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Posted By: EdHash Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:59 AM
Dear Father David,

I wrote this on another thread, but post it here new again under a new topic. You mentioned *needs* and so it got me thinking - WHAT needs and WHOSE needs? We now know that someone's *needs* needed to be met, but who that someone is remains a mystery.

Here is my earlier post:

As a married man whose wife despises feminism and inclusive language (she got me rolling on this issue long before I came across this church forum), what exactly are those *needs of women* you and others continually refer to (all in the context of *sensitivity*, of course) but never specify? I would be interested in what you perceive to be their needs.

And which women have vocalized these *needs* to you and the translators and your bishops? Can you point us to the public platform and avenues taken where women have presented their *needs* that justified altering Scripture and the words used in worship? My aunt wasn't invited and probably would have given you an earful. But these women, the pushers and shakers of liturgical worship and the aggiornamento of the Byzantine lexicon of worship, seem to be quite anonymous; not publically vocal; like shadows behind closed doors. [End]


OK then. Who the pushers and shakers of feminist theology and inclusive language in other church communities isn't so secretive as in the Byzantine Catholic Church. I actually know many of them personally. But something seems almost sinister when such things happen that everyone has to live and abide with, but have no clue (or never invited to participate in a discussion on an open forum) on why changes are made to worship AND Holy Writ(!) to satisfy someone's *needs*. Is there a church within your church here? a secret order of believers we don't know about? and why have they only made their *needs* known to you and the others on the committees?

Please forgive me if those *needs* were posted on some public forum or church conference or printed in some journal. I am not privy to all things Byzantine Catholic, so if I have gravely misjudged you, I would welcome you to simply point me in the right direction where I can study how these *needs* were presented and discussed (maybe debated).

Thank you!

Ed
I got nervous there for a moment.... I never even new about any previous open letters. confused I'm grateful for obscurity. smile

Another Father David cool
"And which women have vocalized these *needs* to you and the translators and your bishops?"

My guess would be the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, who basically introduced inclusive language into the Metropolia when the published their Divine Office books.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Yes, you are correct. This same statement about the Sisters of St. Basil was told to me at pilgrimage this year by someone on the Music Commission.
Posted By: Etnick Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 06:43 AM
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
"And which women have vocalized these *needs* to you and the translators and your bishops?"

My guess would be the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, who basically introduced inclusive language into the Metropolia when the published their Divine Office books.

Fr. Deacon Lance

So how can ten (maybe fifty nuns tops)? shape what an entire church does? This is truly sad. cry

I've been to two Uniontown pilgrimages. My first was when I was still Greek Catholic. Boy was it an eye opener! Two and a half months later I became Orthodox. I attended last years pilgrimage, and after hearing that totally feminized Akathist again, I knew I made the right choice.

Unless I'm stuffed into the van of my dear Greek Catholic friends, against my own good will, I can't see it happening again. biggrin
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 12:43 PM
Quote
So how can ten (maybe fifty nuns tops)? shape what an entire church does? This is truly sad.

I am not buying into the idea that the premise behind this statement is true. However, I do want to note that were it not for the equivalent of "ten maybe fifty" (percentage wise) monks and nuns we would not have icons in our churches. Were it not for the equivalent of "ten maybe fifty" (percentage wise) monks and nuns the Jesus Prayer would not be part of our regular spiritual lives. Etc.

Orthodoxy lives and dies by its monastics. This is the point that Pope John Paul II was making in his masterful essay on the East. So even it is true that some of these changes were initiated by pious Eastern Catholic nuns that does not necessarily mean that it is not authentic or that it is not of God.

As always, it is important to think like an Eastern Christian and not to react.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:29 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
So even it is true that some of these changes were initiated by pious Eastern Catholic nuns that does not necessarily mean that it is not authentic or that it is not of God.
If I am not mistaken, terrible things can also begin with just a handful.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:32 PM
Just remember, the Holy Spirit is a majority of One!
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:36 PM
Originally Posted by Etnick
I attended last years pilgrimage, and after hearing that totally feminized Akathist again, I knew I made the right choice.
This was my experience also. I attended two pilgrimages. The second one was 2 1/2 years ago. I was very excited for the Akathist to the Mother of God on Saturday night. I brought Archbishop Raya's translation to read along by candle light. I was horrified when the neutralized language began. They even used vertically neutralized language by saying that Jesus Christ "became human". I was literally physically ill and I never returned.

Yes. My best guess is that the feminizations came from the sisters.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Just remember, the Holy Spirit is a majority of One!
Amen. And let us pray that the Holy Spirit puts an end to the surrendering of the Church to politcal agendas of the secular world.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:43 PM
Quote
They even used vertically neutralized language by saying that Jesus Christ "became human".

This is not vertically inclusive language -- vertically inclusive language changes the language about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Although given that the Syriac language uses the feminine pronoun for the Holy Spirit, there is discussion about what this means for the Spirit among theologians.)

Notice that saying Jesus "became human" does not discuss the Trinity and thus is properly considered horizontally inclusive language. It is about us -- human beings -- and not about God -- and thus does not change essential theology.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:52 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
This is not vertically inclusive language -- vertically inclusive language changes the language about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Although given that the Syriac language uses the feminine pronoun for the Holy Spirit, there is discussion about what this means for the Spirit among theologians.)

Notice that saying Jesus "became human" does not discuss the Trinity and thus is properly considered horizontally inclusive language. It is about us -- human beings -- and not about God -- and thus does not change essential theology.
I was always under the impression that when language is neutralized in reference to "mankind", it is horizontal. When language is neutralized in reference to God, it is vertical.

Nevertheless, Jesus became man--in every sense of the word. What is the purpose of using the word "human" here? Is it to tell us that he did not become canine? or reptile?

How ludicrous!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 02:56 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by PrJ
Just remember, the Holy Spirit is a majority of One!
Amen. And let us pray that the Holy Spirit puts an end to the surrendering of the Church to politcal agendas of the secular world.

We should consider too that God created Man/Adam with self-determination, "free-will." I've wondered, for instance, why God didn't scrape the whole Man-project after the fall and start all over. I think to do so He would have then denied what He had given, wanted to give, to His creation, free-will.

So for me, the best balance, I think, giving a sound ecclesiology, is found in one of the earliest examples of the Church at work, RSV Acts 15:28 "...it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..."


Dn. Anthony

Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 03:17 PM
Quote
and to us ...

Not "to us men"?
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 03:59 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
and to us ...

Not "to us men"?

Please look at it again (hint: in the Greek). What do you conclude? I will gladly answer, but defer for now.

Dn. Anthony
One thing that is more objectionable is the Uniontown Basilian translation of "Blazhen Muzh", or "Blessed is the Man". They have this translated as "Blessed is the One". The big problem with this is that the particular psalm is considered to be Messianic, and refers personally to Jesus Christ.

Dn. Robert
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 04:50 PM
So Deacon -- why can "Blessed is the One" not still apply to Jesus? I don't see, logically, why the pronoun "One" cannot apply to Jesus and be understood messianically.

There is a hermeneutical question here when it comes to messianic psalms. As the Pope has pointed out in his recent book on Jesus, often these Old Testament passages have multiple meanings and interpretations exist on several layers. Thus the translator is forced to decide which interpretation to stress without doing undue justice to the other interpretations/layers.

In the case you mentioned the translation preserves the Messianic emphasis (Blessed is the One) while also allowing for the moral interpretation that stresses that each follower of Christ should not stand with the wicked, etc.

Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
and to us ...

Not "to us men"?

Please look at it again (hint: in the Greek). What do you conclude? I will gladly answer, but defer for now.

Dn. Anthony

Fr Serge has given us a good illustration of how important it is to preserve humor when talking about these kinds of things. My post was in jest -- a little humor to lighten the day and conversation.

No response needed -- just a chuckle or two biggrin
In this case, I think it is most appropriate to say "Blessed is the Man" specifically because it refers to Our Lord Jesus Christ, who took on a male human nature (this is also one of the arguments for restricting Holy Orders to males-a priest stands in the place of Jesus Christ, who took on a male human nature. The imagery is one where He is the bridegroom-the Church is the bride). I would be willing to bet everything I own that if you presented this question to Benedict XVI, we would be back to singing "Blessed is the Man". Rome has counseled against using this type of language because of all the theological difficulties which can arise. Even in the use of the term "mankind", Liturgiam Authenticam says to retain this usage, and to catechize to the effect that the word is, in fact, inclusive of women. I heartily concur.

Dn. Robert
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by Jessup B.C. Deacon
They have this translated as "Blessed is the One".
This further illustrates the politically correct secular mindset that we now see infiltrating the Ruthenian Catholic Church. How very sad.
Posted By: Father David Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 05:19 PM
Dear Mr. Hashinski,

Please excuse me if I don�t understand your question. I would think it is clear that women have �needs.� After all, men have �needs,� human beings have �needs,� Christian faithful have �needs.� When I wrote this sentence, I was thinking of church documents that address �needs,� that is, let us say, the role and position of women in the community of faith, as, for example:
John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio (November 22, 1981): AAS 74 (1982), 81-191; Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem (August 15, 1988): AAS 80 (1988), 1653-1729; Letter to Families (February 2, 1994): AAS 86 (1994), 868-925; Letter to Women (June 29, 1995): AAS 87 (1995), 803-812; Catechesi sull'amore umano (1979-1984): Insegnamenti II (1979) � VII (1984): English translation in The Theology of the Body, (Boston: Pauline Books Media, 1997); Congregation for Catholic Education, Educational Guidance in Human Love (November 1, 1983); Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family (December 8, 1995).

For the Orthodox Church, I would recommend �The Place of the Woman in the Orthodox Church and the Question of the Ordination of Women.� (Interorthodox Symposium, Rhodes, Greece, 1988. This was edited by Gennadios Limouris and published by Tertios Publication in 1992 (ISBN 960-7297-41-5)

All of the above are conservative documents, but at least they take the �needs� of women to be a serious question worth discussion.

I think these documents give a different perspective than some of the postings here, which seem to me to shout out one thing: �Keep women in their place,� and that any change in women�s role has to come from the feminist movement in secular society. I have written before that I do not like to discuss these issues in this forum, because it does not seem possible to discuss them without an emotionally charged reaction from some posters that to me seems to border on hysteria.

My position is simple, I feel that some �horizontal inclusive language� is desirable as an expression of our faith that women can be saved by the divine economy of God. This is, I presume, our common faith, and that everyone who reads this, though they may not agree with my conclusion about language, will at least admit the salvation of women. Those who hold to a conservative position say that no linguistic adjustment is necessary because the language we have has served for centuries, and any change that is made now will come from secularist pressure. I disagree, and very strongly agree with Fr. John Mack�s opinions in this. The problem is that the questions we are now asking are questions that have not been asked before, and once they are asked, demand a Christian response. The Christian response is that women, as well as men, can be saved. The conservative response will then be: �This is true, but in the English language, the default gender is masculine, and that therefore, the masculine words and pronouns refer to both genders.� I say, yes and no. For example, I would not say, �I will speak to the men of the Ladies Guild about this.� Of course, the response will be: whenever you speak only about women, you use the feminine gender, but when the group is mixed, you use the masculine gender. But even here there are nuances, for example, I would not say, �I will speak to the men of the church about this,� intending both men and women, because some may hear, only �men.� I would probably say, �I will speak to the church membership about this.� The number of examples could be multiplied. For the Church to proclaim and say what it means, it may be necessary to adjust the language in accord with general language protocols, over which the Church does not have absolute control. In this, I may at times disagree with some church officials who take a more reactionary (in the sense of reacting to the feminist movement, both within and outside the church) who hold that the language has not, in fact, changed. I believe languages change more quickly now because of the speed of communications, but this is a sociological question that can be discussed on more scientific terms. I would agree with Fr. John Mack and reject absolutely any suggestion that any sympathy for some changes in vertical inclusive language must come from the secular feminist movement. The church is one of the influences in many social movements that occur, even when the results seem to be totally secular. For the scientific movement, I read N. Max Wildiers, �The Theologian and His Universe.� Fr. Mack pointed out slavery. Slave owners pointed to 1 Corinthians 7:20-1 to justify slavery from the Holy Book, �Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called. Were you a slave when you were called? Do not be concerned but, even if you can gain your freedom, make the most of it.� Likewise, I believe that at least some aspects of the women�s movement come from Christian faith, and that we tend to be much too �black and white� on this issue. In passing, I also think we make too much of the �black and white� principle that anything in the social realm from the 60's and 70's is absolutely evil. Some bad things happened - yes - but also some good things, just as today in the 90's and the 00's some things that happen will be seen as �bad� and others as �good.�

One problem that should be addressed is the problem of gender in language. The French, Italian and German languages, among others, have a grammatical gender. Every noun receives a �gender� depending on how it is declined. This may explain the references in Syriac to �ruah,� (Spirit�) as feminine. However, in English there is not a �grammatical gender,� so our mentality concerning gender may be quite different. Many of the people making decisions about English may come from a different linguistic culture where gender has a lesser impact. I would hope that these issues can be discussed on an objective plane.




Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 05:37 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
and to us ...

Not "to us men"?

Please look at it again (hint: in the Greek). What do you conclude? I will gladly answer, but defer for now.

Dn. Anthony

Fr Serge has given us a good illustration of how important it is to preserve humor when talking about these kinds of things. My post was in jest -- a little humor to lighten the day and conversation.

No response needed -- just a chuckle or two biggrin

Even though said in jest, a response (in full, probably best not here) would have served as an important teaching tool. It may not have been realized, but this is actually a very good example to illustrate an important point, which I'm surprised I had not seen before. I hope the point still serves a purpose, and we -- all -- understand exactly what we're chuckling about.

Dn. Anthony

Dear Father David,

English does have grammatical gender in some instances (I almost wrote "in some cases," but that could cause serious confusion!). A sailing vessel is normally thought to be somehow "feminine" and is referred to by feminine pronouns; the same is true of a cat. A dog is often referred to in the masculine gender, regardless of whether the specific dog is male or female. And so on. Recently, though, there is a strange tendency to reject quite well-known and accepted terms such as actress, poetess, comedienne, and so on - I'm not at all sure why, since these are not offensive words. Contrariwise, nobody is startled or offended if the head cook in a fine restaurant is called (and addressed as) "chef", regardless of whether he is masculine or she is feminine.

The most controversial of such words, though, seems to be "priestess", which has been in the English language for many centuries and means, quite simply, a woman who is somehow a priest - perhaps in some non-Christian religion or perhaps, much more recently, in some variety of Christianity which attempts to ordain women to a form of priesthood. Yet no one seems offended by, for example, "nun", which is as clearly feminine as "priestess".

I suppose the point here is simply that a discussion of this matter has become almost impossible because of the emotions on all the possible sides of such a discussion.

fraternally yours in Christ,

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/05/08 07:27 PM
Originally Posted by Father David
I think these documents give a different perspective than some of the postings here, which seem to me to shout out one thing: �Keep women in their place,�
If you are saying that those who are vehemently opposed to neutralized language in the Liturgy, is an equivalent to wanting to �keep women in their place�, then I would say that you are sadly mistaken. Is this not the same argument that the radical feminists make?
Originally Posted by Father David
The Christian response is that women, as well as men, can be saved.

Neutralizing the language of the Liturgy shows women that they are saved also? My wife would be extremely offended at that statement!


Originally Posted by Father David
I would think it is clear that women have �needs.� After all, men have �needs,� human beings have �needs,� Christian faithful have �needs.� When I wrote this sentence, I was thinking of church documents that address �needs,� that is, let us say, the role and position of women in the community of faith, as, for example:
John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio (November 22, 1981): AAS 74 (1982), 81-191; Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem (August 15, 1988): AAS 80 (1988), 1653-1729; Letter to Families (February 2, 1994): AAS 86 (1994), 868-925; Letter to Women (June 29, 1995): AAS 87 (1995), 803-812; Catechesi sull'amore umano (1979-1984): Insegnamenti II (1979) � VII (1984): English translation in The Theology of the Body, (Boston: Pauline Books Media, 1997); Congregation for Catholic Education, Educational Guidance in Human Love (November 1, 1983); Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family (December 8, 1995).
I am familiar with many of the documents that Father David has listed (though I believe there is a newer and more accurate translation of the Theology of the Body that I have not yet seen) and thank him for posting them. They are all quite excellent. They do not, however, speak directly to the use of the English language in Liturgy. There are official Vatican documents that do so (such as Liturgiam Authenticam) and they need to be respected and followed.

Originally Posted by Father David
I think these documents give a different perspective than some of the postings here, which seem to me to shout out one thing: �Keep women in their place,� and that any change in women�s role has to come from the feminist movement in secular society.
The use of gender neutral language does not flow from the teachings contained in these documents. Documents on liturgical texts (like LA) flow directly from texts such as Father David listed above, and we see that LA (and the further clarifying directives) explicitly prohibits gender neutral language of the type used in the Revised Divine Liturgy. The main problem with gender neutral language is that it originates from a political agenda, one that is not compatible with a correct understanding of women (it does not seek true equality of men and women in the Christian understanding given in the documents referenced above but, rather, seeks to erase all innate differences between men and women (i.e., equality = sameness). The demand for gender neutral language in our society is based on politics and is not a natural development of language. Terms like �man� and �mankind� are verboten not because people cannot understand them but because a small segment of our population is offended by them. The correct response here is education. Refusal to accept language that is based upon a political agenda is by no means an attempt to �keep women in their place�. My advocacy of obeying the Vatican directives regarding language in Liturgy is based upon 1) the need for exactingly accuracy in translation (as literal as is possible while being as elegant as possible) and 2) the need for the Liturgy not to embrace political language (which is exactly what gender neutral language is). There is nothing about Standard English that �keeps women down�. But when the Church freely chooses to embrace a style of language that originates and is demanded by political correctness she cannot but help tie herself to that agenda.

Originally Posted by Father David
I have written before that I do not like to discuss these issues in this forum, because it does not seem possible to discuss them without an emotionally charged reaction from some posters that to me seems to border on hysteria.
I agree that the issue is very emotional for some on both sides of the issue. That the issue of gender neutral language raises such emotions is yet more evidence that it is not a natural development of language. And yet the issue needs to be discussed. I suspect this will remain a very contentious issue in the Ruthenian Church so long as the Ruthenian bishops continue to outright reject Vatican directives on Liturgy.

Originally Posted by Father David
For example, I would not say, �I will speak to the men of the Ladies Guild about this.� Of course, the response will be: whenever you speak only about women, you use the feminine gender, but when the group is mixed, you use the masculine gender. But even here there are nuances, for example, I would not say, �I will speak to the men of the church about this,� intending both men and women, because some may hear, only �men.�
The Church acknowledges a difference between liturgical language and street language. Translations of liturgical texts demand doctrinal precision. Speaking to the various groups in a parish does not. Both rely on context for understanding.

When the creed is changed from the very precise �who for us men and our salvation� to �who for us and our salvation� it looses doctrinal precision. The use of the term �men� is clear. It is inclusive of all men from Adam and Eve until the last soul conceived before the Second Coming. Even a young teen or adult who was force fed by our educational system that he ought to accept gender neutral language can understand from the context that the term �men� includes women (and if he opens a dictionary he can easily verify the inclusiveness of the term �man�). But the omission of the term man (in �who for us and our salvation�) brings in doctrinal impreciseness as it potentially excludes all those who are not present at that gathering. One could correctly render this �who for us humans and our salvation� but such a phrase sounds silly and reeks of science fiction (it makes me think of �who for us earthlings and our salvation� and then I start laughing).

Quote
From Liturgiam Authenticam
27. Even if expressions should be avoided which hinder comprehension because of their excessively unusual or awkward nature, the liturgical texts should be considered as the voice of the Church at prayer, rather than of only particular congregations or individuals; thus, they should be free of an overly servile adherence to prevailing modes of expression. If indeed, in the liturgical texts, words or expressions are sometimes employed which differ somewhat from usual and everyday speech, it is often enough by virtue of this very fact that the texts become truly memorable and capable of expressing heavenly realities. Indeed, it will be seen that the observance of the principles set forth in this Instruction will contribute to the gradual development, in each vernacular, of a sacred style that will come to be recognized as proper to liturgical language. Thus it may happen that a certain manner of speech which has come to be considered somewhat obsolete in daily usage may continue to be maintained in the liturgical context. In translating biblical passages where seemingly inelegant words or expressions are used, a hasty tendency to sanitize this characteristic is likewise to be avoided. These principles, in fact, should free the Liturgy from the necessity of frequent revisions when modes of expression may have passed out of popular usage.
Originally Posted by Father David
Many of the people making decisions about English may come from a different linguistic culture where gender has a lesser impact. I would hope that these issues can be discussed on an objective plane.
It seems to me that the mess created in the translations of the Roman Mass came about because of those in the Church who came from different linguistic cultures did not understand these issues. But now we see that the Vatican is very attentive to the need for exactingly correct translations. We see a reform of ICEL. We see Vox Clara.

Quote
Pope John Paul II on the establishment of [i]Vox Clara (Clear voice) committee on English translation of liturgical texts, April 20, 2002:[/i]
Since the lex orandi conforms to the lex credendi, fidelity to the rites and texts of the Liturgy is of paramount importance for the Church and the Christian life. In that light, I wish to offer every encouragement to the Vox Clara Committee in its task of assisting the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in ensuring that the texts of the Roman Rite are accurately translated in accordance with the norms of the Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam.
Texts should be translated accurately (that is, with doctrinal precision). They need to be free from every suggestion of politics (and gender neutral language is a creation of politics). Standard English is the only way forward. The Ruthenian bishops need to embrace the principles given in Liturgiam Authenticam.
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Father David
I think these documents give a different perspective than some of the postings here, which seem to me to shout out one thing: �Keep women in their place,�
If you are saying that those who are vehemently opposed to neutralized language in the Liturgy, is an equivalent to wanting to �keep women in their place�, then I would say that you are sadly mistaken. Is this not the same argument that the radical feminists make?
Originally Posted by Father David
The Christian response is that women, as well as men, can be saved.

Neutralizing the language of the Liturgy shows women that they are saved also? My wife would be extremely offended at that statement!

To expand on the above comments by "Recluse", allow me to "turn the tables" a bit. The suggestion was that those opposed to feminist language in the Liturgy are samehow engaged in an agenda to "keep women in their place". I would suggest that those promoting this rather stilted way of praying are engaged in promoting the agenda of Radical Feminism within the Church. Over the years, I've been told by some male Basilians, and by more than a few of our Eparchial priests that certain female Basilians (the great "movers and shakers" behind the promotion of the use of "inclusive" language in our liturgical books), want to become priests. Names were named. Those who are opposed to this type of language are not out to "keep women in their place". Rather, they are concerned about preserving orthodoxy in the official prayer of the Church. Rome is of the same mind, as evidenced by the promulgation of Liturgiam Authenticam for the benefit of the Latin Church (and, I might add, for the edification of the Universal Church, at least in spirit) , whereas some of those involved in the review and promulgation of the RDL (i.e. Rober Taft, SJ) are on record as being enemies of Liturgiam Authenticam, and as wholehearted proponents of this type of language. I might add that, in running with this Liturgical Translation, we run the risk of alienating our Eastern Orthodox brethren from dialogue toward reunion (contrary to the spirit of the 1996 Liturgical Instruction of the Congregation For Eastern Churches). While my "polling" is by no means scientific, I have shown a few local Orthodox priests copies of our new Liturgicon. The reactions were NOT positive. One OCA priest looked at me and said "why, all of a sudden, are we so concerned with gender"? Enough said.

In Christ,
Dn. Robert
I read Fr. David's post and my head started to hurt. Sometimes when we sit in our "Ivory Tower" we think we know what people want and need. In order to know what women understand about the Liturgy, you actually have to talk with them -- the ordinary, regular, women; some who are educated formally, and some who are not; mothers; daughters; professionals. I truly do not believe this was done, nor do I believe it came from anyone other than the Sisters of St. Basil the Great.

Quote
The Christian response is that women, as well as men, can be saved.


Well, DUH. Do you really think women can't connect the dots on this concept that mankind included them?

Quote
I will speak to the church membership about this.


No, you would probably say parishioners -- and a synonym for that is Layman -- and so the circle goes round again!!!!

I'll stick with Fr. Loya's assessment -- this inclusive language was fabricated by a group of hippie dippie artists from the 60's who are ready to retire but not before they put their mark on our beloved Divine Liturgy -- no matter how ugly it is. Because this issue is about them, not the church as a whole!
If it's any consolation a (male) friend who was working in Michigan, and an American citizen, about thirty years ago was driving to Windsor (in Ontario) once a week to be of assistance with a Catholic prayer group.

The Canadian customs agents eventually noticed that my friend was going back and forth one evening a week, regular as clockwork. So they finally asked him his occupation and where he was going. For "occupation" he gave them, quite honestly, his secular employment and showed them his ID with the name of the employing company on the ID. As to where he was going, he named the church where the prayer-group met.

This led the customs agents to ask if he was a priest, or a Brother, or something of the sort. To each of these questions, he answered, truthfully, in the negative.

This had the customs agents even more puzzled, until finally one of them said, triumphantly: "I know what he is! He's one of those Laymen! All the churches have them now!"

Satisfied, the agent wrote down "layman" as my friend's occupation.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 01:18 AM
Originally Posted by Father David
Dear Mr. Hashinski,
Please excuse me if I don�t understand your question. I would think it is clear that women have �needs.� After all, men have �needs,� human beings have �needs,� Christian faithful have �needs.�

I never said that needs don�t exist. My question was whose needs were you twisting our Lord�s words to satisfy? Several have responded that the push for inclusive language has risen from one of your church�s nunneries. The needs of feminists are different than women. I support the needs of women. My wife reminds me of it every day. But I am familiar with some women who subscribe to group-ism.

