Monday, April 2, 2007

Problem in Sacramentum Caritatis 23

This is very sad to see, but I'm grateful it is coming to light so quickly. As the faithful, we have a right to proper translations - unedited by the translators themselves. May God help anyone who, not by lack of skill or human error, is hindering the Magisterium and providing us with watered down documents.

Here is yet another disturbing example of an "error" found in the English translation of Sacramentum Caritatis - the recent Exhoration by Pope Benedict.

This time, it concerns paragraph 23. Fr. Zuhlsdorf writes:

Par. 23 deals with the priest who acts in persona Christi in the Eucharistic liturgy. This is a central point for Benedict because the priest is a manifestation, in a personal way, of the High Priest Jesus Christ who is the true Actor in the liturgical action (actio). Because the liturgy is always first and foremost Christ’s and not our personal possession, even the alter Christus the priest, acting in persona Christi, must not hijack the liturgy and impose his own person on it. By his fidelity to the Rite, to the rubrics, the priest gets himself "out of the way", as it were, so that Christ is more apparently the true Actor.

Leaving aside the bulk of par. 23, I ask you to consider the following:

Quod peculiari modo in humilitate exprimitur quacum sacerdos actionem ducit liturgicam, in oboedientia erga ritum, cui corde et mente respondet, omnia vitans quae speciem praebere possunt alicuius propriae importunae actionis.

Ciò si esprime particolarmente nell’umiltà con la quale il sacerdote guida l’azione liturgica, in obbedienza al rito, corrispondendovi con il cuore e la mente, evitando tutto ciò che possa dare la sensazione di un proprio inopportuno protagonismo.

This is seen particularly in his humility in leading the liturgical assembly, in obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart, and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality.

Which is expressed in a special way in the type of humility with which the priest leads the liturgical action, in obedience in respect to the rite, with which he complies, avoiding all things which could present the appearance of some unsuitable actio of his own.

The concept actio is critical for understanding what His Holiness is expressing in the Exhortation. The English version entirely erases the concept actio.

Read the rest of Fr. Z's post here...

Leading the liturgical assembly? Huh? This must have been translated after lunch and a little too much wine at the Enoteca Antica.

Forgive me for asking, but why have "experts" translating things when you could have amateurs doing it with better accuracy? Without the editing of the official documents, perhaps such things wouldn't take as long to get out the door! (scroll to the bottom of this article - right before the footnotes begin - by Vatican Watcher Sandro Magister, who explains the translation frustrations in Rome)

Is it just me, or is anyone else wondering how such blatant things don't result in "reassignments" until they have a department or team capable of straightforward translations that have not tampered with original meaning?

The internet is totally blowing any cover things like this once had with the passing of time. In darkness such things prevail. In the light, they can be seen for what they are.

One can only imagine why the motu proprio hasn't been released just yet. Perhaps Papa Bene is going over the translations himself before that gets messed up.

Finger paint anyone?