Rorate Caeli

Laughter is the best medicine

A more traditional and “Roman” translation of the Mass into English currently in the pipeline may dampen enthusiasm for wider use of the pre-Vatican II Mass, according to the executive director of the commission charged with preparing that translation. [John Allen]
Ha! One can just see the throngs of Traditional-minded Catholics rushing to new Masses because of "And with your spirit"... Allen had also said earlier that:

It is testament to Tornielli's stellar reputation that people by and large took his report on faith, ... [John Allen]

No, actually it is a testament to Allen's abysmal incompetence (or bias) that he could not follow the many clues regarding this eventual document. This is not the first time in recent months that Allen's ideological bias has prevented him from following up on great stories -- he virtually ignored the most important pronouncement of this pontificate, the Christmas Address to the Roman Curia, for weeks in a row.

People had been talking about this possible document for a while -- and not only Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli, but also Marco Tosatti, of La Stampa (see here and translation here), mentioned the same document on the same day, adding many important details to Tornielli's version. It wasn't Tornielli who gave the news of the document to the Archbishop of Winnipeg days before he wrote about it in Il Giornale... Tornielli was not the Vatican source who confirmed it to the news agency of the Italian Episcopal Conference; it wasn't Tornielli who told the French bishops' news agency that the document "is written".

Maybe it is about time Allen would change his sources... or tell us what else he knows. Or maybe John Allen still thinks that the Pope is trying to build "consensus"... Or is he? Last Monday, Benedict warned the students of the Pontifical Universities in Rome:

Our words can only have any value and usefulness if they come from the silence of contemplation, not falling prey to the proliferation of worldly discourse, which seeks the consensus of common opinion.


  1. You capture the problem with Mr. John Allen precisely. He "doesn't get it" and is evidently blind to what has been forecast for not just weeks, but months. Is it bias? Is it failure to recognize the truth?

    Surely someone as well-connected as Allen must have heard the rumors before these issues moved beyond the speculation phase. Perhaps he just doesn't want to come to grips with shortcomings of the last thirty+ years and there now must come the realization that positive change towards tradition is now imminent. More importantly, he and his friends in Rome ought to wake up and smell the espresso. A new day is about to dawn...

  2. Bona gratia - He doesn't want to hear the rumors. If he were to report on such issues the Catholics that find his work interesting wouldn't read his articles anymore.
    He's a dead set goose....I cant stand him! ;)
    Selective hearing and writting on Mr. Allan's part.

  3. You mean they're going to say "and with your spirit"? I'm so there.........

    What have I been thinking with this TLM kick of mine? I only needed to wait for 40 years for a correct translation of "et cum spiritu tuo"? Man, am I stupid; if I live another 40 years, they could even get "pro multis" right.

    See ya, you Latin Mass rigorists!

  4. For many Catholics who attend a regular "Novus Ordo" Mass, a more elegant and faithful translation of the vernacular text will be a noticable improvement, perhaps even a welcome improvement, once they get used to the idea of, you know, sacred language for a sacred occasion.

    No, this will not bring a flood of "TLM" adherents to their doors. But neither will it send mainstream Catholics screaming to the Old Mass any more than they were inclined before. Conversations with a number of parish priests, including those pre-disposed to the traditional form, indicate to me that Mr Allen's column is attempting to do justice to those issues (although I think he personally underestimates the long-term impact of the Old Mass, but he'll find out soon enough). I wish it were easier, especially in the Midwest, where the situation with the liturgy is simply out of control compared to here on the East Coast.

    Alas, there are only so many hours on a Sunday morning. Mr Allen didn't tell me that; it was a priest who's ready to say the Old Mass in a heartbeat.

  5. A lot of my friends who attend TLM do so to avoid the Novus Ordo as it is practiced, including the poor English translation. They drive long distances to find the indult mass, and while they prefer it, would not do so on a weekly basis if a properly celebrated Novus Ordo was accessible to them.

    I think the restoration of the liturgical life of the Church must be a two pronged approach, improved access to TLM, and improvements not only to the practice of the Novus Ordo, but also to it's actual content in order to restore what was lost in it's creation. I don't know what the ultimate disposition would be but, it's unlikely to occur in our lifetimes.

    God Bless,



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