New Missal Approved

After many, many years of wrangling, the story of which will be familiar to readers of America, the new English-language translation of the Roman Missal has finally been approved.  This marks the first significant change in the English-language Mass since the Second Vatican Council.  CNS has the story below, which confirms its introduction into the church during Advent of 2011.  From that date the text--which still need to be published and distributed--will be the approved Mass used in English-speaking countries around the world.  (One aside: Cardinal George may be inadvertently contradicting the Vatican when he says that "From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used." In fact the reintroduced Latin translation is allowed under the pope's motu proprioSummorum Pontificum.  Undoubtedly, Cardinal George means the no other "English edition.")  Also, some excellent sources have told me that there was some last minute "tweaking" going on in Rome, at least partially in response to some American complaints, about the proposed translations, as detailed in Fr. Michael Ryan's article "What if We Said Wait?" 

The U.S. bishops are, as the CNS story details, about to embark on a comprehensive catechetical program to introduce the new translation to the faithful, a sine qua non for the church, particularly when it comes to something as essential to our faith as the Mass.  Sister Mary Ann Walsh, from the USCCB, has a fine blogpost about the need for catechesis on the new translations here.  "The church has 16 months to get priests and people in the United States ready to pray reverently, intelligently and together at Mass," she writes.  And the bishops have already set up a very helpful website here.  Sister Mary Ann calls the overall project an "educational journey."  And a needed one at that: the last thing that anyone wants is for Catholics to be clueless about the words that they say during the Mass, which Vatican II called the "source" and "summit" of Catholic worship. 


On the other hand, there are, as the bishops know, a number of challenges facing anyone embarking on the catechesis of Catholic adults.  First, limited time for adult Catholics means that evening or weekend classes are tough sells for busy parishioners, especially parents.  Second, while the idea of a captive audience on Sundays is irresistible, there is only so much that you can do in a homily.  And besides, many priests bristle at the idea of preaching on anything other than the Scripture readings.  Third, parish bulletins, a good place to offer guidance, are often not read, much less studied.  And so on.  Thus, despite the bishops' best efforts and sincere desire for education, there may still be plenty of surprised--and even shocked--Catholics on the First Sunday of Advent 2011.   For some pre-catechesis, Anthony Ruff, OSB, analyzes some of the changes, line by line, over at PrayTell.

What will be the reaction of Ameican Catholics--beyond surprise?  Some may be pleased by the closer adherence to the Latin text, and the slightly more "elevated" language, which mirrors their desire to approach God during the Mass with language that bespeaks greater "reverence."  Others may find some of the new translations and phrases unwieldy and even clunky, wondering whether a literal translation ended up producing sentences that an English-speaker would never think of writing, much less speaking.  (This was the essence of most of the objections to the early versions of the text.)  Others may simply miss the "old" Mass for both its simplicity and familiarity.  Others may be frustrated at something reliable changing in the midst of so much turmoil in the church.  As one person said to me recently, with all the troubles in the church these days (read: sexual abuse crisis) there was one thing that you could rely on not to change: the Mass.  So the reactions may range from delight to anger. 

But one thing is certain: at least initially, both priests and parishioners will find themselves far more focused on the page than at any time since the late 1960s--when the English Mass was first introduced--as they try to follow unfamiliar wordings of familiar phrases.  Get ready for a lot more flipping through missalettes and a lot more priests with their eyes glued to the Missal.

Here's the CNS story in full. 

Use of new Roman Missal to begin in US at Advent 2011 

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien Catholic News Service 

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholics in the United States will begin using the long-awaited English translation of the Roman Missal on the first Sunday of Advent in 2011, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said Aug. 20. The cardinal's announcement as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops marks the formal beginning of a more than 15-month period of education and training leading to the first use of the "third typical edition" of the Roman Missal at English-language Masses in the United States on Nov. 27, 2011.

The missal, announced by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and first published in Latin in 2002, has undergone a lengthy and rigorous translation process through the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, followed by sometimes heated discussions over particular wording at USCCB general assemblies during much of the past decade. The USCCB said April 30 that the Vatican has given its "recognitio," or confirmation, of the new English translation of the missal, but final editing by Vatican officials was continuing at that time.

