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Catholic Clergy Ask Bishops to Keep Mass Holy

Contact: Father John Trigilio, Jr., 717-957-2662

MEDIA ADVISORY, October 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy denounces the recent letter from the National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN) sent to the Bishops of the United States (USCCB). That letter called for the rejection of a literal and accurate English translation of the 2000 Roman Missal from its typical Latin text. The Missal is the official altar book used by priests to celebrate the Mass. It is second only to the Lectionary, which contains the Scripture passages chosen for each Sunday and weekday Mass.

Catholic worship centers on Word (Scripture) and Sacrament and the Sacred Liturgy, particularly the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, is the 'source and summit of Christian life.' As such, it requires the clergy to celebrate 'digne, atténte ac devote' (worthily, with attention and devotion). This can be done only if liturgical books are accurately and literally translated from the typical Latin text.

Ritual (gestures) and Rite (words) make proper worship. 'Full, conscious and active participation' by the faithful in the sacred liturgy is only possible when pedestrian language and banal translations are abandoned once and for all. The congregation is more educated and sophisticated than purported by those who insist accurate and literal translations from the Latin into English would be confusing at best and frustrating at worst.

We live in a culture where the vulgar, crass and obscene are part of everyday conversation. It proliferates the media at all levels: radio, television, movies, theater, magazines, and the internet. Yet, good taste and graceful language are not archaic. Sacred worship requires a sacred vocabulary and nomenclature which expresses the value and need for reverence for 'the Holy' and which transcends the secular world and allows the worshipper to approach the threshold of heaven.

Accuracy demands that the word 'consubstantial' be restored to the Creed since the Council of Nicea (325) canonized the terms 'homoouios' (Greek) and 'consubstantialem' (Latin) rather than the current 'one in being'. Adjectives which predicate the divinity of Christ, prominent in the Latin, need to be reinserted into the English. 'Holy', 'sacred', 'venerable', and 'immaculate', etc., are not foreign terms to Catholic vocabulary. Edified language 'inspires' the believer to 'aspire' to those things which are holy and sacred. Banal and pedestrian language lowers us into the gutter.

We ask the bishops to preserve a poetic sacred language that uplifts the human spirit to seek the divine rather than being content with the mediocrity of mundane.