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Slava Isusu Christu!

Yes, I hear that all the time wink However, I must respect the Jesuits--the thinkers of the Church--for their deep struggles with the tradition. One thing I did learn here is that I tended to lack historical awareness of issues, including the liturgical tradition, both East and West. The Byzantine Liturgy and its variant ethnic adaptions/recensions expresses the genius of cultures and peoples. The Principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium also apply to the Eastern Catholic Churches--and are a good principle for liturgical reform of the Orthodox Churches as well.

I have tried to move my positions out of uncritical/pseudo-historical dogmatism--because of the complexity of the issues. If the Dogmas are true they do not need my defense, and they are true, however, the cultural traditions and accretions of time in the liturgy can be critiqued and adapted--the language used in transmission can also be critiqued and refined. There is nothing un-Orthodox about adaption of liturgical forms or language to the context of parish life or that of a culture, ask SS Kyril and Methodios. This is done often with the time of the Divine Liturgy, and taking more or less of the prayers to save time.

Deification has nothing to do with the length of services or liturgical English or horizontal inclusive language. Deification occurs when the nous or mind prays and the prayer of the intellect descends into the heart, to become the prayer of the heart, and through the prayer of the heart and holy tears are we made "gods by Grace". It is rather the quality of our prayer life that matters. God can transform us into an Apostle instantly like Paul or take His time on us--that is His prerogative. Deification is a process that occurs for most of us over long periods of time, through many tears. The goal of the presbyter is to assist the parish to know God and then to translate that knowledge into the core of our being to be transformative. We value our cultural relics and do not see beyond them to the Christ who is Chief Iconographer who made us whole and beautiful in His Divine Ikon or Image. This Iconographer takes us into His shop and slowly and carefully restores the color and contours, shades and dimensions of that image to its pristine goodness. When will the Iconographer be done? He is never done, but it is His Work, not ours. The Ikon has no power to restore itself. Our cultural idolatry and presumptions are not able to restore us--when we value them over authentic and true seeking after Light.

Not having liturgical/so-called sacral English can become a cultural idolatry when it is seen as better than the language of Americans today, criticizing gender issues may become idolatry when it neglects the struggles and pain of women in the Church, our preferences in ethnic Eastern externals may become idolatry when it says that another culture or society cannot contribute to the Church's great treasury of liturgical expression, our pride and vanity over terminology may become a form of idolatry when we know that legitimate diversity has always existed in the Church's forms, and yet we do not allow that for anyone else. I worshipped at the altar of believing I know the tradition better than others--when the very Life of the Spirit, Tradition, what quenched in my soul because of my pride and personal localized vision of that Tradition. I think these issues move us away from Christ not toward Him. If any lesson was learned in the way Christ dealt with the religious sects of the Judaism of His day--it was that when they thought they had the Tradition down to a T--he said "Woe unto you."

In Christ,


Robert

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John,

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There is a fallacy in your argument. Anyone familiar with the history of the ongoing effort in the Latin Church to produce corrected translations of the Roman Mass can see the issue in context. The problem with translations grew worse beginning in the 1980s and through the 1990s, with texts so �dynamic� (paraphrase) and gender neutral that the Vatican started stepping in, first with calls for faithfulness but coming to a head with the issuance of Liturgiam Authenticam in 2001 and the rejection of the translation of the Roman Mass in 2002. ICEL was effectively disbanded and reorganized. Vox Clara was created by Pope John Paul II in 2002 (maybe announced in 2001). Rome has allowed existing translations that are not in conformance to be continued to be used, and even granted permission to new texts while looking ahead to more precise texts in the future. Nothing surprising here. Politics exists in the Church as it exists everywhere else. It is one thing to set a goal and not quite hit it. It is another think to set a goal and kick the ball in a different direction.

