me up the wall. It’s no surprise that when the laity sees its priests picking and choosing, that it picks and chooses as well. Far from being a “serious study,” Fr. Chupungo’s talk displays egoism and arrogance.
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#19 by Eric Styles, SJ on January 31, 2010 - 11:05 pm

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Fr. McDonald,

After being so critical of Fr. Chupungco, I found it disheartening and all too telling to read that you had never heard of him until reading him here. I would very much think it would be important for you to do more listening when it comes to inculturation. I would also caution your quick denouncement of Fr. Chupungco’s academic orientation. I am an African American Catholic and it has become more than clear to me that the slow progress of our particular population is due to the lack of two major necessities: (1) indigenous clergy and (2) authentic inculturation.

You make reference to some experience in African American cultural contexts, yet I wonder how open you might be to the possibility that even a relatively long stint in a multicultural parish could never give you the skills to discern what might qualify as authentic black Catholic inculturation. Might it ever have occurred to you that the genius and particular gifts of a black culture might not be so obvious? I myself am a student of African American culture and Catholic worship and I would never dismiss the hard work of scholars and cultural workers who have labored and sacrificed to make way for a truly inculturated black Catholic liturgy.

No, African Americans and Continental Africans don’t share the same tastes. Who would say that we do? Yet and still, within African American culture are crosscurrents of multiple cultural paradigms and West African cultures with their distinctive religiosity are central. Hard work work in intellectual thought, solid pastoral commitment, and deep love for the whole tradition are absolutely essential.

The work of inculturation will never be done, though many would acknowledge the need to regroup and continuously rethink our vision. And lastly, if you asked me (and I know you didn’t) I would say that instead of blaming the intellectuals we would do better to reconnect to the greatest of our artists and ask them to re-immerse themselves in the church’s tradition, history and current pastoral concerns so that we might have a return of the kind of liturgical art that is of the highest caliber, speaking the language of the people, that is, the language of faith, the language of the heart.
o

#20 by Fr. Allan McDonald on February 2, 2010 - 8:22 am

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Thanks for your comments. I was not completely honest about being a “southern white.” I am a native Italian with a completely native Italian mother, who now 90, still speaks to me exclusively in Italian. My father was a Canadian immigrant and at the age of three I moved with them from Italy to Georgia where I grew up in army neighborhoods and parishes. From 1960 to 1976, my parish in Augusta, GA was composed of some southerners, but mostly Hispanic, Korean, Italian, German, French, Filipino, Vietnamese. As a seminarian I worked in a black parish and my first year of ordination was in one. My downtown parish in Augusta where I was pastor from 1991 to 2004 was an amalgamation of two other parishes that closed, one all black and merged into a third. We had a significant black population. The highest compliment that I received from my African American brothers and sisters is that they didn’t see me as “white.” And in fact, I find many similarities in my black brothers and sisters that I see in my Italian side.
Now to Macon where I pastor since 2004. The parish next to mine was founded as a black parish in the early 20th century, but all white clergy and religious–but strong and thriving. A concerted effort was made to integrate the parish in the 1960’s-whites were encouraged to move in and join–they formed a folk group! The Folk Group is still strong today. Of the two Masses available on Sunday morning, a more traditional organ music one at 9:00 AM and the 11:00 AM that is folk, which do you think is predominately white in attendance? In addition, there is now a separate Spanish Mass predominately for Mexican immigrants that now outnumber the blacks and the whites. In addition to that the pastor for the past five years is from Poland! He is now replaced by a new pastor who is from Nigeria–it will be interesting over there to see how that works.
In my childhood multi-cultural parish, in pre-Vatican II times, we all attended the same Mass, homily of course in English. Music traditional, but there was also always a low Mass with no music. We intermingled. We new each other and celebrated festivals in meals, processions and popular devotions unique to some of the other cultures, Mass, though, was not “inculturated.” After Vatican II, much did not change, but we had folk music and traditional music masses. Today in that same parish, there is a Korean Mass, Vietnamese Mass and Spanish Mass–the community has no popular devotions except surrounding “Our Lady of Guadeloupe.” The pastor today is Irish. But has a Korean priest and a Vietnamese Mass and he can celebrate Spanish Masses.
So, I hope this puts things into context. Finally, my criticism of Fr. Chupungco had little to do with what he has done, since I don’t know what he’s done, but with his comments concerning the papal MC, Msgr. Marini. Marini was basically mouthing what his boss Pope Benedict believes about the reform of the reform and the hermeneutic of continuity rather than rupture. From what I gathered in Fr. Chupungco’s remarks about Msgr. Marini is that he prefers the status quo of the past 45 years liturgically–progressive rupture. I think we can disagree on which hermeneutic is best for the Church even if we don’t really understand the forms of “inculturation” many would like to impose on the Latin Rite.
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#21 by Carlos Antonio Palad on January 31, 2010 - 11:59 pm

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“Why has no one that is actively supporting this “reform of the reform” movement responded to the points raised by Fr Chupungco?

“He has been a major force in liturgical theology, having been elected to four consecutive terms as president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and four years as rector (or president) of the entire Atheneum of Sant’Asnelmo, which includes all the various faculties (and specialised areas) of philosophy, theology and monastic studies.

“Why no reasoned and sound reply??”

