Wednesday, July 21, 2021



In our diocese there is a very strong Covenant Charismatic Community in Augusta. It has been in existence since about 1973 or so. Committed Christians looking for a communal experience of Christian life, somewhat akin to religious orders, flocked and flock to this community. The style of worship they desire is charismatic with worship and praise music. This community has produced more vocations to the priesthood and religious life than other institution or parish in our diocese. 

Those who desire the older form of the Mass flock to it for the same reasons as the charismatics in Augusta, they wish to have something that is different than ordinary parish life and they find it in the older form of the Mass--and most who attend are like minded. It isn't a dragnet of people with different attitudes and political beliefs as in the normative parishes of any diocese--they tend to be more conservative as is the charismatic community in Augusta. 

Home schooling families fit the same category and one finds in them a deeper appreciation for Catholicism and they too are more conservative politically speaking as well. 

Then we have the normative parish and its worship and parish life. These people are not the dregs of the earth but are more fluid in their commitment to Sunday Mass and Church teaching, but in most parishes there is in those who attend religiously, a strong commitment to the Catholic Faith and living it out at home, work and play as well as in the public square. But certainly there are others who don't.

The normative parish is a dragnet of sinners and saints and some very disordered people as well.

Those who celebrate the EF Mass, too, are a mixed bag and there are scandals surround the clergy and laity in these communities as well just as serious as anything else in the Church that is so disordered. The SSPX also are contending with the sexual abuse of minors by their priests as well as other sexual disorders that can afflict the clergy. 

But for those who do not attend Mass any longer be it the normative post Vatican II Mass or the older form of the Mass, they do so because they don't believe what the Church teaches in the areas of sexuality and marriage. They don't buy it any more no matter how wrong they may be or when others tell them they are wrong. They want sexual license either for themselves or others. 

But others leave the Catholic Faith for non denominational worship that is far from traditional. They want community and a free wheeling form of worship and praise. In my neck of the woods I would say that there are huge numbers of former Catholics who attend non denominational churches because of the music, the minister and the communal nature of these churches. 

Thus they would not be interested in either form of the Mass with its type of music and parish life, period.

Thus the old lie that it was Vatican II's Mass that caused all of this to happen is only part of the problem. A huge majority of Catholics today reject everything about the Church pre and post Vatican II.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Thus the old lie that it was Vatican II's Mass that caused all of this to happen is only part of the problem. A huge majority of Catholics today reject everything about the Church pre and post Vatican II."

Our culture, since the coming of the Industrial Age and since the vast explosion of wealth and disposable income after World War Two, has become one that seeks superficial personal comfort. This may be in matters of possessions - a bigger house (or two), a flashier car, expensive vacations, etc.

It may be the personal comfort that comes from rejecting the inevitable challenge to some of our behaviors that comes from encountering Grace. Flannery O'Connor wrote in "The Habit of Being, "All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” Choosing that which is "painful" does not fit into a style of life that is directed toward personal comfort.

Regarding superficiality, "In his book Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Richard Foster, a Quaker, writes, “Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”

Foster also writes: "If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ."

Pierre said...

I imagine you are stuck in the liturgical practices of the 1970s including “improving” translations to suit your taste. Incapable of change?

Tom Marcus said...

I think it's time to be brutally honest and stop referring to the Novus Ordo as the "Mass of Vatican II". No such Mass ever took place during Vatican II, though, admittedly, other changes were being tried.

The Novus Ordo as generally practiced throughout the world VIOLATES Sacrosanctum Concilium and is the product of the Consilium, headed by the VERY questionable Annibale Bugnini.

And before you accuse me of not respecting a valid form of the Mass the makes God truly present, I am not denying the validity of this Mass. I simply believe the REAL PRESENCE deserves better. It's simply time to be honest about the pedigree of this Mass, whcih most of us have no choice but to attend or commit a mortal sin of omission.

Nh said...

When Rome sent out it’s questionnaire to the world’s diocese (particularly the USA) , I wonder how many of those forms went to diocese that do not offer the TLM. Of those diocese that received the questionnaire and Do Not Offer the TLM, how many of those diocese reported that the TLM was disruptive. The statistical analysis of questions is a fickle field. They are often used to prove a point rather than discover a trend.