I am sorry but you are seeing what you want to see. The Canadians have used the NRSV Lectionary as is since 1992 as you say. However, the new Corrected NRSV Lectionary was approved just last year and just like the Corrected RNAB Lectionary still contains horizontal inclusive language. All this after LA, the reformation of ICEL, and Vox Clara. If Rome was as opposed as you seem to think it is no way would the Canadian Lectionary have been approved. Why approve a Corrected NRSV that will have to be printed, when if as you say Rome has its own English Lectionary it is planning to impose? Why not just force them to resume using the RSV Lectionary they used prior to 92? Your arguement makes no sense.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Originally Posted by PrJ
With all due respect, your post proves that you have not read my posts carefully. You also have not read Fr David's posts carefully. Obviously, the fathers do not discuss the English language. They wrote in Greek! But the principles they laid down lead to my positions. This is how theology is done -- you find the principles in the fathers and in our liturgical tradition, then you seek to faithfully apply those principles to contemporary situations. Theology is not done by "proof-texting" from official sources -- theology must be contextualized.
I have read your posts most carefully, together with Father David�s. That is the whole point! The Church Fathers don�t speak specifically to gender neutral language. They give us principles. And the Church has later used these principles for its expressed teaching on the role of women. We can all agree on the equality of women and the correct treatment of women (especially as taught by the late Pope John Paul the Great who considered himself a �Christian feminist�). But it is not a mistreatment of women to insist on accurate translations of the liturgical texts free from a language style that embraces the politics of secular feminism. It is the theology built upon the foundational principles that gives rise to directives like Liturigam Authenticam. Accuracy and fidelity in translation (literal with elegance) is the best way to respect women. Embracement of a style of speech that has its origins in a secular feminist group (and thus � unintentionally � tying the Liturgy to that group) is not a proper way to respect women, and actually disrespects them. Once you go down the road of gender neutralizing the liturgical texts (which is easily seen as imprecise and less inclusive) you call the whole accuracy of the text into question. How much here is accurate? What can we trust? A lack of accuracy resulting in a lack of trust in our liturgical (and Scriptural) texts is a very high price to pay to appease the demands for politically correct language. Women are worthy of an exactingly accurate text, and are certainly smart enough to understand that many singular pronouns (and etc.) that use terms like �man� and �he� are inclusive.

Originally Posted by PrJ
As to where your interpretation of the LA is not the only one possible, I would point you to Fr David's excellent posts on this subject. I would respectfully note that just because you disagree with a position does not mean that it is without merit.
I remind you that your disagreement on the removal of �men� from �who for us men and our salvation� is not with me but with Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Est�vez, Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship. That he made clear that the removal of the term �man� to render it �who for us and our salvation� (and elsewhere) �has effects that are theologically grave� is not just an opinion of another. He is (was since he is retired) the head of the Congregation of Divine Worship. As someone of his standing said it is problematic, and there was absolutely no need to change the text of the Creed (or remove the other uses of the inclusive term �man�) there was no reason to make a change. And every reason to change back.

Those who support the change have not proven the need for the change.

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Originally Posted by Father Deacon Lance
I am sorry but you are seeing what you want to see. The Canadians have used the NRSV Lectionary as is since 1992 as you say. However, the new Corrected NRSV Lectionary was approved just last year and just like the Corrected RNAB Lectionary still contains horizontal inclusive language. All this after LA, the reformation of ICEL, and Vox Clara. If Rome was as opposed as you seem to think it is no way would the Canadian Lectionary have been approved. Why approve a Corrected NRSV that will have to be printed, when if as you say Rome has its own English Lectionary it is planning to impose? Why not just force them to resume using the RSV Lectionary they used prior to 92? Your arguement makes no sense.
I disagree. That Rome allows the goal to be missed does not mean that Rome has thrown away the goal posts.

It is not unreasonable to see Liturgicam Authenticam and Vox Clara as part of the �Reform of the Reform�. 2001 is not that long ago and things do move forward.

I don�t why the Canadian Lectionary was approved. It certainly did not get a hearty endorsement from the Vatican. The wrangling back and forth for so long to get the Canadian bishops to move towards accuracy is very problematic. One would expect bishops to attempt to embrace the directives of Rome fully. I am not sure why Canada doesn�t just return to the RSV. It could be because of the style of English. But we see the RSV-CE2, which did obtain approbation without a single change required from Rome (whereas the Canadian one had a huge number). It may eventually replace it.

I pray the USCCB abandons the RAR-NAB but that is unlikely since they make a mint on sales. But there is a significant push for this new RSV-CE2 so something might happen.