In a decree of proclamation sent to the U.S. bishops Aug. 20, Cardinal George said, "The use of the third edition of the Roman Missal enters into use in the dioceses of the United States of America as of the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, 2011. From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America."He added that the U.S. Catholic Church "can now move forward and continue with our important catechetical efforts as we prepare the text for publication."

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, expressed gratitude about the final Vatican approval. "I am happy that after years of preparation, we now have a text that, when introduced late next year, will enable the ongoing renewal of the celebration of the sacred liturgy in our parishes," he said.

The changes to be implemented in late 2011 include new responses by the people in about a dozen sections of the Mass, although changes in the words used by the celebrant are much more extensive. At several points during the Mass, for example, when the celebrant says, "The Lord be with you," the people will respond, in a more faithful translation of the original Latin, "And with your spirit."

The current response, "And also with you," was "not meant as 'you too' or something like 'back at you,'" Father Richard Hilgartner, associate director of the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship, told Catholic News Service. Rather it is "an invocation to the priest as he celebrates the Mass, a reminder that he is not acting on his own, but in the person of Christ" -- a distinction that the new language will highlight, he said.

"The order and structure of the Mass will not change at all," he added, but Catholics will see some new texts for prayers, new observances for saints added to the church calendar in recent decades and such additions as a Mass in thanksgiving for the gift of human life and an extended vigil for Pentecost, similar to the Easter Vigil.

Since mid-April, Msgr. Anthony Sherman, director of the USCCB divine worship secretariat, and Father Hilgartner have been conducting workshops around the country for priests and diocesan leaders on implementation of the new missal. The workshops will continue into November. Msgr. Sherman said participants often tell him that they had seen introducing the new missal as "an absolutely impossible task" before the workshop but said afterward, "I think I can actually do this," especially because of the wealth of resource materials that will be available to them.

The USCCB has prepared a parish implementation guide that includes a detailed timeline, bulletin inserts, suggestions for homilies and adult education classes on the liturgy and a wide variety of other resources. Audio, visual and print resources for priests, liturgical musicians and laypeople also are available now or in the works. Sister Janet Baxendale, a Sister of Charity of New York who teaches liturgy at St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y., and its Institute of Religious Studies, is a consultant to the bishops' Committee on Divine Worship. She said the new translation has been needed for a long time.

When the Second Vatican Council endorsed a new missal and permitted Catholics around the world to begin celebrating Mass in their local languages, the translation work that followed "was at its best a rush job," she said. The Vatican's translation principles at the time also favored "a looser construction, with the thought that in this way it could be adapted to various people more readily," she added. "As time went on, it became evident that ... in many instances, the richness and power of the Latin text didn't really come through," Sister Janet said. "This was true of all the translations, not just the English." The new translation offers "more poetic texts, more beautiful texts," she said.

Father Hilgartner said Pope Benedict XVI has placed his own personal stamp on the liturgical changes by adding two new options for the dismissal prayer at the end of Mass, emphasizing the "connection between the Mass and living the Christian life."

In place of the current "The Mass is ended, go in peace," celebrants will be able to choose from four options, including the pope's suggestions -- "Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord" and "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life."

There has been a lot of enthusiasm at the workshops for those added texts -- "an audible kind of 'oooh,'" Father Hilgartner said. "There's a reaction of some awe and enthusiasm for just these two phrases, and I think that's worth getting excited about."

James Martin, SJ


Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Claire Mathieu
7 years 8 months ago
I heard about this on Saturday and have started the mourning process. Mass yesterday was nostalgic because of the awareness that in another year and a bit, I will stop saying ''We believe'' with the rest of the congregation, and will no longer hear at consecration that Christ gave his blood for me ''and for all'', but only ''for many''. Sad.

(Yes, I know that ''for many'' really should be taken to be inclusive and mean ''for all'', not just ''for many'', but it is still sad.)


Dale Rodrigue
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Martin, what were they 'tweaking' at the last minute?

Interesting but considering the controversy surrounding this, what happens if B16 passes and there is a new conclave with a more collegiate Pontiff?  Does he put this on hold? Maybe it goes forward but still considered in transition with more imput from the American church (Laity and clergy) then finalized?
I won't be buying a hard copy anytime soon!
Interesting times we live in isn't it! 