Anonymous said...

Everything Father Kavanaugh wrote is true. So Let's ask ourselves:

Which Mass embodies a theology that challenges us to change our sinful, selfish ways?

Which Mass affirms how "wonderful" we are and that God loves us "just the way we are?

Which Mass tells us that not all will be saved, but those who trust in God and are willing to obey him?

Which Mass, for DECADES, suggested in deliberate mistranslation that ALL were saved?

Most of the readers here are smart enough to figure this one out.

Change or wallow in your comfort zone: Which Mass challenges and which one pats you on the back?

Fr Martin Fox said...

I stand by what I said before: most Catholics don't like the 1970 Missal, most priests don't like it (even if they claim they do).

Look at all the priests who won't celebrate it as-is, but rather feel constant need to change it or improve it.

Virtually no one wants it celebrated in Latin; and there will be a hue-and-cry if significant portions remain in Latin, as was envisioned by Sacrosanctum Concilium, i.e., from Vatican II. Meanwhile, there is always a push to dress it up: let's have a "charismatic" Mass, a "polka" Mass, and so forth.

When the 1970 Mass was finally translated properly into English, suddenly people found out what the Mass prayers actually said. I was at meetings with other priests who objected -- not that the translation was faulty -- but that the content in the prayers, now made plain, was objectionable. Note well: what they disliked was that actual content of the 1970 Missal, which had been there since it was first promulgated; but only now was accurately rendered.

And while it's true that lots of Catholics are falling away because they are being seduced by the culture; nevertheless, the drop in Mass attendance cannot be explained entirely by that. At least some of it is due, in fact, to a disinterest in the Mass itself. Why doesn't the new Mass work for them?

ByzRus said...

Pierre - Presumably, you are reacting to Fr. MJK's response because you do not agree with it? I'm as traditional as they come but, if you really read and think about what Fr. MJK contributes, it's solid, not scandalous, and not contradictory of our faith/precepts. It would seem there are some that do not wish to be reminded that the GIRM provides options - priests choose those upon which they wish to rely, the Church does not tell you who to vote for - it simply guides your conscience and no one here has ever declared their support for one Democratic candidate, or another. Let's be fair.

ByzRus said...

Fr. Fox,

Might I dare to take your argument one step farther and suggest it goes beyond like to love? If you don't like something, you aren't going to love it and you certainly won't take the time to use it, or participate in it.

Divine Liturgy for many Byzantines, certainly its priests, is just part of our DNA. We ooze it, we discuss it, its origins and meaning and for no apparent reason, I find myself reciting it in my head particularly during the day following attendance. I never got to that point with the Novus Ordo. It was just something I "had" to do under pain of sin. So, I would go and check the box. Often, I would catch my mind wandering thinking about the pancakes, or omelette that I was going to order after leaving. I don't do that with Divine Liturgy - it just resonates and feels like it's a living part of life. In the same way, I can see/understand why those who favor the TLM feel as they do, it just has an elegant, spiritual something to it that's engaging.

Pierre said...


I am as fair to Father Kavanaugh as he is to others with whom he disagrees. He admitted to rewording translations he does not like. He can’t properly translate them because of his unfamiliarity with Latin. Is that an option or a liturgical abuse?

ByzRus said...

Further to my earlier comment, the Novus Ordo gets the job done, so I therefore accept it. It does not, however, do that job in a way that I particularly like and in many instances (i.e. that FB page with the "ugly" churches that periodically are considered here) not in a setting I would otherwise choose to be in. Not liking it results in my not loving it. I suppose if I was still part of the Roman Church that would be my problem to deal with, but, it would seem that I am far from alone so, I can only reasonably conclude that it is not just me.

ByzRus said...


I'm not familiar with that particular scenario nor do I need to be. Obviously, knowledge of Latin has become an option. Other than the occasional reference to the Pater Noster, or standard prayers that can be learned through repetition etc., I never hear any kicked around on this blog. The next time someone tries to tell us that great party/bar joke about Maximus and Cassius in Latin, it had better come with a translation, or all you'll hear are crickets, not laughter.