The effort from the Vatican to correct the problems that came with the translations in the 1960s through the early 1980s has been going on now for over 20 years. I suspect it will take at least a few more decades before the task if fully completed. I am not just thinking wishfully. I don�t expect things to happen overnight. The Ruthenian Church may be stuck with the RDL for awhile. But correcting that error will probably not take as long as it is taking the Roman Catholics since we will have their mistakes to learn from (and already should have learned from).

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Originally Posted by Robert Horvath
The task of the liturgical translator is to to give the liturgy a voice so it can speak to people in the pews and transmit the mystery of Christ--and not dry literal translation.
So you are saying that the people in the pews cannot understand the meaning of the word, "mankind"? You are saying that the people in the pews are confused by the word, "men" in the Creed? You are saying these words are "dry"?

Please clarify.

Liturgy changes organically. It is not forced down the throat because a small group of "Liturgists" or "translators" or "scholars" feel that women are being offended by the English language.

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Originally Posted by PrJ
But although I do note that you have sources to back up your positions, I do not count them as serious.
Liturgiam Authenticam is not serious?!? shocked

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Originally Posted by PrJ
This is why the discussion is useless and this Forum should be closed.
Now you are calling for the stifling of free speech?!? frown
Originally Posted by PrJ
...you tell me that Rome is compromising.
You bring up a great point here. There should be no compromise on the issue of gender neutralized politically correct translations. St Mark of Ephesus pray for us!




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Originally Posted by PrJ
As to where your interpretation of the LA is not the only one possible, I would point you to Fr David's excellent posts on this subject.
And I would point you to Fr Serge's excellent book. wink

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Robert, thank you for another beautifully written and theologically contextualized essay. In a few paragraphs you have expressed my thoughts on the subject. Like you, my thoughts on this subject flow out of the central teaching that the goal of prayer is to pray with the head in the heart. I remember a dear priest who told me that the standard in the East for liturgical translations (this is when I was radically opposed to any changes in liturgical translation away from the sacral hieratic English used by the Antiochians) is the Jesus Prayer. Liturgical prayer in the east, he argued, is to be intimate -- it must be simple and understandable so that the person who participates is able to descend into the heart to find God. I also think that your understanding of the role that the doctrine of deification plays in this discussion to be right on target.

Thanks again! Peace!

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Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by PrJ
As to where your interpretation of the LA is not the only one possible, I would point you to Fr David's excellent posts on this subject.
And I would point you to Fr Serge's excellent book. wink

I heartily respect both of these priests who have dedicated their lives to the Church. I also recognize that each of them writes out of the tradition and that both of these positions are supported by the liturgical and dogmatic tradition of the East. I happen to agree more with Fr David -- but that does not mean that I do not thoroughly respect Fr Serge and his writings. I do and appreciate his contributions to our ongoing attempts to understand our liturgical tradition.

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Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by PrJ
But although I do note that you have sources to back up your positions, I do not count them as serious.
Liturgiam Authenticam is not serious?!? shocked

I would argue that LA does not apply in the East as it does in the West. The liturgical context of the East is vastly different than the West, so I do not think that the LA can be put as a "straight-jacket" over the East. I would also argue that many people misunderstand the LA -- as noted by the Catholic Herald, the LA does not say that horizontally inclusive language cannot be used (if it did, the Vatican would not have approved the Canadian lectionary). Instead, the LA states that the translation has to be accurate. Obviously, since the Vatican approved both the RDL and the Canadian lectionary, Rome must believe that it is possible to publish a correct horizontally inclusive language liturgy/scriptural text. The concern of the LA is not with the agendas behind the changes -- it seems to be focused on the translation itself. If it can be shown that the translation is accurate, Rome will approve it. So to answer your question, I do think the LA is important and serious. But I do not find the attempts to use the LA on this Forum as a straight-jacket for eastern liturgical texts "serious." Theology always has to be contextualized. It is this contextualization to the eastern ethos and liturgical tradition that I find missing in the posts of the Administrator.

