The Value of the Mass

The Value of the Mass
Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

English Translation of Sacramentum Caritatis

Well, it's all over the net on just about every blog, but like every thing else that is translated into English, the translation of Sacramentum Cartitatis is innacurate. *insert sarcasim here ---> I suppose that it's just coincidence that it was translated to make it seem like the Pope wasn't backing traditional elements in the Church.

Now, I'm no Latin scholar by any stretch of the imagination. However, for those of you who haven't read any other blogs (yeah right!) the main point of controversy is in the portion of the document concerning Latin in the liturgy. In the Latin the document reads: exceptis lectionibus, homilia et oratione fidelium, aequum est ut huiusmodi celebrationes fiant lingua Latina. Aequum est means, directly translated, is proper (or right). The English translation reads could be (in other words, Is possible).

Now call me crazy, but I think that means two different things. One says that it is proper that the Mass be celebrated in Latin. The other just says it's a possibility. Hmmm.

Well, this is one of the reasons I decided not to comment on the apostolic exhortation until later, because it seems this kind of stuff always happens. At first I thought the document wasn't stating anything new, now it seems that isn't an accurate critique of the document.

All I know now is that I'm going to wait and see how the American bishops respond to the document (if at all), how long it will take to see any changes. I will also wonder how such a blunder could have made it into such an important document.


The Swede said...

Hi Zach. The translation really seems odd. The word seems related to equal. In my dictionary they translate it with likeness, similarity, and "in aequo" are translated as "in equal rights". (And no, "could be" are not mentioned) ;-).

The SC is a beautiful and very interesting document; still, I do not think the final word on this topic has yet been said by the Vatican. I think SC was a step in the right direction, but personally, I was hoping for more.

//Joakim (who started a course in Latin only a few days ago and really is in over his head). :-)

Zach said...

I wouldn't be too disapointed if I were you Swede. One thing is for sure. This pope likes to take his time in doing things. This didn't turn out to be, nor was it intended to be a liturgy changing document. As an aside, it doesn't even carry the force of Church law (to my knowledge), but an Apostolic Exortation is simply a document stating the opinion of the pope on any given issue. In this case it was the Eucharist.

Remember also, that if had come out too strongly in this document it may in effect render a possible upcoming Motu Proprio innefective simply because the bishops in opposition would be expecting it an braced against such a move by the vatican. Doing this, the pope seems to be in the middle ground and the Motu Proprio is still just what it has always been, a rumor.

He did, however, say some very good things in the apostolic exortation. He stood by priestly celabacy (hopefully closing the issue for good) and made a difinitave stance on catholic polititions and communion.

Truth be told, this document, even if the pope made a strong stance on anything liturgical, probably wouldn't have made a difference in the Church. There are basicly two documents that need to be issued to change the liturgy of the Church in a difinitave manner. One is a motu proprio. The second is just a new missal all togeather.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

I'll get back to you on the Latin BTW.