Milwaukee Priests Upset With New Translation

Some exerpts:

*“For some people this will be very unsettling,” said Father Ken Smits, a Capuchin priest and liturgical scholar who is troubled by the move away from the vernacular to a more stilted, “sacralizing” language.

“The real concern is among the parish priests, who will have to explain something many of them are not in favor of,” said Smits. “They’d much rather spend their time in ministry than have to go through this linguistic exercise.”*

How unsettling was the Novus Ordo when it came into being?
The official language of the Church is “stilted”?
A priest doesn’t want to spend time on the liturgy?

*The new translation introduces more formal, rarefied language into the liturgy. But Cooper and others who have studied drafts say it ignores English grammar and syntax and introduces terms - “consubstantial,” “oblation,” “ignominy,” to mention a few - unfamiliar to many American Catholics. And some worry it will sow division in the pews.

“You can call it whatever you like, but it’s not English,” said Cooper.

“The language of prayer is supposed to be evocative, graceful, uplifting,” he said. “This reads like clunk-clunk-clunk-bang-boom.”*

There are many fundamentals of Catholic doctrine and dogma that became rarified since V2. I’m glad Fr Cooper understands Latin is not English though.

“The bottom line for me is why. Why, with everything else that’s going on in the church, do we have to rub salt in the wounds?”

Why was the Novus Ordo implemented? V2 didn’t call for a new Mass and actually said Latin was to be retained.

If the good Father believes that consubstantial reads like clunk-clunk-clunk-bang-boom perhaps he might be in need of advanced training in phonics.

Someone needs to tell these dudes that;

  • A part of a Priest’s ministry is to educate, so while educating you’re still doing “ministry”. And if you really don’t like it (or simply don’t have the time), ask an educated layperson to do it.

  • In comparison to other other languages the English version DOES need some work. My wife, who knows French, tells me the new English translation will be much closer to the current French (and that means much closer to the original Latin).

On a purely intellectual level the new translation only makes sense. Catholicism is an intellectual faith, and as such it means we should have accurate translations.

Oh boo hoo. That’s not what they said 40 years ago.

as someone who attends both rites of the Mass, i can infer that it must have been very unsettling when the switch occured

For liberals, maybe?

I’m w/ Sir Francis Drake: Disturb us, Lord!

While it might be tempting for those of us who are of an age to remember the ‘change’ in the 1960s from Latin to vernacular. . .

Let’s take the Christian attitude toward these men.

No matter how wrong we may feel their thinking in this regard to be (and yes, I do feel that they are wrong in their conclusions). . .let’s not assume that they have come to those conclusions from unworthy and hateful motives.

Let us rather demonstrate what we wish had been demonstrated to us some 40 and more years ago. . .charitable understanding.

So instead of “how’d ya like it NOW boys” directed to these priests, how about something like this:

"Dear Fathers:

God bless you for your priestly service and ministry to others.

Thank you for bringing your worries on the subject in the open. This will help your fellow priests and bishops who have been working (with you) on the subject of the new translation to have further teaching and dialogue. Hopefully all will come to a better understanding, and this of course will help you to help us, the laity, to a better understanding as well.

Dear Fathers, please remember that it is impossible that ‘all’ will be pleased. For many decades, many of your fellow priests as well as the laity have not been ‘pleased’ with much that you may have been pleased with. Now, if it has come to a point where you, dear Fathers, face something which you are not pleased with, but which pleases others, as St. Paul has asked of us, it is time for you to ‘sacrifice’ in the name of what Holy Mother Church requires of you.

This will not be easy. It certainly was not easy for us. But if, dear Fathers, what you desire is God’s will for us, it will not be ‘lost’ forever. If what you desire is, OTOH, despite its ‘dearness’ to you, not what God wills, then it is better far for you to lose it lest it become more dear to you than God Himself.

One reason that the new translation is taking such ‘time’ is that all have learned, dear Fathers, that ‘quick’ change, without explanation, is harmful.

But ‘slow’ change and explanation do not mean that one ‘stonewalls’ and refuses to change simply because one isn’t ‘rushed’. And words of regret need to be made with humility and resignation, not with pride and defiance, especially when they are spoken by those to whom we look as leaders.

May God be with you always. Again we thank you and we pray for you, and we ask your prayers for all of us. . .that we may all be ONE in Christ, and He be One in us."


No. The word “consubstantial” means “of one substance” (which is the way the interim translation used in the 1960s was worded). It is perfectly orthodox, and is as close to an exact rendering of the Latin as possible. It has absolutely nothing to do with the the heretical concept of “consubstantiation” espoused by Luther.

okay my bad, no need for the heavy text. wasn’t trying to upset

No harm done, it was a simple misunderstanding.

I was only referring to an example the Father used. Consubstantial, along with oblation and ignominy. Only one sounded closest to clunk-clunk-clunk-bang-boom. :smiley:


“Consubstantial” is basically an untranslated word.

con (with)
+sub (under)
+stantis, past participle of stare, to stand

The more we retain the Latin, the better, in my opinion.

Good comments.

But it did call for

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Wherefore, in the revision of the liturgy, the following general norms should be observed:
34. The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation.

It would be difficult to retain the TLM and follow that item of the CSL.
That said, I grew up with the TLM and can understand why some want to see it celebrated more often and in more parishes. Given a choice I would opt for a Missa Cantata over an OF Mass but would not opt for a Low Mass over an OF Mass.

And were those objectives met so that now everyone understands the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence much better? :slight_smile:

Admittedly there are certain useless repetitions in the EF (primarily in the communion rite) but the short-lived (and ill-fated) “interim Missal of 1965” dealt with them rather painlessly. The remainder of what that document says is really quite relative. Irrespective of language (I’m not going into the Latin argument here), is the OF (aka Novus Ordo) more “clear” or more “noble” than the EF? When one considers the fact that the focus of the two is so vastly different, the answer has to be “no.”

I agree (although my first choice is always missa solemnis) but would opt for a missa recitata over the usual OF. While it has a certain appeal, Low Mass has always been at the bottom of my list, too.

Oh don’t be cute :stuck_out_tongue:

I know. For the record, I wasn’t the one that thought it sounded like clunk-clunk-clunk-bang-boom. Thanks all the same. :thumbsup:

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