Dale Rodrigue
Bain Wellington
7 years 8 months ago
Linda, you make it sound as if works of mercy are the totality of the faith.  Our first duty is to worship God just as the first and greatest commandment is:- "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  And the second is like it:- "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Mt.22:37-40).
Bain Wellington
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Martin,

On re-reading my previous post, my questions strike me as rather pert, for which I apologise.  In responding, you missed my point, however.  I was not saying that what the faithful think and experience is per se irrelevant.  But whether, in the absence of any close knowledge of the issues, they think it necessary to have a defective translation corrected is not relevant, I should have thought, to the question whether the correction was in fact necessary. 

Peter Lakeonovich
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Jim,

This is exciting news.  And I think your idea of devoting homilies, for say one year, to explaining the new Misal to the faithful is excellent.  

For one thing, it would ensure that our priests know what is in there and why, and the faithful could then know what's in there, why, and why any changes were made and what is significant of all the aspects of the liturgy. 

In addition, our homilies would maybe then go from just "be nice to your co-workers" etc. to actual points of worship and theology.

(Maybe then my church would figure out it needs a crucifix on the altar or on the sanctuary, rather than just a cross; and maybe then my church would find the time to adorn their plain white paschal candle). 
Winifred Holloway
7 years 8 months ago
My husband and I were visiting some of our children in Boston this past weekend and went to Mass at St. Paul's in Harvard Square.  The celebrant, not a member of the staff I don't think, most probably a student, was very excited about the phrasing related to how Christ came to save the many rather than all.  He was a young German (I think) man, and tied this change of wording into the "narrow gate" in the gospel reading.  Took me back to my pre-vatican 2 childhood.  All very depressing.  My husband's comment:  "I guess the Good News is not so good anymore."
Dale Rodrigue
7 years 8 months ago
Fr Jim, I signed the post with my full name, twice, once at the end of the post and another in the 'posted by...'
It didn't appear in the 'posted by..' because of a glitch.
Dale Rodrigue
ps, I can fix that presbyopic problem you know.
Robert Killoren
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Martin,

I really hope that the final tweaks will accomplish something. As a lifelong student of English and its literature, I find replacing solid, meaningful English words and sentence structure with a translation similar to what one finds in a high school Latin class simply atrocious - and I know that Fr. Fiedler, God rest his soul, would have rapped my knuckles if I used some of the phrasing I've seen in the translation. "Mr. Killoren, it looks like you used a Latin dictionary, looked up every word, and then strung them together in the same order! This is not translation."

Substituting Latin words for English words doesn't make our thoughts more sacred, except that it puts it in a specialized language that only the elect understand. This sounds rather gnostic to me. For instance, the medical profession is great at using Latin words in anatomy. Its sounds a lot more scientific and mysterious to say "femur" to describe a bone in the leg rather than saying "thigh" bone, which is what the Latin means. Or to call the jaw bone "mandible" rather than the "chewing" bone, which would make it really clear to the layperson as to what the doctor was talking about. Likewise is saying "consubstantial with the Father" more elegant and beautiful than "one in being with the Father?" The Latin word would literally translate to something like having "joint essence" with the Father. Which one do you think English speakers will understand better or be able to say more fluidly? One can use the justification of "tradition" to use the Latin. Doctors still use femur and mandible because it is their tradition, but how many nmeonics had to be invented to help doctors remember the names of bones in Latin? We will have to go through that whole "non-value-added" step of saying "consubtantial" and mentally converting that in our understanding to "of the same essence" rather than just saying the more understandable and equally correct "one in being."  

There are no doubt some real improvements made in the new Roman Missal, but much of the instruction that will precede implementation will look more like attempts to "put lipstick on a pig." I guess I have to resign myself to it, but I am disappointed that all the English speaking Bishops in the whole world didn't have the moxie to stand up to Rome and say enough is enough. Maybe that resignation will be easier if I remember the great artists of old who always added a flaw to their works to remind them that they are not perfect like God is. And perhaps the new Roman Missal will become a symbol to remind everyone how far we've strayed from the ideals established in Vatican II of collegiality, subsidiarity, and adjusting liturgy to the vernacular of the people. By the way vernacular means "native" - but derives from the Latin "verna" which means a slave born in the master's house - which is kind of cool if people knew what it really meant. 