Pierre said...


Priests are required to learn Latin to be ordained. Obviously this law has been ignored

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I have never said I translate prayers I don't like. Never. That is an intentional mischaracterization of what I have posted here numerous times.

I make adjustments, usually very slight, to the awkward word order in English that is the result of an attempt to maintain the syntactical style of the Latin prayers. I believe these make the meaning of the prayers clearer to an American English speaking congregation.

The collect of the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time is the best example:

O God, who show the light of your truth to those who go astray, so that they may return to the right path, give all who for the faith they profess are accounted Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever

O God, who show the light of your truth to those who go astray so that they may return to the right path, give all who profess the Christian faith the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ, and to strive after all that does it honor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

I admit that the Missal translation may be more "exact" in terms of the desire of Liturgiam Authenticam. I contend that the exact translation is unnecessarily awkward in a way that makes understanding the meaning of the prayer difficult to grasp on hearing. NOTE: on hearing, not reading, although I would contend reading the text doesn't necessarily help.

I would contend also that the meaning is not altered by the adjustment.

ByzRus said...


Regarding Fr. MJK's post @ 4:10, is this what you are concerned about? Perhaps, as suggested, it isn't "exact" but, I have to agree, from a listening perspective, I'd likely have a better shot at getting it in adjusted format. I'll not be rigid for a minute and suggest that I doubt the sacrament will be invalidated and the earth will not split open because of this slight adjustment.

Pierre said...

Father Kavanaugh,

You lack the authority to do so. It violates the very mandate of Sacrosanctum Concilium

rcg said...

Fr Kavanaugh, the original translation identifies the people who profess a Faith that identifies them as Christian in the minds of those while the second, translation of the translation, speaks of people who self-identify themselves as Christian. The first is a profession of Faith by action and life style while the second is merely a verbal proclamation. The first translation continues to implore the gift of Grace to reject *whatever* and strive after *all* which would include a total life commitment beyond verbal self identification as a Christian. I tried to find the prayer in Latin, but have given away my NO missal. Otherwise we could explore the Latin form to see what the intent was for the writer of that prayer.

Anonymous said...

That is not true, there are more US Catholics attending the N.O. Mass (even with dminished attendance) than all the folks attending the Latin Masses combined over the world. Why won't they publish that fact.

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

rcg, I see nothing in the adjusted text that indicates a "verbal profession" or a "verbal identification." If our lives are not professions of faith, then we are crying out, "Lord! Lord." And we know, "Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

One may profess one's faith by a way of life. I think of the adage, "Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words," often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

I use this very extensive compendium of mass texts often.

Anonymous said...

Did someone actually POST SOMETHING that said more people attend the Traditional Mass than the Novus Ordo? As much as many of us prefer the Traditional Mass, I think we would all agree that there is far more attendance at the Novus Ordo Masses--in many cases because that is all that is available.

The amazing thing about the Traditional Mass is how attendance continues to grow while Novus Ordo's trend continues to diminish. Even more amazing is that, at one point, there was only ONE bishop permitting this Mass in the entire world, Marcel Lefebvre. It has exploded from near extinction in a just a few years.

Luckylady said...

Fr K,

How much time, effort, stamina and mental energy do you sometimes give to this blog, say, over an average week?
If you do the same on other blogs then it must be like a real calling; even like a vocation?
And to go further, if your thousands of comments here over YEARS indicate something about your general outlook or even beliefs on everything from liturgy to church history, to church music and various "culture war" issues etc and so on..

How would you, Fr K, if you chose, summarise your online mission?
Not necessarily just as a priest, but perhaps also as a citizen of Biden and Co's USA and even as a man with a scientific background?

Please forgive me, Fr K, if this is little more than morbid feminine curiosity..
But I too have a mind, will AND an intellect formed at a great secular university and your decade long prominence on this blog occasionally even fascinates silly old me.

Regards and best wishes...

John Nolan said...

The Collect to which Fr Kavanaugh refers is in Latin:

Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis: da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini, et quae sunt apta sectari.