Originally Posted by Father David
When I wrote this sentence, I was thinking of church documents that address �needs,� that is, let us say, the role and position of women in the community of faith, as, for example: John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio (November 22, 1981): AAS 74 (1982), 81-191; Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem (August 15, 1988): AAS 80 (1988), 1653-1729; Letter to Families (February 2, 1994): AAS 86 (1994), 868-925; Letter to Women (June 29, 1995): AAS 87 (1995), 803-812; Catechesi sull'amore umano (1979-1984): Insegnamenti II (1979) � VII (1984): English translation in The Theology of the Body, (Boston: Pauline Books Media, 1997); Congregation for Catholic Education, Educational Guidance in Human Love (November 1, 1983); Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family (December 8, 1995).

I am familiar with some of those documents, but not all of them. Which ones address the needs of feminists?

Originally Posted by Father David
All of the above are conservative documents, but at least they take the �needs� of women to be a serious question worth discussion.

At least? You seem to imply that their conservative nature is deficient, but not that deficient to take the needs of women seriously. I applaud the fact that they address the needs of women. But the needs of women were never the point of all these threads and posts.

Originally Posted by Father David
I think these documents give a different perspective than some of the postings here, which seem to me to shout out one thing: �Keep women in their place,� and that any change in women�s role has to come from the feminist movement in secular society.

No, Father David. It is YOUR church that keeps women from serving as ordained ministers. When you decide to walk the walk instead of talk the talk, let me know. My opinion might change.

Originally Posted by Father David
I have written before that I do not like to discuss these issues in this forum, because it does not seem possible to discuss them without an emotionally charged reaction from some posters that to me seems to border on hysteria.

Hysteria? Why is it that anyone who disagrees with you is considered borderline hysterical? This was a term that chauvinistic men used to refer to the weaker sex when they got upset. You can quit the needless characterizations.

Originally Posted by Father David
My position is simple, I feel that some �horizontal inclusive language� is desirable as an expression of our faith that women can be saved by the divine economy of God. This is, I presume, our common faith, and that everyone who reads this, though they may not agree with my conclusion about language, will at least admit the salvation of women.

The issue has NEVER been about admitting whether women can be saved. The issue is about a church changing the words of our Lord when he taught us the Beatitudes. A *son* of God has a deep and rich theological connotation, however masculine IT sounds; just as *wisdom* or *Sophia* has its own deep and rich theological connotation, however feminine IT sounds.

Originally Posted by Father David
Those who hold to a conservative position say that no linguistic adjustment is necessary because the language we have has served for centuries, and any change that is made now will come from secularist pressure. I disagree, and very strongly agree with Fr. John Mack�s opinions in this.

I know liberals who do not agree with your opinion. Btw, is this the same reason why the word *Orthodox* was never accepted? Yet, you all have dug deep to come up with *Theotokos* to refer to the mother of God. What are you guys really afraid of? You fear using *Orthodox* because it might rub your church members the wrong way (I can�t even begin to guess which ones would throw such hissy fits), yet you have no qualms about using inclusive language that upsets your most devoted, especially those (women) who DO know that the words are not being sexist or exclusive of them. Linguistic adjustment seems to be only a favor for those who yell loud enough. Was inclusive language really a favor?

Originally Posted by Father David
The problem is that the questions we are now asking are questions that have not been asked before, and once they are asked, demand a Christian response. The Christian response is that women, as well as men, can be saved.

The question was NEVER about whether women can be saved. This is a response to an un-asked question. We ALREADY know that answer. Women were the first to give witness to the resurrection!

Originally Posted by Father David
The conservative response will then be: �This is true, but in the English language, the default gender is masculine, and that therefore, the masculine words and pronouns refer to both genders.� I say, yes and no. For example, I would not say, �I will speak to the men of the Ladies Guild about this.� Of course, the response will be: whenever you speak only about women, you use the feminine gender, but when the group is mixed, you use the masculine gender. But even here there are nuances, for example, I would not say, �I will speak to the men of the church about this,� intending both men and women, because some may hear, only �men.� I would probably say, �I will speak to the church membership about this.� The number of examples could be multiplied.

First, quit using the word *conservative* when referring to orthodox believers. This is a charged political term carrying many nuances of meaning.

Our Lord said, �Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will become sons of God.� I do believe he was talking to several thousand people, men and women. Do you think that the typical male and female Jew of First Century Palestine were clueless over the connotations of what he meant? Do you think that all the women thought our Lord was counting them out?

Your list of examples only shows the ridiculous; it demeans anyone else as merely stupid idiots who can�t see how their English language has more than one context. Your decision to enlist inclusive language might also be considered as a way to satisfy the needs of women (feminists?), but it too can be taken to extreme nuances by faithful believers who consider such play with words as merely a feminist agenda. Wouldn�t it be prudent to simply use the words of our Lord knowing that it has its own meaning that is not offensive?

Originally Posted by Father David
For the Church to proclaim and say what it means, it may be necessary to adjust the language in accord with general language protocols, over which the Church does not have absolute control.

The Church should proclaim and say what it means � and also practice it. But what did our Lord mean? Does his words mean anything?

Originally Posted by Father David
In this, I may at times disagree with some church officials who take a more reactionary (in the sense of reacting to the feminist movement, both within and outside the church) who hold that the language has not, in fact, changed. I believe languages change more quickly now because of the speed of communications, but this is a sociological question that can be discussed on more scientific terms.

Yes, Father, language does change often and rapidly. No sooner that we get rid of *man* from our gender neutral lexicon that women begin using *guys* in its place! It�s the mercury bubble that keeps finding an outlet to pop out from after being suppressed. Women have every opportunity to use feminine words like *girls* or *gals*, but choose not to. *Girls* is considered sexist because it reminds many women of the days when the male boss referred to his *girls* (secretaries).

Originally Posted by Father David
For the scientific movement, I read N. Max Wildiers, �The Theologian and His Universe.� Fr. Mack pointed out slavery. Slave owners pointed to 1 Corinthians 7:20-1 to justify slavery from the Holy Book, �Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called. Were you a slave when you were called? Do not be concerned but, even if you can gain your freedom, make the most of it.�

That ol� slavery example again. Slavery had many degrees and variants (ever hear of indentured servants?). The Bible also mentions married bishops too. But when Byzantine Catholics protested about mandatory celibacy being imposed on them (is this still the case at your seminary?), they either had to leave the church of their fathers or submit. But women cannot be priests in your church and seminarians at your seminary cannot be married. Or has this changed during these times of enlightenment? If not, what are you waiting for?

Originally Posted by Father David
Likewise, I believe that at least some aspects of the women�s movement come from Christian faith, and that we tend to be much too �black and white� on this issue.

You are not supposed to refer to it as the *women�s movement*. This is sexist � as I was kindly reminded years ago. Just to let you know.

Originally Posted by Father David
In passing, I also think we make too much of the �black and white� principle that anything in the social realm from the 60's and 70's is absolutely evil. Some bad things happened - yes - but also some good things, just as today in the 90's and the 00's some things that happen will be seen as �bad� and others as �good.�

Take a long, hard look at your church. What were the fruits of the 60�s and 70�s? Compare those schools of theology or seminaries that are *orthodox* (many people confuse them as conservative) and those that are not. The orthodox-minded schools are packed. The wishy-washy ones are empty. The 60�s and 70�s never convinced them that truth was more truer according to that generation.

Originally Posted by Father David
I would hope that these issues can be discussed on an objective plane.

You don�t mean the so-called hysterical plane?

Ed Hashinsky
Posted By: Kent L Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 01:26 AM
I also attended the Uniontown Pilgrimage for the first time last year(2007). It was a very moving and powerful experience, however the Acathist Hymn borderlined on being an abomination. I mentioned my dismay to a veiled sister who dismissed my concerns. I told her that this was a slippery slope to start down, she informed me that they would not change the language used for GOD. I also found the remarks made by Mother seraphim to be filled with many new age buzz words, and she couldn't find one Byzantine Father or Mother to quote. The sad truth that the last vocation they had is the most orthodox and faithful member of that community and has suffered at the hand of members of her own community who have an agenda that seems to be different than building up the Catholic Church. Perhaps im just an ignorant layman, but I believe we have no authority to alter Divine Revelation to suit the times. How empty is our seminary? Let us pray for a genuine spiritual and liturgical renewel for the Byzantine Catholic Church.
Posted By: Kent L Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 01:43 AM
I also attended the Uniontown Pilgrimage for the first time last year(2007). It was a very moving and powerful experience, however the Acathist Hymn borderlined on being an abomination. I mentioned my dismay to a veiled sister who dismissed my concerns. I told her that this was a slippery slope to start down, she informed me that they would not change the language used for GOD. I also found the remarks made by Mother seraphim to be filled with many new age buzz words, and she couldn't find one Byzantine Father or Mother to quote. The sad truth that the last vocation they had is the most orthodox and faithful member of that community and has suffered at the hand of members of her own community who have an agenda that seems to be different than building up the Catholic Church. Perhaps im just an ignorant layman, but I believe we have no authority to alter Divine Revelation to suit the times. How empty is our seminary? Let us pray for a genuine spiritual and liturgical renewel for the Byzantine Catholic Church.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 03:01 AM
Father David Petras,

I should also add that orthodox Christians have just survived a decade of the likes of Dan Brown, the Jesus Seminar, Elaine Pagels, and a few gusts of sophia theologies mixed in with latter-day gnosticism and anti-anything Catholic or Orthodox. So, excuse me if I am a bit uptight when I see subtle rumblings in various Catholic churches who have a difficult time ascertaining their identity as Christians of the True Faith. Hopefully, they will take a much needed glance at their fellow Orthodox Christians for guidance seeing how they have such a hard time following Rome.

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 11:11 AM
one more thing---

If it is true that THOSE behind the push for inclusive language were nuns (as a number have claimed and experienced) then we have a case of a group of celibate women instructing celibate men what the *needs* of women are. Nothing against their choice in lifestyle; many celibates are fantastic people who have been wonderful examples of virtue and Christian example.

Second, Father David Petras ignores those men who ARE married to women and who are instructed DAILY on the needs of women - help around the house doing chores, attention, giving her *space* at times, loving her, being with the children ... he also ignores those women who ARE married and do not like the inclusive language. No attention to their *needs* here.

Third, as soon as Father David Petras and others stop considering those who take an opposite position as hysterical or conservative, the discussion will advance from the common ad hominem levels of grade school.

Fourth, Father David Petras has still failed to answer the question of WHO pushed for inclusive language behind church doors. No information, so far, has been given on HOW, WHEN, and WHERE such a push has made them adopt it. Father is very good at side tracking the question. I would appreciate it if he can answer the question this time around.

Ed
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 01:26 PM
Ed,

Since we are being bold in asking questions, I would like to ask you a question -- Why, if you are not an Eastern Orthodox Christian, do you care so much about these things?

You will forgive me if it appears that sometimes you are just "itching" for a fight. A certain offensiveness is attached to the forthrightness of your questions to our beloved Fr David -- who deserves respect even when you disagree with him.
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 03:16 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Ed,

Since we are being bold in asking questions, I would like to ask you a question -- Why, if you are not an Eastern Orthodox Christian, do you care so much about these things?

You will forgive me if it appears that sometimes you are just "itching" for a fight. A certain offensiveness is attached to the forthrightness of your questions to our beloved Fr David -- who deserves respect even when you disagree with him.

This question and observation (though in a form not as deferentially worded) have occurred to me also a number of times, and so I would "add my name" to the post.

Under the indicated invective, however, there are some very legitimate concerns and questions. Too often, the response to such concerns and questions is superficial -- lacking in detail(s), not forthcoming -- which, even if unintentional, is still a special case of stonewalling. This can be very frustrating and even insulting in is own subtle way.

As a separate example that is a very objective case: the release of the "letters" from Rome authorizing service books. We have the first one, 1941 (published by the sender); why not then the 1964 and 2006? All the "show us the letter" protests (and I have not voiced one of them) would stop, and the facts, the contents of the letters, could then be discussed in the light of day.

Dn. Anthony
Posted By: John Murray Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 03:48 PM
I have appreciated Ed's forthrightness. I have wondered myself about many of his questions. They concern hot-button topics, and somebody should be asking them. Really, somebody should be answering them--but that's wishing for the moon and the stars.

Deference has its place, but when Fr David describes opponents of gender neutral language as hysterics who want to put women in their place--well, respect is a two way street.

Part of respect involves engaging with interlocutors. For example, it involves answering direct and straightforward questions about Greek grammar and translation after proclaiming one's expertise in the field.

I would rather see Ed's and Deacon Anthony's questions answered than stonewalled.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 03:51 PM
Originally Posted by EdHash
That ol� slavery example again.
Yes. I have also become weary of this lame analogy. Why is slavery used as a justification for the gender neutral feminist agenda. Perhaps the radical feminists feel a type of enslavement when they cannot move their agenda forward?

Well, thanks to the RDL, they have won a battle, but I am guessing they have not won the war (so to speak). wink
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
This question and observation (though in a form not as deferentially worded) have occurred to me also a number of times, and so I would "add my name" to the post.
Ditto.

And I would like to add, that virtually every Byzantine Catholic male or female I have spoken to, are offended by gender neutral language. The majority on this forum are offended by gender nuetral language (even those who support the other RDL translations and music). Virtually every deacon and priest on this forum (except two) are offended by the gender neutral language. Virtually every Ruthenain Catholic and Orthodox clergy I have spoken to (outside this forum) are opposed to gender neutral language.

So Ed asks a very valid question. What precipitated the adoption of gender neutral language? Why did this politically charged experiment take form? We are looking for direct answers. We are weary of hearing analogies about slavery.

Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by John Murray
Deference has its place, but when Fr David describes opponents of gender neutral language as hysterics who want to put women in their place--well, respect is a two way street.
Amen.
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 04:12 PM
Originally Posted by John Murray
I have appreciated Ed's forthrightness
....
I would rather see Ed's and Deacon Anthony's questions answered than stonewalled.

I would "add my name" to this (above) post also.

Dn. Anthony

Posted By: Maura Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 04:59 PM
Gender Neutral Language comes about the same way that no prayer in schools and other practices do. One person yells really really loud about how it offends them so things get changed to please that person and the thousands of people offended by the change are concidered evil or too conservitive or even against womens rights or free thinking if they speak up.
Posted By: John K Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 05:41 PM
I'm sorry, but when in the Liturgy the priest said, "for He is gracious and loves mankind" WHO did not know or understand that mankind refers to everyone? We had to have the banal and unconvincing "for He loves us all?"

Also, I've met the priest who did the Uniontown translations--it was NOT the sisters who translated those books. He seemed orthodox and Orthodox, so one has to wonder how inclusive language came into the books they published.
Posted By: Kent L Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 07:55 PM
I also add my name to the list. To describe those who hate gender inclusive language as hysterical is a joke. Perhaps their is a better word for us, orthodox and faithful. Sometimes people educate themselves right out of the Faith. I too would like to see Father David answer the question. I know for a fact that their are 20 priests in the BCC who are old enough to retire and they will if forced to use the inauthentic and inaccurate RDL. By the way, our Orthodox brethren consider it as inauthentic and inaccurate as well, so much for getting closer to them. Father David, another question, why is our seminary so empty? Why have some students been pressured to leave for not towing the party line? Tough questions, no disrespect intended. May Our Lord Jesus have mercy on us all.
Posted By: Monomakh Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
You will forgive me if it appears that sometimes you are just "itching" for a fight. A certain offensiveness is attached to the forthrightness of your questions to our beloved Fr David -- who deserves respect even when you disagree with him.

Father Mack,

I don't see Ed itching for a fight. In fact there wouldn't be a fight at all on this subject had the RDL not been jammed down the throats of people.

Why doesn't the BCA just allow the full Rescension as well? Then we'd all be able to see the full Rescension given a chance rather than repressed for so long. Our are only innovations allowed? I think that the results would be very positive. Why the closed minded thinking by not allowing it? For those who want to tell me that the full Rescension is not banned, then where can we start with one parish? Let's put it all on the table.

Monomakh
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 11:40 PM
To answer your question directly, it seems odd for someone who is not Orthodox to harp constantly upon the fact that BCC do not use the word Orthodox.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Ed,

Since we are being bold in asking questions, I would like to ask you a question -- Why, if you are not an Eastern Orthodox Christian, do you care so much about these things?

I care about a lot of things. I've posted on many Christian forums; byzcath.org is only one of them. My aunt is Byzantine Catholic and we talk much. One of the issues is inclusive language which is upsetting many members in your church. I came to ask questions (this is allowed, right?) and, so far, am still waiting to hear answers, not platitudes.

Originally Posted by PrJ
You will forgive me if it appears that sometimes you are just "itching" for a fight. A certain offensiveness is attached to the forthrightness of your questions to our beloved Fr David -- who deserves respect even when you disagree with him.

Itching or frustrated with unanswered questions? I take the Bible seriously. I have often considered and approached people why they change the Scripture - even our Lord's words. If my questions seem offensive, that is because I keep asking them hoping to get an answer. It has taken over a year to get a few iotas out of those who forced the change on Byzantine Catholics. My post still stands because it has not been answered. The beloved Father you refer to feels no qualms about stereotyping those he thinks are hysterical or conservative, about taking my questions about altering Scripture for the sake of feminism as an argument against women in general, and about stonewalling.

Ed Hashinsky
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/06/08 11:55 PM
Originally Posted by John Murray
I have appreciated Ed's forthrightness. I have wondered myself about many of his questions. They concern hot-button topics, and somebody should be asking them. Really, somebody should be answering them--but that's wishing for the moon and the stars.

Thank you, John.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by Recluse
virtually every Byzantine Catholic male or female I have spoken to, are offended by gender neutral language. The majority on this forum are offended by gender nuetral language (even those who support the other RDL translations and music). Virtually every deacon and priest on this forum (except two) are offended by the gender neutral language. Virtually every Ruthenain Catholic and Orthodox clergy I have spoken to (outside this forum) are opposed to gender neutral language.

Father David Petras has stated that it was requested, but fails to answer WHO? If your list is correct, then it would make anyone in your church wonder WHO is pulling the strings.

Originally Posted by Recluse
So Ed asks a very valid question. What precipitated the adoption of gender neutral language? Why did this politically charged experiment take form? We are looking for direct answers. We are weary of hearing analogies about slavery.

Attitudes and platitudes will deflect serious inquiry, including back room deals -- I mean, *translations*. Remember, the Foreword in you RDL hymnal states that these *fresh* translations were required to *capture* and *accomodate the new context* of the Bible in your worship. What does that mean?

What is now considered *fresh*?

What were they trying to *capture*?

Who or what were they trying to *accomodate*?

What is the *context*?

Inquiring minds want to know because the inclusive language adopted in the Byzantine Catholic RDL and other prayer services gives a hint.

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 12:05 AM
Originally Posted by Maura
Gender Neutral Language comes about the same way that no prayer in schools and other practices do. One person yells really really loud about how it offends them so things get changed to please that person and the thousands of people offended by the change are concidered evil or too conservitive or even against womens rights or free thinking if they speak up.

Excellent observation, Maura. But why are they trying to please even when they know the majority will get .......... hysterical?
Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 12:08 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
To answer your question directly, it seems odd for someone who is not Orthodox to harp constantly upon the fact that BCC do not use the word Orthodox.

This fact was brought out many times by the Byzantine Catholic posters on these forums. Was this too odd for you? I also found it odd that the rules for translation are different depending on the audience it will affect.
Ed
If one sets aside Ed's ecclesiastical affiliation (or lack thereof), I think he asks fair questions in straightforward fashion. For those interested in truth, it shouldn't matter what Ed's dog is doing in the fight.

Some of the reactions to Ed are what *I* consider feminine. Having taken two years of graduate-level courses in theology, I've noticed that the women in class -- almost all to a T are Baby Boomers fed at the teat of feminism -- *deeply* resent anyone questioning a professor in class. One can (and should) show respect at all times, but women for the most part seem incapable of engaging in sometimes passionate debates on theology, liturgy and so forth without shutting down or, more commonly, shutting others down. Example: A liberal launches one of those slogans about Vatican II, slights two popes, and mocks the venerable customs of the past: a question is raised in response from Scripture, and suddenly the Boomer ladies are protesting that *anyone* would dare challenge the authority of the professor. Hissing, muttering and even out loud complaints are heard, in an effort to push the "let's just go along with what is said" point of view. This is what women do -- try to smooth out things so that there is no dialectic, no nothing, just folks getting along. Works great for family life and personal relationships, but not so hot in social matters. Unfortunately, I think Ed has run afoul of this mentality on these fora.

It's worth reflecting on just how far the spirit of the feminine has overstepped its bounds within the Church (East or West). There is a cherished and vital place for it, but the problem is that it quickly morphs into ecclesiastical PC when the secular model of democracy is allowed to creep in. What is good for the hearth (the feminine) is disaster in the public square. Catholics, Orthodox and all Christians of good will should be able to fire off hard questions without fear of being stifled through shaming tactics and ad hominems. I've been waiting for weeks for someone to insinuate that opponents of gender neutrality in any form are wife beaters and puppy kickers. Some of the posters are getting close -- yet ironically, it's not they who are on the defensive for their behavior.

Much ado is made by liberals about clericalism and its pernicious place in the old pre-Vatican II Church. The new model of the Church is about bringing the laity into the heart of the prayer. Fr. Schmemann noted with regret the awful custom of private devotions during Byzantine liturgies -- a plaint echoed by commentators on the Tridentine rite. They are all about trusting the People of God and so forth in the spirit of the Council's documents, but boy, watch 'em turn into ultra-montanes when it comes to liturgy. Suddenly, the Pope is infallible when suppressing an entire rite as Paul VI did. (In the case of the BCC, it's the Council of Hierarchs.) I see the same mentality in operation in the BCC, accompanied by slights on the character of educated people hurt by the changes. It's especially dissonant to have a celibate priest castigating married men for their *flawed* understanding of the feminine. Yes, some of you men may be fathers to daughters, have sisters and spend most of your off time with your wife, but boy, you ain't got nothing on a celibate when it comes to knowing all about women.

I think it would help the Church if the more, ahem, progressive parties would actually take heed and consult the faithful and stop pretending like the hard bifurcation in vocational state should continue as the model for the future. Some of the poster s here have advanced degrees in literature. I remember reading one particularly sad translation of an antiphon in which the beauty was sacrificed to a very hackneyed rendering. It had all the markings of a liberal academic at work and it wasn't even a gender-related issue. Yet any of the educated laymen on here could have, if given the chance to offer input, corrected it.

I've been attending and basking in the Melkite liturgy in my city. It's long. There's a lot of standing. Very different from the Ruthenian, 50 minute liturgies. I love it. I wish more Catholics of all stripes could get exposure to it, to understand the holy mysteries through a deeper prism than what is typically offered in many parishes. I hope that the RDL, coupled with "vigil masses" and other existing Latinisms, does not cause cradle BCCers to gradually just merge into the Roman rite.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by SultanOfSuede
It's especially dissonant to have a celibate priest castigating married men for their *flawed* understanding of the feminine. Yes, some of you men may be fathers to daughters, have sisters and spend most of your off time with your wife, but boy, you ain't got nothing on a celibate when it comes to knowing all about women.
Good point (sarcasm duly noted). grin
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 07:40 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by SultanOfSuede
It's especially dissonant to have a celibate priest castigating married men for their *flawed* understanding of the feminine. Yes, some of you men may be fathers to daughters, have sisters and spend most of your off time with your wife, but boy, you ain't got nothing on a celibate when it comes to knowing all about women.
Good point (sarcasm duly noted). grin

As the old sayin' goes, you don't have to be a chicken to know a bad egg.

I am happy that the celebate life informs the married; I am happy that the married life, itsef a "great mystery," informs the celebate.

The question here is, who got the ball rolling on the need for "inclusive" language and then who kept it going? We know the names of the committee; who informed the committee? What are the data, the facts for the information.

This has affected our Liturgy and creedal formulations.

Why is no one forthcoming to take credit? Now is not the time for a false sense of humility.

Dn. Anthony
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 07:44 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
The question here is, who got the ball rolling on the need for "inclusive" language and then who kept it going? We know the names of the committee; who informed the committee? What are the data, the facts for the information.
Yes. And we have been waiting for the answers for a very long time.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 10:41 PM
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by SultanOfSuede
It's especially dissonant to have a celibate priest castigating married men for their *flawed* understanding of the feminine. Yes, some of you men may be fathers to daughters, have sisters and spend most of your off time with your wife, but boy, you ain't got nothing on a celibate when it comes to knowing all about women.
Good point (sarcasm duly noted). grin

This is completely uncalled for and is part of a campaign of insinuations, verbal attacks, etc. on those who support the RDL in general and on Fr. David in particular. Yet everytime someone mentions the existence of personal attacks, the Administrator raises the alarm and says "What attacks??"

For those who are unfamiliar with our tradition, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition we have always looked to our celibate leaders for wisdom, guidance and advice.

Furthermore, all celibate priests have mothers. Many of them also have sisters, sisters-in-law, aunts, neices -- to say nothing of their women parishioners.

In my years of experience as a marriage counselor and as a counselor to abused women, I found that very often husbands were the LAST to know what their wives truly felt, thought and/or experienced. This is especially true of men committed to a patriarchal vision (i.e., "my way or the highway") of marriage. Closeness in proximity does not necessary mean closeness in understanding.

