New Missal translation – rated 18
Posted by Melanie Lately, guest contributor , 1 July 2011, 9:00
At Mass we have cards in the pews so we can follow the revised translation of the Mass. The options for different parts are there. This week our parish priest used the homily to speak about it. When he read out the words of the Confiteor, with the changes in bold, he was greeted with gales of laughter and even he had to smile.
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
[All strike their breast]
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
No-one today in their right mind – unless perhaps they have just murdered someone – is going to harp on about “my fault, my fault, my own most grievous fault” while beating their breast, especially if they are reflecting on ordinary everyday thoughts or words that most Mass-goers might be expected to have. The picture the words give of breast-beating illiterate peasants with cloth caps and mud-clotted boots is like something out of Monty Python.
I really cannot believe that a publication, even one as facile as the Tablet, would publish such nonsense. I mean, even Michael Sean Winters would think this is dumb, even Anthony Stevens-Arroyo would think… Well, maybe not Stevens-Arroyo, but this is plenty dumb.
But. But I say. It gets worse. Dumb squared.
She compares teaching children to strike their breast and acknowledge their sin to child abuse. I am not kidding.
Among consenting adults at Mass it matters little. But it is completely different when it comes to the children. As an educator with children in Catholic schools I wonder if Vox Clara group who came up with this translation have thought about the educational side.
Imagine what would happen if the Government of Britain or the US, Canada or Australia were to bring something like this into state schools with little or no public consultation, and have children learn such words by heart and repeat them over and over for 12 years – there would be a public outcry. And yet the equivalent of this is being foisted on Catholic children in English-speaking lands. Surely if Catholic children are cajoled by teachers at the behest of the Catholic hierarchy to beat their breasts on regular solemn occasions and pronounce themselves inwardly filthy, we should be shown the psychological impact study they carried out. Or did they not do one?
Father Z. succinctly exposes the absurdity of this nonsense much better than I ever could. He says “Reflect on the suggestion that the liturgical beating of one’s breast is tantamount to child abuse. I wonder what she thinks of showing children a piece of wood with a man nailed to it.”