God bless,
Deacon Bob 
Robert Killoren
7 years 8 months ago
Oops... mnemonics - apparently I'm having m-problems today.
Livia Fiordelisi
7 years 8 months ago
Pete Lake writes re: the new translation "This is exciting news.  And I think your idea of devoting homilies, for say one year, to explaining the new Misal to the faithful is excellent."  

Devoting a year of homilies to explain the new Missal-rather than on gospel issues of poverty, injustice, service, etc-is simply a wasteful distraction, if not a sin of omission. That we would need to devote so much time to explaining the translation speaks for itself.
Kevin Gumienny
7 years 8 months ago
I've been thinking about this a bit, and see varying receptions. I'm not sure that many people (excepting those that read America) will care all that much. They'll mumble along with the changed words, until they get it right. Or perhaps stop speaking and just follow along wordlessly.

I remember when the new techniques regarding communion were introduced, especially that Eucharistic Ministers couldn't approach the alter until the priest has consumed the Eucharist. It was several months before people noticed the change, if they did so at all. The bowing bit caught on a bit quicker, perhaps because it was an action that had to be performed.

I see some stumbling and grumbling in the pews, but I wonder if there will be more than that. It may take a while to get use to the new way of doing things. But then, eh, so what? New words, new phrases. Just like when a new song is introduced, or something else is tweaked.

For the rest of us, we've got kids to keep quiet during Mass, and schedules to arrange for Religious Education, and 100 things to do during the weekend before the next week starts. A few different words here and there isn't going to make much of difference. Now, if the new translation results in an even longer Mass...
Peter Lakeonovich
7 years 8 months ago
Linda, the Misal sets forth the way we are to pray the Mass.  If the homily discusses the Misal, it is necessarily discussing the Scriptures (including the gospels), which are the source of the liturgy set forth in the Misal.  Everything (almost) about our Mass is Scriptural.  So, nothwithstanding my own view that the Gospel is not about "issues," as you say, but rather about Jesus Christ, I don't see why a homily about the Misal would have to exclude anything about the Gospel.  Perhaps getting rid of such a minconeption is reason alone to adopt the "homily method."

Consider these words by Pope Saint Pius X:

"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass."
Bain Wellington
7 years 8 months ago
Deacon Bob, let's look at one of your points: "consubstantial".  It's a complex and unusual word (but not outlandish, so far as pronunciation is concerned) to denote a complex reality.  A perfect catechetical moment, surely.  Do all those who have been reciting "one in being" know what that meant?  And why, we might ask, were other English-speaking countries such as England, Scotland, South Africa et al reciting "of one being" all this time?  Is there a significant difference between "one in being" and "of one being"?  If not, why the distinction; if so, what does that tell us about the beliefs of Catholics in the USA versus the beliefs of English-speaking Catholics in the rest of the world? 

You see, especially in the matter of the creed, differences of nuance within the same language can only cause confusion.  The ground was cleared with the publication of the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1994:  look up §252 and 465, for instance, where the emphasis is on "substance" as a theological term.  The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed is now harmonised with the Carechism, which can only be a benefit, surely.
Livia Fiordelisi
7 years 8 months ago
Dear Pete,

Consider the words of Jesus: Matthew 25: 31-46.

Bain Wellington
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Martin

I had to rub my eyes.  You wrote: "I am curious as to how many Catholics really think that the Mass needed changing, or was somehow lacking.  My sense is not many." 

How relevant is that?  ICEL itself recognised in the early 1980's that the 1973 translation we currently labour under was inadequate and unsatisfactory as well as being incorrect and misleading in numerous places.  Hence the extensive period devoted to replacing it (the final votes were taken in the episcopal conferences in and around 1998).  Ultimately, of course, that revision was judged unacceptable by the CDW&DS in 2002.  You are not unaware of any of this, are you?

And you?  Where do you stand?  Is the 1973 translation satisfactory or not?

In any event, the Mass has not been changed in the slightest.  All that has happened is that English-speaking Catholics now have the opportunity to discover, for the first time, what the Novus Ordo is all about.
Peter Lakeonovich
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Jim,

Thanks for the link to article on preaching the homily.  Very informative.


Good point.  The Mass has not been changed, but rather our understanding of what occurs at Mass has been/will be enhanced and enriched.