In my own marriage (I am a married priest) I would say that I failed to hear my wife for at least the first 10 years of my marriage. (I have been married 22 years.) It is only in the last 10-12 years that I have come to understand her perspective and to hear her unique voice expressing her unique needs as a woman. As I have indicated in previous posts, it is this listening to my wife and this attempt to actually hear what she is saying (as opposed to what I want her to be saying) that led me to reconsider and to repent of my previous patriarchal attitudes and actions (many of which I did not know I had until her kindness pointed them out to me).

My wife's humility in being honest about her experiences as a woman in the Church led me back to the Gospel to see Jesus again and to hear Him with a new sensitivity. It also led me to see the radical implications of Paul's words that "in Christ there is neither male nor female ... but all are one in Christ."


Quote
In my years of experience as a marriage counselor and as a counselor to abused women, I found that very often husbands were the LAST to know what their wives truly felt, thought and/or experienced. This is especially true of men committed to a patriarchal vision (i.e., "my way or the highway") of marriage. Closeness in proximity does not necessary mean closeness in understanding.

In one breath you complain that Fr. was verbally attacked when it was observed that he is a celibate and not exactly a top candidate to pronounce on "what women want from the Church," yet in this paragraph, you insinuate that "patriarchal" men -- the wife beaters -- are the sorts of people who would see such things as dissonant. Next, you impute a lack of respect on my part toward the celibate state. The only thing you left out is the part about kicking puppies and drowning kittens. I think slavery has already been covered.

Please tell me you are only making a poor attempt at jest with your post. I *know* you don't mean to imply -- even in the most oblique way -- that I or anyone else here is just like one of the men who beat the wives you counseled, if only in patriarchal temperament.

Secondly, I did not attack celibacy. I'm a celibate and love it. I respect it as a force for spiritual growth in the lives of lay and clerical alike. Having said that, all things being equal, I would *never* presume to think that my knowledge of women is in any way, shape or form superior or even equal to that of a married Christian man. This was the only point I made. Everything else is a straw man -- excuse, straw person.

A last observation: in the years I've monitored ByzCath, I've seen precious few Eastern Christian women go after opponents of the RDL the way that men do. The women on balance are far more sympathetic to the tradition. They are, in a word, conservative. They are just as upset to see the liturgy harmed by modernist abstractions as the men like Recluse and Admin. It's beautiful really: women and men for the most part understand that neutering is inimical to Christian theology. It takes academics to see things *very* differently. As I said earlier, I see the mentality on a frequent basis in liberal Catholic theology courses taught at the graduate level. It alienates and politicizes people.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/07/08 11:52 PM
Quote
Please tell me you are only making a poor attempt at jest with your post. I *know* you don't mean to imply -- even in the most oblique way -- that I or anyone else here is just like one of the men who beat the wives you counseled, if only in patriarchal temperament.

I most certainly was not jesting. So we can put that rumor to rest :-)

I also would not presume to know the hearts of anyone who reads my posts. I do know that what I said is true in my experience. What you or any one else believes or practices is beyond the pale of my own knowledge.

Certainly, not everyone who opposes the RDL is abusive towards women or does so because of some hidden (to them) patriarchal and/or domineering attitudes towards women. Are there some people who oppose the RDL for these reasons? I would imagine that there are. But it is not my place to make that decision. Each person before God must examine their own heart to determine what they need to repent of.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 12:23 AM
The following posts were made by yours truly almost a year ago. I asked the same questions back then that I am asking today in my open letter to Father David Petras about new contexts and accomodations, most specifically who the WHO is behind the push for inclusive language. The stonewalling and deflections from the questions has to stop. If Byzantine Catholics are having a hard time finding this movement of voices and hearts who have succesfully grabbed the ears of some clergy, then it would be beneficial for Father David Petras, a member of the committee and expert on the liturgy, to explain who they were trying to accomodate with their fresh translations and new contexts. I detect a cover-up, and if the majority of the Byzantine Catholic faithful learn WHO was behind the adoption of inclusive language, especially the hard working laborers (like my aunt), they will make sure THEY are heard - but only after they pitched their Scripture corrupted RDL in File 13.

Some have expressed their dismay on my tactics or way of discussing this. But read my three posts from last year below and see that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, has been answered. They are good, r-e-a-l-l-y good in stonewalling and protecting the movers and shakers of inclusive langauge and trashing a worship service that was once dear to the hearts of Byzantine Catholics. They have abandoned their faithful for the sake of *needs*.

I have no clue what group of people who were able to accomplish what is now before the faithful of the Byzantine Catholic church. For certain, they do NOT post here or have ever made their identity known.

I keep posting my questions about this because of a letter my dear aunt got a hold of regarding the fear of the RDL being not implemented (it seems that THEY have noticed that many church singers have gradually returned to what works in their churches). THEY are upset about the situation. My aunt was ticked to the max on what she became privy to regarding this whole mess. This is why I keep asking on behalf of you'ns. Where there is smoke there is fire.

================================
04/01/07

Byzcaths,

I studied the controversial GREEN service book everyone is debating over (its on the net) and got stuck on the first couple pages. What stumped me for a good one was what I read in the Foreward � let me quote.

�In general, translations of biblical quotes and allusions have been guided by The New American Bible (1970-1991) and by The Psalms (The Grail, 1963). In practice, biblical allusions have usually required fresh translations both to capture the distinctive readings of the Septuagint Old Testament [sic] and to accommodate the new context of these biblical texts in the Liturgy.�

QUESTION. If the Greek Septuagint Old Testament [sic] is the choice Bible of the byzchurch, why did the byzcath shepherds base the psalmody in their new pew books on the favored romcath �(The) Grail Psalms� which is an English translation of the Jerusalem Bible which was a French translation of the Hebrew Scriptures?

I am familiar with the Greek Septuagint and find this somewhat --- allusional. Where exactly IS the Greek Septuagint used? What are your shepherds really trying to say? If one believes that biblical allusions(?) require fresh translations to capture the distinctive readings of the Septuagint � why look for freshness in a translation of a translation of the Hebrew??? What exactly is going on here? Why not an English translation of the Greek while bypassing the romcath NAB, the favored Grail Psalms of romcath musicians, and the Hebrew texts?

What exactly is considered the new context?

What is being accommodated?

All of this is so very interesting. This may become a case study for other congregations to consider watching. I am glad to hear that the byzcath church hasn't fallen apart over this, but am still worried.

Happy Palm Sunday to all your byzcaths!
Eddie H.

================================
04/02/07

ok.maybe I asked too much., but I should also add more questions about the preceding paragraph in the foreward (form page 3 of the GREEN pew hymnbook.

"This new translation seeks to be consistent in rendering biblical and technical terms, faithful to the vocabulary and thought of the text's original context in the patristic period, but also accesible to a contemporary American congregation. In a few instances, textual criticism based on the witness of manuscripts has guided the translation."

after writing my post I returned to do a slower reading of this paragraph. I like to know what the criteria are for translating Holy Writ. This brought up more confusion.

QUESTIONS: Why would the authors claim that your byzcath translation is consistent with biblical terms when they DO depart from the Bible? I noticed that they did not say that the translation isn't faithful to the actual biblical texts themselves. instead they are faithful to the context of the patristic period. Why? Isn'tthe bible good enought without diverse interpretations to muddy the water? I could see how the authors of the foreward have also mixed in the ancient documents of the byzchurch service? If so it is unclear which they are talking about.

How can a translation be faithful to one's thought if the words thtat those thoughts are based on are altered?

I am trying to figure out what is meant by a translation being accesible to a contemporary American congregation. I s this considered an enhancment or amplificatoini of scripture or a dumbing down? why contemporary? I thought byzcaths and orthodox believers claim 2,000+ years of history. Its bad enought trying to figure out what Holy Writ means to contemporary Americans (who are so removed frmo the settings and time of the Bible) than to figure out what the authors of the Bible were trying to say.

What is the infatuationwith trying to access the American culture? I have still got to find publicatoins in your congregations explaining all of this. There is not much in bible teaching. help me if you can.

Can anyone make a connectionbetween the first sentence and the last? Textual criticism (which looks at the texts with a magnifying glass) is used in a few instances, and the claim in the first sentence is that the translation is consistent in rendering biblical terms. Is consistency guaranteed when one cares to look closely in only a few instances rather than all the time? or is this where the accessible accomodations come in? (Not trying to argue just trying to find humor in a confusing abstract)

I love to study the whys and hows of Bible translations. Each translatio reflects the mindset, criteria used (if any), and intent of the translators. the byzcath translation of the bible in your church service boook is questionable. NO criteria is given. NO consistency can be determined - even by page 3. I feel and fear the Word of God is being accomodated just as the foreward states in the next paragraph 9which I highlight above.

Friends and I are studying how consistent the bible verses really are. Do they follow The Grail-New Jerusalem Bible-Hebrew Scriptures? or do they follow the byzchurch septuagint Greek? or do they follow American culture? I told you that this is making an interesting case study. This is the most recent claimed translation of Holy Writ. for now we will ignore the confusing criteria(?) given in the foreward. after comparing all the bible verses we might be able to better understand what the authors meant on page 3.

Back to the Bible!!!

Eddie H.

================================
04/03/07

ok.let me make this easier.
how many byzcaths think their shepherds have pulled the wool over their eyes - in lieu of this foreward?
I understand how my questions may be dry and technical. There is nothing like turning a question into something personal. On anohter thread I was accused of attacking yoiur shepherds when I was merely asking questions or making observations. It seems that nothing gets discussed unless one feels someone is being personally attacked - even though I simply asked technical questions about the meaning behind the foreward in your byzcath hymnal. Does anyone care about the Scriptures? are feelings or perceived fingerpointing the only thing that gets attention? What happened to the world of ideas? a community of faith rather than a community of mere feelings. Paul makes a point about no longer being and thinkin glike a child. ok. lets forget about perceived negativism and hurt feelings. I put these questions above hoping to get answers. Does anyone care?

I point this out in charity however lacking it may be perceived. I tried not to attack your shepherds but only to stick to the words they wrote in YOUR hymnn book. i love Holy Writ and am always interested when it is abused or misused. I am convinced that a congregation is only mature as its concerns. If it isn't concerned about the confusion made in its own hymnal foreward then this tells me a lot.

I can accept that no one has an answer or wishes to answer for their shepherds. A lot of defenseive posturing has been taken over perceived hurt feelings and negativism. But no one wishes to discuss a topic in itself. Please do NOT consider me offensive. I only wish to discuss the words written by your shepherds. are they being true to YOU? how can you all answer to the outside communities who also believe in Christ Jesus when 'he touched me' or 'she looked at me the wrong way' gets the most attention? Your faith and Holy Writ can be changed right from under your feet and nothing get said. yet I get the feeling that praying and worshipping in a house of faith that is built over sand is acceptable.

I ask questions in honesty. Does anyone care that the Bible is being served in dubious manner? I have been patient. Now it would be wonderful if there can be answers. many of your deacons and professional singers have replied in other posts. Can they help me in answering the questions I ask above. I promise to restrict the discussion to the topic at hand NOT personal attacks and defensive posturing which attracts attention and dissertations like magnets.

I offer my apologies if my words are bitter now. I cannot help determine that no one really knows what the issues are really about when the evidence is out on the table.

if no one wishes to answer my questions then I will consider that this thread has reached its end - like one previous where i was determined to quickly attack your shepherds then no reply was made when I stuck to qusetions about the evidence.

i apologize to the moderators if this post is sharp and bitterl-like. But Holy Writ tells us that one will no others by the fruit they bare. I will back off if my questions about the foreward has hurt any feelings.

Eddie Hashinsky


Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 12:47 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
Please tell me you are only making a poor attempt at jest with your post. I *know* you don't mean to imply -- even in the most oblique way -- that I or anyone else here is just like one of the men who beat the wives you counseled, if only in patriarchal temperament.

I most certainly was not jesting. So we can put that rumor to rest :-)

I also would not presume to know the hearts of anyone who reads my posts. I do know that what I said is true in my experience. What you or any one else believes or practices is beyond the pale of my own knowledge.

Certainly, not everyone who opposes the RDL is abusive towards women or does so because of some hidden (to them) patriarchal and/or domineering attitudes towards women. Are there some people who oppose the RDL for these reasons? I would imagine that there are. But it is not my place to make that decision. Each person before God must examine their own heart to determine what they need to repent of.

Upon reading this in reflection, I want to add one more note. The only person's motive I can know with some certainty is my own. At one time I was violently opposed to the language changes being discussed. No one could have been more opposed to them than me.

But in my case (and I speak ONLY for myself) I have come to see that this opposition was because of my sinful chauvinist attitudes towards women. My wife's humility and patient kindness has brought me to repentance. Through this repentance I have come again to the Gospel and seen with new eyes our dear Lord's treatment of women.

That is all I am saying.
Quote
But in my case (and I speak ONLY for myself) I have come to see that this opposition was because of my sinful chauvinist attitudes towards women.

Really? I hate the inclusive language and I'm a woman, what does that make me? Certainly not a chauvinist....
Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 02:53 AM
Quote
Each person before God must examine their [his]own heart to determine what they [he] need[s] to repent of.

But of course none of this repentance gives anyone, whether he is a Bishop, theologian or layman, the right to change the Creed. That is, afterall, what has been done.
Quote
But in my case (and I speak ONLY for myself) I have come to see that this opposition was because of my sinful chauvinist attitudes towards women.

Earlier, you also mentioned the patriarchal mindset of those who wanted to see a fuller, more authentic revision. Now you add chauvinistic to the mix. Again, you imply that the flaw you had is what we're all "suffering from." It's rather like saying, "Well, I wouldn't say Bob is an uncontrollable liar, but... " The suggestion has already been planted.

Again, I'll go back to my experiences in academia. The last time I heard these terms -- patriarchal and chauvinistic -- was from a group of Catholic ladies (Boomers of course) who spat the word out like it was something bad they had just chewed. (Imagine the reactions to hearing the prayers for the Ecumenical Patriarch at an Orthodox liturgy... ) It was specifically in reference to our Holy Father, now gloriously reigning, and his defense of the apostolic tradition of a male-only priesthood.

So, from where I sit as a full time software developer who happens to being finishing up academic work in theology in the evenings, it seems that there is a spirit afloat and that something greater is here than just word changes. What people here on the fora understand is that we're not kibbutz-ing about "he graciously loves mankind" vs. "he really, really likes us!" Rather, there is a distinctly un-historical, un-apostolic ideology at work that is motivating the proponents of gender neutralization. The language is a smokescreen. Female ordination is the grand prize. Some people reading this may dismiss this as seeing too much into things, but I urge anyone to Google on the terms "patriarchy" and "feminism" and "liturgy" and watch what comes up. It's not Byzantine in praxis or belief. Only recently did our Holy Father, now gloriously reigning, express his wish that the feminist liturgies cease and desist. The problem is widespread and it breeds confusion and polarization. The only winner is the devil.

I think PrJ's comments say and express better than anything I can do about the spirit of feminism. It's not just language and again, the RDL proponents have tipped their hand.

Father David of course does his part, occasionally stopping by to drop a bomb and then depart while people debate. I don't understand what good is accomplished by him continuing on the one hand to show that he pays some attention to what is posted here, while on the other making some unfair remarks and then splitting.

Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 09:36 AM
Before Father David Petras offers more platitudes and wishy-washy theologies, it would be best that he fesses up to WHO this group is that is shaping the Byzantine Catholic worship.

Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Bishops and liturgists just don't tinker with the language of worship because they care or feel guilt ridden as some chauvinistic men recovering. Worship, I thought, was the work of the people, ALL the people. Obviously, in the case of the Byzantine Catholic RDL, it has become the work of closed door committees and stealth lobbysists pushing agendas.

As a Christian, I have been very patient asking my questions regarding the opening salvo thrown at Byzantine Catholic church members in their RDL foreward. But my patience is wearing thin.

I smell a rat.

I read such things in the RDL foreward as *fresh translations*, *capture*, *accomodate*, and *new context*. What was considered *fresh*? What were they trying to *capture*? Who were they trying to *accomodate*? And what, exactly, is this *new context*?

Father David Petras mentions the *needs* of women. This is a clue. But not too many women on these forums buy it.

A shepherd of your church mentions elsewhere on the net that there is to be *no debate*. This means that YOUR word doesn't mean squat.

If the RDL language was adopted to accomodate the needs of women, it is obvious that those women, and the needs they requested (or otherwise demanded), were fulfilled at the expense of those who were not or will never be privy to letting THEIR needs as orthodox Byzantine Catholics being heard and supported. It seems to be a matter of, "Put up and shut up. We did what we had to do. Don't push it because we ain't going back."

I would suspect that in such secret doings that blackmail is involved. Don't ask me why I would suspect such a thing. I have my reasons.

Much virtual ink on these forums has been spilled in the debate over the Byzantine Catholic RDL. The Administrator has provided an OPEN forum to discuss what some in your church wished to have accomplished in closed door committees with the needs of a particular group being satisfied.

One poster also noted that a Byzantine Catholic nunnery is responsible for the adoption of inclusive language in their church worship. Others have given witness to this at their pilgrimages that occur there. This nunnery has been awful quite and has not made themselves known on this matter.

Whoever the WHO is behind the Byzantine Catholic adoption of inclusive language, they certainly knew that the time was NOW to adopt it. The remaining church leaders, as is the case in most churches, are from the 60's and 70's and will be retiring shortly. Like the last day of any U.S. President, it is the day to get the pardons in, pardons that would not normally be given when people would have the time to respond and act accordingly. In the case of the RDL, the *no debate* takes the place of an authority departing office. Supposedly, you, the members of the Byzantine Catholic church, cannot do anything.

So, you may think.

Those who have accomodated the needs of some with a fresh translation set entirely in a new context have not left office. Those who successfully pushed, nay, demanded, the changes remain stealth. No comments. No peep. No debate. Nyet!

But my questions remain; the same questions I posed almost a year ago.

There is a special learned art of dodging the questions by directing the focus of the debate on the questioner. Any ad hominem attacks will do (labelling them as hysteric conservatives without really knowing - or caring to ask - about their political views). Any false characterizations will do (the needs of women are better known by a celibate man than a married man, and so we can assume or accuse this married man that he hasn't a clue about women). I know that in some churches, the atmosphere is so poisoned that they will demand of their fellow colleauges psychological evaluations. This tactic, I am sure, will be forthcoming if any clergy steps out of line and joins the protest too publically for their taste. Church politics is still politics. But if I am relentless, it is because of my unaswered questions and the fact that I can overlook the deflections, platitudes, and wishy washy theologies. I can still focus on the kernel of the debate.

What does Father David Petras know and when did he know it? (I just had to ask that one). If money leaves a paper trail to the movers and shakers of backroom deals ("just follow the money trail") then inclusive language leaves its own paper (translation) trail. I think if this is discovered, everyone - and I mean EVERYONE, will have a different opinion about the RDL. It is not the fruit of the RDL that matters, it is the roots of the RDL. And for now, those roots are well hidden in he ground of *no debate*.

But there is a reason for everything. It is left up to you to discover it.

Good night and good luck.

Eddie Hashinsky
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 03:06 PM
Quote
So, from where I sit as a full time software developer who happens to being finishing up academic work in theology in the evenings, it seems that there is a spirit afloat and that something greater is here than just word changes. What people here on the fora understand is that we're not kibbutz-ing about "he graciously loves mankind" vs. "he really, really likes us!" Rather, there is a distinctly un-historical, un-apostolic ideology at work that is motivating the proponents of gender neutralization. The language is a smokescreen. Female ordination is the grand prize. Some people reading this may dismiss this as seeing too much into things, but I urge anyone to Google on the terms "patriarchy" and "feminism" and "liturgy" and watch what comes up. It's not Byzantine in praxis or belief. Only recently did our Holy Father, now gloriously reigning, express his wish that the feminist liturgies cease and desist. The problem is widespread and it breeds confusion and polarization. The only winner is the devil.

You know, sometimes I can't win for trying smile

Let me see, you have just accused me of being a closet supporter of women's ordination, of being inspired by boomer ladies who don't like the pope, and of being against the idea of a Pope. Then you turn around and accuse me of shamelessly implying something negative about you and others who oppose the RDL.

This is why it is impossible to have a reasonable discussion on this topic. I have stated many times that I am NOT inspired by the secular feminist movement. I have stated many times that I AM doing all that I can to remain faithful to the Eastern tradition. I have given witness of my own repentance of sinful attitudes and actions that hurt others, especially my wife. This is what is truly going on. I have also presented arguments, based on Scripture and the Fathers, to support my decisions.

What happens when I present these arguments? Since you cannot refute them, you have to accuse me of being an undercover femi-Nazi (or something similar to that) who is working against the Pope. If that is true, why did I enter into communion with the Pope only a year and a half ago? It makes no sense on the face of it.

I have pointed out before that some of those who oppose the RDL resort to several argumentative ploys to avoid admitting that good people inspired by the tradition can disagree on these issues. Here are the ploys that continue to be used to obscure the issue: 1) hidden agendas, 2) slippery slope, 3) conspiracy theories.

Here is where things stand (IMHO).

Faithful people have come to different conclusions on the basis of their prayerful reflection on holy Scripture and Tradition. Some have been led by their study and prayer to support the RDL, others have been led to oppose it. On both sides, they are pious, prayerful, practicing Catholic Christians who are trying to live out the Gospel as best they can in our modern world. I have been impressed and continue to be impressed by the passion, zeal and knowledge shown by many who oppose the RDL. While I do not accept their conclusions, I am inspired by their love for God and His Church. I would hope that they would be inclined to have the same opinion of me.

Why can we not accept that this is true? Why do the supporters of the RDL have to be "evil"? Why is it that some (not all, there are a few on this forum who have remained objective and focussed on the debate without resorting to argumentative ploys) of those who oppose the RDL refuse to admit that there are legitimate reasons within the Tradition to support it? Why can't we agree to disagree?

I am not threatened by the existence of those who oppose the RDL -- why are some so threatened by the existence of those who support it?

The Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all Truth. That is the promise of Jesus. If the RDL is of God, it will last. If it is not, it will fall by the wayside. Meanwhile, we are all Christians who share sacramental unity in Christ's Body and Blood. We have good hearts, we are trying to be faithful to the tradition, we are endeavoring to live by the teachings of the holy Fathers, etc. We just disagree right now. Let's accept this, let's talk about this -- but let's not accuse each other of being closet anti-papists, etc.

*I would note that I have not accused anyone other than myself of being a chauvinist. My original comments were in direct response to the assertion that married men were better equipped to speak about the "needs" of women than celibates. My comments were to the effect that, as a marriage counselor, my experience had led me to question this assumption. My comments in this vein were inspired by the previous post and not a judgment of anyone on this forum.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 03:08 PM
Quote
Byzantine Catholic nunnery

I would note that this statement is objectionable within the Eastern tradition. There is no such thing as a "nunnery." Women monastics in the eastern tradition live in monasteries.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 03:42 PM
Originally Posted by lm
Quote
Each person before God must examine their [his]own heart to determine what they [he] need[s] to repent of.

But of course none of this repentance gives anyone, whether he is a Bishop, theologian or layman, the right to change the Creed. That is, afterall, what has been done.

For the last time, I am going to try to address this accusation. It is, as I have shown, a false accusation. No one has changed the Creed. Let me explain.

1) We ALL accept the Creed as written in Greek. No one has or will suggest that change the original Creed. The Creed - the autographa -- is in Greek. Unless you change the Greek, you cannot be accused of "changing the Creed." If you change the English, you have changed the translation. So PLEASE make your accusations correct. The translation has been changed; the creed remains as it was written by the holy fathers at the Council.

2) We ALL agree about the meaning of the statement in the Creed. ALL of us agree that the holy Fathers mean to say that Christ's work of salvation was "for every human being, male or female, old or young, etc." NO ONE disagrees with this. EVERYONE on this Forum is committed to this interpretation of the statement in the Creed.

3) What we disagre on is the best way to express this truth in English. It is a debate over TRANSLATION. It is a debate over how best to speak the Gospel in today's English.

While this is a good debate and one that is helpful, since it does not involve basic theology (we ALL agree on that theology), perhaps we can ratchet DOWN the rhetoric and accept that good, pious, Bible-believing, Pope-honoring Catholics can disagree on how best to say things in English!

Again, the Creed has not been changed. The Translation has been changed. We can disagree over the pros and cons of that translation but since we all agree on what the Creed means in its autographa, there is no big theological debate.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't use alarmist rhetoric. It just upsets pious laypeople and alienates them from their Church. Like the colors of the Justice Department, it spreads fear without offering any substance.
Posted By: Father David Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 03:59 PM
Since my last post, there have been many "ad hominem" responses. It was my intention not to respond, since this is the Great Fast, and it would not be profitable to my soul. However, I feel I must offer a few words in support of Father John. Yes, there are people on both sides of this issue who are sincere and commited Christians. On this forum, I do not speak as an official representative of the Council of Hierarchs nor for my co-workers on the Inter-eparchial Liturgy Commission. I think it is right and proper that I speak only for myself and express my own opinions. As for the accusations of "stone-walling," I cannot answer because there is no special committee to support inclusive language. Please do not pre-judge this situation.
Originally Posted by PrJ
Let me see, you have just accused me of being a closet supporter of women's ordination, of being inspired by boomer ladies who don't like the pope, and of being against the idea of a Pope. Then you turn around and accuse me of shamelessly implying something negative about you and others who oppose the RDL.
I disrespectfully disagree with Father John. The point I come away with from Sultan�s post (and those of others) is that since the roots of gender neutral language come from the secular feminist movement those who use such language cannot help but tie themselves to that agenda. Their motives are surely honest ones, but when you let the head of the camel into the tent you always get the whole camel. And in this case the camel is the politics of the secular feminists.