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Originally Posted by PrJ
Liturgical prayer in the east, he argued, is to be intimate -- it must be simple and understandable so that the person who participates is able to descend into the heart to find God.
I have sinned above all men, I alone have sinned against Thee. But as God have compassion, O Saviour, on Thy creature. (1 Tim. 1:15)

I alone have sinned against Thee, sinned above all men. O Christ my Saviour, spurn me not. Thou art the good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect not me who have gone astray. (John 10:11-14)


Despise not Thy works and forsake not Thy creation, O just Judge and Lover of men, though I alone have sinned as a man more than any man. But being Lord of all, Thou hast power to pardon sins. (Mark 2:10)


Out of the night watching early for Thee, enlighten me, I pray, O Lover of men, and guide even me in Thy commandments, and teach me, O Saviour, to do Thy will.


(Excerpts from the Great Canon)

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Originally Posted by PrJ
I would argue that LA does not apply in the East as it does in the West.
shocked
Originally Posted by PrJ
I would also argue that many people misunderstand the LA
Perhaps it is you who misunderstand LA?
Originally Posted by PrJ
Rome must believe that it is possible to publish a correct horizontally inclusive language liturgy/scriptural text.
I think LA is quite clear. But I would like to see more language about this issue coming from Rome.
Originally Posted by PrJ
Theology always has to be contextualized.
Yes. And gender neutralized politically correct language does nothing to further this contextualization. In fact, (IMHO), it works as a means for division.

Do you see the pain it has caused? This forum is but a sample of the pain. Before the neutralized language was forced down the people's throats'--I did not hear an outcry for the adoption of gender neutral language. I did not see the throngs of Byzantine Catholic men and women who were injured by the "old" language. Was it a secret revolt? I think this is what Ed is asking for. Where did it come from? Who did it offend? Why was it imperative for the Liturgy to be gender neutralized? These are simple questions that simple people would like to see answered. Is it asking too much? Surely it cannot only be you, Fr David and perhaps Mr Horvath who were injured by the "old" translation.


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Originally Posted by Robert Horvath
Not having liturgical/so-called sacral English can become a cultural idolatry when it is seen as better than the language of Americans today, criticizing gender issues may become idolatry when it neglects the struggles and pain of women in the Church, our preferences in ethnic Eastern externals may become idolatry when it says that another culture or society cannot contribute to the Church's great treasury of liturgical expression, our pride and vanity over terminology may become a form of idolatry when we know that legitimate diversity has always existed in the Church's forms, and yet we do not allow that for anyone else.

How do these comments relate specifically to the RDL?

Originally Posted by PrJ
Robert, thank you for another beautifully written and theologically contextualized essay. In a few paragraphs you have expressed my thoughts on the subject.

How do his comments relate specifically to the RDL? What exactly is the "subject"?

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Originally Posted by PrJ
I would also argue that many people misunderstand the LA -- as noted by the Catholic Herald, the LA does not say that horizontally inclusive language cannot be used (if it did, the Vatican would not have approved the Canadian lectionary).

It is you, advocates of socially and now liturgically engineered gender-non-specific language, who focus on the buzzwords "horizontally inclusive language" (see my critique ) and make it the topic rather than as you say:

Originally Posted by PrJ
Instead, the LA states that the translation has to be accurate.

which topic, accuracy in translation, you consistently avoid, especially when presented with specific cases and details.

Originally Posted by PrJ
Obviously, since the Vatican approved both the RDL and the Canadian lectionary, Rome must believe that it is possible to publish a correct horizontally inclusive language liturgy/scriptural text.

Being another instance that it is you who focus on the buzzwords "horizontally inclusive language" and make it the topic rather than as you say, that the real issue is accuracy in translation:

Originally Posted by PrJ
The concern of the LA is not with the agendas behind the changes -- it seems to be focused on the translation itself.
which focus, accuracy in translation, you consistently avoid, especially in specifics and details.

Originally Posted by PrJ
If it can be shown that the translation is accurate, Rome will approve it.

I would hope so. Rome has also approved otherwise, and then rescinded.

Originally Posted by PrJ
It is this contextualization to the eastern ethos and liturgical tradition that I find missing in the posts of the Administrator.

The pot calling the silverware black.


Dn. Anthony

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