I have to tell you, as a native Spanish speaker who learned English, the Mass in Spanish already contains many of the elements that are being added to the revised English Misal.  In fact, but for my understanding from the Spanish, many of the elements of the English version would be vague at best.  For example, in Spanish it has always been "And with your Spirit." (Y con tu espiritu).  And in the Creed we say "of the same being with the Father." (De la misma naturaleza del Padre).  

In this experience, I believe the changes to the Misal will bear much fruit.
James Lindsay
7 years 8 months ago
This will lead many parishes who abandonned the use of Missalettes to bring them back, which is probably a good thing for those who wish to read the scriptures as they are proclaimed - however it will be costly.  Those parishes who use hard copy missals will need to replace them, which will be very costly and may not happen in time, considering that service music is still being adapted.

Music ministers will probably take the lead in some of the cathechises, since many things which are sung will be changed, like the translation of the Sanctus.  I suspect that in many parishes, the Pastor will be glad to let the Cantors take the lead in this instruction.

As I have written previously, this could go well or it could be the straw that breaks the camels back regarding the American and English speaking Church's relationship to Rome.  Creation of a new Great Church, or rather a revitalization of the ancient Galatian Church (which was Gallic, i.e., made up of people with blond or red hair and blue or green eyes) is a real possibility - and plays right in with Benedict XVI's new dialogues with His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome (which is a claim of petrine descent).  If the Galatian Church decided to create its own Patriarch, it could also establish its own Rite and Missal.  Because of the ancient origins of the Galatian Church, such an action would even be scriptural.  Indeed, other Churches could, and likely will, follow suit, if the American bolt from Rome.

Personally, I like the Roman Rite and find it discordant that the lapsing translation was so different from the Latin.  This new translation is not too different than my feeling about the Extraordinary Rite, which is that it should be celebrated in both Latin and in the Venacular.  I suspect that the new translation is the halfway point between the lapsing translation and a Venacular Extraordinary Rite - and if we continue in union with Rome, this is likely a good place to end up, although abandonning such union certainly opens the door to a reconsideration of certain other issues which may be beneficial in the long run - i.e., married priests, female priests, openly gay priests and openly gay married female priests (whose marriages could be celebrated with the pagentry of the Extraordinary Rite, just to add a note of irony that will drive some Traditionalists absolutely crazy).
Livia Fiordelisi
7 years 8 months ago
Thanks for the link Fr. Martin. I especially like Fr. Foley's second point - preaching the moment. It seems to me that scripture always lends itself to this and leads to real life. Used in this way, scripture can certainly help a homilist to flesh out the new translation for those of us in the pews, and maybe shed light on the behind-the-scenes politics. Different from catechesis in my opinion. As a simple, faithful Catholic, I can't understand what is lacking in the current translation. Christ is present on the altar and in the people. What more is needed? The whole exercise to me seems to be a lot of fuss and bother, but I'll try to keep an open mind.
Robert Waldrop
7 years 8 months ago
It is a tragedy of historic proportions that while the world burns in violence and war, much of it driven by the United State's militaristic approach to the world, the best idea that the US Catholic bishops could come up with is liturgical interior decorating.  How curious that the bishops plan such a big catechetical campaign regarding said liturgical interior decorating, but did nothing similar in response to the past 9 years of war, during which the US conquered two countries that had not attacked us and furthered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.  Surely our bishops strain at gnats, while swallowing camels. 
Peter Lakeonovich
7 years 8 months ago
Fr. Martin,

You stated: "On the other hand, a lengthy series of talks-in the guise of homilies-is probably not feasible." 

When I first read this, I thought that perhaps you might be right, but then last night I heard a Jesuit living in Cuba speak about all of his homilies are essentially little Catechism courses because the people are so thorougly unfamiliar with the faith and confused in their concepts.

If this can be done with people who are unfamiliar with the faith, it can certainly be done with an informed congregation, assuming the priest is willing.

