Don’t look now, but some of our favorite reform2 prelates are sipping on vino in proximity to the Tiber this week. From Vatican Radio’s website, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa:
I think one of the main tasks we have is to explain to people why we need to have precise translations.
Something comes to mind that if you have to explain it …
I’ve never been opposed to replacing the preliminary translations of the Roman Rite. On this website, we’ve seen the good work done in the second round of translation in Pastoral Care of the Sick (1983), RCIA (1988), and the funeral rites (1989). That’s about where the good work stopped. A whole decade ensued where obstructionists in the curia let translated documents pile up after bishops approved them, then they rejected them, then they made up new rules to justify the rejections, and then they appointed special blue ribbon committees of bishops to add another layer of bureaucracy and pile up the frequent flier miles for the selected few. Who, in part, ignored the rules laid down in step three.
Archbishop Prendergast thinks catechesis is the answer. Of course it is. Whenever people oppose bishops or the curia, it’s not because they have good reason, but it’s because of their ignorance.
It certainly couldn’t be that we’d like good English grammar. The Norman French-derived vocabulary isn’t a problem of itself. It’s just that it’s used so darned poorly.