Roman Missal[1]

 

The Sixteenth Century “project of allowing the Bible to speak in the language of the mother in the house, the children in the street and the cheese monger in the marketplace was met with stiff opposition by certain Catholic polemists, such as Johann Eck, Luther’s protagonist at the Leipzig Debate of 1519.”  So writes Timothy George in the latest volume of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture.[2]  It seems to me that such polemists still exist in the Roman Catholic Church.  The recently imposed illiterate 2011 Missal makes the point.

The 2011 Missal clouds and befuddles the mind.  This is in line with the warning of Isaiah,[3] in that the Missal is fundamentally illiterate.  The following comments relate Sacred Scripture, modern psychology, and the behavior of the hierarchy, especially the Vatican.  They lead to a strategy for dealing with abuse.

Because of his involvement with both the illiterate 2011 Missal and the forthcoming Lectionary, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans looks like a major part of the problem.  There is evidence, however, that he might become a major part of the solution because “L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English,” reports he said,[4]  “As indicated in Vatican II, the laity has an important role in the Church . . .   Movements and associations that call other people to a deeper understanding of Christ and the teachings of the Church are to be applauded.”  The aim in publishing these Notes is to “call other people to a deeper understanding of Christ and the teachings of the Church.”  I hope the good Archbishop means what he is saying.

The psychology therapist, Susan Forward, offers insight for dealing with the problematic Missal.  In 1989, Susan Forward published the New York Times best seller, Toxic Parents:  Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life.[5]  The following remedy applies what Susan Forward says about biological parents to religious institutional parents, namely the Church. 

Just as the abuse of toxic biological parents embarrasses the family, so does the abuse of toxic institutional parents, like the Church.  For example, in apparent embarrassment, the narrative for the 2011 National Black Catholic Survey omits whether people were  “Unhappy With Way Religion Treats Women.”[6]  Abused people with independent sources of income are able to disengage the abuse of toxic parents.

To object effectively to abuse and to heal psychological wounds, the Faithful, as children, must bring the hurt out in the open and confront their toxic religious institutional parents.  The toxic parents then have three choices:  1. Total denial and excommunication from the current relationship; 2. Acceptance that their behavior hurts with a determination to change that hurtful behavior; 3. A combination and modification of 1 and 2.  As far as the healing process is concerned, it does not matter how the toxic parents react.  At the point of confrontation and disengagement, the next step in healing can occur, no matter what the toxic parents do.  That is the spirit of what follows in these Personal Notes.

The problem of religious institutional toxicity coalesces in the anti-intellectual principles used to translate the current mess, in the deeply contradictory Liturgiam Authenticam.  An anonymous article explains where the Vatican stands, “ . . .  we don’t need any linguists to tell us how to translate:  we’re the Church!”[7]  After recognizing that when the Vatican makes things uncomfortable for them, for example by still holding up the hymnal designed to accompany the 2011 Missal,[8] the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is in a position to make things similarly uncomfortable for the Vatican.  The Vatican relies on the USCCB for its budget.

The USCCB can do three things to expose and counterbalance the anti-intellectual Liturgiam Authenticam.  First, the USCCB can clear the way for scholarship by insisting that the administration of The Catholic University of America get itself removed from the censured list of The American Association of University Professors (AAUP).  All this requires is agreement to listen before firing a professor, because the administration objects to what a professor is teaching.  There is no moral conflict between AAUP principles of academic freedom and Catholic theological principles of dogma.  Listening helps, rather than hinders, the development of Church dogma.

Second, the USCCB can restore its support for the Catholic Biblical Association of America (CBA).  The CBA used to be able to fund biblical scholarship because of revenue coming from the use of its translations.  The USCCB could restore the relationship between funding good scholarship and offering a Missal in standard American English.

Third, the USCCB can protect the Society of Jesus in the United States from Vatican interference with its editorial policies at Theological Studies.  Theology is an important corrective to misunderstood dogma trapped in medieval ignorance.  Sound theology is essential to sound prayer as presented in the illiterate 2011 Missal and the forthcoming Lectionary.