No translation can replicate the terseness of the Latin, so some paraphrase is inevitable. 'Da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur' is not easy to translate. 'Censentur' means 'are accounted' and it certainly implies that they are accounted as Christians by others. Yet the translation in my St Andrew Missal (3rd after Easter) has 'all those who profess themselves Christians' which is more or less what Fr Kavanaugh's rendition has.

The main problem with the 2011 ICEL version is in the second part of the prayer: 'the grace to reject what is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honour.' 'Huic nomini' surely refers to the name of Christian - 'christiana professione' in the ablative case. The 'traditional' translation is better: 'grant to all those who profess themselves Christians [the grace] to reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same.'

Although it is never a good idea to amend a translation without referring to the original, before people are too censorious of Fr K they might consider the version we had to endure for nigh on forty years.

'God our Father, your light of truth guides us to the way of Christ. May all who follow him reject what is contrary to the gospel.'

An innocuous little prayer but not the original Collect in either form or content.

rcg said...

John, thank you. That is the analysis I was looking to make.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Luckylady asks, "How much time, effort, stamina and mental energy do you sometimes give to this blog, say, over an average week?"

Time? Maybe 20 minutes. Maybe a little more if I have to go digging into internet archives. If I have to do that, I usually learn something along the way which may or may not be directly related to the topic of my original search.

Stamina? Virtually none.

Mental energy? Very little? Organizing my thoughts and putting them into writing comes very easily to me, always has. In college we were encouraged to go through what was, to me, the tedious and unnecessary process of writing a term paper involving library research, notes on index cards, organizing those cards into a pattern, writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing the paper before a final editing. I took notes, organizing my thoughts as I did so. Then I wrote the paper, edited it once - remember White-Out? - and was done. And I graduated with honors.

My investment would be, I suspect, FAR less than that of the Blog Owner.

And, "And to go further, if your thousands of comments here over YEARS indicate something about your general outlook or even beliefs on everything from liturgy to church history, to church music and various "culture war" issues etc and so on..

I don't know what, if anything, you are asking. Yes, my comments reflect my understanding of the Catholic faith, the role of the Church in culture, science, etc.

And, "How would you, Fr K, if you chose, summarise your online mission?"

I don't know that I have an "online mission." I comment on things that I think are interesting or intriguing, on things that are factually incorrect, on opinions that I share or do not share.

By the way, you are a citizen of the USA with our President Joseph Biden. Unless, of course, you are not a US citizen or you have renounced your citizenship and joined up with some other national entity.

Pierre said...

"Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the Liturgy on his own authority."

Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22.3

Tom Marcus said...

Lucky Lady and everyone else harassing Fr. Kavannaugh,

So we don't agree with him about everything? So what?

Just a warning: Most priests are more educated than we are. Some are even willing to use that education to "put us in our place".

I would strongly suggest that you leave Fr. K alone. You're just punching the "heavy bag" if you get my drift.

Pierre said...

Tom Marcus,

Wait until you are on the receiving end.
By the way he never referred to President Trump as “our president” if that gives you s clue

Tom Marcus said...

Uh, I HAVE been on the receiving end, under other monikers.

Father Kavanaugh may not be everyone's ideal of a pastor, but he is not as terrible as many here seem to think he is either. I stand by my words: Best to leave him alone.

John Nolan said...


You have to distinguish between what Fr Kavanaugh posts under his real name and what he posts under Anonymous or a bewildering array of constantly changing pseudonyms. Recently I had an online conversation with him concerning spelling and etymology. Despite starting off under his real name he continued the exchange using a pseudonym and Anonymous. What he intends to achieve by this is anyone's guess.

After ten years I have come to recognize various traits, to whit:

1. Ignoring the main thrust of the argument and focussing on nonessential details.
2. Attributing arguments to his interlocutor which they have not actually made.
3. Assuming that he can read the mind of his interlocutor.
4. Assuming that he knows whether his interlocutor has strong prejudices or feelings.
5. Over-use of direct address, often capitalized: YOU say this because YOU ...
6. Employment of analogies which are nearly always inapt.
7. Parading of an inferiority complex which resents the fact that some people are more intelligent and/or better informed than he is.