As to implying negative motivations, I guess it is all in how one interprets things. It is OK for him to say that �not everyone who opposes the RDL is abusive towards women or does so because of some hidden (to them) patriarchal and/or domineering attitudes towards women� (thus making an accusation that at least some who support translations prepared in obedience to Liturgiam Authenticam are �abusive towards women.� And even hint that we should repent for our position. Yet he bristles and becomes openly hostile when people suggest that his insistence of using language that violates Liturgiam Authenticam means that he may be confused with those who push the agenda of secular feminists.

Originally Posted by PrJ
I have stated many times that I AM doing all that I can to remain faithful to the Eastern tradition. I have given witness of my own repentance of sinful attitudes and actions that hurt others, especially my wife. This is what is truly going on. I have also presented arguments, based on Scripture and the Fathers, to support my decisions.
Well, no you haven�t presented arguments based on Scripture and the Fathers. What Scripture and Church Fathers have you presented to demonstrate the need for gender neutral language in Liturgy? One can look to Scripture and the Fathers and find the proper role of women. Father David listed a number of documents that speak to that topic in general. But nothing from Scripture, the Church Fathers, or recent Vatican directives support the idea of gender neutral language. In fact, they clearly direct the Church not to use gender neutral language. Liturgiam Authenticam and other directives are pretty clear that gender neutral language does not belong in Liturgy. You reject Liturgiam Authenticam and the related directives from the recent Holy Fathers. You also (in other discussions) have rejected the Vatican�s directives that translations be faithful and accurate (word for word, also called �formal equivalence� and have stated your support for �dynamic equivalence�. But the Vatican has directed otherwise. Any objective compassion can see that you and those who support gender neutral language are not conforming to the directives of the Holy Father regarding language in Liturgy. And your consistent ignoring (and, in Father David�s earlier posts an outright rejection of) directives like Liturgiam Authenticam demonstrates that the position you offer on gender neutral language is simply not rooted in either Catholic or Orthodox theology. Your positions (and those presented by Father David) are quite easily refuted. They have been refuted. I can only urge you to be open to the idea that you are wrong and the Vatican is right, and then study documents like Liturgiam Authenticam. The Church has given us guidance. It has said �no� to gender neutral language. It ended the experiment with gender neutral language and dynamic equivalence when it reformed ICEL and issued directives like Liturgiam Authenticam. Take the hint!

Originally Posted by PrJ
Faithful people have come to different conclusions on the basis of their prayerful reflection on holy Scripture and Tradition. Some have been led by their study and prayer to support the RDL, others have been led to oppose it. On both sides, they are pious, prayerful, practicing Catholic Christians who are trying to live out the Gospel as best they can in our modern world. I have been impressed and continue to be impressed by the passion, zeal and knowledge shown by many who oppose the RDL. While I do not accept their conclusions, I am inspired by their love for God and His Church. I would hope that they would be inclined to have the same opinion of me.
I certainly agree that those on both sides of this issue are good, well intentioned Christians who sincerely love the Lord. I attempt to state this in every post. But I am not sure that I see anyone suggesting otherwise. It is not stated be each poster as often as it should be but I am confident that every poster believes this. We do know that there has been stone-walling on the issues that have been raised. The bishops don�t seem to be speaking to it (we know only one bishop really wanted the reform). Legitimate questions go unanswered or the questioner is made to look like an attacker (we saw it earlier in this thread where Father John attempted to change the subject to the motives of the person asking a question with persistence until he received a legitimate answer). We have seen Vatican directives rejected without explanation and a response of anger to anyone who points this out.

One must also keep in mind that an incredible number of people in our Church have been hurt by the promulgation of the RDL. Many people who respond here are responding out of their hurt. It is not just an academic discussion. The rock of stability of people�s lives � the Liturgy � has been altered. No one addresses this hurt. I know so many who speak on Sundays of nothing but this horrible Liturgy. Forget what it is for a moment and think about how it was forced on them, and how they are essentially told that the Liturgy they celebrated from childhood is so wrong it can no longer be permitted. My 80 year old mother tells me of the older women in her parish who only go once a month (so they can still be buried from the church they were baptized in), and how they all listen to the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy on the radio that is identical to what they grew up with, and what they want now. I speak to a different clergy, cantors and friends across the country on a regular basis and they all report similar stories.

Originally Posted by PrJ
The Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all Truth. That is the promise of Jesus. If the RDL is of God, it will last. If it is not, it will fall by the wayside. Meanwhile, we are all Christians who share sacramental unity in Christ's Body and Blood.
On this point I agree totally, and I myself have stated this numerous times. We can already see the RDL falling by the wayside. Bishop Andrew was really the only bishop who supported the RDL, and if he had retired five years ago at 75 it never would have been promulgated. I can only guess at the future but, based on my conversations with clergy and laymen across the Church dislike for the RDL is massive. The music is uniformly hated and will probably the first thing to go. And when it goes there will be no reason to keep the translation. There is some good work hiding behind the offensive gender-neutral language. But the way forward is going to be to shelve the new books and return to the old and offer a period of healing for the Church. Then to finally promulgate the Ruthenian recension; reprint a 1964 Liturgicon with only corrections that are absolutely necessary. When the priests and people are allowed to pray the texts and music they love an authentic renewal can occur based on education, example and encouragement. And the end goal must be our own Liturgy, the one we share with other Ruthenians, and with all of Orthodoxy.
Originally Posted by PrJ
1) We ALL accept the Creed as written in Greek. No one has or will suggest that change the original Creed. The Creed - the autographa -- is in Greek. Unless you change the Greek, you cannot be accused of "changing the Creed." If you change the English, you have changed the translation. So PLEASE make your accusations correct. The translation has been changed; the creed remains as it was written by the holy fathers at the Council.
It is not so easy a point. Replacing �who for us men and our salvation� with �who for us and our salvation� is a change in the Creed because the term �man� (anthropos) is missing. Using �who for us humans and our salvation� would be a change in translation because it would clearly contain a translation for the term �anthropos� (but of course it sounds like something from science fiction). Earlier in these discussions I have quoted Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Est�vez, Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship (2002) on this issue, who stated that the omission of the term �man� was �theologically grave.� It is really a shame that our bishops did not respect the directives from Rome. I am hopeful that Rome will listen to our appeals and rescind the RDL and instead direct our bishops to promulgate the full and official Ruthenian Divine Liturgy, and insist on an accurate translation.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by Father David
Since my last post, there have been many "ad hominem" responses.

Don�t forget yours. There has also been many unanswered questions too.

Originally Posted by Father David
It was my intention not to respond, since this is the Great Fast, and it would not be profitable to my soul.

But you have responded and have left many confused and wondering, if not bewildered. Many souls in your church have dealt with a new worship without explanation or wish for debate. But, of course, the argument can be made that the church is not a democracy and hide behind it.

Originally Posted by Father David
On this forum, I do not speak as an official representative of the Council of Hierarchs nor for my co-workers on the Inter-eparchial Liturgy Commission. I think it is right and proper that I speak only for myself and express my own opinions.

Who actually DOES speak with authority and responsibility in your church? I checked out various websites over the years after arriving and found you do a lot of writing and teaching for your church. I am impressed with your work. Would you be permitted to write or teach without permission on behalf of your church? Are you claiming that you have no input anywhere in your church? I have seen pictures of you at Catholic-Orthodox dialogue commissions on the web. Are you saying that you were just there as a mere observer and not representing your church in any capacity? Everyone knows that in the Catholic Church, one cannot express one�s opinions without speaking in the *mind of the church*. Your posts and your theologies speak wonders about what is going on in the *mind of the church*. Your imprint is all over your church�s worship. You were a main player in the *Intereparchial Liturgcical Commission*, right? The very last sentence in the fourth paragraph specifically states:

"The musical renderings of historic scholars have been carefully adapted to accomodate the new English translation provided by the Intereparchial Liturgical Commission."

It seems to me, Father, that YOU were involved in providing that translation since you were on the commission.

Someone got what they wanted and that is that.

Originally Posted by Father David
As for the accusations of "stone-walling," I cannot answer because there is no special committee to support inclusive language.

Of course there isn�t a *committee*. Who said there was? One doesn�t have to form a committee to pressure church leaders to adopt inclusive language. One can use other means.

Originally Posted by Father David
Please do not pre-judge this situation.

I will tell my aunt to ignore the letter she was made privy to. It seems that most, if not all, of the inclusive language is originating from the women�s Byzantine Catholic *monastery*. Members of your church have given witness to the adoption of this *fresh* language at their retreats at this monastery.

My questions, not pre-judgments, are still:

What is considered *fresh* in the translations?

What is trying to be *captured*?

Who were you�ns trying to *accommodate*?

What is the *new context* you were all trying to instill in your worshippers?

My God! I find it absolutely crazy that we can't get beyond page 3 of the RDL hymnal without stone-walling. I used to skip forewards until a learned scholar worth his salt told me to read them first; they usually give the PV (point of view) or direction the rest of the book will take. So far, the third paragraph on page 3 is a roadblock that is impassable. But it is telling of what one can see from its lofty cliff.


Eddie Hashinsky
A slightly hysterical, conservative, pre-judging kinda guy who loves reading The Emperors New Clothes.

Originally Posted by Father David
Since my last post, there have been many "ad hominem" responses. It was my intention not to respond, since this is the Great Fast, and it would not be profitable to my soul. However, I feel I must offer a few words in support of Father John. Yes, there are people on both sides of this issue who are sincere and commited Christians. On this forum, I do not speak as an official representative of the Council of Hierarchs nor for my co-workers on the Inter-eparchial Liturgy Commission. I think it is right and proper that I speak only for myself and express my own opinions. As for the accusations of "stone-walling," I cannot answer because there is no special committee to support inclusive language. Please do not pre-judge this situation.
I can appreciate that Father David speaks here only for himself, and not as an official representative of the Council of Hierarchs nor for his co-workers on the Inter-eparchial Liturgy Commission. While I seem to disagree with him on many issues I know he is well-intentioned and has worked hard. As much as I can admire him, his commitment to the Lord, and his hard work, I can see that the Revised Divine Liturgy is lacking, and has only been an instrument of hurt to our Church. I would hope that seeing that he himself has used the term �crisis� to describe the state of our Church he would personally recommend to the bishops that they rescind the RDL and return to the 1964. Then, make some of the rubrics he has argued for optional, to see if they take root naturally (which has been my consistent suggestion for many years). Keep the standard with all of Byzantium (Catholic and Orthodox). Admit changes in concert with them.

As far as "ad hominem" responses, Father David has been probably more guilty of this then anyone else. In this thread alone he suggests that those who disagree with his position are guilty of attempting to �keep women down� and are nothing but �emotionally charged� and �border on hysteria�. That is stronger than anyone disagreeing with him has posted. And to someone like me � who has studied the Church Teachings on women, sees no conflict between those documents and directives like �Liturgiam Authenticam�, and support the Church�s call for accuracy and not political agendas in translating the Liturgy, he comes across as accusing of the pope of trying to �keep women down�. My logic for understanding this is simple. If I am guilty of attempting to �keep women down� then so is the pope because I agree with and see the wisdom of the Vatican directives not to use gender neutral language. It seems to me that the use of gender neutral language is an impediment to a correct presentation of the Gospel (including a correct understanding of the role of women) because it automatically unites the Gospel with the agenda of the secular feminists. When the secular feminists control the language the correct presentation of the Gospel is all the more difficult.

I think that if the liturgical commission had stuck to its original agenda of re-printing the 1964 with only those changes that were absolutely necessary, and followed the Vatican directives closely, I would be their biggest supporter.

John
The assertion that "we all support and accept the original Greek text of the Creed" is, perhaps, ingenuous. It is difficult to "support and accept" a text that one is unable to read, and the very creation and publication of translations implies strongly that the hierarchy and the experts are well aware that there are lots of clergy, monastics, paramonastics, and faithful who do not read Greek.

By the same token, one can only support and accept a text in Church-Slavonic if one is able to read and understand it. Again, this is why it became necessary to liturgize in English.

As a consequence, it is and will remain necessary to be vigilant and strive for the closest possible correspondence between the original Greek (especially of a text of such basic dogmatic and theological importance) and the English translation.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 05:16 PM
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As a consequence, it is and will remain necessary to be vigilant and strive for the closest possible correspondence between the original Greek (especially of a text of such basic dogmatic and theological importance) and the English translation.

I could not agree more!! This is what the debate is all about -- how best to do this.
It is always pleasant to find that someone agrees with me. The point of importance is that what may seem like a small linguistic compromise may have large implications not immediately perceptible.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 05:33 PM
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by PrJ
1) We ALL accept the Creed as written in Greek. No one has or will suggest that change the original Creed. The Creed - the autographa -- is in Greek. Unless you change the Greek, you cannot be accused of "changing the Creed." If you change the English, you have changed the translation. So PLEASE make your accusations correct. The translation has been changed; the creed remains as it was written by the holy fathers at the Council.
It is not so easy a point. Replacing �who for us men and our salvation� with �who for us and our salvation� is a change in the Creed because the term �man� (anthropos) is missing. Using �who for us humans and our salvation� would be a change in translation because it would clearly contain a translation for the term �anthropos� (but of course it sounds like something from science fiction). Earlier in these discussions I have quoted Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Est�vez, Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship (2002) on this issue, who stated that the omission of the term �man� was �theologically grave.� It is really a shame that our bishops did not respect the directives from Rome. I am hopeful that Rome will listen to our appeals and rescind the RDL and instead direct our bishops to promulgate the full and official Ruthenian Divine Liturgy, and insist on an accurate translation.

At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum, most academic Greek scholars that I know and have corresponded with would disagree with your assertion that dropping the word "man" is a change. Most academic Greeks scholars that I know and have corresponded with (and several names have been given in previous forum discussions of prominent scholars) would argue that the word "anthropos" is unnecessary in English.

So unless you are a Greek scholar, you should accept the authority of the Greek scholars who spend their life studying the language. At the very least, to be intellectually and academically honest, you should admit that yours is a minority opinion among Greek scholars.

You keep quoting texts from the Vatican that are not directly related to the translation of liturgical texts in the Eastern context. I have pointed out that the East and West differ in their understanding of language. Here I would simply quote St Isaac of Syria: "Words are the language of this world; silence is the language of the kingdom." This insight by one of our greatest monastics has a lot to say about the different approach one should use in translations in the eastern context.

Furthermore, I readily admit that I am not a scholar in terms of Vatican directives. However, I know that Fr Taft is -- after all, he lives and works in Rome. He certainly is well aware of all that you have written and if he can endorse the RDL then your interpretation must not be the necessary one. I have also spoken at length to Fr Stephen (Fr Taft's successor in Rome) about this very issue and about the Vatican directives. He assures me that in no way shape or form does the RDL violate any established or expressed directive from Rome. Once again, if it did, certainly Rome would not have approved the RDL. Since Rome did approve the RDL, then your interpretation of the directives is a misunderstanding(at best) and wrong (at worst).

Furthermore, another good friend of mine who is a scholar of St Gregory of Nyssa has written on the topic of gender and race in St Gregory's writings. He has also begun a long--term study of the feminine imagery within the fathers when it comes to God. (For example, the liturgical texts frequently talk about the "womb" of God the Father.)

I have also mentioned recent scholarship work on the Syriac tradition and its unique insights into this. Obviously, these fathers do not discuss English translation -- they were writing in Greek. But the principles that they establish clearly substantiate the RDL's approach to translation.

One more point, when I was a Protestant I was very good at proof-texting. I could find quotes that backed up my presupposition and marshall them to buttress my argument. Part of my reconditioning (intellecutally speaking) when I became Orthodox was to stop proof-texting and instead to allow the tradition to speak and guide me from the standpoint of principles and theology. This is why I do not respond to a series of "proof-texts" presented without context. Were I so inclined I could find a list of proof-texts to support my position. But it would be a waste of my time and yours!

I am much more interested in the theological principles that undergird our approach as Eastern Catholics. It is these principles and most importantly the Gospel that should determine what we believe and practice.

IN short, I have given you abundant resources within our tradition that would lead you (should you be so inclined) to see the sources of my beliefs. That good pious God-loving and tradition-respecting Catholics can disagree is proven abundantly by our discussions. I don't expect you to agree with my interpretations. But please don't keep telling me that they cannot be supported by our tradition. That is not true.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
It is always pleasant to find that someone agrees with me. The point of importance is that what may seem like a small linguistic compromise may have large implications not immediately perceptible.

Fr. Serge

Indeed, that has been my point since the beginning. The implications of this change (IMHO) will be very positive for the reaching of our young people with the radical message of God's universal human-loving kindness and love. That is the motivation behind all of my writing -- to help today's young people realize that the love of God is for them -- every one of them, male or female. It is a message that many of them have not heard and do not understand. If they did understand it, our churches would be full because truly no one can resist the love of God for long, as St Elizabeth the Grand Duchess wrote so eloquently.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 06:15 PM
I want to point out that the "Fr Stephen" referred to in my post is NOT the Fr Stephen who is priest at St Luke's in Sugar Creek, MO. The Fr Stephen I am referring teaches Eastern liturgy in Rome (he was originally at Rockhurst in KC, so I know him from there) and is an authority both on Eastern liturgy and on the Vatican directives vis-a-vis translation, etc.

(I can't remember his last name -- sorry. As an eastern priest, I am unfamiliar with the western tendency to call priests by their last name. Since I am lousy with names, I consider it a good sign that I can remember his first name. He comes to Sugar Creek for a doctor's checkup at least once a year, so that is when I had the opportunity to speak with him about the RDL.)
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Most academic Greeks scholars that I know...

Herein lies the problem. You've admitted that, like me, you are a convert from Protestantism to a form of apostolic Christiantiy. One of the habits that Protestants pick up is an unswerving loyalty to the scholarship du jour. Not teaching authority, not lived experience of the Church, but a slavish kind of devotion to what academics say. NOTE: I'm not accusing you of this, I'm only observing that people who were metaphysically mauled by a Protestant upbringing -- self included -- have this tendency. Take a look at what the German Protestants did to Scripture scholarship. The years, the decades of biblical deconstruction. Do you know what the end result of form criticism has been -- the crown jewel of so much work? It's been abandoned. It's untenable, lacks any empirical evidence and carries thousands of assumptions that reflect modernist biases. Take a look at how feeble "scholarship" is when it becomes separated from the living instinct of the teaching Church.

Another problem I've seen MORE BROADLY (and I exclude PrJ) among academic theologians is the tendency to pit a linguist or a theologian against the magisterium. Dissenters are frequently treated as having an equal voice to the Holy Father, now gloriously reigning, when he teaches on moral matters. He's viewed as a peer who just happens to wear funny clothes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Lord did not call theologians and linguists, he called men raised up after his own heart. The successors of these men have spoken with true authority, calling the Church to an authentic adherence to liturgical tradition and custom. For the Greek Catholics, this INCLUDES WEARING THE SAME VESTMENTS AS ORTHODOX COUNTERPARTS. To turn this into a squabble between professional academics smacks of the Protestantism that *I* personally witnessed while growing up.

On a separate note, I've been predictably accused of making ad hominems. Just to rephrase what I said, using a different example: When one hears a person speak of the Catholic Church's "homophobia" regarding its characterization of same sex acts as "intrinsically disordered," one has been given a verbal signal that the speaker is of a decidedly different mindset than Holy Mother Church on the matter.

Likewise, when I hear words such as "patriarchal" and "chauvinistic" used in reference to the language of prayer and Scripture translation, I've a right to observe that the words are transmitters for a certain weltanschauung. I assume that PrJ and Fr. David do *not* mean to say that incalculable numbers of Christian women have been spiritually scared by attending Divine Liturgies and hearing things like "mankind." Further, I assume that they are fervent supporters of tradition. What I *pointed* out was that their style and pattern of word usage -- the slogans if you will behind their arguments -- on these fora mimics exactly my experience of feminist arguments against "patriarchy" in theological studies. Thus, one is well within reason to be concerned that the ideology of feminism, conveyed by certain trigger phrases and slogans, is being used here to signal to radical feminists a sympathy with their ideology. This is *not* a form of ad hominem.

It's not enough for PrJ or Fr. David to say that's not what they really *meant*. One cannot go around using ideologically-charged pet phrases and arguments and then get upset when it produces a reaction. The point is that confusion and hurt have been caused without Ed's substantive questions even being answered. And BTW, Ed is but the latest of many who've pondered what is pushing the use of gender neutrality given that so few laywomen have shown any support for it.

Incidentally, one would do well to read Steichen's Ungodly Rage to see how crucial the linguistic aspect of viral feminism is to the movement to destroy sex-differentiation in Christianity.
Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 08:20 PM
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At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum, most academic Greek scholars that I know and have corresponded with would disagree with your assertion that dropping the word "man" is a change. Most academic Greeks scholars that I know and have corresponded with (and several names have been given in previous forum discussions of prominent scholars) would argue that the word "anthropos" is unnecessary in English.

Allow me to paraphrase a Father of the Church, "God did not become man, so that man could become an academic."

I have, ad nauseum, reviewed what academics have said about changing the translation of anthropos from man to something else or just dropping it altogether and what strikes me most about their opinion, is that they have ceased, in the core of their being, to be Catholic.

So perhaps among the academics (though indeed this has not been demonstrated but only asserted by PrJ), there is is a popular opinion that anthropos can be dropped from the Creed without altering it, nonetheless as has been pointed out quite frequently, Rome, in Liturgiam Authenticam has spoken quite clearly against this innovation. By the arguments made by PrJ and others, the simple faithful have been led to believe that the academics speak with more authority, scholarship and truth, than the Magisterium.

At the end of Liturgiam Authenticam, we find the following:

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After the preparation of this Instruction by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in virtue of the mandate of the Supreme Pontiff transmitted in a letter of the Cardinal Secretary of State dated 1 February 1997 (Prot. n. 408.304), the same Supreme Pontiff, in an audience granted to the Cardinal Secretary of State on 20 March 2001, approved this Instruction and confirmed it by his own authority, ordering that it be published, and that it enter into force on the 25th day of April of the same year.

Since this is the will of the Holy Father, we have a duty as Catholics to follow him when he has expressed his desire even though techinically it may not apply to us. Certainly given the nature of what he has approved, we cannot truly imagine that he had something different in mind for Eastern Catholics in regard to this issue. What, therefore, does LA, ie the Holy Father, say?

Liturgiam Authenticam said this about the translation of anthropos:

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30. In many languages there exist nouns and pronouns denoting both genders, masculine and feminine, together in a single term. The insistence that such a usage should be changed is not necessarily to be regarded as the effect or the manifestation of an authentic development of the language as such. Even if it may be necessary by means of catechesis to ensure that such words continue to be understood in the �inclusive� sense just described, it may not be possible to employ different words in the translations themselves without detriment to the precise intended meaning of the text, the correlation of its various words or expressions, or its aesthetic qualities. When the original text, for example, employs a single term in expressing the interplay between the individual and the universality and unity of the human family or community (such as the Hebrew word �adam, the Greek anthropos, or the Latin homo), this property of the language of the original text should be maintained in the translation. Just as has occurred at other times in history, the Church herself must freely decide upon the system of language that will serve her doctrinal mission most effectively, and should not be subject to externally imposed linguistic norms that are detrimental to that mission.


Although it has been pointed out that LA does not technically apply to the Eastern Catholic Churches, it certainly does on the issue of the translation of anthropos in the Creed. It is part of the ordinary magisterium to which all Catholics are bound--whether they are academics, priests, Bishops or laymen. To argue otherwise is to argue that there is something which is peculiar to the Eastern Churches on this issue. But PrJ does not argue from anything peculiar to the East, rather he argues that the issue is one that is universal to English speaking world. On this issue, the universal Father of the Catholic world, JPII - a man quite sympathetic to the East, by his approbation, has expressed his view on this matter. As I think I analyzed some time ago on this forum, on the timing of the approval of the RDL and the first approval of the RDL by the Oriental Congregation (as we now know by Fr. Taft a proponent of ridding the English language of the term "men" and "mankind"), the timing of the approval of the RDL just prior to the issuance of Liturgiam Authenticam looks awfully suspicious.

In any event, the Greek "academics" are not the real experts that should have been consulted regarding the translation into English. The experts who should have been consutled were those who are experts in the English language.

But sometimes things are quite clear to the common man and no experts are needed. This is one of them. The exclusion of the word "man" and its derivatives from the English language is not organic. There is in fact a political crusade to get rid of the term. Those who have led the Crusade in the secular world want to change the language because they want to change how people think. They want to change how people think, because they want to erase from man's conscience, man's natural knowledge about God and man's natural desire for God. When man does this God gives man over to his lusts. See Romans chapter 1.

From any honest observation of American life, there are two issues in regard to which the secular elites have been turned over to their own lusts. These are their golden calfs--abortion and now gay marriage. I believe their desire to rid the English language of the word "men" comes from a desire to rid from our nation's "collective memory," the account of creation in Genesis--that the primary and most important relationship between man and woman, is one which makes them father and mother. The modern world hates the command given to man to be fruitful and multiply. Instead, between man and woman, the world sees, not relationship ordered to mutual love and procreation, but only a power struggle. And finally, the modern world, left to its own lusts, now attempts to see that the bodily differences between man and woman are merely accidental, and that the physical relationship between man and woman is only a matter of convention.

