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Bishop Trautman Critiques New Missal Translations

Erie Bishop Don Trautman, chair of the US Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, believes the new English translation of the Missal is inadequate.  In a Fall lecture reprinted in the British Journal, The Tablet, Trautman says, “the new formalism in liturgical translation will stifle authentic worship.”  He questions how pastoral the new translation can be when the text uses arcane language foreign to most English speaking people.  He cites the proposed Blessing of the Baptismal Water that has 56 words or 11 lines in one sentence. He criticizes texts that “ include new words of the Creed, such as ‘consubstantial with the Father,’ ‘incarnate of the Virgin Mary,’ and Collects that include words such as ‘sullied,’ ‘unfeigned,’ ‘ineffable,’ ‘gibbet,’ ‘wrought,’ and ‘thwart.’” Trautman argues passionately that: “Christ’s message can only be heard in the culture of the hearer. Liturgy does not take place in a cultural vacuum.  If the liturgy of the Church is not celebrated in terms that resonate with the assembly, it will not be heard.”

(The Tablet Feb 2, 2007)

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