Through the Fog

My thanks and congratulations to Bishop Donald W. Trautman for his excellent article on the new Mass translations being moved forward by the Inter-national Commission on English in the Liturgy (5/21). I must admit that reading it saddened me, because it is yet another indication of the ongoing determination of some forces within the Vatican to push back the influence of the Second Vatican Council. An example of this is that over the last 15 to 20 years there have been numerous moves to restrict the activities of national bishops conferences and other ecclesial entities that had offered some hope of increased collegiality in the life of the church.

Bishop Trautman rightly says that the councils Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy pointed out that with respect to texts and rites, the people should be able to understand them with ease and take part in them fully and actively. Earlier in the article, he pointed out how the Congregation for Divine Worships document Liturgiam Authenticam is not guided by this important principle but rather is inordinately literal in its translations.


In producing the document, the congregation issued an instruction on liturgical change sadly lacking in collegial or collaborative efforts. According to Bishop Trautman, the cardinal and bishop members of the congregation were not consulted, the Pontifical Biblical Commis-sion was not consulted, and the episcopal conferences were not consulted.

In my opinion, this method of operation is tragic. This is not leadership! This method of operation points to a lack of the vision and pastoral sense that should mark the approach of this important congregation. Does not such action give the impression that those making decisions seem to think that they have regained control of their church?

Onward through the fog.

(Most Rev.) John McCarthy

Austin, Tex.


I personally give religious assent to the churchs teaching regarding the intrinsically evil acts as proposed in Pope John Paul IIs encyclical Veritatis Splendor. I personally give religious assent to the churchs teaching regarding homosexuality contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I personally give religious assent to the position of the magisterium concerning the legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons as expressed in the Considerations published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I personally give religious acceptance to the discipline proposed by the Congregation for Catholic Education in its Instruction Concerning the Admission to Seminaries and Holy Orders of Candidates With Homosexual Tendencies.

Edward Vacek, S.J.

Cambridge, Mass.

All Grand

I noticed an error in the review of Thérèse of Lisieux: Gods Gentle Warrior, by Janice Farnham, R.J.M. (6/18). In speaking of Into Great Silence, she refers to the long hours of solitary contemplation at La Grande Trappe. Well, lets hope thats true, too (though I think its La Trappe, et pas La Grande). What Sister Janice means is La Grande Chartreuse, of course. Most likely, youve heard from others about this.

Thank you, and Gods blessings on all at America.

M. Zita Wenker, O.S.B.

Branford, Conn.

More Austere

What were those Carthusians doing at La Grand Trappe (Book Review: Great Saint of the Little Way, 6/18)? They should have been in the Grand Chartreuse! In the old days a sign of a fervent Trappist was a desire to become a Carthusian. Many a novice master spent hours trying to talk a novice out of transferringthey spend most of their time stoking their fires in the winter, our community life is harder than their solitary life etc. etc., all with the utmost charity and esteem of our Carthusian brothers, whom we knew really were more austere than we were, darn it. Transferring to another religious order was allowed only if it was a step up. A Trappist could become a Carthusian, a step up, but not a Jesuit, a step down. Im not sure if a Jesuit could become a Dominican or not. Would that be a step up???

(Rt. Rev.) Brendan Freeman, O.C.S.O.

Peosta, Iowa


America, thank you for re-reminding us of that great Jewish pioneer and eminent scholar, Abraham Joshua Heschel. A rereading of his works is never time wasted. For some, the quality of insight accompanying his writing can cause heart palpitation.

Damian MacPherson, S.A.

Toronto, Ont., Canada

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
10 years 5 months ago
I and many others would like to know what generated Fr, Vacek's letter. Perhaps the good Editor could enlighten us in "Of Many Things," unless there is some deep secret us poor adult subscribers cannot be trusted to hear.
10 years 5 months ago
I and many others would like to know what generated Fr, Vacek's letter. Perhaps the good Editor could enlighten us in "Of Many Things," unless there is some deep secret us poor adult subscribers cannot be trusted to hear.


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