These things are at the root of the reason for elimination of the term "man" which continually reminds the modern world of that creation of the first man. And of course if you eliminate the memory of the first man, there is no need for the second -- for Christ himself.

Those in the Church who go along with the secular change, however sincere they may be, are gravely mistaken if they believe that the change in the English language is organic and arises from a true view of reality. Some, as the Sultan has pointed out, are driven by a desire to be priests even though they are females. What these fail to see, what they refuse to see, is that our religion is so incarnational that man's sex does matter. Christ is the bridegroom and those who act in his name, through their ordination, must be male. Others, who promote the elimination of "man," cannot bring themselves to recognize that those females who desire the priesthood have lost the faith. And for those females or males who may find this a chauvinistic attitude, they need only be reminded that a man must love his wife (and a priest the Church) as Christ loved the Church--sacrificing his very life for her.

Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 08:29 PM
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One more point, when I was a Protestant I was very good at proof-texting. I could find quotes that backed up my presupposition and marshall them to buttress my argument. Part of my reconditioning (intellecutally speaking) when I became Orthodox was to stop proof-texting and instead to allow the tradition to speak and guide me from the standpoint of principles and theology.

And now Father that you are Catholic, you have the additional blessing of the Magisterium!
Posted By: Diak Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 09:37 PM
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1) We ALL accept the Creed as written in Greek. No one has or will suggest that change the original Creed. The Creed - the autographa -- is in Greek. Unless you change the Greek, you cannot be accused of "changing the Creed." If you change the English, you have changed the translation. So PLEASE make your accusations correct. The translation has been changed; the creed remains as it was written by the holy fathers at the Council.

I think this statement of PrJ should be compared with Fr. Serge's later comments for their needed and very appropriate contrast:

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The assertion that "we all support and accept the original Greek text of the Creed" is, perhaps, ingenuous. It is difficult to "support and accept" a text that one is unable to read, and the very creation and publication of translations implies strongly that the hierarchy and the experts are well aware that there are lots of clergy, monastics, paramonastics, and faithful who do not read Greek.

Once again I could not agree more with Fr. Serge. To propose that the ex orandi is only validated by one source prototext seems nonsensical - I would like to think I liturgically pray and confess my belief, in its entirety, and not a translation of a belief for which I have little access to the source text other than through what "scholars" tell me (I have on occasion prayed the Creed in Greek but do not usually do that on a weekly basis). There is such a thing as historical convention with translations, and has been abundantly documented by Fr. Serge and others the RDL clearly leaves that traditional convention of translation - another argument that indeed the Creed was changed in the RDL.

A very quick review would show that the Creed was changed in the RDL from its previous form in the Ruthenian Liturgikons (a physical change of words cannot hardly be claimed as NOT a change). I would also say the liturgical context, that which is actually and regularly prayed and proclaimed, is the ultimate and public manifestation of the text and not this or that proto-text as that is what the people proclaim and eventually internalize. And that is now different from its previous conventional forms with regard to the Creed.

And to address a comment from PrJ earlier, that would be Fr. Stephen Hawkes-Teeples, a convert from the Episcopal Church before his conversion and entering the Jesuit Midwestern Province, a good friend of myself and my family. And who also is not completely satisfied with the end product of the RDL.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 09:54 PM
Quote
slavish kind of devotion to what academics say. NOTE: I'm not accusing you of this, I'm only observing that people who were metaphysically mauled by a Protestant upbringing -- self included -- have this tendency. Take a look at what the German Protestants did to Scripture scholarship. The years, the decades of biblical deconstruction. Do you know what the end result of form criticism has been -- the crown jewel of so much work? It's been abandoned. It's untenable, lacks any empirical evidence and carries thousands of assumptions that reflect modernist biases. Take a look at how feeble "scholarship" is when it becomes separated from the living instinct of the teaching Church.

I would encourage you to read carefully the introduction to Pope Benedict's recent book on Jesus. He highlights the importance of academic scholarship and rejects your "either-or" approach. Scholarship should inform our church life -- according to the Pope.

Futhermore, if you look carefully at what I said, I was talking about language scholars. When it comes to translation, we have to depend upon academic scholars who have spent their life studying the Greek language. My point is that these scholars do not object on a linguistic basis to the translation "for us ..." So you cannot argue that the Creed has been changed if language scholars tell you that the translation "for us ..." is an accurate translation of the original Greek.

However, refusing to accept the facts and to admit that the issue is a question of translation not of basic theology -- because of your presuppositional opposition to the RDL you chose to utilize (again) one of the argumentative ploys I mentioned earlier.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 09:56 PM
Quote
And to address a comment from PrJ earlier, that would be Fr. Stephen Hawkes-Teeples, a convert from the Episcopal Church before his conversion and entering the Jesuit Midwestern Province, a good friend of myself and my family. And who also is not completely satisfied with the end product of the RDL.

I would note however that in my conversation with him the translation "for us and for our salvation" was not one of the items with which "he is not completely satisfied." That was my point. If this translation violated basic theology and/or violated an essential teaching of Rome, Fr Stephen would have indicated this. In fact, he indicated this was not the case in response to a direct question about it.

*I would also note that in all of my conversations with him he did not indicate any disapproval of anything in the RDL. This does not mean that Diak is incorrect -- just that Fr Stephen did not say anything about it when he talked with me.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 10:03 PM
Quote
I would like to think I liturgically pray and confess my belief, in its entirety, and not a translation of a belief for which I have little access to the source text

The source text is the Greek (when it comes to the Creed) and the Slavonic (when it comes to the Liturgy). These are the autographa. Translations are just that -- translations. And though it may be disturbing to some to realize that they are dependent upon imperfect translations and that their inability to access the original source often deprives them of a certain knowledge, the reality is that this is the case.

Of course, we should strive to make our translations as precise as we can. But the translations are impermanent and subject to change. It is the autographa which are permanent and must not be changed.

This is why I heartily encourage each Orthodox Christian to learn both Greek and/or Slavonic. Understanding the orginal texts is essential -- that this is so can be seen in the curricula of all Orthodox seminaries. They teach you the original languages. If you do not learn the original, like it or not, you will miss important nuances, etc. This is especially true if you are depending upon English -- which is a very imprecise language for theology.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 10:13 PM
Quote
To propose that the lex orandi is only validated by one source prototext seems nonsensical

How could it be any other way? It is the only way that makes sense.

There has to be one original text to which we can refer -- if there are multiple original texts then there is no authority, it is a mess - that is truly "nonsensical".

By the way, this has always been the argument among biblical scholars. The text -- the autographa -- are the foundation for our biblical theology. When we discuss in depth what the text means we always go back to the Greek. If we relied on translations, it would be an ABSOLUTE mess.

Of course, this means that people who don't read Greek are dependent upon scholars. There is no other way for this to be done. It is the only "sensical" way smile
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 10:15 PM
Getting back to my original topic---

Can Father David Petras answer the questions regarding those who pushed for inclusive language? It is my understanding that knowing WHO were able to grab the ears of church shepherds will radically transform this debate. If you think the end product is controversial ...

Thanks you.

Eddie Hashinsky
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 10:50 PM
Quote
And of course if you eliminate the memory of the first man, there is no need for the second -- for Christ himself.

You have it backwards.

According to the Eastern Church Fathers, Christ is the first and Adam the second man. The Fathers state that Adam was made in the image of Christ -- not the other way around.

See Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way for an excellent introduction to this topic. See also Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church.
Quote
And to address a comment from PrJ earlier, that would be Fr. Stephen Hawkes-Teeples, a convert from the Episcopal Church before his conversion and entering the Jesuit Midwestern Province, a good friend of myself and my family. And who also is not completely satisfied with the end product of the RDL.

Deacon Randolph-

While in Rome in the summer of 2007, my bride and I had the pleasure to dine with Steven Hawkes-Teeples, SJ. Fr Steven had been the first Director of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh Diaconate Formation Program, and was our Liturgy instructor. During the course of that long, leisurely dinner at il Zodiaco, (which overlooks the Tiber and a good portion of the Eternal City) our conversation turned to the RDL. Now, I would not characterize his comments as "not cpmpletely satisfied with the end product of the RDL." In fact, he did not have a negative comment in our conversation about the RDL. I don't think he was being cautious, especially after cocktails, a few bottles of Italian wine, cigars and brandy. grin

His only negative comment was in reference to a book he had not read...
Posted By: John Murray Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/08/08 11:26 PM
On the one hand...

Originally Posted by PrJ
When it comes to translation, we have to depend upon academic scholars who have spent their life studying the Greek language.

on the other...

Originally Posted by PrJ
I heartily encourage each Orthodox Christian to learn both Greek and/or Slavonic.

Why bother learning the source languages when there are experts to tell us what to think? After all, they apparently are infallible (my emphasis):

Originally Posted by PrJ
So you cannot argue that the Creed has been changed if language scholars tell you that the translation "for us ..." is an accurate translation of the original Greek.

Pittsburgh locuta, causa finita est.

I would add in the interest of historical perspective that experts brought the Latin rite that raging success the Novus Ordo. The track record of liturgical experts is not encouraging. Why such faith in them?
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 12:15 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
And of course if you eliminate the memory of the first man, there is no need for the second -- for Christ himself.

You have it backwards.

According to the Eastern Church Fathers, Christ is the first and Adam the second man. The Fathers state that Adam was made in the image of Christ -- not the other way around.

See Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way for an excellent introduction to this topic. See also Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church.

RSV 1 Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, "The first (prōtos) man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

Bishop Kallistos, V. Lossky and even the Fathers get trumped by scripture; perhaps more specific references would clear things up. What exactly did they say?

Dn. Anthony

As even the Hasidic Jews would tell us, sometimes the Qahal triumphs over the Scriptures.

We all know, or should know that Pontius Pilate had a name-plate put on the Cross reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". We also know, or should know, that the custom of our Church is to have that plate, but with the inscription "The King of glory".

Fr. Serge
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 12:25 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
1) We ALL accept the Creed as written in Greek. No one has or will suggest that change the original Creed. The Creed - the autographa -- is in Greek. Unless you change the Greek, you cannot be accused of "changing the Creed."

Then why all the fuss over the Filioque?

Dn. Anthony
Quote
My point is that these scholars do not object on a linguistic basis to the translation "for us ..."

And again, I would point out that their are higher principles that are more authoritative than the opinions of anonymous scholars.

It's rather like saying: An atheist could be hired to design the architectural plans for a new church. His proposed plans could support the size of the congregation and so forth and it might even last a long time. BUT, the question for the believers is whether the plans accurately reflect the tradition and the spirituality of the Christians who will gather beneath its roof. In other words, there's more than a mastery of techne involved here and the parish council and priests would be well within rights to reject the proposed plans on the grounds of, while being technically correct, as lacking a true spiritual dimension that could only exist if the architect was an active Catholic very much involved in the life of his parish.

I think the analogy applies to the translation of words used in prayer. Scholarship *by itself* is important, but it requires the guiding hand of duly appointed spiritual shepherds who represent something much larger than the opinion du jour on translation. These things change generation to generation. The Church is everlasting.

Even if you reject the analogy however, I think other posters have ably demonstrated that dropping anthropos is fraught with theological errors and sets an awful precedent for the future.

On a separate note:

PrJ, you had earlier mentioned that your wife was hurt by the use of gender-specific terms. This reminded me of one of my fellow students who used the same argument in regards to the deep distress she felt (along with an Episcopalian classmate of all people) because she was being denied the sacrament of orders. The thinking usually runs along the lines of: "Sure, women can get six of the sacraments, but men GET ALL SEVEN. THE PATRIARCHY DID THIS AND I'M HURT!!" Power, power, power.

As a priest, what are you going to do when this argument comes up (and I'm certain it will if it hasn't already)? I presume you aren't going to buckle every time a man or woman complains that something the church does or defends hurts them. To you, changing the symbols -- you know, the sorts of stuff that rightly riled your Orthodox forebears -- is negotiable now, but when do you stop?
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 01:28 AM
Back to the topic ---

Father David Petras once wrote in his critique of Father Keleher's, "Studies on the Byzantine Liturgy - I" the following:

"Since this volume has been made available to all the priests of the Pittsburgh Metropolia, I feel that it is important to also make available to them a review of the book. The sub-title explains the real reason for the book: to oppose this translation. As a member of the Commission that has drafted the translation, it is even more imperative, therefore, to present a defense of their work."

Now, Father David Petras has stated that, �On this forum, I do not speak as an official representative of the Council of Hierarchs nor for my co-workers on the Inter-eparchial Liturgy Commission. I think it is right and proper that I speak only for myself and express my own opinions.�

I find it odd that Father David Petras can defend the work of the commission on one hand, but claim not to speak as their representative on the other. What is it?

I think I found the smoking gun (the Byzantine Catholic monastery) responsible for demanding the adoption of inclusive language and Father David has decided to use the Great Fast to hide behind answering the questions he could have answered over the past year. They found a willing bishop who led the charge and he is now gone. The remaining bishops are left to clean up his toiletry. Already, the RDL is being shelved. My aunt tells me that they are already returning to what works since only 5% of the people actually pick it up during worship. THAT is a sign of complete failure. She agrees with what I told her about the experiences of inclusive language being adopted and pushed by the nuns. Her comment was, �bulls-eye�.

I hope Father David Petras can answer the questions. It is not what is answered, but what is not answered (claiming the 5th) that says a lot.

My aunt is no longer uptight as she once was. They just realized that no one will enforce the RDL or punish those who don�t. It is one thing to loose people from the pews, but another to loose clergy. She and her fellow church members believe that if the people and clergy return to the pre-RDL days, absolutely nothing will happen. Even letters that she was privy to will begin to disappear.

Eddie Hashinsky
Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 01:39 AM
Quote
I would encourage you to read carefully the introduction to Pope Benedict's recent book on Jesus. He highlights the importance of academic scholarship and rejects your "either-or" approach. Scholarship should inform our church life -- according to the Pope.

I have read it and the conclusion which PrJ draws from it is skewed. The Pope acknowledges the real advances which modern scholarship has provided to the Church. Nonetheless, unlike most modern schaolars, He "trusts the Gospels." The Pope also states:

Quote
If you want to understand the Scripture in the spirit in which it was written, you have to attend to the content and to the unity of Scripture as a whole.

This is the very opposite of what has been done to the Creed and the Liturgy itself in the RDL. And indeed the RDL is meant to serve not the whole, but the few have who chosen to be offended by precise, proper and faithful translations--translations which don't want to hide the Truth which offends all human and angelic intellects which say "Non serviam!"

Byzantine Catholics, in their official public worship now profess a Creed which is different than Roman Catholics and Orthodox, neither of whom are looking at the new Creed or RDL and saying, "That's it! Therein is the true faith and true rational worhsip!"

What has been served in the RDL is not the common good--which by its very nature brings man more closely to the Truth--to God Himself, and thereby brings man in real communion with his fellow man---but the private "good" of a few "intellectuals" who think they know better than Rome. Such is not the work of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.
Quote
What has been served in the RDL is not the common good--which by its very nature brings man more closely to the Truth--to God Himself, and thereby brings man in real communion with his fellow man---but the private "good" of a few "intellectuals" who think they know better than Rome.

Fine, then they can have "their" turquoise books, and I'll have my Divine Liturgy served from the Red Liturgicon.

-- From tropical Cleveland, at top 16 or so inches of snow!!! --
Posted By: Father David Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 02:55 AM
The Administrator wrote:
�As far as "ad hominem" responses, Father David has been probably more guilty of this then anyone else. In this thread alone he suggests that those who disagree with his position are guilty of attempting to �keep women down� and are nothing but �emotionally charged� and �border on hysteria�. That is stronger than anyone disagreeing with him has posted.�

No. Much has been made of my statement about �hysteria.� I very carefully applied it only to �some posters,� in order to explain why I would prefer to have an objective rather than an �emotion-charged� discussion. It was not intended to apply to �all posters,� or �to all those who disagree with me,� or to �all anti-feminists.� In fact, earlier, the Administrator admitted that my observation was justified: �I agree that the issue is very emotional for some on both sides of the issue.� [Posted 03/05, 4:19 pm] In the meantime, I have been accused of �covering up,� �stone-walling,� living in an ivory tower, �dropping bombs and running off,� etc., which seem to be more serious than being emotional.

The Administrator wrote:
�And to someone like me � who has studied the Church Teachings on women, sees no conflict between those documents and directives like �Liturgiam Authenticam�, and support the Church�s call for accuracy and not political agendas in translating the Liturgy, he comes across as accusing of the pope of trying to �keep women down�. �
No. Again, I only said it seems to me that some posters try to �keep women down.� It certainly does not apply to the Pope, who certainly has a great respect for women, and transferring my comments from �some posters� to the Pope is certainly a logical error, if not an error against truth.
The Administrator wrote:
�We can already see the RDL falling by the wayside. Bishop Andrew was really the only bishop who supported the RDL, and if he had retired five years ago at 75 it never would have been promulgated.�
This is clerical scuttlebutt, or pure fantasy, which amounts to the same thing.

The Administrator wrote:
�I can see that the Revised Divine Liturgy is lacking, and has only been an instrument of hurt to our Church.�
One woman (from our cathedral parish came to me and said, �Father, thank you for giving us this Liturgy, it�s so beautiful.�
A man (a deacon) told me, �The new translation has given the Liturgy back to the people.�
Not all people have been hurt. Although you will strongly disagree - that�s a foregone conclusion - I mention this because I think your claims are exaggerated and misleading.

Ed Hashinski wrote:
�Father David Petras once wrote in his critique of Father Keleher's, "Studies on the Byzantine Liturgy - I" the following:
"Since this volume has been made available to all the priests of the Pittsburgh Metropolia, I feel that it is important to also make available to them a review of the book. The sub-title explains the real reason for the book: to oppose this translation. As a member of the Commission that has drafted the translation, it is even more imperative, therefore, to present a defense of their work."
Now, Father David Petras has stated that, �On this forum, I do not speak as an official representative of the Council of Hierarchs nor for my co-workers on the Inter-eparchial Liturgy Commission. I think it is right and proper that I speak only for myself and express my own opinions.�
I find it odd that Father David Petras can defend the work of the commission on one hand, but claim not to speak as their representative on the other. What is it?�

I do not speak as a spokesman �on this forum.� There are actually other fora where I speak more formally.
And no - there is no special committee - no special interest group - no special pressure group - no secret plot to impose feminist language. I would suppose that our bishops speak to the sisters in Uniontown - they would be very poor bishops if they didn�t speak to these women who have given their lives to the church - and I suppose the bishops speak to their priests, and to lay people in the parishes they serve, and I suppose they hear many different opinions - but there is hardly anything sinister about that. Stop accusing me of �stone-walling� or �lying� about this issue.
Posted By: Diak Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 01:06 PM
Fr. Deacon John - certainly everyone is entitled to their opinions, and understandably full satisfaction in any text would likely be hard to come by for any of us. No particulars were given so I cannot conjecture what the source of dissatisfaction was.

To respond to PrJ:

Quote
How could it be any other way? It is the only way that makes sense.

There has to be one original text to which we can refer -- if there are multiple original texts then there is no authority, it is a mess - that is truly "nonsensical".

By the way, this has always been the argument among biblical scholars. The text -- the autographa -- are the foundation for our biblical theology. When we discuss in depth what the text means we always go back to the Greek. If we relied on translations, it would be an ABSOLUTE mess.

Of course, this means that people who don't read Greek are dependent upon scholars. There is no other way for this to be done. It is the only "sensical" way

I don't deny that there needs to be an authentic basis in the original texts, nor that there is a triage of authenticity within ancient texts, whether that be Scripture or otherwise. That is common sense. Certainly my comments did not suggest opposing such a thing, either implicitly or explicitly.

Which text of the Greek are we speaking of here - Benedict XIV? Venice? Athens Museum? Several on Mt. Athos? Balkan editions? There are myriad sluzhebnyky which could be considered, far more than there are Scriptural autographa.

The point under consideration is "did the Creed change". Until very recently, all have been rendered essentially the same into English - "for us men". There certainly is a precedental convention in English that cannot be denied, and which no credible liturgical scholar would deny.

The relevant context is that in which it is prayed - certainly Sacrosanctum Concilium and other Vatican documents speak to this. To say we pray what is in something else, to say the words we are saying are really what is in this or that prototext and not what is in front of us, which has changed since the last one we had in front of us, and has changed from all previous conventional settings of the Creed, doesn't make much sense. Is it what you are actually saying or praying, or is it some centuries older text says lying in a museum that you claim to be really praying that you have never seen?

The ontological fact remains that the Creed in the RDL was changed over its previous version in either the 1984 or 1964 English versions, and is now dissimilar in this way to all official Greek Catholic and most if not all official Orthodox versions.

We are praying what is in front of us, not the prototext in the museum. The museum piece can certainly be a source text, but it is not what we are praying, unless our words are meaningless. But since one of Fr. David's main points has been that the words are very significant at the time of their being prayed in the Liturgy, and need to be heard for their educational content (especially in the Anaphora), there again appears to be a dichotomy present.

I would love to pray the Creed in Greek week in and week out and would love to see everyone learn it in Greek. But unfortunately, nothing other than English is currently allowed in the Ruthenian Church in the USA in the mandated "sole text" of the RDL(not so in my UGCC or other Greek Catholic Churches). Since it is the mandated "sole text", and since there no other linguistic options in the RDL, we pray what is actually before us on the page.

One can debate what the impetus for the change was, what this means or what the implications are for the change but one cannot deny that in its English manifestation it is not the same Creed from its previous rendition as the Creed. If one looks at the creed he prayed in the pew books based on the 1964 Liturgikon and those in the RDL, the answer would be "yes, it is different".

Simply comparing the texts will generate differences. Did the Greek change in, say, the Greet text of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom promulgated by Benedict XIV - no, but that is not what is being prayed today - nor according to the "sole text" mandates of the RDL it may not even be allowed.

And like the filioque, this change is causing a great deal of confusion and dismay amongst much of the Ruthenian English-usage world, which we see here quite vividly. These changes, not just the Creed but the RDL in general, were not needed nor were demanded by the liturgical needs of the sensus fidelium. We don't have the space to go into a complete list of the changes or discussions of them here; I would certainly recommend one read Fr. Serge's much more detailed and eloquent critical analyses of these changes

From Sacrosanctum Concilum :
Quote
14. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.

Full and active participation is certainly praying what is in front of you on the page, in the immediate sense as full and active participation, and not saying words that really are manifested in some prototext that only scholars can decode, which one can take to be a suggestion of academic elitism or even neo-Gnosticism, and will likely not make any believers or supportors in the pew. And now, off to Matins.
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
As even the Hasidic Jews would tell us, sometimes the Qahal triumphs over the Scriptures.


How so? Besides, we're not Hasidic Jews; our qahal/ekklēsia/church functions differently.

Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
We all know, or should know that Pontius Pilate had a name-plate put on the Cross reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". We also know, or should know, that the custom of our Church is to have that plate, but with the inscription "The King of glory".


Sacred Scripture, Tradition, trumps "custom."

The original statement was that of being backwards:

Originally Posted by PrJ
You have it backwards.

According to the Eastern Church Fathers, Christ is the first and Adam the second man.


Are you saying the quoted scripture

Quote
RSV 1 Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, "The first (prōtos) man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.


has it backwards?

There are of course legitimate customs and interpretations which is why I said: �perhaps more specific references would clear things up. What exactly did they say?�

Dn. Anthony
Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 03:54 PM
To respond to PrJ:


Quote
To respond to PrJ:

Quote:
How could it be any other way? It is the only way that makes sense.

There has to be one original text to which we can refer -- if there are multiple original texts then there is no authority, it is a mess - that is truly "nonsensical".

By the way, this has always been the argument among biblical scholars. The text -- the autographa -- are the foundation for our biblical theology. When we discuss in depth what the text means we always go back to the Greek. If we relied on translations, it would be an ABSOLUTE mess.

Of course, this means that people who don't read Greek are dependent upon scholars. There is no other way for this to be done. It is the only "sensical" way


But when the scholars refuse to allow the Greek text to shine forth in the English translation, they have made themselves more than translators. But the real difficulty with the Creed is that Americans won't even be able to tell what is in the Greek text whatsover. They have been misled. A word has been dropped--I suspect because the translators would not dare to say "for us humans...[he] became human." The error is too obvious.

As I see it though, modern Americans don't simply object to the word "man." Their objection is far more serious. They will also object to "anthropos" once they discover it in the Greek because the signification of the word is one which reminds them of everything which they reject about the order created by God which is reflected in Ephesians and hearkens back to Genesis:

Quote
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22* Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31* "For this reason a man [anthropos] shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; 33 however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Better not to change anything, instead Fathers love your bride as Christ did--she will not reject you.
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 04:45 PM
Originally Posted by SultanOfSuede
Quote
My point is that these scholars do not object on a linguistic basis to the translation "for us ..."
And again, I would point out that their are higher principles that are more authoritative than the opinions of anonymous scholars.

Yes, this is an important point. It must be stressed that context is important. For scripture, the liturgy, the creed, the context is theological. We must look at the big picture -- and yes, we must know and respect the theology -- and must not just change a word here and there, in fits and jerks, especially so if done so that we can just feel good about ourselves and appear relevant by the standards of the world.

We have in scripture, in the liturgy, in the creed, the word Adam/anthropos/homo/chelovik. The proper use of that word results in a multitude of theologically significant dots that we can connect. Change or erase the dots, and the possible links, the connections are lost; meaning is lost; intent is lost; beauty is lost; mystery is lost.

