Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The new English translation of the Missal

There is a very interestting article on Insidecatholic.com by Fr Robert Johansen entitled The New Missal: Disaster or Opportunity?

He makes the point that many of the objections to the new translation are ideological objections [masquerading as something else]:

I have observed that "something more" before, writing and speaking about what I describe as "ideologized" liturgy -- that is, liturgy being made to bear ideological burdens that are extrinsic and, in many cases, inimical to it. The highly charged language of many of those objecting to the new Missal is frequently ideological: When I see words like "archaic" and "tyrannical," and phrases like "a great step forward" or "a major step backward," being used in complaints about the Missal, I suspect that the train of thought is carrying heavy ideological freight.

I use "ideology" here in the circumscribed manner of political theorists like Michael Oakeshott and Russell Kirk: to refer to the political fanaticism that results from elevating an abstraction to an absolute, all-explaining and all-encompassing concept, and making everything, including persons, subordinate to that concept. It is to take political concepts and impulses and make them serve ends that are properly religious.
Fr Johnson also makes reference in the article to the South African experience and I shall post some thoughts on that shortly. In the meantime his whole article is well worth a read.