I could go on, but you get my drift.

D. Day said...

"Therefore everyone has the right to possess a sufficient amount of the earth’s goods for themselves and their family. This has been the opinion of the Fathers and Doctors of the church, who taught that people are bound to come to the aid of the poor and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods.

Persons in extreme necessity are entitled to take what they need from the riches of others. Faced with a world today where so many people are suffering from want, the council asks individuals and governments to remember the saying of the Fathers: “Feed the people dying of hunger, because if you do not feed them you are killing them,” and it urges them according to their ability to share and dispose of their goods to help others, above all by giving them aid which will enable them to help and develop themselves." Gaudium et spes, #69

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Like many blogs, this one is often an echo chamber in which some people are unhappy or threatened or bothered when someone offers and alternate opinion or disagreement.

This is, unfortunately, quite typical across our culture these days. If you say, "I don't agree and here's why" or "I think you're wrong and here's why" or "You really have your facts wrong, here are the real facts," you will be greeted with "You Hater!" or "You're a modernist!" or "You're a troll!' or my favorite, "Why don't you start you own blog!?"

There are certainly blogs and places where this does not happen, so I don't despair that civil dialogue can take place and that it will win the day.

To that end, I am initiating an ecumenical gathering of local pastors, face to face, to discuss our common struggle with presenting our faiths in a milieu that is predominantly consumerist, "I-Want-What-I-Want-Because-I-Pay-For-It" circumstances.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan, who thinks very highly of himself, of course, gets to determine the "proper" thrust of any conversation in which he is a participant. What he wants to discuss can't give way to what he dismisses as nonessential details.

John Nolan, of course, makes his preferences well known, but then complains when others claim to know them.

John Nolan, of course, makes his perferences well known, but then complains when others are "reading his mind" when they note them.

Diitto..., but them complains when other recognize his strong feelings or emotions.

John Nolan, of course, gets to determine when something such as direct address is "overused."

John Nolan disapproves of analogies, saying they are "inapt" when they show weaknesses in his positions or arguments.

John Nolan assumes that because he knows many things, he can claim that those who know less than he have inferiority complexes and are resentful of his education.

I could go on...

ByzRus said...

Folks, say what you will, make judgements that seem uncharitable and unsolicited however, I think the only thing Fr. MJK is guilty of is making others think.

Tom Marcus said...


Can we please stop attacking each other? If it's not bad enough to presume we know how or what other people think, we have to publicly ridicule them for it too? It's one thing to ridicule a policy or a movement, but this is getting way too personal. Please stop. Everybody doesn't think the same way I do. Not everyone thinks the same way you do. Can we focus on the issues and not each other?

Please stop telling ANYONE how to think. That's not persuasion. If nothing else, the Holy Father gave us a great example of how NOT to win people to your way of thinking. Let's learn the lesson and stop following his example.

Pierre said...

Anonymous and Father Kavanaugh,

You're no match for John Nolan, period.

Ecumenism is an interesting diversion when your house is burning down. Maybe you can talk to them about their reaction to the Pope's latest cruelty, his jihad against the EF and the people who actually believe the Catholic Faith.

Pierre said...

Tom Marcus,

You are displaying more charity than he does. Would that he would heed your words. He won't

Luckylady said...


Thank you for your response. I think your many students over many years have been very lucky to have had you as a teacher.

To digress a little, my education many years ago was mainly in art history, visual arts and film studies and it is my husband who attended a school where Latin and history were still taught in the old way - and it was he who went on study those "modern greats" - politics, philosophy and economics...

Tom and Fr K,

I have heard it said: context is everything.
To state the obvious - the context here is a blog, so let's not get carried away.

Yes, it is a Catholic blog. So I'll add something personal, OK?
I was baptised and raised Protestant. I married a Catholic, but did not become Catholic, or was not received into the Catholic Church until shortly after the birth of my first child.
The decade, in which I was received into the Church involved instruction, confessions and homilies etc from a variety of Catholic priests - and this has, I think, given me a perspective on the Church and the priesthood not many have.