For this example, we have a word that does the best job of being a dot in English, especially if one accepts standard English usage. That word is Man. Show me a better one, and that it functions as consistently throughout scripture, liturgy and creed, and I will gladly give it every consideration.


Dn. Anthony
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 07:43 PM
Originally Posted by Diak
And like the filioque, this change is causing a great deal of confusion and dismay amongst much of the Ruthenian English-usage world, which we see here quite vividly. These changes, not just the Creed but the RDL in general, were not needed nor were demanded by the liturgical needs of the sensus fidelium.

Diak,
Father David Petras claims there were no operatives behind the adoption of inclusive language in the Byzantine Catholic church.

He writes, "...there is no special committee - no special interest group - no special pressure group - no secret plot to impose feminist language"

But such changes do not happen in a vacuum. We are not so stupid to think otherwise. Someone always does have a hand in it, otherwise the older English translation would have done fine and you'ns would have not have to have dealt with its adoption and the *no debate* status stamped on it. My questions have not been answered.

Someone had to give such instructions to change it. I don't believe the printers of the RDL hymnal accidentally changed it. The question still stands - WHO was behind it? So far, their identity has been kept under cover. But why?

Ed
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 07:55 PM
Originally Posted by Father David
Stop accusing me of �stone-walling� or �lying� about this issue.

Dear Father David,

I might have accused you of stonewalling only because it has taken a year to get an answer, but not the ones that answer the questions I have posed over the months. You still didn't answer my question about the WHO behind the adoption of inclusive language in your worship. I think you know.

Show me where I accused you of lying. In recent posts, you wrote something that was contradictory to what you wrote earlier. This is not lying; this is talking out of both sides of your mouth. You speak on behalf of the committee on one hand then claim you don't speak on behalf of the committee. Are you claiming that what you say privately as an individual is different from when you speak on behalf of the committee you are a member of and have responsibility in? There are certainly not two Father David Petras's, are there? I was only trying to make sense of your sense of representativeness with the committee at question. That committe has weight, especially since it is mentioned in the foreward of the RDL hymnal.

I apologize if I seem too foreward. But I am getting a sense of defensive listening that refuses to go anywhere. If you don't know WHO pushed for the adoption of inclusive language in your worship, do you know who does? Maybe we have been talking to the wrong person all these months? Why you didn't volunteer such information is troubling. I apologize if this has provoked me to conclude conspiracy theories. Just point the finger and we will go there to ask our questions.

Ed
(Trying to keep from getting hysterical)
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 10:06 PM
Quote
PrJ, you had earlier mentioned that your wife was hurt by the use of gender-specific terms. This reminded me of one of my fellow students who used the same argument in regards to the deep distress she felt (along with an Episcopalian classmate of all people) because she was being denied the sacrament of orders. The thinking usually runs along the lines of: "Sure, women can get six of the sacraments, but men GET ALL SEVEN. THE PATRIARCHY DID THIS AND I'M HURT!!" Power, power, power.

Again, you are employing an argumentative ploy -- this time the "throw the mud against the wall and see what sticks routine". In response, to paraphrase a Disney character, "If you cannot discuss my arguments, please don't discuss at all."

To suggest that my pious, God-fearing, tradition-loving wife would want to be a priest is ludicrous and downright insulting. If you knew my wife, which you don't, you would immediately see how silly your suggestion is.

I would also point out that in the Roman Church, men can only "get six" of the sacraments anyway. So I sincerely doubt that your example happened as you described it.

Please -- stop accusing me of things that are not true, stop suggesting that I have adopted positions which I have not.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 10:08 PM
Quote
A word has been dropped--I suspect because the translators would not dare to say "for us humans...[he] became human." The error is too obvious.

There is no error in this translation.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 10:10 PM
[quote=ajk

There are of course legitimate customs and interpretations which is why I said: �perhaps more specific references would clear things up. What exactly did they say?�

Dn. Anthony [/quote]

Please go back and read the Fathers -- you will see immediately the point they are making. This is a serious theological issue and one which should be discussed sometime. But probably not under this heading or in this forum.
Originally Posted by Father David
No. Much has been made of my statement about �hysteria.� I very carefully applied it only to �some posters,� in order to explain why I would prefer to have an objective rather than an �emotion-charged� discussion. It was not intended to apply to �all posters,� or �to all those who disagree with me,� or to �all anti-feminists.� In fact, earlier, the Administrator admitted that my observation was justified: �I agree that the issue is very emotional for some on both sides of the issue.� [Posted 03/05, 4:19 pm] In the meantime, I have been accused of �covering up,� �stone-walling,� living in an ivory tower, �dropping bombs and running off,� etc., which seem to be more serious than being emotional.
I will accept that Father David meant to only apply the charge of �hysteria� to certain Forum posters. I, too, would prefer to have an objective discussion of these issues. But to have such an objective discussion Father David, or someone who supports the Revised Divine Liturgy, needs to first provide a logical and well-documented support of his claims. On this particular issue � gender inclusive language � I and others have offered specific references of Vatican directives (such as Liturgiam Authenticam (offering both references and quotes in context and backing it up with posts quoting further directives from the Pro-Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship)). Father David has offered very oblique references and has not offered any demonstration as to why the Vatican is wrong and he is correct. In this discussion he has given a list of some quite excellent official documents speaking to the proper role of women. None of those documents speak to the issue of gender neutral language. And his opinions offered here are in clear opposition of both the letter and the spirit of directives like Liturgiam Authenticam. One can argue that LA does not focus on the Eastern Churches directly. One cannot argue that most of the directive is generic in nature, and built upon solid principles, both theological and scholarly. There are references in LA that speak to the East:

Quote
Liturgiam Authenticam:
87. It is recommended that there be a single translation of the liturgical books for each vernacular language, brought about by means of coordination among the Bishops of those regions where the same language is spoken. If this proves truly impossible because of the circumstances, the individual Conferences of Bishops, after consultation with the Holy See, may decide either to adapt a previously existing translation or to prepare a new one.
This seems pretty clear to me. A single translation of the liturgical books for each vernacular language. I see no circumstances that make this �truly impossible�, especially for all Ruthenian Greek Catholics.

Quote
Liturgiam Authenticam:
88. In the case of the Order of Mass and those parts of the Sacred Liturgy that call for the direct participation of the people, a single translation should exist in a given language, unless a different provision is made in individual cases.
A single translation in any given language. The reality, of course, is that there are numerous translations of the Divine Liturgy available in English. I can understand that it might take a decade to prepare a common translation and another generation to pastorally adopt it. But what need is there for not just a new translation of the Ruthenian Divine Liturgy but for a wholesale revision? As I have asked numerous times (without answer), just what is the thinking behind the idea that the liturgical needs of Ruthenian Greek Catholics are so vastly different than those of Ukrainian Greek Catholic parishes (think two parishes that sit across the street from one another) that the Ruthenian feel they need a complete revision to the Divine Liturgy, one with gender neutral language (given that what has been promulgated is in complete disagreement with the Vatican directives)?

Quote
Liturgiam Authenticam:
90. With due regard for Catholic traditions and for all of the principles and norms contained in this Instruction, an appropriate relationship or coordination is greatly to be desired, whenever possible, between any translations intended for common use in the various Rites of the Catholic Church�..
What overtures have been made to other Churches, both Greek Catholic and Orthodox, to work together on translations?

Quote
Liturgiam Authenticam:
91. A similar agreement is desirable also with the particular non-Catholic Eastern Churches or with the authorities of the Protestant ecclesial communities, provided that it is not a question of a liturgical text pertaining to doctrinal matters still in dispute, and provided also that the Churches or ecclesial communities involved have a sufficient number of adherents and that those consulted are truly capable of functioning as representatives of the same ecclesial communities. In order completely to avoid the danger of scandal or of confusion among the Christian faithful, the Catholic Church must retain full liberty of action in such agreements, even in civil law.
Since we are Eastern Catholics I dare say we could all agree that the part about working with the non-Catholic Eastern Churches should be the mode of operation for all translation committees? Metropolitan Nicholas of Johnstown highly praises the 1964 translation and keeps it on the holy table in his personal chapel. He has spoken publicly about working together. Why was this important directive of Liturgiam Authenticam ignored?

And I suppose I could quote again all the LA directives not to use gender neutral language, and how Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Est�vez, Retired Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship, stated that omitting �the term 'men' has effects that are theologically grave. This text - 'For us and for our salvation' - no longer clearly refers to the salvation of all, but apparently only that of those who are present. The 'us' thereby becomes potentially exclusive rather than inclusive."

But I know from experience that the response will not be one giving chapter and verse from Liturgiam Authenticam, the Liturgical Instruction or anything else that is official and specific. These questions have been on the table for a long time now. And they remain unanswered.
Posted By: mwbonline Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 10:57 PM
It seems to me that this entire issue could be settled if Fr. David, or someone, would simply say 'the final draft of the revised RDL was approved a committee composed of by Fr. Who, Bishop Did and Deacon It'. Since time was put into this no one should feel ashamed to stand up for what they did...should they?
Posted By: Etnick Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/09/08 11:06 PM
I hate to say it, but I feel that my Rusyn Greek Catholic brethren are stuck with the tragedy of the RDL. People are afraid to answer simple questions for fear of reprisal, to name names etc. Things are not changing.

I think the Admin brought up a good point in his last post. Two churches right across from each other. The simple solution is to walk right into that other church be it Ukrainian, Romanian, etc.
Originally Posted by PrJ
So you cannot argue that the Creed has been changed if language scholars tell you that the translation "for us ..." is an accurate translation of the original Greek.

Many language scholars do tell us that the omission of the term �man� is inaccurate, including those at the Vatican.

Again:
Quote
Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Est�vez, Retired Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship:
[The] tendency to omit the term "men" has effects that are theologically grave. This text - "For us and for our salvation" - no longer clearly refers to the salvation of all, but apparently only that of those who are present. The "us" thereby becomes potentially exclusive rather than inclusive.
I could again quote Liturgiam Authenticam at length here but PrJ seems to reject it.

I could again note about how the Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America issued an official translation of the Creed that included the term �man� in �who for us men and our salvation� and specifically prohibited any other version. I suppose that Father John would not consider the Greeks to be Greek scholars of any note?

The issues here is that language scholars are human, too. Even a top notch scholar who has the Lord as the Master of his life is susceptible to influences from outside the Church. In this case we see a well intentioned embracement of a language style the Church has said not to use, making (unintentionally) a political statement with the Divine Liturgy. Pope John Paul�s Ex Corde Ecclesiae was addressed to universities, but its principles hold for translators, especially since they are scholars. It makes clear that scholars are accountable to the Church and the Christian faith. Liturgiam Authenticam is just such an attempt to hold translators accountable to the Church. It should be respected and not rejected.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 12:42 AM
Originally Posted by mwbonline
It seems to me that this entire issue could be settled if Fr. David, or someone, would simply say 'the final draft of the revised RDL was approved a committee composed of by Fr. Who, Bishop Did and Deacon It'. Since time was put into this no one should feel ashamed to stand up for what they did...should they?

Fr. Who, Bishop Did and Deacon It could not be reached for comment.

Posted By: Father David Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 01:30 AM
A few reflections:

Mr. Hashinski�s most recent response shows how absolutely impossible dialogue can be on the Internet. I think it may be a function of the medium itself. In any case, we are certainly using the term �to speak in behalf of� in absolutely different ways. I say that I speak officially only when the bishops authorize me to do so - in newspaper articles, books published by the catechetical office, talks and workshops given to priests and catechists, etc. They have not authorized me to speak on the Byzantine Forum. Therefore, here I speak only in my own name, but how - how, I ask - does that make me speak with forked tongue???????? I give my honest opinion here, and I speak honestly when I speak officially and I say the same things. Only here, I am not going to speak for anyone else - bishop or co-worker. If you want their opinions, ask them. I will certainly give you my opinion. How difficult can this be? As for who authorized it - that is clear, the 2007 translation was authorized by the Council of Hierarchs after review by Rome - which found it in conformity with Eastern tradition. The names of the Council of Hierarchs are on public record. Mr. Hashinski, if you cannot accept that as an answer, I have no more to say. I�m certainly not going to make up a story that will satisfy your quest.

Mr. Vernoski is willing to accept my explanation of �hysterical posters.� He ignores the rest of my post, but goes on about how I am opposed to LA. Again, it takes us on a different track. It is true that I have reservations about some of the provisions of LA, but I do not thereby advocate �disobedience� to the Vatican. I certainly agree with LA�s principle of accurate translation, but I don�t think they got it entirely right. LA is seeking accuracy in translation, not the elimination, per se, of inclusive language, just inclusive language that they find inaccurate. As Peter Jeffrey put it, � ... its (LA) main motivation is not opposition to inclusive language as such - that is only a symptom of what its authors really want.� (Translating Tradition, p. 105) The fact is that another dicastery has approved the translation our church made and it has been duly promulgated in accordance with the Code of Canon Law. If I am to be obedient, I must follow what my bishops say, and I also have the right to defend them. Of course, he will say that the 2007 translation is �demonstrably wrong,� but that is only his opinion. I am not required by obedience to believe his opinion, and, to be blunt, I don�t believe it.

I am reading a very interesting and amusing book entitled �Aristotle and an Aardvark go to Washington.� It is subtitled �Understanding Political Doublespeak Through Philosophy and Jokes.� Despite the light flavor, it is a very serious book - it talks about how politicians give a �spin� to their communications and pronouncements. I have found some of these tactics used on the Byzantine Forum. It�s kind of sad when secular political methods have to be used to deal with sacred things. That is why for peace of my soul, I probably should withdraw from this discussion for the rest of the Great Fast and Holy Week. It�s what my friends recommend.

I said that the Internet is not the place to discuss this issue. Some complain that it�s the only forum open to them. Unfortunately, I believe this Forum to have been misused. It has not provided enlightenment but only a field on which to attack the liturgical work of our Church. I read another article recently about anonymous posters on the Internet, �Anonymously Yours,� by Scott Lax in the magazine �Northern Ohio Live.� Not all the posters here are anonymous, but this article does give a caution about the Internet. Mr. Lax writes, �There�s a school of thought that says allowing anyone to post virtually anything is a move toward democratizing the media. But this is nonsense, and worse, dangerous. Democracy doesn�t arrive by linguistic bricks-through-the-windows, thrown by Anonymous - anarchy does.� I might substitute �enlightenment� for �democracy,� the same result.
Posted By: Monomakh Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 01:48 AM
Originally Posted by Father David
I am reading a very interesting and amusing book entitled �Aristotle and an Aardvark go to Washington.� It is subtitled �Understanding Political Doublespeak Through Philosophy and Jokes.� Despite the light flavor, it is a very serious book - it talks about how politicians give a �spin� to their communications and pronouncements. I have found some of these tactics used on the Byzantine Forum. It�s kind of sad when secular political methods have to be used to deal with sacred things.

Spin on communications and pronouncements? Does this have anything to do with your pronouncement on this forum that the RDL stood for 'Restored Divine Liturgy' instead of 'Revised Divine Liturgy'?

It would be interesting to hear how this is a restoration?

Monomakh
Posted By: InCogNeat3's Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 02:05 AM
Originally Posted by EdHash
Originally Posted by mwbonline
It seems to me that this entire issue could be settled if Fr. David, or someone, would simply say 'the final draft of the revised RDL was approved a committee composed of by Fr. Who, Bishop Did and Deacon It'. Since time was put into this no one should feel ashamed to stand up for what they did...should they?

Fr. Who, Bishop Did and Deacon It could not be reached for comment.

Call England and ask the Metropolitan Ware Fr. Who, Bishop Did, and Deacon It are? (though they may not comMENt, as that would be Patriarchal)
Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 03:26 AM
Fr. David stated:

Quote
It�s kind of sad when secular political methods have to be used to deal with sacred things.

I think all the critics of the RDL will agree with you there!

May the rest of your Lent be blessed.

Posted By: lm Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 03:34 AM
Quote
Quote:
A word has been dropped--I suspect because the translators would not dare to say "for us humans...[he] became human." The error is too obvious.


There is no error in this translation.

At least, perhaps, insofar as the translation goes. I am talking, however, about the word that was dropped!
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 03:40 AM
Originally Posted by mwbonline
It seems to me that this entire issue could be settled if Fr. David, or someone, would simply say 'the final draft of the revised RDL was approved a committee composed of by Fr. Who, Bishop Did and Deacon It'. Since time was put into this no one should feel ashamed to stand up for what they did...should they?

Just to be clear, the makeup of the "committee" has not been hidden, and if I recall correctly, has been posted before on this forum.

Intereparchial Liturgical Commission

Bishop Andrew

Bishop George

Rev. Msgr. Alexis E. Mihalik

Rev. Elias L. Rafaj

Rev. John S. Custer

Very Rev. Michael Mondak

Very Rev. Archpriest David M. Petras

Very Rev. Michael Hayduk

Rev. Robert M. Pipta

Rt. Rev. Mitered Archpriest Stephen G. Washko

+Msgr. Alan Borsuk

+ Msgr. William Levkulic



Intereparchial Music Commission

Bishop Andrew

Prof. J. Michael Thompson

Mr. Elias Zareva

Ms. Nicolette Boros

Rev. Robert Pipta

+Sir Knight Daniel J. Kavka


I have noted this and commented:
Originally Posted by ajk
The question here is, who got the ball rolling on the need for "inclusive" language and then who kept it going? We know the names of the committee; who informed the committee? What are the data, the facts for the information.

This has affected our Liturgy and creedal formulations.

Why is no one forthcoming to take credit? Now is not the time for a false sense of humility.

Dn. Anthony
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 09:38 AM
Originally Posted by Father David
Mr. Hashinski�s most recent response shows how absolutely impossible dialogue can be on the Internet. I think it may be a function of the medium itself. In any case, we are certainly using the term �to speak in behalf of� in absolutely different ways. I say that I speak officially only when the bishops authorize me to do so - in newspaper articles, books published by the catechetical office, talks and workshops given to priests and catechists, etc. They have not authorized me to speak on the Byzantine Forum. Therefore, here I speak only in my own name, but how - how, I ask - does that make me speak with forked tongue???????? I give my honest opinion here, and I speak honestly when I speak officially and I say the same things. Only here, I am not going to speak for anyone else - bishop or co-worker. If you want their opinions, ask them. I will certainly give you my opinion. How difficult can this be? As for who authorized it - that is clear, the 2007 translation was authorized by the Council of Hierarchs after review by Rome - which found it in conformity with Eastern tradition. The names of the Council of Hierarchs are on public record. Mr. Hashinski, if you cannot accept that as an answer, I have no more to say. I�m certainly not going to make up a story that will satisfy your quest.

Dear Father David,

Thank you for your response. However, you still failed to state WHO were so successfull in pushing inclusive language. The members of the committee are given immediately above. Are you saying THEY came up with the idea of introducing inclusive language? Did the idea start there?

I too have read about spin, but in the church, especially in regards to pedophilia and homosexuality in the church ranks. The first strategy is to make those who complain or ask about it look like idiots; shoot down the victims. If possible, they will then demand that clergy get psychological evaluations *for the record* as a tactic to tar and feather them for good before giving the troublemakers the boot. The only time churches finally fess up, pay up, and devise a *policy* about the children is when legal fees and lawsuits are slapped on them, which is probably whey no one will have to ever know WHO was the ones successfull in pushing for the inclusive language. No lawsuits pending here. But the faithful have the church committees and leaders to thank for allowing such perverts to get through to ordination. This is just not in the Catholic Churches though. I read about the OCA having its troubles too. The point I wish to make is that certain criteria are set forth despite the complaints from the people regarding decisions that will only cause trouble and alienate. But the church leaders and committees know better and render their decisions. Disaster then comes forth causing bitter divisions and lots of lost $$$.

*Spin* can go both ways. However, unanswered questions are not spin; they are just questions left unanswered.

I apologize if my questions have become quite upsetting to your sentiments of late. Ignore the bit about who speaks on behalf of who, wheither at one time you speak on behalf of here for one reason, but refuse to speak on behalf of there on another. It seems to me that you pick and choose your times to speak as a representative.

My questions still remain about WHO pushed for and successfully got inclusive language in the Byzantine Catholic RDL hymnal? Obviously, they are letting you take the rap for it by remaining silent and behind the scenes. In this, I feel compassion for you.

Ed
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by ajk
We have in scripture, in the liturgy, in the creed, the word Adam/anthropos/homo/chelovik. The proper use of that word results in a multitude of theologically significant dots that we can connect. Change or erase the dots, and the possible links, the connections are lost; meaning is lost; intent is lost; beauty is lost; mystery is lost.

For this example, we have a word that does the best job of being a dot in English, especially if one accepts standard English usage. That word is Man. Show me a better one, and that it functions as consistently throughout scripture, liturgy and creed, and I will gladly give it every consideration.

To further run with the thought and compare with RDL usage:

The Lover of Mankind, for us Men (cf. the Creed), became Man,"appeared on earth and lived among men," to lift up Man/ADAM(Man in Hebrew), by suffering under Pilate who said of Him "Behold the Man" even as He, Jesus, referred to Himself as the Son of Man as in KJ Mark 2:28 "Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath," of which He says NKJ Mark 2:27 "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath," etc.


From the RDL:

The one who loves us all, for us us all (cf. the Creed), became ... uhhh... Pittsburgh, we have a problem.

Dn. Anthony

Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Certainly, not everyone who opposes the RDL is abusive towards women or does so because of some hidden (to them) patriarchal and/or domineering attitudes towards women.
Exactly!!! This would certainly not be the case with my wife and the other wonderful women that I know and love who oppose the atrocious neutered language of the RDL.
Originally Posted by PrJ
Are there some people who oppose the RDL for these reasons? I would imagine that there are.

How can you imagine this? You do not read hearts.
Originally Posted by PrJ
But it is not my place to make that decision.
Exactly!


Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 02:27 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Upon reading this in reflection, I want to add one more note. The only person's motive I can know with some certainty is my own.
Thank you for this correction. Peace.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 02:42 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
I am not threatened by the existence of those who oppose the RDL -- why are some so threatened by the existence of those who support it?
Why? I can only give my experience. Before my conversion to Holy Orthodoxy, I was Roman Catholic for about 38 yeras and Ruthenian Catholic for about seven. In the Roman Catholic Church I saw a slow and methodical incremental paradox shift. It began slowly with neutered language and progressed to a call for women ordination to the priesthood. In between I observed strange infiltrations of new age practices being offered at "letigimate Catholic retreat centers": eco-spirituality, reiki, mandalas, enneagram, sophia worship, wiccanism, etc.

Is there a link? I think so. I think many here also feel there is a link. We are not paranoid conspiracy theorists. We are not wife beaters. We are not supporters of slavery. We are not patriachists. We are not anti-women!!!!

We are in fear of the smoke of Satan that can imperceptibly creep into the Church and reek havoc.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 02:57 PM
Quote
We are in fear

This is what I have noticed. Everytime the discussion is raised, someone references what happened in the 60s to the Latin Church. I believe that this reference is unfortunate.

As I can see, few object to the changes for linguistic or theological reasons. Most object because they "believe" that the changes are "the tip of the iceberg," the "slippery slope," or part of some "undercover radical agenda" that will destroy the Church.

Since I do not share this fear, I find the objections to be without warrant. The fear appears to me to be irrational and thus the inability of those who discuss these matters to reach a conclusion.

You can't argue with fear.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 03:29 PM
Originally Posted by Father David
Again, I only said it seems to me that some posters try to �keep women down.�
Who are these posters who are "trying to keep women down?"
If I get my wife and other female friends to register here to articulate their displeasure with the RDL, will you accuse them of "trying to keep women down?"
Originally Posted by Father David
One woman (from our cathedral parish came to me and said, �Father, thank you for giving us this Liturgy, it�s so beautiful.�
A man (a deacon) told me, �The new translation has given the Liturgy back to the people.�
You have given two examples here. Would you like me to begin listing the dozens of example from those who have been scandalized. I think not.




Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 03:36 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Originally Posted by ajk
There are of course legitimate customs and interpretations which is why I said: �perhaps more specific references would clear things up. What exactly did they say?�

Dn. Anthony

Please go back and read the Fathers -- you will see immediately the point they are making. This is a serious theological issue and one which should be discussed sometime. But probably not under this heading or in this forum.

This is continued in link .

Quote
The fear appears to me to be irrational and thus the inability of those who discuss these matters to reach a conclusion.
Another ad hominem. Those who oppose tampering with symbols of the creed are now unable "to reach a conclusion."

Patriarchs, wife beaters, slavery sympathizers, fearmongers, ...
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/10/08 11:30 PM
I apologize to all, including Father David Petras, for being so raw in my posts. But I can only be direct in my questions.

It is true that Father David Petras is the ONLY one sticking his neck out on the issue of the RDL in the Byzantine Catholic church. His words should be welcomed.

However, me thinks that there are scaredy cats hiding behind his volumnous knowledge and experience as a pastor and teacher. I don't expect him to reveal the pushers of inclusive language, especially since he is sworn to obedience to his shepherd and it would be tactless to tell on them when the committee he is a member of might have rules regarding secrecy. I conclude that Father David Petras is not the person who can answer the question of WHO was responsible for pushing for the adoption of inclusive language and upsetting so many good church members, including singers and clergymen.

I thereby relieve Father David Petras of the burden of answering my specific questions. No more *open letters* from me.

But my questions still stand for others who can answer them. None of the committee members will have the courage, I believe, to speak up, nor will any outside groups who might have been involved behind the scenes.

