Tuesday, June 22, 2010
WHAT IF WE ALL JUST SAID YES!
A couple of weeks ago, our diocese ordained two transitional deacons. Diocesan deacons who will be called to the priesthood make two "promises." One is to "celibacy" for the sake of the kingdom and the other is to "obedience" to the bishop and his successors. There is very little wiggle room for interpreting these two promises. Celibacy means chastity, refraining from sexual, genital expression for the sake of the kingdom of God. The healthiest celibates are the ones who do so positively and seek God's grace in the more difficult aspects of this promise especially as it concerns loneliness and the desire for intimacy. However, I know a lot of men and women who have a lot of sex and still are quite lonely and have no real intimacy with those to whom they conjoin themselves.
The promise of obedience to the bishop has everything to do with Church unity. It is not a blind obedience to this, that or the other, but an obedience to the faith and morals of the Church handed onto us in the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium of the Church as well as respect for the teachers of the Church, the Pope and the bishops in union with him even when they teach in a more casual or less official capacity, like promulgating guidelines, or suggesting certain ways of doing things or whatever the case may be. And certainly obedience to the local bishop means cooperating with his plan for the diocese and the personnel policies he has put into place. In other words, there should be obedience towards his administrative leadership also. Obviously this takes a mature approach to obedience and respect for those who are over us, not that we don't sometimes complain.
One of the things that the we Catholics in this country will have to do in the very near future is to implement the new English translation of the Mass. Some say it will be implemented in Advent of 2011. There are those who are so opposed to this new translation that they are fomenting postponement of the implementation of the new translation and calling for yet another revision to it. They simply hate the new translation. There are even some bishops who think we could have gotten a better one.
Part of the controversy goes to Rome which a few years ago under Pope John Paul II ordered that the English translation that had been developed over the course of several years and was almost complete in 1998 be scrapped and a new committee formed to translate it to be more literal with the original Latin. The 1998 translation relied upon a hermeneutic of translation that the Vatican had mandated in 1969 that allowed for equivalency in translating from the Latin rather than literalism.
What Pope John Paul II did in promulgating "Liturgicum Authenticum" and shifting the task of translation to others and scrapping years of work of others was to create a great anger in the group whose translation and work over the course of years was rejected.
But that is water under the bridge now and we have a new translation that is more accurate than our current one and I believe more elegant. However, it is not perfect and there are some long, run on sentences in some of the prayers and one does have to ponder for a moment what is actually being said. Yet, our prayer is to God and I think He knows what is being said. Some people like to pray in tongues, no one understands that but God alone!
So, what do you think about obedience even when it comes to something you might not like or want, like a new and more clunky English translation of the Mass and Pope Benedict's allowance for the EF Mass to be offered for those who would benefit from it and that pastors should see to it that it is offered in parishes regularly and that individuals have a right to the EF for their weddings and funerals?