Cathy Fasano
7 years 8 months ago
The problem I see is that ''plain speaking'' is an archetypical American virtue, while reactions to people who use ''hoity-toity'' ''high-falutin'' language range from amusement through irritation to suspicion.  Americans have a universal reaction to faithful translations of florid purple prose - we giggle.
And it's not just an American problem - the classic British send-ups of oblivious prigs form a whole wicked funny genre of their own.
Do you think that any of the not-native-English speakers in the highest levels of the Vatican (and the humorless Asperger's Americans) who pushed for this have any notion of why English speakers find Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest entries laugh-out-loud funny?  (Evidently not, so now we have a Bulwer-Lytton Mass...)
Well, one consolation is that our priests will have ample opportunities to make buffoons of themselves mispronouncing things and making mishmashes of the sentence-structure cadences.  The Brain Trust left both occurrences of ''contrite'' intact - it's hard to sound too hoity-toity when you use the Catholic (mis)pronunciation.
Part of the point of in persona Christi is that is produces a certain transparency on the part of the priest.  That's a lot harder to maintain when half the congregation is thinking ''what a maroon!'' and the other half, ''my, he's full of himself; I wonder if he's embezzling from the parish accounts?''
Livia Fiordelisi
7 years 8 months ago

Responding to your Asperger's Americans comment. I work in a psychiatric treatment center and have often noted the similarities between the behaviors of some self-identified orthodox (uber) Catholics, often young, and many young adult clients with Aspergers or on the spectrum. Ritualistic behaviors, magical thinking and fanstasy worlds, elevated language, self-centered orientation, hypervigilance, inability to relate on deep human levels. I wonder if there is a connection the rise of spectrum diagnoses and this current wave of ultra orthodox young Catholics?
Cathy Fasano
7 years 8 months ago
Indeed, Linda - I am a computer programmer, and spend every day with guys for whom intuition, empathy and context are laboriously learned responses rather than innate skills.  And I have maintained for years that a huge problem that the Church has is that not only do our ''spectrum boys'' all up and down the clergy have no concept of how the ''neurotypicals'' think, but no concept that there is anything different about how they think and how the vast majority of humans think.
An utter triviality, but this was brought home to me most explicitly a few years back when our bishop issued a pastoral letter on the Eucharist which contained an offhand recommendation that everyone should bow whenever the names God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, etc. are spoken during the Mass.  In other words, Catholics should abandon doing what every parent, teacher, catechist, preacher, etc. has been exhorting since we were toddlers - paying attention at Mass - and replace it with a pious version of Buzzword Bingo.  Clearly the people who came up with this idea are utterly clueless as to what goes on in the brains of a neurotypical when one is reciting or just listening to a prayer which is memorized, and know exactly what is coming next, as opposed to when one is reading along and/or listening to one of the prayers or readings of the Mass which are different each time.  In the former case, adding some motion or body posture (as in the case of the bow in the Creed) is a useful and practical piety - especially when there is a parenthetical instruction in the missalette to remind one.  But monitoring unfamiliar text ''on the fly'' is a nutty scheme that could only have been thought a good idea by people who simply have no idea what it is they are asking.
we vnornm
7 years 7 months ago
Cathy and Linda:

As a licensed psychologist for 28 years, and as just a regular person for many years before, I have been and am friends with those you call "humorless Aspberger's Americans," "spectrum boys" (fyi, many with "Asperger's" are female), and those different from the majority of "neurotypicals." Perhaps I even have a bit of it myself?

Imagine how a friend, parent, or spouse of someone with Asperger's reading your comments might feel?

The last paragraph of #25 is, to me, embarrassing.

The First Amendment certainly covers your right to say things like this, and perhaps many others who don't write share your feelings. 

The best way to relate to those who have, by the grace of God, been given modes of thought such as "ritualistic behaviors, magical thinking, etc." is to offer friendship and understanding.

What do you think? I would be interested in your response.

Dr. William Van Ornum
NYS Licensed Psychologist


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A new Pew Research Center poll finds that 87 percent of U.S. Catholics believe God is "all-loving," but only 67 percent say God is "all-powerful."
In this photo dated Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Pope Francis arrives in St.Peter's Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
All three were victims of the infamous Chilean priest predator, the Rev. Ferdinando Karadima, who was found guilty of abuse of minors by the Vatican.
Gerard O’ConnellApril 25, 2018
Of all the things I looked forward to while pregnant with my son, reading books to him was very close to the top of that list.
Kerry WeberApril 24, 2018
Álvaro Manuel Conrado Dávila was shot in the throat by police at close range with a rubber bullet.
Brian StrassburgerApril 24, 2018