My husband who is older, a cradle Catholic etc, (formed as a Catholic decades before me) and I have never been citizens of the USA. But my husband has had some dealings with various US company men before retirement - and I suppose all that has influenced his perspective?

To finish, we also follow Fr Hunwicke's blog. And Fr Allen's blog and blogs like Fr Hunwicke's have helped me and taught me quite a lot. For example, the way Fr H understands and explains what it means "to play the man" in arguments and debates - especially as occurs on blogs - has given me much to reflect on...

Best wishes and regards...

Anonymous said...

Fr K,
This blog too has also, at times, served as an echo chamber for you and "others" who agree with and are roughly aligned with you, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Taylor Marshall has quoted a priest friend:

Yes, the Mass of Paul VI is valid... But what would one think of a man and his marriage if when asked re his marriage, he replied - "Yes. My marriage is valid." ?

John Nolan said...

Mike - Give it a rest. You are simply making a fool of yourself (in your case it's easy enough to do since you are more than half way there already). 'John Nolan this, John Nolan that, splutter splutter'.

Si calorem non toleras, e cucina permane.

Tom Marcus said...

I LOVE that Taylor Marshall quote! Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

John - Give it a rest. We all know you think you're the cat's meow and TJM/Paris Pete has already jumped in to sound "All Glory, Laud, and Honor."

I actually enjoy the heat in here, as do you, and I'm a pretty good cook, to boot.

Luckylady said...

Dear "anonymous" at 4.07,

I actually grew up without modern heating in our poor family's kitchen...
Oh, where was I...
Anon, would you like to share some good traditional Lenten recipes with me?

My lentil soup sipped with a golden spoon is also "the cat's meow", if I understand what you mean by that gem of an expression...but my favourite is serving up a monastic type vegetable soup during Lent and each Friday.

Bye for now, dear...

Anonymous said...


My tastes are also mostly eclectic!
In my travels for my company I have come to appreciate many cuisines and for entertainment: everything from ballet to belly dancing!

Now where was I?...

Oh, back to something tastes, my humble preferences re good liturgy are not so eclectic.


Pierre said...

Anonymous at 4:07 pm,

Your speciality appears to be thin gruel

Pierre said...

Anonymous at 4:07 pm,

I would have chanted Te Laudamus - something you could not appreciate

Anonymous said...

Paris Pete, "But ya didn't, Blanche, ya didn't."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anorther example of an adjustment that leads to greater clarity in a prayer to be heard by an American English speaking congregation:

Preface VIII Sundays in Ordinary Time, Missal:
"For when your children were scattered afar by sin,
through the Blood of your Son and the power of the Spirit,
you gathered them again to yourself,
that a people, formed as one by the unity of the Trinity,
made the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit,
might, to the praise of your manifold wisdom,
be manifest as the Church."

Sunday Preface VIII Adjusted:
"For when your children were scattered afar by sin,
you gathered them again to yourself
through the Blood of your Son and the power of the Spirit,
that a people, formed as one by the unity of the Trinity,
made the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit,
might, to the praise of your manifold wisdom,
be manifest as the Church."

The repositioning of lines 2 and 3 makes, to my ear and to others in the American English speaking world,makes the meaning clearer. Maintaining Latin syntax is not always the best rule for translating the prayers into English.

Pierre said...

Father Kavanaugh,

You still lack the authority to do so. Vatican II and all of that.

ByzRus said...

I'm neither a Latinist nor the best writer however, as I understand word order to not be as significant in Latin, why would a slight reordering be problematic here? To me, the meaning is the same. Perhaps, "through the Blood etc" loses a bit of emphasis, but, maybe not.

John Nolan said...

The Latin reads:

Quia filios, quos longe peccati crimen abstulerat, per sanguinem Filii tui Spiritusque virtute, in unum ad te denuo congregare voluisti: ut ...

Prefaces are meant to be sung, and since the main clause beginning 'quia' is 'in unum ... voluisti' it makes sense for the musical cadence to be placed after it. The same applies to the chant in English, although for some reason 'voluisti' (you willed) is left untranslated although it is the main verb.

