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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hello Mr. Chips! (via Benedict XVI)

Although it pains me to post above such good press, the publication of Sacramentum caritatis deserves a wide and generous reading. There is so much good fruit here that it is a shame to focus on only one aspect, but I will leave deeper theological and existential reflections to my more learned colleagues. (Notably, one should take care to read the clarification of "actuosa participatio"--the oft-cited "active participation" of the faithful at Mass--in that it clears up the misconception that the sixties crowd has of banjos and birkenstocks on the altar.) For me, of particular interest is the section on the Latin language.
The Latin language

62. None of the above observations should cast doubt upon the importance of such large-scale liturgies. I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions. In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church's tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung. Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)
It looks like Mr. Chips has returned and Joseph Ratzinger is one of his star pupils! Eia ergo!


UPDATE: At the time I posted on the Apostolic Exhortation, I only read the English rendering of the document. Shame on me for not reflexively questioning whether the "could be celebrated" in paragraph 62 was accurate according to the authoritative Latin edition. I apologize to our beloved readers who rightly expect more. (Cut me some slack...I was traveling!) Nonetheless, Uncle Di--another student of Mr. Chips--has opined wisely on the matter. Reproduced here is his analysis:

There's an interesting discussion bouncing around the blogs concerning a faulty rendering of a word in the English translation of Pope Benedict's apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist -- a fault that, in the circumstances, is just a little too tendentious to be accidental. It concerns the desirability of a modest expansion of the use of the Latin in the Mass in case of liturgies held at large international gatherings. Here's the text we were offered (§62):

In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies [i.e., large-scale or international liturgies] could be celebrated in Latin.

"Could be"? Could be. But it ain't:

Ad melius ostendendam unitatem et universalitatem Ecclesiae, cupimus commendare suasiones Synodi Episcoporum, consonantes cum normis Concilii Vaticani II: exceptis lectionibus, homilia et oratione fidelium,
aequum est ut huiusmodi celebrationes fiant lingua Latina

Latin aequum (in the expression aequum est) is translated by the Lewis & Short lexicon as "right, proper, reasonable."


Read the rest here.

UPDATE II: Uncle Di points out another significant portion that "got lost in translation":

The passage in question is the one in which the Holy Father highlights the necessity for Catholics in public life to adopt stands consistent with Church teaching. That paragraph (83) concludes, in the Latin:

Obligantur Episcopi ut sine intermissione haec iterent praecepta; eorum pars enim est muneris erga sibi creditum gregem.

Here's Father Z's translation:

Bishops are under the obligation to repeat these precepts without ceasing; for this is part of their duty toward the flock entrusted to them.
And here's the official translation:

Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them.


Kudos to Fr. Zuhlsdorf for expert philological skills.

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