This issue is definitely one that your church leaders, the ordained shepherds, have to answer. THEY, not Father David Petras, signed their names to it (as noted in the foreward - page 3 - of the RDL hymnal). But THEY have remained mum. One shepherd orders "no debate" on it. So, there you have it. Byzantine Catholics are stuck with it. They have to live with it. They have to pray with it and sing it for the rest of their lives. Maybe.

I support the Administrator's work in this matter. Don't underestimate him or the many others who have rejected the RDL in their hearts, including pastors. That those who pushed for it and mandated it are keeping silent only shows that they cannot defend it. If they cannot answer for their own actions as chief shepherds, then you'ns have to take it to a higher authority --- the Pope. Thank God the Catholic Pope is a German! Maybe this is what your church needs - a good dose of German discipline?

Eddie Hashinsky
Originally Posted by Father David
Mr. Vernoski is willing to accept my explanation of �hysterical posters.� He ignores the rest of my post, but goes on about how I am opposed to LA. Again, it takes us on a different track. It is true that I have reservations about some of the provisions of LA, but I do not thereby advocate �disobedience� to the Vatican. I certainly agree with LA�s principle of accurate translation, but I don�t think they got it entirely right. LA is seeking accuracy in translation, not the elimination, per se, of inclusive language, just inclusive language that they find inaccurate.
In prior posts during these discussions Father David has been very dismissive of �Liturgiam Authenticam� On 7/17/2006 he wrote: �Liturgiam Authenticam is for the Roman Church, not the Byzantine Church - and for a very good reason. The whole question is �inclusive language� is not a �Ruthenian recension� question but one of ecclesiology, theology and sociology.� (He does not offer any explanation for that conclusion.) In other threads since then he was also dismissive of LA. If he reads my posts on this topic at face value they do not suggest that he advocates disobedience. They say that his good intentions (and those of the bishops and the members of the commission) contribute to a product that is disobedient. There is a huge difference between the two. A well intentioned mistake in the �style sheet� can lead to major problems.

I agree with Father David that LA is seeking accuracy in translation. But a directive regarding from Cardinal Medina Est�vez, specifically stated that the removal of the term �man� in �who for us men and our salvation� �has effects that are theologically grave� and �no longer clearly refers to the salvation of all, but apparently only that of those who are present. The �us� thereby becomes potentially exclusive rather than inclusive.� [See the full quote in my previous post.] The term �man� is clearly inclusive of all men from Adam and Eve until the last child conceived before the Second Coming. Omitting it make the translation inaccurate and potentially exclusive. There are no grounds for saying the removal of the term man (�anthropos�) makes the Creed more accurate. There are no grounds for saying that the terms �man� and �mankind� (and etc.) need to be removed from the texts. LA clearly speaks to this. No case has been offered that the shows the Pro-Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship to be wrong (and why the Greek Orthodox Synod of Bishops is wrong), and why he is so wrong that we could not retain the existing translation.

Originally Posted by Father David
The fact is that another dicastery has approved the translation our church made and it has been duly promulgated in accordance with the Code of Canon Law. If I am to be obedient, I must follow what my bishops say, and I also have the right to defend them. Of course, he will say that the 2007 translation is �demonstrably wrong,� but that is only his opinion. I am not required by obedience to believe his opinion, and, to be blunt, I don�t believe it.
I have not stated that the process of promulgation was not followed, though one can certainly argue that the bishops have not adhered to the canons:

Quote
From the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches:
Canon 40 �1. Hierarchs who preside over Churches sui iuris and all other hierarchs are to see most carefully to the faithful protection and accurate observance of their own rite, and not admit changes in it except by reason of its organic progress, keeping in mind, however, mutual goodwill and the unity of Christians.
In the promulgation of the Revised Divine Liturgy the bishops did meet the requirements of Canon 40 �1. The rubrics and texts are not accurate (and less accurate then the 1964 it replaces). The RDL is not an �accurate observance� of the Ruthenian Rite as promulgated by Rome in the official Church Slavonic edition. It admits changes that are not organic (and the mandatory praying aloud of certain prayers is not an organic development now so far along in development that it is being promulgated by Orthodox Christians worldwide). And making the liturgical books different than the official ones normative for other Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox does not serve the �unity of Christians�.

But we see that the Slovak bishops followed the official process in their revision of the Divine Liturgy, and how appeals were successful in getting it rescinded in favor of a more accurate translation. It was later rescinded. That is why I am following the proper course of appealing through the appropriate vehicles within the Catholic Church. That the bishops have won formal approval for this Revision is not a guarantee that the Revision is what Rome wants. I am confident that ultimately the appeals will be successful, and the right of clergy and laymen to the 1941 Ruthenian Divine Liturgy (the official one promulgated by Rome) in an accurate English translation will be heard and upheld.

I applaud that Father David is obedient to his bishop, and I have never suggested anyone should be disobedient. But speaking of these issues and petitioning Rome for redress is not an act of disobedience.

Originally Posted by Father David
I said that the Internet is not the place to discuss this issue. Some complain that it�s the only forum open to them. Unfortunately, I believe this Forum to have been misused. It has not provided enlightenment but only a field on which to attack the liturgical work of our Church. I read another article recently about anonymous posters on the Internet, �Anonymously Yours,� by Scott Lax in the magazine �Northern Ohio Live.� Not all the posters here are anonymous, but this article does give a caution about the Internet.
I agree that some do misuse the forum. It is the nature of the beast. That is why I liken it to a coffee hour after Sunday Divine Liturgy. People can abuse that time as well.

I disagree that that it is only a field on which to attack the liturgical work of our Church. Father David himself has stated here that the questions that I and others have raised are valid and do deserve answers. Yet real, scholarly answers have not been forthcoming. And the ones that have been posted are more personal conclusions on these issues that are so out of sync with the official Vatican directives that they cannot be accepted at face value. And when we push for the specific supporting documentation we either don�t get any or it so generic in nature that it doesn�t support the position offered.

I have personally found this (and other forums) wonderfully challenging. They cause me to think through the opinions that I express, to return to the Church documents to fortify my arguments, and to correct my opinions when they don�t match those of the Church. Being forced to defend your ideas in a scholarly way (providing the �footnotes� containing the source to back up offered positions) is a very good thing. I believe many others agree, as I regularly have conversations with people in our Church (clergy and laymen) who are too shy to post but will read a post here, look up the reference and tell me that there are additional points I could have made to support my position, or that the ones I did make could have been made better.
Originally Posted by PrJ
This is what I have noticed. Everytime the discussion is raised, someone references what happened in the 60s to the Latin Church. I believe that this reference is unfortunate.

Perhaps you don�t see the link? The only explanations for the revisions that have been offered are the exact same ones that a certain circle of Roman Catholic liturgists offered to support the changes in the Roman Mass (it started in the 1960s and continued until well into the 1990s). The experiments failed for them and they now have the �Reform of the Reform� and directives like Liturgiam Authenticam are trying to repair the damage that has been done. The references to what happened in the Latin Church are legitimate and not unfortunate at all. Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) speaks at length to many of these problems.

Originally Posted by PrJ
As I can see, few object to the changes for linguistic or theological reasons.
Are we reading the same Forum? Most of the objections are for exactly those reasons. The insistent appeals to Liturgiam Authenticam, the Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches are all theologically and linguistly based. I invite Father John to go back and read my posts that are full of specific references, or to go to the Vatican website to see them as part of the full document.

Originally Posted by PrJ
Most object because they "believe" that the changes are "the tip of the iceberg," the "slippery slope," or part of some "undercover radical agenda" that will destroy the Church.
I don�t see that at all. While each has expressed their ideas it seems to me that the majority have simply stated that they reject gender neutral language because it is wrong. Most have also quoted Vatican documents.

There is a legitimate concern here, in that catering to one political group�s demand for gender neutral language (as does the RDL) what happens when the next group comes along? I�ve been to and walked out of Roman Catholic Masses in several parts of the country where the priest opened with the Mass with �In the Name of the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier�. There are those who are already demanding that the term �Father� and �Son� are unacceptably patriarchal and demanding that the use of such terminology is off-putting to women.

Originally Posted by PrJ
The fear appears to me to be irrational and thus the inability of those who discuss these matters to reach a conclusion.
The arguments I have and others have offered in these discussions come right from official Church documents, are extensively supported by them. Since we are merely quoting the Holy Fathers and official sources are you suggesting that they are "irrational"? I don't think so but given what you are saying that is a logical conclusion. You might wish to reconsider your words.

I would really like to hear you make your points using specific, documented references to official Church documents and the Church Fathers.
Posted By: Diak Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 04:49 AM
Quote
PrJ: This is what I have noticed. Everytime the discussion is raised, someone references what happened in the 60s to the Latin Church. I believe that this reference is unfortunate.

Perhaps such a relationship cannot be appreciated by those who have no relevant experience with what happened in the Latin Church during the unfortunate liturgical experimentation of the 1960s and even more the 1970s, which our current Holy Father is seeking to restore in the light of Latin tradition and authentic liturgical development.

History is always educational and to ignore or dismiss those developments rather than seek to understand what relevance they may have in influencing another context is itself unfortunate. Having grown up in Latin schools of the 1970s K-12 myself I can most certainly see the parallels with the experimentation of the RDL. It is not paranoia or fear but rather lived experience.

The context of major historic currents and philosophical trends quite often spread and acclimate into diverse settings; whether that be the Enlightenment, Communism or modernism. I believe it is entirely appropriate to compare the RDL with the Latin development. Fr. Taft certainly does not shy away from comparative liturgical analyses. The "fear" perhaps may be greater for those wishing those comparisons not be made, because they most certainly are pertinent, relavant, and timely.

Quite honestly the tone of the responses on this Forum could as easliy have arisen from many Latin Catholics after the introduction of the 1969 Missal.

Quote
PrJ: As I can see, few object to the changes for linguistic or theological reasons.

Administrator: Are we reading the same Forum? Most of the objections are for exactly those reasons. The insistent appeals to Liturgiam Authenticam, the Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches are all theologically and linguistly based. I invite Father John to go back and read my posts that are full of specific references, or to go to the Vatican website to see them as part of the full document.
To add my voice and complete agreement with John's, linguistic and theological reasons are precisely my difficulties. And there is also the continued attempt, as Fr. Serge points out quite compellingly, to avoid a fuller implementation of the Ruthenian Rescension. I'm not competent enough in prostopinje to appreciate or comment on the musical nuances of the new settings.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 12:51 PM
To Administrator and Diak, you are among the "few" mentioned in my post who have registered your opposition on theological and dogmatic grounds. But if you re-read the majority of the posts (as I have recently) done, you will see that the comment made by someone in opposition about the role "fear" has played in their opposition is confirmed by the content of many posts.

My point continues to be that since I don't share the fear, then I don't find their opposition to be very convincing. As a historian, I take a much longer view of history than simply the 60s/70s. I just don't share the fear -- I don't believe that the changes of the 60s/70s on balance in the Western Church will prove to be her undoing. I think that history will show that Vatican II was inspired of God and saved the Church in the modern era. History will also show that the Holy Spirit was the great corrective in His Church and the excesses of the 60s/70s were taken care of by Him in His time. If you go back and re-read the statements made by conservatives in response to the changes of VII, you will see that their "the sky is falling" comments did not hold true. The Church survived, the Church is alive and the Church is reforming herself.

I want to also strongly stress that I have recognized the legitimacy of your arguments, and have noted that you have sources in the tradition to back them up. I highly value your positions and believe that you take them out of deep love for Christ and His Church. As I have indicated, I do this while strongly disagreeing with some of your conclusions.

One more point before Holy Week begins, in a recent post someone suggested that I am "defensive" and "angry." I will certainly own up to being a "defensive" voice of the RDL. I believe that I speak for thousands of faithful BCCers who have chosen not to speak up on this Forum. Many have contacted me privately with their support of the RDL. I am trying to faithfully defend what I believe to be of God. However, I want to assure everyone that there is no anger in my heart. Discussions online are tricky -- and it is hard to know the emotions of the person who is writing. I want to ask forgiveness if I have offended or if I have sounded angry. Please know that there is no anger in my soul. But I do apologize if I offended even so much as one of Christ's "little ones."

Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 01:55 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
To Administrator and Diak, you are among the "few" mentioned in my post who have registered your opposition on theological and dogmatic grounds. But if you re-read the majority of the posts (as I have recently) done, you will see that the comment made by someone in opposition about the role "fear" has played in their opposition is confirmed by the content of many posts.

My point continues to be that since I don't share the fear, then I don't find their opposition to be very convincing. As a historian, I take a much longer view of history than simply the 60s/70s. I just don't share the fear -- I don't believe that the changes of the 60s/70s on balance in the Western Church will prove to be her undoing. I think that history will show that Vatican II was inspired of God and saved the Church in the modern era. History will also show that the Holy Spirit was the great corrective in His Church and the excesses of the 60s/70s were taken care of by Him in His time. If you go back and re-read the statements made by conservatives in response to the changes of VII, you will see that their "the sky is falling" comments did not hold true. The Church survived, the Church is alive and the Church is reforming herself.

I want to also strongly stress that I have recognized the legitimacy of your arguments, and have noted that you have sources in the tradition to back them up. I highly value your positions and believe that you take them out of deep love for Christ and His Church. As I have indicated, I do this while strongly disagreeing with some of your conclusions.

One more point before Holy Week begins, in a recent post someone suggested that I am "defensive" and "angry." I will certainly own up to being a "defensive" voice of the RDL. I believe that I speak for thousands of faithful BCCers who have chosen not to speak up on this Forum. Many have contacted me privately with their support of the RDL. I am trying to faithfully defend what I believe to be of God. However, I want to assure everyone that there is no anger in my heart. Discussions online are tricky -- and it is hard to know the emotions of the person who is writing. I want to ask forgiveness if I have offended or if I have sounded angry. Please know that there is no anger in my soul. But I do apologize if I offended even so much as one of Christ's "little ones."
I stated in an earlier post, "We are in fear of the smoke of Satan that can imperceptibly creep into the Church and reek havoc".

You cherry picked the line "We are in fear" and ran with it.

I will elaborate. I trust in Christ. I know that our ways are not God's ways. In that sense, I have no fear. But fear was not a good word to use. Perhaps concern is more appropriate. I have seen and experienced the damage done to the Latin Catholic Church post Vatican II. I see that Pope Benedict is attempting to correct some of the abuses. Do I think the Church is reforming Herself? That is debatable. Time will tell. But sadly, I see the BCC making the same mistakes as the Latin Church--an historical replay--while violating that most excellent encyclical LA. It is very difficult for me to see this happening to the Church I once cherished with all my heart.

You see Fr John--I have already experienced what became of the Latin Catholic Church. The political agenda of gender neutral language was one avenue that led to the current situation. And now I see the BCC using the same road map. People have been terribly hurt and you (a priest of the BCC) come to the place (the only place) where they can vent some of their pain, and say that you feel the gender neutral langauge has not gone far enough. In defense, you use language such as patriarchal oppression and slavery. It is like rubbing salt into the people's wounds.

I apologize for implying that you are angry. Please forgive me. But you are certainly defensive for the RDL. I am defending its removal. I firmly believe with all my heart that it should be rescinded. Before I converted to Holy Orthodoxy, I wrote letters to Rome (as did many others) and the Vatican responded to my concerns. I remain hopeful that Rome will do the proper thing and reverse the approval and promulgation of the RDL. I pray for this constantly. I know multitudes who are still hurting and remain in the BCC.

And so I will ammend my original comment of which you have decided to make an example. It is not fear--it is concern. It is not fear--it is sadness. It is not fear--it is a profound love for Christ's Holy Church which inspires me.

May Holy Week be blessed and prayerful for you.

The worst of all sinners,
Recluse
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 02:04 PM
Quote
say that you feel the gender neutral langauge has not gone far enough.

Correction: I have not said this.

I am not advocating for the expansion of gender neutral language beyond its appropriate (IMHO) application to horizontal (i.e., human context) relationships.

I do not advocate and will steadfastly resist any attempt to redefine the nature of the Divine or to introduce vertical inclusive language into the Divine Liturgy. When we begin to "play around" with the nature of the Divine, we enter into the realm of "heresy" and we end up destroying the Faith. That is something I will oppose with every fibre of my being.

What I have said is that I wish the principle of horizontal inclusive language had been thoroughly and consistently followed in the RDL. I have pointed to several places where there is an inconsistency (IMHO) and I have stated that I wish these inconsistencies were not there.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 02:09 PM
Quote
It is like rubbing salt into the people's wounds.

Having had absolutely NO EXPERIENCE with the revisions of the 60s/70s in the Latin Mass, having read absolutely NOTHING written in favor of these revisions at the time, and to my knowledge having read absolutely NOTHING ever written by a feminist nun, I quite clearly do not understand ANYTHING about your experience and do not know or understand your PAIN, your concerns, etc.

That I in any way have increased your pain I find reprehensible and I heartily apologize.

And, since I do not want to cause any more pain, having made my positions (I hope) clear and having witnessed to the support for these positions that I find in our tradition, in the fathers and in the Gospel, I probably should refrain from posting in this Discussion Forum anymore.

Forgive me.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 02:10 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
When we begin to "play around" with the nature of the Divine, we enter into the realm of "heresy" and we end up destroying the Faith. That is something I will oppose with every fibre of my being.
Many believe that "the playing around" has already begun.
Originally Posted by PrJ
What I have said is that I wish the principle of horizontal inclusive language had been thoroughly and consistently followed in the RDL.
I did not say that you championed the use of vertical gender neutral language. But you are a grand proponent of the horizontal style.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 02:14 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Having had absolutely NO EXPERIENCE with the revisions of the 60s/70s in the Latin Mass, having read absolutely NOTHING written in favor of these revisions at the time, and to my knowledge having read absolutely NOTHING ever written by a feminist nun, I quite clearly do not understand ANYTHING about your experience and do not know or understand your PAIN, your concerns, etc.

That I in any way have increased your pain I find reprehensible and I heartily apologize.
Thank you Father. That means a lot to me. I also apologize for any way that I may have offended you. Please forgive me.
Originally Posted by PrJ
Forgive me.
God forgives you and so do I.
Posted By: nicholas Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 03:58 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
To Administrator and Diak, you are among the "few" mentioned in my post who have registered your opposition on theological and dogmatic grounds.

I find this ironic. Why should a defense of the Ruthenian recension, and our historic liturgy be needed, on theological and dogmatic grounds? The presumption is that the books published by Rome (that we share in common with other Greek Catholic, and the Orthodox), should be the norm for us. I thought it was our bishops' job, to safe guard the tradition.

To my mind, it was the burden of the revisionists, to prove that our Liturgy was inadequate, our rubrics flawed, our prayers incorrect. The burden of proof should be on revisionists, to prove that the change was needed! There has not been one dogmatic or theological proof, that this revision was needed or wise.

Vague assertions that 'the Liturgy belongs to the people' sound nice, but I don't see how the Liturgy didn't belong to the us before the revision, or that it belongs to us more now.

The presumption is that the tradition is correct! It is the revisionists who have failed to provide a convincing argument (theological or otherwise) that our Liturgy needed revision at all.

Demanding that people defend our Liturgical tradition with dogmatic argument, is a smoke screen.

If we were a Church worth its name, the tradition would speak for itself, and those who demand change should have the burden of proof on themselves.

Nick
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 03:59 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
I am not advocating for the expansion of gender neutral language beyond its appropriate (IMHO) application to horizontal (i.e., human context) relationships.

I do not advocate and will steadfastly resist any attempt to redefine the nature of the Divine or to introduce vertical inclusive language into the Divine Liturgy...

What I have said is that I wish the principle of horizontal inclusive language had been thoroughly and consistently followed in the RDL.

This prompts me to state a concern on the use and potential misuse of the terms "horizontal inclusive" and "vertical inclusive." It is certainly proper to define one's terms and use them as in the above quote. My caution is that the terms, even inadvertantly, do not become prejudicial in meaning or application; then they just amount to smoke screens.

For instance, the arguement:

Horizontal is ok for "inclusivity."

Vertical is never allowed for "inclusivity."

X is horizontal.

Therefore X is ok for "inclusivity."


This is especially so when the vertical is defined too narrowly, and if everything else defaults to horizontal, then how convenient for some. What about in-between cases?

Suppose X is, for instance, "Lover of Mankind" or the creedal "for us men....[He] became man."

I think it is necessary to deal with specifics and their subtleties rather than defaulting to preconditioned and potentially misapplied (and worse, manipulative) terminology.


Dn. Anthony

Posted By: Diak Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 05:48 PM
Since it is one Eucharistic sacrifice of praise, one can never completely separate the "horizontal" from the "vertical", since at some point it is all in a sense "vertical" in the praise, presence, and service rendered to God through the Liturgy.

I find that a strict distinction between these two seems to provide a continued sequential and dichotomous means of justification of additional language changes as we see here - one is OK and needed ("horizontal"), the other we would never change or tamper with ("vertical"), but I would posit they are very much related and not mutually exclusive.

To once again recall the parallels to the Latin liturgical development, I would also suggest one did not see the distinctions between "vertical" and "horizontal" in use in liturgical literature very much at all until those became means of justifying differences in language and liturgical approach in the aftermath of the Pauline Mass.
IC XC

Glory to Jesus Christ!

When I was in the Ruthenian Church, Father Steve Greskowiak, revised the Liturgikon himself and we used that. I am sure he would be against even horizontal inclusive language, but now that I am a member of the OCA now attending the Greek Church in Spokane as I attend school, I appreciate the modern language--however I am also loving the Greek and Slavonic Father Stephen incorporates in the Liturgy--I am starting to love chanting the Greek tones. I never did buy the liturgical English, pseudo Elizabethean, school of some Orthodox litugists, archair or otherwise--mostly former Anglicans--not that this is bad to be a convert:) As the principle in the East is to use the language understood of the people--the revised DL is very contextual, but I am afraid I have not been long in the debate--so forgive my amaterish opinion. Verticle inclusive language is of course verboten, but I think since horizontal inclusive language is used by most people today it should be used as a part of the Eastern vernacular principle in our form of missiology. We have to reach the people in their language. But, I think this has to be contextual per each parish or mission. If most of the people are aged or converts then the revised DL may not be apropos, but if the parish is composed of mostly Americanized Western people then use the Revised DL. This probably is not useful, since I believe the texts are required now? Right? I think the principle that the priest should have discretion in these matters should always apply to avoid scandalizing the faithful.

In the Theotokos,


Robert
Quote
We have to reach the people in their language.

It is, it's in English. Horizontal inclusive language is just another layer....a layer our church doesn't need.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 08:31 PM
Originally Posted by Robert Horvath
IC XC

Glory to Jesus Christ!

When I was in the Ruthenian Church, Father Steve Greskowiak, revised the Liturgikon himself and we used that. I am sure he would be against even horizontal inclusive language, but now that I am a member of the OCA now attending the Greek Church in Spokane as I attend school, I appreciate the modern language--however I am also loving the Greek and Slavonic Father Stephen incorporates in the Liturgy--I am starting to love chanting the Greek tones. I never did buy the liturgical English, pseudo Elizabethean, school of some Orthodox litugists, archair or otherwise--mostly former Anglicans--not that this is bad to be a convert:) As the principle in the East is to use the language understood of the people--the revised DL is very contextual, but I am afraid I have not been long in the debate--so forgive my amaterish opinion. Verticle inclusive language is of course verboten, but I think since horizontal inclusive language is used by most people today it should be used as a part of the Eastern vernacular principle in our form of missiology. We have to reach the people in their language. But, I think this has to be contextual per each parish or mission. If most of the people are aged or converts then the revised DL may not be apropos, but if the parish is composed of mostly Americanized Western people then use the Revised DL. This probably is not useful, since I believe the texts are required now? Right? I think the principle that the priest should have discretion in these matters should always apply to avoid scandalizing the faithful.

In the Theotokos,


Robert

Thank you Robert -- this was a beautifully written and very humbly presented post.
Posted By: AMM Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/11/08 09:45 PM
Quote
I never did buy the liturgical English, pseudo Elizabethean, school of some Orthodox litugists, archair or otherwise--mostly former Anglicans--not that this is bad to be a convert:)

The sacral English translation in use by the Antiochians, close in spirit to the Hapgood, is in my opinion the best among the various English translations available among the Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States.
Thank you PrJ--I just think that the pastoral dimensions of the liturgy should be the primary focus of hierarchs and pastors in any kind of implementation.

AMM: This is really a matter of taste--after one has listened to liturgical English a while it is not as impressive--however exact and poetic the language may be. And the personal context of individual experience is what makes people like or not care for variants in English expression.

I don't have anything against liturgical English, but clarity and meaning is important for me, i.e. are the words translated so that I may know what they mean within the lexicon of most Americans-which usually is only a few thousand words, if even that. To get the liturgy to 'say what is means'is vital for transmission of the faith. 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. If the Church took a poll and asked most people to explain what the words and concepts in the liturgy meant they couldn't or would have great difficulty, minus the arm chair guys and the experts--that is the importance of pastoral liturgical translation--in my view. To the elite--this is "dumbing down" and compromise--to most people in the pews it would be a grace, especially, in regard to evangelization. A critical liturgical translation understood in its historical context and made accesssible to the people is important for the clergy and laos to truly know what they believe--so that, as in the Eastern paradigm, the prayer of the mind may descend into the heart and become the prayer of the heart. But, how can people pray with their minds if they do not understand the liturgical words spoken--how can then prayer in the nous descent to the heart? Again, I advocate for discretion and pastoral sensitivity to parish needs--not academic exercises in futility or ego stroking by liturgical scholars--just good ole' horse sense.