If the Preface is merely spoken, Fr K's version makes no difference to the meaning, although the main problem for his American English speaking congregation would surely be the lengthy clause beginning 'that ...'. The pre-2011 translation of the main body of the Preface is more idiomatic but no less accurate. If you discount the openings and conclusions, ICEL 1973 didn't make a bad job of the Prefaces (unlike the Collects) but they're less easy to sing.

The current version maintains the form of the original (not the syntax, since Latin and English syntax are not remotely compatible) not least, as I said, because it is intended to be sung.

Should Fr K wish to share with us any more of his 'adjustments' I would be happy to comment on them.

John Nolan said...

I would like to add a rider to the above. When Fr Kavanaugh posts under his own name he makes valid points which may be open to dispute, but which are certainly worth considering. If he sees a pastoral necessity for slightly altering texts which are simply translations in the first place, then good luck to him.

He is not using translation as a way of altering the meaning of a text to suit a particular theological position. Yves Congar was hardly a conservative but even he was appalled by what the French bishops did regarding the translation of the post-V2 books.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - Liturgiam Authenticam makes reference to syntax - the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences - five times. I found no use of the word "form" in that way.

See #20, #47, Section B Heading, #57, and #59.

John Nolan said...

Mike - We've been down this road before. Latin is a highly inflected language; English is not. English cannot replicate Latin syntax or word order, as I have pointed out to you many times. Can you give me a single instance where, in the revised translation, it does so?

Since you, on your own admission, do not celebrate Mass in Latin, and therefore never use the original text of the Novus Ordo, you would not be in a position to appreciate that the Latin of the Mass is not all in one style. Scripture follows the Vulgate of St Jerome, who could have used a strict classical form but chose not to do so (note how he renders indirect speech). The Canon uses a rhetorical style that owes a lot to pagan examples but has actually carried over into English. For example, the 'rule of three' as in 'haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia illibata' and 'hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam' is used by Abraham Lincoln in what is regarded as one of the greatest pieces of English prose - 'we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow' and 'of the people, by the people, for the people'. He wasn't copying Latin syntax, and neither was ICEL when it produced the recent translation.

The orations (Collects etc.) are in a more 'classical' or 'secretarial' style. The Latin is so terse that it is not easy to translate, but the translator needs somehow to convey the style or form while using the syntax of the target language. Prefaces use a more florid and lapidary form which often conveys a number of ideas; Sequences use the form of medieval Latin poetry and are comparatively late additions.

I get the impression that somewhere along the line you have read a critique of the revised translation (which isn't perfect, by any means) that lays the blame on LA and ever since you have been cherry-picking that document to convince yourself that it mandates the impossible, namely the imposition of Latin syntax on English. It does nothing of the sort.

Pierre said...

John Nolan,

Thank you for that explanation. Although I know Latin, more or less, I never reflected upon the various writing styles contained in the texts of the Mass.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - Yes, we have been down this road. And I have, before, referenced the portions of LA that speak to the preference for maintaining the Latin syntax in the English translations.

Yes, there are considerable difference between Latin syntax and English syntax. That is precisely what makes the attempts to mimic the syntactical style of Latin so awkward in the English texts.

And, John, you cannot "get impressions" from what I write if I and others cannot "get impressions" from what you write.

No, I have not "cherry picked" LA. I cited EVERY use of the term syntax in the document.

Pierre said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Since you do not know Latin how would you even know the Latin syntax versus the vernacular unless you are relying on third party critiques of LA?

John Nolan said...

Mike - None of the references to syntax in LA 'speak to the preference for maintaining the Latin syntax'. Section 20 says the vocabulary, syntax and style (of the translation) should produce 'a flowing vernacular text suitable to the rhythn of popular prayer'. No mention of attempting to mimic the syntax of the original. Section 47 talks of a 'sacral vernacular' with 'a vocabulary, syntax and grammar proper to divine worship'. Again, it is the syntax of the target language which is being referred to.