As noted above, the new 2011 Missal would be comedic if the administration were not insisting that pile of words constitutes a translation of Latin.  Such insistence makes the entire translation production a tragedy. In this case, we pray that the toxic institutional hierarchy takes pity on the rest of the Faithful.  In the words of Saint Anslem of Canterbury (1033-1109), it is the work of faith seeking understanding.[9] 

 

I. Introduction

 

II. Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)

 

A. Missal:      Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord, so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race is with you in your glory, may experience as he promised, until the end of the world, his abiding presence among us.  Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever [sic] and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:  Supplicatiónibus nostris, Dómine, adésto propítius, ut, sicut humáni géneris Salvatórem tecum in tua crédimus maiestáte, ita eum usque ad consummatiónem saeculi manére nobíscum, sicut ipse promísit, sentiámus.  Qui tecum.

 

To make them easier to find, Personal Notes repeats the Revised Prayers on the last page, 11/11.  Only the most hearty souls will want to plow through the preceding Appendix (see the heading on page 6/11), week after week, after identifying more and more repetitious nonsense.

 

C. Revised:   Lord, hear our prayer.  We believe that Jesus is the savior of the world and that he is with you, in your glory.  Enable us to experience the presence of Jesus in our lives.  Increase our Faith so that we may share in his eternal life.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

D. Comment: The Appendix, pages 6-10/11, explains single-spaced material in bold print.

 

III. Prayer after Communion

 

A. Missal:      Hear us, O God our savior, and grant us confidence, that through these sacred mysteries there will be accomplished in the body of the whole Church what has already come to pass in Christ her Head.  Who lives and reigns for ever [sic] and ever.

 

 

B. Italian Latin:   Exáudi nos, Deus, salutáris noster, ut per haec sacrosánta mystéria in totíus Ecclésiae confidámus córpore faciéndum, quod eius praecéssit in cápite.  Per Christum.

 

C. Revised:   God, our Father, be our savior through the help of the mysteries and prayers associated with the Holy Eucharist.  Give us Faith, protect us from sin, and save us from all evil.  Allow us to abide in Jesus Christ in the life he lives and reigns with you forever.  Amen.

D. Comment: none.

 

For the Solemn Blessing go to the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

 

 

V. ICEL

 

Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)

ICEL:            Lord God, we firmly believe that Christ our Saviour now reigns with you in majesty.  Open your ears to our prayer, that we may also experience the truth of his promise to remain with us always, even to the end of time.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever [sic] and ever.

 

Prayer after Communion

ICEL:            Listen to our prayers, God our Saviour, and through this most holy sacrament confirm our hope that you will glorify the whole body of the Church as you have glorified its head, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever [sic] and ever.

 

 


With the new Missal, the Roman Catholic Church is showing for what and how to pray.  According to standard American English, the prayers are so difficult to understand that I refer to the “2011 illiterate Missal.”  The revised prayers are my translation of the Bible-babble in the Missal into standard American English as heard on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), the Weather Channel, and the evening news.

 

n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) 216-219.

 

Collect is the technical term for Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture.

 

By placing the verb, hear, first, the Missal does not follow either Latin (subject-object-verb)[10] or standard American English (subject-verb-object) word order.

 

Misuse of interjections, such as O Lord, contributes to the conglomeration of meaninglessness and is very confusing to listeners.  The Little, Brown Handbook gives some examples, hey, oh, darn, wow.  An interjection is “A word standing by itself or inserted in a construction to exclaim or command attention.”  A forceful interjection is set off with an exclamation point, a mild interjection with a comma.  The Missal only uses mild interjections and that is a cause of discombobulating.[11] 

 

Might versus may in the Missal:  might connotes ability, wish, or desire;[12] may connotes permission.  According to the Dictionary, may is used in auxiliary function to express a wish or desire especially in prayer, imprecation, or benediction <may he reign in health> <may they all be damned> <may the best man win>.  I think might sounds better, because interrupted by the subordinate clause, until the end of the world.  The Little, Brown Handbook explains, “the helping verbs of standard American English may be problematic if you are used to speaking another language or dialect.”[13]

 

The Latin does not capitalize cápite, but the Missal does capitalize Christ her Head.  Christ her is not in the Latin.  Since the Faithful will not hear the difference between an upper and lower case word, there is no reason to stray from the Latin or add words, except, perhaps, to show the arrogance of the translator in the face of anyone objecting to the illiterate 2011 Missal.

 

The Missal translates the Latin Missale into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 433-434 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed February 12, 2012).

