NCR is reporting that Bishop Donald W. Trautman is encouraging the U.S. bishops to adopt a last-minute measure to reject the new Mass translations. Trautman, who served as chairman of the USCCB Committee on Liturgy, has long opposed the new translations, as you can see from his article, from 2007, in America. Here are two snippets from the NCR piece, as reported by Jerry Filteau.
Last-ditch effort to dump Mass translations
WASHINGTON -- Bishop Donald W. Trautman is calling for a last-minute measure by the U.S. bishops this month to save American Catholics from new Mass prayers full of grammatical errors and unproclaimable texts.
The bishops are set to approve the last four segments of a new U.S. English translation of the Roman Missal at their annual fall meeting Nov. 16-19.
Trautman, the bishop of Erie, Pa., is urging the bishops to reject at least one of these segments, he told NCR Oct. 30.
Trautman said he thinks the only procedural way the bishops can halt the process and gain a new review of texts they have already approved (including Vatican reversals of many of their amendments to earlier texts) is to vote down at least one of the final segments up for review and form a committee to go to Rome and consult with the Vatican on what he considers the questionable texts approved by the Holy See.
There’s simply no doubt that the bad grammar he declaims is there in prayers already approved by the U.S. bishops, or subsequently modified by Rome, which the priest or people are expected to pray during Mass. Which start, like this sentence, with a relative pronoun, making the entire sentence a subordinate clause. Which, he says, is no way to try to make people pray. And entire sentences, like this one, with no subject or verb.
“Our liturgy needs not a ‘sacred language’ but a pastoral language that will fulfill the mandate of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy for full, conscious and active participation,” Trautman said. “The noble simplicity recommended by the Council Fathers needs to be emphasized.”
He said amendments made by the U.S. bishops to the new translations done by the Vatican-approved scholars of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy have resulted in a text that “is vastly improved but not mature at this point for the worship life of the church.” And, as he noted by phone later, in the texts so far approved by the Vatican, it has overturned many of the U.S. amendments, changing the text back to the commission’s original version.
At its present stage the new translation “does not have a pastoral style” that would lead American Catholics to “own the prayer text, its vocabulary, its style, its idiom, its cadence,” he said.
“If the Roman Missal does not speak to our culture, the church in the United States will suffer,” he said.