Having been an active advocate of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, which will soon be five years old, it is cheering to see how well established it has become. It is not perfect, but its imperfections are far fewer than those of the translation it replaced, and at least errs on the side of assuming that the faithful are more intelligent, as opposed to the previous translation’s implicit assumption that we were all a little thick and needed things served up in small sentences and easy words. There are still the grey and disgruntled who clamour for its abolition, though even they, or most of them, do not seek the return of the previous translation, advocating instead the ill-fated 1998 translation. That translation was indeed a marked improvement on the previous, but it was marked by contemporary ideology. The virtue of a more literal translation is that passing ideology gets less room to play.
However, the new translation, being merely that—a translation—and not a new missal per se, keeps the structural, liturgical and theological defects of the post-conciliar Roman Missal. Continue reading “The Tyranny of Options”