 

The first sentence of the Collect contains forty-two words, in a 17.9 Graduate School Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  It is a fused sentence.  See Chapter 18, “Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 339-444.  The first four sentences of the revised Collect have a 5.7 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

The first sentence of this Prayer after Communion contains thirty-eight words, in a 15.0 upper level college Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  It is a fused sentence.  The revised Prayer after Communion has a 3.9 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

          At come to pass, my Word 2010 Spelling and Grammar checker explains,

 

Cliché

The marked word or phrase may be overused or unnecessary to the meaning of your sentence. For a more forceful and convincing sentence, consider replacing or shortening the word or phrase.

At will be accomplished, my Word 2010 Spelling and Grammar checker explains,

 

Passive Voice

For a livelier and more persuasive sentence, consider rewriting your sentence using an active verb (the subject performs the action, as in "The ball hit Catherine") rather than a passive verb (the subject receives the action, as in "Catherine was hit by the ball").  If you rewrite with an active verb, consider what the appropriate subject is - "they," "we," or a more specific noun or pronoun.

The respective ICEL Collect and Prayer after Communion have 9.3 and 17.9 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readabilities. 

 

The Latin omits the O in the Missal O Lord.  The argument that the English is to stay close to the Latin does not hold up.  The English has O Lord.  The Latin has only Dómine, without the O.  O is a Latin word.  Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English and English-Latin, revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.A. and Joseph F. Charles, B.A. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952) 371.

 

Our savior is in apposition to O God and in English should be set off with commas.  The Little, Brown Handbook has a "using appositives” subsection.

 

An appositive is usually a noun that renames another noun nearby [in this case O God], most often the noun just before the appositive.  (the word appositive derives from a Latin word that means “placed near to” or “applied to.”)  An appositive phrase includes modifiers as well . . . .  All appositives can replace the words they refer to:  [O God/our savior]  . . . Appositives are economical alternatives to adjective clauses containing a form of be . . . [O God [who is] our savior. . . ] you can usually connect the appositive to the main clause containing the word referred to . . . An appositive is not setoff with punctuation when it is essential to the meaning of the word it refers to . . .  When an appositive is not essential to the meaning of the word it refers to, it is set off with punctuation, usually a comma or commas [as is the case here, O God, our savior,] . . .

 

H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 254-255. 

 

Through . . . is a sentence fragment the Missal uses throughout the book.  See The Little, Brown Handbook explains,

 

A prepositional phrase is a modifier consisting of a proposition (such as in, on, to, or with [including through]) together with its object and any modifiers (see pp. 242-43).  A prepositional phrase cannot stand alone as a complete sentence . . .

 

At the end of the prayer, the unity is confusing.  A dictionary definition for the word the:  “1 c:-- used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent refers to someone or something that is unique or is thought of as unique or exists as only one at a time <the Lord><the Messiah> . . . .”[1]  Unity is a noun meaning “1a:  the quality of stage of being or consisting of one.”[1]  Does the unity mean that the Holy Spirit belongs to a union, like a labor union?  Does unity in the Collect mean that the Holy Spirit, unlike Jesus, has only one nature, Divine?  Does unity mean the trinitarian unity?  In the same vein, does unity mean that it is the Holy Spirit, which is the relationship between the Father and Son, thereby causing a triune unity?  The last is how the revision would resolve the matter, substituting Divine Trinitarian nature for unity.  Because the Faithful have not challenged the unity since Vatican II, the now traditional silly phraseology remains.

 

See Part 4, “Clear Sentences,” Chapter 17 c, “Sentence Fragments:  Verbal or prepositional phrase,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 335.  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=the&x=0&y=0  (accessed December 4, 2011).  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=unity&x=0&y=0  (assessed December 4, 2011).

 

Whether to include or exclude the 1998 ICEL translation is difficult.  The reason to include ICEL is:  this is the best the American bishops could do, before the Vatican rejected the translation.  The ICEL translation also deals with some of the vocabulary and grammatical problems with which the revisions deal.  The reason to exclude ICEL is:  the ICEL translation is not significantly better than the Missal.

 

For the Collect see, International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences (ICEL), The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 398 (416/604) , downloaded from https://rs895dt.rapidshare.com/#!download|895l35|387089704|ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip|6767|R~00A3D4012C6FE19956DB84F71E5405F6|0|0 at http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?page_id=23 (accessed December 8, 2011).