I am aware that many people wanted a vernacular which mimicked everyday speech and was readily comprehensible even by children and the feeble-minded; they also wanted so-called 'inclusive' language. Accurate translation would prevent texts being altered to suit the translators' theological preferences. Hence the unpopularity of LA in some quarters.

An example of Latin syntax: Gratiam tuam, quaesumus Domine, mentibus nostris infunde ...' Note that the object is placed first and the verb last; that 'tuam' and 'nostris' follow the nouns, and there are no prepositions. English translation: 'Pour forth, we beseech thee O Lord, thy grace into our hearts.' Strictly speaking, 'mens, mentis' means 'mind' but the translator has used a bit of licence here. But the syntax is very different.

To carry your point, you would have to give examples of texts rendered 'awkward' because of the influence of Latin syntax, so fire away.

'Syntactical style' is a misnomer, by the way - syntax and style are separate entities.

Pierre said...

John Nolan,

I doubt he will come back unless he enlists a true Latinist to help him but Cardinal Bacchi and Father Reggie are deceased

Pierre said...

John Nolan,

I was typing to fast. I meant Cardinal Bacci

John Nolan said...

He could enlist Boris Johnson who narrowly missed a first in Greats at Oxford and once wrote a leading article for the Daily Telegraph entirely in Latin.

I suspect he will come back with something along the lines of 'I don't have to provide evidence for my propositions just because John Nolan expects me to, any more than I need to explain to John Nolan my reasons for posting under a variety of pseudonyms or anonymously'.

He's nothing if not predictable.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I have provided examples. Collect for 15th Sunday and Sunday Ordinary Time Preface 8. The attempt to maintain the syntax - word and phrase order - leads to awkward English. "Mimic" is a word/concept you have introduced.

Syntax and style not separate entities. They are parts of a whole - a prayer offered to God and meant to be heard and understood for the sanctification of the people.

Jedi Master Yoda had a certain style that was marked by a characteristic syntax, For example: "Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” It is a cute, maybe endearing style, but not the best for communication through ears that "unfamilar with it are."

"Feeble-minded" is a rather nasty bit of an attempt at a put-down. Does using it make you feel better?

Pierre said...

Fr. K,

You never answered my question. How can you comment on the differences in syntax between Latin and English when you admit you do not know the mother tongue of your Rite? Please do not answer through one of your numerous noms de plume

John Nolan said...

Mike - You wrote, only yesterday: 'That is precisely what makes the attempts to mimic the syntactical style of Latin so awkward in the English texts'. Now you write: '"Mimic" is a word/concept you have introduced'. I know you don't read my posts, but it would appear you don't even read your own.

I have commented at length on the Collect and Preface you have 'adjusted' and agreed that your changes are minor and don't alter the meaning. However, if you compare the Latin and English versions, it is plain that the 'word and phrase order' is not maintained, otherwise the opening would indeed resemble the syntax of the Jedi Master: 'O God, who to those who go astray, so that to the right path they may be able to return, of your truth the light show ...'

But it doesn't go that way, does it? As for the Preface, the line 'Quia filios, quos longe peccati crimen abstulerat' (For, when your children were scattered afar by sin) would have to be rendered thus: 'For your children, whom afar of sin the offence had scattered'. Preposterous, you will agree.

There's no point in citing examples which far from supporting your argument, actually undermine it.

Pierre said...

John Nolan,

Mike does not know Latin yet he keeps arguing with you as if he did. Very perplexing. Well, not really

John Nolan said...

There is nothing to prevent separate entities being parts of a whole. Vocabulary and syntax are not the same thing, and style (or form) is something distinct from either. To baldly state that syntax and style are not separate entities is simply untrue. Covering up your mistakes by inventing excuses for them is not convincing. Better to admit your error and move on.

Unfortunately your whole argument is flawed, since while you are conversant with English syntax, you are largely ignorant of Latin, and therefore cannot produce parallel texts for comparison, which would be necessary to support your proposition. So you end up simply repeating a fallacy.

A good translator, regardless of what language he is translating from, tries to convey (as far as is feasible) the style of the original, despite the fact he is using a different syntax, grammar and vocabulary.