Perhaps because the talk abounds with cliches (”back to the people”), loaded words (”rightist” — and, in the Philippines, this is just about one of the worst appellations you can apply to anyone), and obvious contempt for those who favor the Reform of the Reform. I don’t think it can be considered as a serious effort to “critique” the ROTR.

Such rhetoric is better met with silence. I assume that the supporters of the ROTR have a lot on their plate and that responding to every cliche-ridden attack is not a good way for them to spend their time.
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#22 by Ralph Harris on February 1, 2010 - 2:07 am

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Fr. Anscar Chupungco’s comments seem not to be informed by documents
like SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM. Perhaps they were written some time ago,
before these crucial documents came out to clarify some of the misunderstandings?
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#23 by Fr. Nathanael Hauser, O.S.B. on February 1, 2010 - 10:29 pm

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I hesitate to enter the Liturgical controversies, being an art historian rather than a Liturgist. However, I have been personally acquainted with Fr. Anscar since 1980 and greatly respect his work, having spoken with him and read many of his books and articles. It is because of my respect for his work that I am disappointed with this speech. I think that it is important recognize it as a speech that is meant to rally the troops, rather than a scholarly article. Given that, one must allow him room to overemphasize and even to exaggerate.

His remarks, though, seem to me to grossly misstate the history of the past 50 years in order to inflame the current liturgical situation rather than to add to the scholarship that his status demands. Fr. Anscar implies in his second paragraph that we are in a new “autumn” that has suddenly blighted the bright springtime of the Church. However, nothing has been said in the recent past that was not said over twenty years ago by the Holy See in “Vicesimus Quintus Annus” of 1988 (for instance in v13: “It cannot be tolerated that certain priests should take upon themselves the right to compose Eucharistic Prayers or to substitute profane readings for texts from Sacred Scripture. Initiatives of this sort, far from being linked with the liturgical reform as such, or with the books, which have issued from it, are in direct contradiction to it, disfigure it and deprive the Christian people of the genuine treasures of the Liturgy of the Church.”).

More important is Fr. Anscar’s assertion that “The agenda is, to all appearance, an attempt to put the clock back half a century.” He then asks some rhetorical questions that, if taken as serious questions, would indeed contribute to the conversation that is so needed today. The one question that I would like to discuss is his questioning of the new translations. To be clear, I have nothing invested in the new translations. From my reading, I can agree with many of the criticisms of them. The problem that I see is the assumption in Fr. Anscar’s speech that the current translation was the philosophically best kind of translation and to move away from that philosophy is to turn the clock back fifty years.

This declaration is to pretend that the question of the best way to translate was settled in 1960. The translators of that time followed the then new ideas of Eugene Nidal and his idea of Dynamic Equivalence. The difficulty with Fr. Anscar’s approach is that since then this philosophy has been critiqued by many in the field and has even been corrected by Nidal himself who dropped the term. (see: “Theories of Translation.” TTR: traduction, terminologie, redaction 4.1. 1991. 19-32 and also “The Sociolinguistics of Translating Canonical Religious Texts” TTR, 7.1. 1994. 191-217). Further, Nidal’s philosophy of translation was developed as a way to translate the Bible in a non-Catholic context: that is, freed of any authoritative tradition.

One need only scan the articles in “Meta: journal des traducteurs” to see how active the level of critique of this form of translation has been since 1960 and continues to be today. One article I would recommend is: Jacobus A. Naudé. “On the Threshold of the Next Generation of Bible Translations: Issues and Trends.” Meta 50. 4. 2005. http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/019851ar

The question, then, is not one of scholarship but of ideology. To pretend that the “historical research, theological investigation, and pastoral consciousness” of the 1970s would inevitably lead the Church into its present condition is ridiculous on its face. It is obvious to any historian (even an art historian as myself!) that any major disruption in culture is brought about by politics and ideology not by research and investigation.

That this is ideology is clear in Fr. Anscar’s rhetorical questions. For instance, he asks “Will the priestly role of mediation be reinforced by praying at the altar with the back to the assembly?” The question itself reveals the author’s implied response and gives no credit to the past fifty years of scholarly attention that has been given to the question of the orientation of the altar. This question is not about scholarship, or of turning back the clock, but of what the writer prefers. Indeed, that there is no real scholarship behind the turning of the altars was admitted as early as 1959 in an article by John H. Miller, (“Altar facing the People: Fact or Fable” Worship 33. 2. 83-91) in which he says that given the scholarship of the day “… advocates of the altar “versus populum” base their cause on other reasons BESIDES historical ones. We invoke two theological reasons: a deeper consciousness of the reality of sacramental priesthood and a valued appraisal of the Mass as a banquet in format. To this we add a valid psychological motive: the people can see better the actions of the priest and understand them as, at least partially, directed towards themselves.” (Emphasis in the original.)

The question then is, as it has always been, one of theological views. A particular viewpoint was ascendant for many years but is now being increasingly questioned by many in the Church in 2010. In my estimation, these important theological questions would be better served if all parties admitted that and ceased to try to hide behind the conceit that one’s interlocutors are simply romantics attempting to turn back the clock.
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#24 by Fr. Allan McDonald on February 2, 2010 - 11:42 am

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Fr. Nathan! WOW! God bless you.
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