 

For Prayer after Communion see, International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences (ICEL), The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 399 (416/604), downloaded from https://rs895dt.rapidshare.com/#!download|895l35|387089704|ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip|6767|R~00A3D4012C6FE19956DB84F71E5405F6|0|0 at http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?page_id=23 (accessed December 8, 2011).

 

Rationale

Clarity is not a prerequisite for prayer.  The search for clarity can be a means to prayer.  As part of catechesis, these Personal Notes set up what the Church needs to explain to enable the Faithful to pray with faith seeking understanding, as Saint Anslem of Canterbury (1033-1109) puts it.[14] 

In an attempt to use the prayers the anti-Vatican-II, Vatican, is now setting forth, these Personal Notes are taking on a new focus.  This new focus began November 27, 2011, the First Sunday in Advent.  From the First Sunday in Advent until just before the First Sunday of Lent, February 26, 2012, these Notes had a double focus, including both the Lectionary and the Missal.  After that, the focus remained on the Missal, until the end of the liturgical year, December 1, 2012.


Lord, hear our prayer.  We believe that Jesus is the savior of the world and that he is with you, in your glory.  Enable us to experience the presence of Jesus in our lives.  Increase our Faith so that we may share in his eternal life.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

 

God, our Father, be our savior through the help of the mysteries and prayers associated with the Holy Eucharist.  Give us Faith, protect us from sin, and save us from all evil.  Allow us to abide in Jesus Christ in the life he lives and reigns with you forever.  Amen.



[1] For regular readers of Personal Notes, the documentation is very repetitive.  For that reason, there is an Appendix, between the end of Personal Notes and the repeated Prayers.  New readers should include that Appendix as they read.  Regular readers should look in the Appendix to refresh their memories. 

[2] Timothy George, “General Introduction,” Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament XII: Ezekiel, Daniel, (ed.) Carl L. Beckwith (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) xxv. 

 

[3] Katherine M. Hayes, “`A Spirit of Deep Sleep’:  Divinely Induced Delusion and Wisdom in Isaiah 1—39,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (January 2012) 42.  The only verse in this article used in the Lectionary is Isaiah 6:1-13.  Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible:  Revised Edition (New Jersey:  Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2011.  Isaiah warns the Faithful that not only can they cloud their own minds, but that God, also, can cloud their minds.  At Isaiah 9:14 and 16, the quality of speech in Judah is characterized as “nonsense.”  In the New American Bible Revised, the translation is falsehood in verse 14 and folly in verse 16.  Nonsense, falsehood, and folly all suit the 2011 Missal.

 

[4] Nicola Gori, Interview with Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans:  Growing in the Spirit in the fact of challenges,” L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, Vol. 45, No. 5 Vatican City Wednesday, 1 February, 2012 page 10, column 3.

 

[5] Susan Forward, Ph.D. with Craig Buck, Toxic Parents:  Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (New York: Bantam Books, 1989)

[6] Dr. Darren w. Davis Ph.D. [sic] and Dr. Donald B. Pope-Davis Ph.D. [sic], 2011 National Black Catholic Survey (University of Notre Dame:  The National Black Catholic Congress, 2011) 20.  Also see  41, 57.

 

[7] Na, “Where Are the Linguists?” http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?p=309  (accessed February 12, 2012).

 

[8] See the letter and editorial comment in “Where’s the Common Repertoire of Liturgical Songs?”  Letters:  Readers’ Forum, Micki Malone, The Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. XVII, No. 10 The Presentation of the Lord, February 2—Ash Wednesday, February 22 (February 2012) page 11, col. 3, across the folds.

 

[9] http://www.google.com/search?q=faith+seeking+understanding&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a  (accessed November 28, 2011) and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ (accessed November 28, 2011).

 

[10] http://www.google.com/search?q=Does+the+verb+come+last+in+Latin+word+oarder%3F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=IXc&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=X&ei=iKzVToqRPKLx0gHWxdDrAQ&ved=0CBkQvwUoAQ&q=Does+the+verb+come+last+in+Latin+word+order%3F&spell=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=c5f9ab36cd8b91fa&biw=1472&bih=754  (accessed November 30, 2011)

[11] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 233, 431, 893.

 

[12] http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=might&x=15&y=10  (accessed January 29, 2011).

 

[13] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 274.

 

[14] http://www.google.com/search?q=faith+seeking+understanding&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a  (accessed November 28, 2011) and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ (accessed November 28, 2011).