Friday, 21 January 2011

New Roman Missal for Canada-II

A response has been received to my letter to the General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the implementation of the Missale Romanum 2002 in its corrected translation. The response indicates that there has been very recent "communication" and that there there is "nothing out of the ordinary" (I think there is a pun there somewhere) about the request for recognitio for Canada. The response indicates that the time taken by the Congregation is not "out of the ordinary" and that it has provoked "concern over the time factor" involved in preparation of the Missal and proper implementation.

Then why the delay? We have no reason to doubt the response from the secretariat at the CCCB that there is nothing out of the "ordinary" requested for Canada, then why is Rome delaying the approval for Canada?

Perhaps my concern or even cynicism is justified given the promotion being given to this Missal by Cardinal Pell in Australia and the USCCB on its web page and catechetical programs. In fact, it has just been announced that the new Roman Missal will be implemented in September 2011 in the United Kingdom. How can this important matter for the Catholic Church in Canada be so ignored?

Surely, the delay cannot be the Proper of Saints for Canada, for example, a feast day for Blessed Laval? How long could it possibly take to translate the Proper for Canadian Saints? On the other hand, if the CCCB has asked Rome to reassign January 6 so that it is not the Feast of St. Andre (as this is actually Epiphany!) that might be a good thing.

This delay certainly leads to questions of what exactly the Canadian bishops have asked for that could be so hard to grant a recognitio. While there is apparently "nothing out of the ordinary" what could be the hold up? One does not wish to be suspicious but, when one can read a document such as this where the CCCB rejects the GIRM until there is a new Missal in French. If this still applies then it is unacceptable:

The Roman Missal instituted by Pope Paul VI issued in 1970 was modified slightly by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and promulgated for use throughout the world in its Latin original. In 2002, the Holy Father issued the instruction, Liturgiam Authenticum, on how the new Missal was to be translated to the vernacular languages. Did you get that? Pope John Paul II issued a new Missal for Mass in 2000 and you still don't have it in your parish! It has taken a decade to translate properly in accord with Liturgiam Authenticum as opposed to the interpretation used in 1970 which was not a translation faithful to the Latin original and often, paraphrased. You may already know that the people's response will change from "and also with you" which is surely a redundant statement to, "and with your spirit" which is not only a direct translation of "et cum spiritu tuo" but also, scriptural. You may even know that you will be saying, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed" which is also scriptural. But did you know this?

The Fourth Sunday of Advent Opening Prayer which will gratefully be called the Collect (accent on the first syllable) is as follows:

COLLECT; MISSALE ROMANUM 1970/2002: Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris ut que, Angelo Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur; per eundum...

OPENING PRAYER; 1970 Missal: Lord, fill our hearts with your love, and as you revealed to us by an angel the coming of your Son as man, so lead us through his suffering and death to the glory of his resurrection, through...

COLLECT; 2000 Missal Correctly Translated: Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection; through...

Who knew that the "opening prayer" for the Fourth Sunday of Advent was actually the Angelus Prayer? I shall save the polemics that we, as Catholics, were robbed of this beautiful prayer or how anyone could possibly have thought in 1970 that these are from the same originating Latin and that the first example above used for 40 years was actually a translation. .

As for Catholics in Canada we are no less intelligent or desirous of this accurate translation than those in the U.S. or U.K. We have the right and expectation to this language of worship and correct translation of the Roman Missal and both the CCCB and the Congregation in Rome must move this forward without further delay.

The entire Missal is available here for all to read;

Blogs, EWTN, social media such as Facebook, are all accessible and Catholics are becoming better educated and aware. Imagine the confusion that is going to take place as Catholics travel or watch Mass on EWTN or a Papal Mass in English and find that we in Canada are not in harmony with the universal Church. Has anyone considered the poor parish pastor and how he is going to explain why Canadians are so out of step? Frankly, the “printers” delay is not an excuse. If necessary, the corrected translation can be implemented through PDF’s until Missals are printed as I seem to recall a similar method being used once before up to 1974.

There are glaring examples of the Church in Canada being out of harmony with the Holy See and I recall two examples; the Winnipeg Statement and the NRSV implementation without approval; the Catholic in me wants to see something different in this regard, the cynic is not so sure he is going to.


Pascendi said...


You are to be commended for shining the light of truth on this potential crisis.

Kevin said...

The Quebecois French dialect is significantly different from that of the rest of the French speaking world, (it followed a North American, rather than French linguistic development after its introduction in Canada centuries ago). Revised translations into the Quebecois and the French dialects would be significantly different, I assume. I believe there are significant differences in usage and idiom. Could this be related to the delay? Since Canada has two official languages, could it be that the Bishops desire to introduce the new missal in Canada in both languages simultaneously and the translations into Quebecois French are now affecting that date?

Vox Cantoris said...


The link above certainly gives me cause for concern.

I have been told by a priest friend that he was told that one off the complications for Canada is the desire to implement both the English and French translations of the Missal at the same time. htis is consistent with the link on the CCCB web page. This is especially true for those dioceses that have bilingual parishes, I can think here of Pembroke and Ottawa in particular and that this is one of the complications effecting the Canadian situation.

If this is the case, then where is the blame? Is it in Ottawa at the CCCB for demanding this or is in Rome for not recognising it as a problem and getting on with it?

Either way, as an English-speaking Catholic in Canada it is unacceptable!

Kevin said...

Hmm. So I seem to have hit on something? I wonder what happens in places like India where there are, I believe, 22 official languages. I agree that I don't understand why English speakers would have to be delayed in using the new translation while another language's translation "gates" its introduction. On the other hand, I could conceive of pastoral considerations, particularly in bilingual(-ish) parishes. Whatever happens next, "never waste your suffering" as Pope John Paul II once said to one of his own Polish cardinals complaining of his suffering from a broken leg. I do believe the Mystical Bride of Christ is wise. We who champ at the bit for change, no matter how positive or corrective, may have to just champ a little longer (*sigh*). No wonder change happens so slowly in the Church!

Anonymous said...

Canada is bilingual: french and english. Not quebecois french and english. When you look at the official bilingual documents of the federal government, you will find pure french, not quebecois french. Historically and currently, there are thousands of french-speaking people in Canada who have nothing to do with Quebec. New Brunswick is an officially bilingual province because of its Acadian population. In fact, I daresay that the Acadian Catholics of the Maritime provinces have remained much more united to the Church than our Quebecois Catholics. They will probably be getting more use out of their new french missals than their neighbours in Quebec.