(with my comments and emphasis)
Father Gaudium et Spes seems to be remarkably short of both in his retirement, which is sad. One wishes that the poor man did not have to suffer the continuing "iconic insults" he complained about so loudly of before Christmas.Now Father has written another article in which he tells us that "a vast crowd of priests and laity (10, 20, 50, what constitutes vast?) who passionately love the church...are alarmed at having a new and unsatisfactory translation of the liturgy about to be foisted on them due to power politics at the top." (Ummmmm.....no, this is not an unsatisfactory translation, it is slavishly accurate. That is the real issue. They want "dynamic equivalence" to remain the norm. It simply is a flawed outlook. It isn't accurate and conveys a message that is wrong.)"This last confrontation" he warns us "may well backfire. Many priests are simply not going to introduce the new translation. They say that if the Anglican newcomers and the Latin Mass groups can keep their liturgy, so can they." (This is open defiance of the wishes of Rome, based mainly on Liturgical norms.....What makes them any different than the SSPX, if they do this? We are not talking about a new Missale Romanum being promulgated here, we are talking about a new translation of the same Missale Romanum -- I'll talk about that more below.)He may be on to something here. Priests and people of his generation may be unwilling or unable to change. We should be sensitive to them. Why should they have to suffer an accurate vernacular translation of the Mass of Paul VI after all these years of using the ICEL version from the 1970’s, which has made them what they are, of course? (Because the Church is bigger than any one person or groups of people....The Liturgical Pimpernel is being facetious, I know.)Why not give elderly priests who would find it difficult to make the change permission to keep using the old ICEL Mass? Only in private, without a congregation, of course. (Because this isn't a new Missale Romanum and the cirucmstances by which the EF was retained was because there was a whole new form of the Mass introduced, which departed from the older form. That simply isn't the case here, we don't have any rubrical changes, to speak of.)If there really is a “vast crowd” of laity who want this translation, perhaps they could organise themselves into “The Old-ICEL Mass Society”? They could lobby the hierarchy for an indult to have public celebrations of the old ICEL Mass. After about fifteen years they could be given permission, but only on condition that this never took place in parish churches and didn’t involve any criticism of the new Mass, of course. (I say, don't cave at all...the Church is bigger than these angry liberal clerics who didn't get their way. They are acting like spoiled brats. We've seen what liberalism has acheived, not one good thing for Holy Mother Church. Not one.)
The Old ICEL Missal
Perhaps they could try the outright disobedience warned about by Father? They could even found a “Priestly Society of Paul VI” which could set up rival chapels, clergy, and even bishops, to ensure the continuation of the old ICEL Mass into the future. But they would risk excommunication, of course. (Helllooooo.....I'd call them the Priestly Society of Pope Joan, though. We would want to be as fabricated as she was.)They may even hope for a pope who would encourage bishops to be generous with the indult for the use of the old ICEL Mass, or for another one almost twenty years later still who, to promote reconciliation, would permit it to any group of the faithful who really wanted it, only on condition that they recognised it as “extraordinary”, of course. (Mark my words, the day is coming when the OF will become the EF and vice versa.)Perhaps by then Father Gaudium et Spes may be enjoying its fullness at last (fullness is a good word, but full of what?), but be looked back upon as a prophet who knew that the old-ICEL Mass of Paul VI had never really been abrogated. Or perhaps not. Time will tell, of course.
I have a priest-friend who has told me that he will not celebrate the Mass with the new translation. He says the reason for the translation in the first place was to make the Mass easier to understand. If we are going to have this new translation, he says, we might as well go back to the Latin. They will be just as intelligible to the average Catholic in the pew. My response....OK!!!! Let's!!!! I'm all for it!!!! That would be more in keeping with the "spirit of Vatican Council II" anyhow. This whole ongoing problem of translation is really quite ridiculous. We don't need a translation, we need to have celebrations of the Mass in a language that is intelligible by all.
The only thing that libby dibby's and conservatives agree upon is that a hand missal/missalette is a good thing. So, if we can get along for almost 50 years with a hand missal then why can't we go back? Or better yet, why bother at all? The Mass isn't about understanding every last word, but rather, it is for uniting oneself to the mystery that is the unbloody sacrifice of Calvary. So, if we don't understand audibly, is that so bad, when we can understand with our soul, that a sacrifice is going on? Participatio Actuosa v. Participatio Activa is again the real question. Which is more intregal to the melding of soul and body to the liturgical action.
This is an important issue and one that merits discussion amongst the faithful. If our priests are going to revolt, we should be faithful to Rome. Rome is the final answer for matters of discipline, not aging priests who are upset at the fact that they didn't get their way.