The main point here is to look at context, use a variety of sources critically, properly catechise the people on the historical roots of Byzantine liturgy, and make liturgy truly prayer of mind and heart for everybody--not just experts or liturgical connoisseurs.

In Our Savior,


Robert
Originally Posted by PrJ
To Administrator and Diak, you are among the "few" mentioned in my post who have registered your opposition on theological and dogmatic grounds. But if you re-read the majority of the posts (as I have recently) done, you will see that the comment made by someone in opposition about the role "fear" has played in their opposition is confirmed by the content of many posts.

I want to also strongly stress that I have recognized the legitimacy of your arguments, and have noted that you have sources in the tradition to back them up. I highly value your positions and believe that you take them out of deep love for Christ and His Church. As I have indicated, I do this while strongly disagreeing with some of your conclusions.
I am glad to see you acknowledge that we have serious theological and dogmatic grounds. And I hope you will also admit that we have grounds on linguistic grounds as well. Your own positions in these discussions are surely strongly held, but have been entirely without solid theological or linguistic support. I hope you will consider abandoning your position and embracing the directives from the Vatican, like Liturgiam Authenticam. That is the only way to preserve unity in the church.
Originally Posted by ajk
This prompts me to state a concern on the use and potential misuse of the terms "horizontal inclusive" and "vertical inclusive." It is certainly proper to define one's terms and use them as in the above quote. My caution is that the terms, even inadvertently, do not become prejudicial in meaning or application; then they just amount to smoke screens.
Originally Posted by Diak
Since it is one Eucharistic sacrifice of praise, one can never completely separate the "horizontal" from the "vertical", since at some point it is all in a sense "vertical" in the praise, presence, and service rendered to God through the Liturgy.

I find that a strict distinction between these two seems to provide a continued sequential and dichotomous means of justification of additional language changes as we see here - one is OK and needed ("horizontal"), the other we would never change or tamper with ("vertical"), but I would posit they are very much related and not mutually exclusive.

To once again recall the parallels to the Latin liturgical development, I would also suggest one did not see the distinctions between "vertical" and "horizontal" in use in liturgical literature very much at all until those became means of justifying differences in language and liturgical approach in the aftermath of the Pauline Mass.
Both deacons make excellent points.

The distinction between �vertical� and �horizontal� language was embraced because the two needed to be separated, as they know they would not succeed in removing the masculine connotation from �Father� and �Son�.

But there is even more politics here. Some in the Church (first among the Protestants, then the Latins and now a few in our Church) have grabbed on to the justification offered by the secular feminists � that Standard language is not inclusive and this political language is more �inclusive�. In fact, the opposite is true. We can see even in these discussions how potentially exclusive and imprecise gender neutral language is. Rome is correct to specifically direct against the use of gender neutral language in liturgical translations.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:49 AM
Quote
have been entirely without solid theological or linguistic support

This is completely untrue. If you are not willing to grant me the same kindness that I grant you, that is unfortunate. I have offered significant patristic support as well as presented significant scholarship from linguists (both English and Greek). You can disagree with me, but I am sorry to see that you can not even acknowledge that my arguments have weight.

I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that Fr Taft, a noted liturgical scholar, agrees with me and that Bishop Kallistos Ware has indicated (both in writing and in person) a sensitivity to the issues I have raised.
Originally Posted by Robert Horvath
IC XC

Glory to Jesus Christ!

When I was in the Ruthenian Church, Father Steve Greskowiak, revised the Liturgikon himself and we used that. I am sure he would be against even horizontal inclusive language, but now that I am a member of the OCA now attending the Greek Church in Spokane as I attend school, I appreciate the modern language--however I am also loving the Greek and Slavonic Father Stephen incorporates in the Liturgy--I am starting to love chanting the Greek tones. I never did buy the liturgical English, pseudo Elizabethean, school of some Orthodox litugists, archair or otherwise--mostly former Anglicans--not that this is bad to be a convert:) As the principle in the East is to use the language understood of the people--the revised DL is very contextual, but I am afraid I have not been long in the debate--so forgive my amaterish opinion. Verticle inclusive language is of course verboten, but I think since horizontal inclusive language is used by most people today it should be used as a part of the Eastern vernacular principle in our form of missiology. We have to reach the people in their language. But, I think this has to be contextual per each parish or mission. If most of the people are aged or converts then the revised DL may not be apropos, but if the parish is composed of mostly Americanized Western people then use the Revised DL. This probably is not useful, since I believe the texts are required now? Right? I think the principle that the priest should have discretion in these matters should always apply to avoid scandalizing the faithful.

In the Theotokos,

Robert
Brother Robert,
Your position certainly has changed. On March 5, 2006 you posted:
Originally Posted by Robert Horvath, March 5, 2006
The need for inclusive language has no root in Catholic evangelization. The questions that formulated the need for inclusive language were birthed out of the feminist and womanist theological paradigms. If it wasn't for the Women's Movement in general and feminist theologians like Elizabeth Fiorenza and Rosemary Ruether in particular--this subject would not even be referenced in academic circles and in modern discourse, linguistically or otherwise.

We are an Eastern Church that has historically had an identity crisis. Either we are taking pre-Conciliar forms of Latin Christianity, post-Conciliar forms, or various forms of Protestantizations--not to mention the affect modern culture and society have had on our Church. What we end up becoming, and what has been critiqued before on this forum and in other theological venues, is a hybridized ecclesial creation. A creature that fits in nowhere and with no one--whose whole genetic structure sets itself up for failure and marginalization.

It is already being established in the Latin Church, in the writings of the current Pope, a Church which is far ahead of us in the inclusive language department, that modern language needs to be have a sacred character--to have the influence of the Church and not the other way around. Language that carries an antithesis to the Church's thesis cannot ethically or integrally be managed into a synthesis--this statement is aimed at feminist constructions of American English demonstrated in so-called inclusive language.

The greatest problem in our Church is how to survive population moves, members leaving for Latin and other ecclesial communities, financial issues, and how to develop an effective missiological theoria and praxis that will increase its canonical membership and to wit: save and deify souls in Christ. Lay members cannot judge the secret or "behind the scenes" action too quickly with regard to the commission that has created the translation that is the subject of this topic; but, since we shall be praying what we believe--I do not believe in the feminist construction of reality--I will not be praying a liturgy that desires to create a synthesis with error--no matter how seemingly minute using the excuse that it is "only horizontal inclusivity." This places anyone in my situation in a dilemma; but can we support Truth admixed with error? Does anyone who knows the fulness that the Church has to offer, put themselves at risk?
Perhaps you might consider leaving a Jesuit university and attending a Catholic one? they seem to have corrupted you! biggrin
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:51 AM
Quote
we have serious theological and dogmatic grounds

I also would note that I did not state this. If I thought your positions were "Serious" I might be inclined to change my opinions. But although I do note that you have sources to back up your positions, I do not count them as serious.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:53 AM
Quote
Perhaps you might consider leaving a Jesuit university and attending a Catholic one? they seem to have corrupted you!

Your smile notwithstanding, this kind of talk has no place on a Catholic forum. It is objectionable and is another example of the kind of personal attacks that continue to be mustered against those who speak in support of the RDL.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:59 AM
Quote
Rome is correct to specifically direct against the use of gender neutral language in liturgical translations.

I hope you answer my question about the recent approval of a horizontally gender neutral lectionary by Rome in light of your repeated statements to the contrary.
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
have been entirely without solid theological or linguistic support
This is completely untrue. If you are not willing to grant me the same kindness that I grant you, that is unfortunate. I have offered significant patristic support as well as presented significant scholarship from linguists (both English and Greek). You can disagree with me, but I am sorry to see that you can not even acknowledge that my arguments have weight.

I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that Fr Taft, a noted liturgical scholar, agrees with me and that Bishop Kallistos Ware has indicated (both in writing and in person) a sensitivity to the issues I have raised.
I am sorry, Father John, but you are not correct. You have offered some support for the proper treatment of women - something we all agree upon and on which the recent Holy Fathers have spoken to and which directives like Liturgiam Authenticam embraces (and which I accept and follow). You have not offered any theological support specifically demonstrating the need for gender neutral language. Standard English is not exclusive and has been demonstrated to be far more inclusive and precise then politically correct gender neutral language. It is not a matter of granting you kindness for I have been kind. Kindness is essential in all things but does not demand granting respect to a position that is easily dis-proven, has been dis-proven, and about which Rome has given clear guidance.
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
Perhaps you might consider leaving a Jesuit university and attending a Catholic one? they seem to have corrupted you!
Your smile notwithstanding, this kind of talk has no place on a Catholic forum. It is objectionable and is another example of the kind of personal attacks that continue to be mustered against those who speak in support of the RDL.
I am a graduate of a Jesuit University. I know the good and the bad. There is no personal attack whatsoever. It is a standard joke.

But even if I did post it seriously, it would be legitimate. There is a real problem with Catholic universities not putting being Catholic first. Pope John Paul spoke to this in Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the loudest howl came from the Jesuits.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:20 AM
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
have been entirely without solid theological or linguistic support
This is completely untrue. If you are not willing to grant me the same kindness that I grant you, that is unfortunate. I have offered significant patristic support as well as presented significant scholarship from linguists (both English and Greek). You can disagree with me, but I am sorry to see that you can not even acknowledge that my arguments have weight.

I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that Fr Taft, a noted liturgical scholar, agrees with me and that Bishop Kallistos Ware has indicated (both in writing and in person) a sensitivity to the issues I have raised.
I am sorry, Father John, but you are not correct. You have offered some support for the proper treatment of women - something we all agree upon and on which the recent Holy Fathers have spoken to and which directives like Liturgiam Authenticam embraces (and which I accept and follow). You have not offered any theological support specifically demonstrating the need for gender neutral language. Standard English is not exclusive and has been demonstrated to be far more inclusive and precise then politically correct gender neutral language. It is not a matter of granting you kindness for I have been kind. Kindness is essential in all things but does not demand granting respect to a position that is easily dis-proven, has been dis-proven, and about which Rome has given clear guidance.

I am truly sorry that you have taken this position. One of the arts one learns in academics is how to recognize the scholarship of a position you disagree with. To say that Fr Taft, Fr David and I (along with many others) have taken a position without finding support for that position in our tradition is to argue with blinders on. No wonder the conversation goes nowhere. Unless you are willing to listen to the arguments presented by others, what is the point of having an argument??
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
Rome is correct to specifically direct against the use of gender neutral language in liturgical translations.
I hope you answer my question about the recent approval of a horizontally gender neutral lectionary by Rome in light of your repeated statements to the contrary.
This has been discussed many times and I have spoken to it many times. Both the Canadian and American bishops have been fighting against Rome's directives tooth and nail. Rome compromises sometimes in order to keep peace. That does not mean she embraces the ideas. We see rejections of the texts from ICEL and the U.S. Bishops. We see calls for accuracy. And we see musings from notables like Cardinal Francis Arinze about the Vox Clara commission (or something similar) to take on the Revised Amended Revised NAB when they are done translating the Latin-Rite Liturgical texts. I recommend spending some time at www.adoremus.org [adoremus.org] where they put the whole thing into proper context.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:21 AM
Quote
It is a standard joke.

It is a bad joke, in poor taste, and very offensive to the thousands of committed Jesuits who are laboring to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the indigent, etc.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
It is a standard joke.

It is a bad joke, in poor taste, and very offensive to the thousands of committed Jesuits who are laboring to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the indigent, etc.


The Catholics at their Jesuit university used to have a saying, "May all your sons become Jesuits" instead of "Go to ...." A Jesuit university is a wonderful place to loose one's faith; at least one can do it in the company of astute professors of religion who can show the way.

All in humor. Of course.

Ed
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:25 AM
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
Rome is correct to specifically direct against the use of gender neutral language in liturgical translations.
I hope you answer my question about the recent approval of a horizontally gender neutral lectionary by Rome in light of your repeated statements to the contrary.
This has been discussed many times and I have spoken to it many times. Both the Canadian and American bishops have been fighting against Rome's directives tooth and nail. Rome compromises sometimes in order to keep peace. That does not mean she embraces the ideas. We see rejections of the texts from ICEL and the U.S. Bishops. We see calls for accuracy. And we see musings from notables like Cardinal Francis Arinze about the Vox Clara commission (or something similar) to take on the Revised Amended Revised NAB when they are done translating the Latin-Rite Liturgical texts. I recommend spending some time at www.adoremus.org [adoremus.org] where they put the whole thing into proper context.

This is why the discussion is useless and this Forum should be closed. You argue that LA is absolutely binding and its meaning completely clear. Then when I present a counter argument that shows that you are misreading the LA because if your argument was correct Rome could not approve the Canadian lectionary, you tell me that Rome is compromising. But Rome does not really want to do what Rome has done. Thus the circle is completed.

You are right -- you have already made the decision that you are correct and everyone else is wrong. Thus their arguments have no weight and when Rome disagrees with you, she is doing a "political thing" and thus you don't have to pay attention to what Rome has done. IN other words, the only time I have to pay attention to Rome is when she agrees with you.

I would also note that the only Bishops who should be listened to (according to you) are the Bishops who agree with you. The Bishops who do not agree with your position are in rebellion against Rome and should not be listened to.

The Circle is complete. You begin with a conclusion, construct the argument so that only the points that agree with your conclusion are allowable and then conclude with the very same conclusion you began with.

Originally Posted by PrJ
I am truly sorry that you have taken this position. One of the arts one learns in academics is how to recognize the scholarship of a position you disagree with. To say that Fr Taft, Fr David and I (along with many others) have taken a position without finding support for that position in our tradition is to argue with blinders on. No wonder the conversation goes nowhere. Unless you are willing to listen to the arguments presented by others, what is the point of having an argument??
Father John, you have not offered any support for your arguments. Please provide chapter and verse from the Church Fathers, and Catholic and Orthodox documents that speak directly to gender neutral language to support your position. In truth it does not exist. You have only spoken generally about the need to treat women correctly and then jump to the conclusion that we need to embrace gender neutral language. As you are an academic I expect you to quote a directive from Liturgiam Authenticam, state in what way it is wrong, and then provide the quotations and references supporting your position. And on the linguistic front you need to do the same. You have not proven that Standard English is not appropriate for the texts Divine Liturgy. You have only offered your own conclusions, without references.

You are the one arguing for the change. It is up to you to prove the case for change. I (and other) have more than proved the case for obedience to Rome, both in liturgical praxis and translation.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:34 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
Rome is correct to specifically direct against the use of gender neutral language in liturgical translations.

I hope you answer my question about the recent approval of a horizontally gender neutral lectionary by Rome in light of your repeated statements to the contrary.

Dear PrJ,
Since you are so adament in pushing your question to the Administrator, maybe I should reconsider my decision to cease asking Father David Petras to reveal WHO was successfull in pushing inclusive language and getting it adopted in the RDL hymnal?

There seems to be something horribly at stake here in getting inclusive language to become a permanent hallmark of Byzantine Catholicism at odds with its Orthodox sister churches. But uniatism has always looked for the worst of the West to adopt as their own.

Why did your bishop accept inclusive language in your worship?

Ed
Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
It is a standard joke.
It is a bad joke, in poor taste, and very offensive to the thousands of committed Jesuits who are laboring to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the indigent, etc.
The source of the joke is a Jesuit. Father Joseph Allan Panuska, S.J., was president of the University of Scranton during the latter years my studies there. He told it constantly in many forms. Cardinal Avery Dulles has even told it on EWTN. You obviously don't know a lot of Jesuits!
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:36 AM
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.

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. Again, the art one learns in academic dialogues is how to recognize the legitimacy of arguments with which one disagrees. Only by recognizing legitimacy in another can one find the true humility to confront one's own mistakes in logic, thinking, etc.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:40 AM
Quote
You obviously don't know a lot of Jesuits!

My outrage at the joke is an outgrowth of my personal knowledge of a dear Jesuit priest who has dedicated his life to bringing the Gospel to very, very, very poor Jamaicans. This particular Jesuit is a Ph.D. with a distinguished academic career. He comes from a wealthy family with more than adequate resources. Yet he now lives in abject poverty -- with not even a toilet or running water. He lives among those who do not have even an elementary school's education. He is more of a Catholic than I will ever be.

I have seen the pain in his eyes when the joke is told -- it is that pain that moves me to register my complaint.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:49 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
I have seen the pain in his eyes when the joke is told -- it is that pain that moves me to register my complaint.

Oh, get a grip. Some of the most vulgar jokes that I heard came from priests! There was pain in their eyes too. Lighten up, man.

Ed
Originally Posted by PrJ
This is why the discussion is useless and this Forum should be closed. You argue that LA is absolutely binding and its meaning completely clear. Then when I present a counter argument that shows that you are misreading the LA because if your argument was correct Rome could not approve the Canadian lectionary, you tell me that Rome is compromising. But Rome does not really want to do what Rome has done. Thus the circle is completed.
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.

The point here that we keep getting away from is that, while it is obvious that you strongly hold to your position you have not argued it with the necessary supporting material. I and others have quoted exactingly and at length. Those supporting the changes have not. As an earlier poster posted, you are the ones arguing for change and you need to prove that (in this argument) that Standard English is not appropriate for use in the Liturgy both theological and linguistic reasons using LA as your starting point and (in the larger discussion on the RDL) that the official Ruthenian Recension is so theologically poor, or does not serve the needs of the people that it must be prohibited (and the discussion must include the issues of unity with both other Byzantines, both Catholic and Orthodox) making ample use of the Liturgical Instruction. No one who supports the RDL has yet done this.

Originally Posted by PrJ
I would also note that the only Bishops who should be listened to (according to you) are the Bishops who agree with you. The Bishops who do not agree with your position are in rebellion against Rome and should not be listened to.
Not at all. I have advocated no disobedience to the Council of Hierarchs. I have encouraged people on both sides of the issue to express their opinions appropriately. My letters to the Council of Hierarchs and to Rome have been polite and have offered extensive supporting documentation to back up my claims. I have not discarded the Vatican directives, nor told anyone that they should ignore them to follow me.

Originally Posted by PrJ
You begin with a conclusion, construct the argument so that only the points that agree with your conclusion are allowable and then conclude with the very same conclusion you began with.
No, I begin and end with the texts of the Liturgical Instruction, Liturgiam Authenticam, and the other Vatican documents and directives. I use them as the measuring stick for all arguments; and conform my own opinions to them.
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
John,

Quote
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
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.
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).
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:16 PM
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.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:19 PM
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
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:24 PM
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!



Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:28 PM
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
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:28 PM
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!
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:30 PM
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.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:34 PM
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.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 12:44 PM
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)
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:03 PM
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.

Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 01:03 PM
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"?
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 02:23 PM
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
Slava Isusu Christu!

I think my post deals with many aspects of this conversation.

The issues of gender sensitive language, culture, idolatry of externals, contemporary liturgical contribution, divinization, all deal with the subject at hand. What surprises me is that the overall vision of history and liturgical scholarship may not be fully looked at in our dialogue--indeed, we are all imperfect in this regard.

I understand the issue with 'language as ideological weapon'. This is nothing new, and the problems of political theology deal with this--how one uses words to subvert paradigms both theological or otherwise. My concern is not support of a feminist or modernist vision of a Byzantine Church, but rather looking at the pastoral dimension of language usage--meaning if I was a presbyter 'what language are my parishoners using, and how as a pastor can the common people be reached'. Father Alexander Schmemann deals with many of these issues in his marvelous book: "Introduction to Liturgical Theology." A must read for anyone tackling the problems of Eastern liturgical theology and praxis in the modern age.

When I was Ruthenian, I still use the tones and prayerbooks ;), I discovered my Church was an Ark for many Catholics who who were scandalized by the liturgical experience in the Latin Church--because there was a sense that something was wrong. And indeed contrived liturgies with bad structure and intentionality are opposed to good liturgical sense which respects the tradition and seeks the contemporary contributions of the people. Now as an Orthodox Christian I have not changed my point-of-view on the the need for good liturgical scholarship and SVS/Holy Cross/Rome et alia, provide this for Eastern Churches. In fact the evolution of my understanding of liturgical praxis and history has been my exposure to scholars here at Gonzaga University--primarily liturgist Father James Dallen and others.

The true gist of this conversation is that Eastern Christians don't like people, especially bishops or committees, messing with our liturgy--and how in the Hades did we not learn from the Latins? Well, that thought is valid; and to some extent I agree. Language prayed over generations becomes a part of our identity as Christians and human beings. That is where language can be like a familiar pew (sic) in Church. (notice I gave pew the old *sic) can become a form of idolatry. Eastern Churches know struggle, and yet when we come to America we become cozy and caved in on our own communities, instead of noticing the world around us. I wonder how many become Eastern Christian each year to avoid the world--almost like going to a gated community? Well, one thing that is happening is we are losing people, because we told them they were to be no part of the world--and did not give them sufficient tools to go out into the world and do God's work--because we said Eastern Christians don't engage the world or do mission. We are told that Eastern Christians do mission with the Liturgy, but that needs to be critiqued because Divine Law says : "Go you into all the world and be my disciples." Christ said "Go!." And we must use liturgy as a point where praxis, or reflective action becomes a part of our lives. That is why I totally admire the Antiochians mission program. They get it!

There have always been a gap between the 'inner sanctum' of bishops and experts verses the people. People are saying 'where is the consulation with the laity in the Churches over the vital issue of liturgy and language?' But, we live in hierachial Churches and most times the people are NOT heard, but innovations or less thought out programs of action are forced on them. Church history really bears out that "Vox Populi-Vox Dei"--the 'Voice of the People is the Voice of God'. If the Ruthenian people don't want the RDL then it will fade into the liturgical dust bin of history--if they want to return to previous translations then it will happen, in spite of a hierarchial imposition of gender sensitive liturgical texts--which really does seem like an ideological tool, that does not use context. To be totally honest, the only demographic who would appreciate this language adaption are college kids and scholars--feminist or otherwise. Most Ruthenian people today tend, minus a few closet liberals, to be on the conservative side anyway--why impose issues on them that do not fit into their context and life experience? So do not think I fail to see the issues of Liturgicam Authenticum and the earlier papal docs on language and liturgy--they are important and reflect this stage of development/focus in the historical Church. I suppose one could question the intent of these neutered texts, but who knows maybe the bishops really believed that most people used gender sensitive language in everyday American life amongst their people and that this is the "new thing." What ever the case, I would think at the pastoral level a priest who doesn't want to use these texts can just put them in his pastors library and let them dust--isn't that what most priests do with things they don't care for, but have to keep ;)Now if the Cyncellus is doing liturgical audits every month--just be sure to prepare for him ahead of time--with the full gender neutered liturgical experience--hey even throw in some vertically inclusive names for God for good measure biggrin

I advocate for balance and context within our experience as Eastern Christian people--not periti or nouveau theologie. If it gets the message accross fine, but if it is an ideological tool--than toss it.

Thats my 2.45 cents

In the Theotokos,


Robert

biggrin
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 02:55 PM
Originally Posted by PrJ
I have offered significant patristic support as well as presented significant scholarship from linguists (both English and Greek).

Somehow I missed this. Where?

Dn. Anthony
Posted By: AMM Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 03:17 PM
Quote
AMM: This is really a matter of taste--after one has listened to liturgical English a while it is not as impressive--however exact and poetic the language may be. And the personal context of individual experience is what makes people like or not care for variants in English expression.

I don't have anything against liturgical English, but clarity and meaning is important for me, i.e. are the words translated so that I may know what they mean within the lexicon of most Americans-which usually is only a few thousand words, if even that. To get the liturgy to 'say what is means'is vital for transmission of the faith. 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. If the Church took a poll and asked most people to explain what the words and concepts in the liturgy meant they couldn't or would have great difficulty, minus the arm chair guys and the experts--that is the importance of pastoral liturgical translation--in my view. To the elite--this is "dumbing down" and compromise--to most people in the pews it would be a grace, especially, in regard to evangelization. A critical liturgical translation understood in its historical context and made accesssible to the people is important for the clergy and laos to truly know what they believe--so that, as in the Eastern paradigm, the prayer of the mind may descend into the heart and become the prayer of the heart. But, how can people pray with their minds if they do not understand the liturgical words spoken--how can then prayer in the nous descent to the heart? Again, I advocate for discretion and pastoral sensitivity to parish needs--not academic exercises in futility or ego stroking by liturgical scholars--just good ole' horse sense.

The main point here is to look at context, use a variety of sources critically, properly catechise the people on the historical roots of Byzantine liturgy, and make liturgy truly prayer of mind and heart for everybody--not just experts or liturgical connoisseurs.

I have heard the sacral English used many times, and I continue to find it more dignified and beatiful than more contemporary English. Since it is our goal to express beauty in worship, I have no problem with its continued use. My understanding in regards to the Antiochians is that the sacral English translations are not the works of committees, liturgical scholars or specialists; but were in many ways driven from the bottom up. It was a lay woman IIRC for instance that was responsible for translating portions of the prayer book from Arabic in to English.

It seems to me people proclaiming the need to modernize the texts and make them accessible (though I have no problem understanding what is said in a liturgy using sacral English) are in fact what you describe as the "elites" - i.e. the liturgical specialists and academics.

It also seems the Eastern paradigm is to give weight to tradition, and not innovation and modernization.
Posted By: PrJ Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 03:51 PM
Quote
My understanding in regards to the Antiochians is that the sacral English translations are not the works of committees, liturgical scholars or specialists; but were in many ways driven from the bottom up. It was a lay woman IIRC for instance that was responsible for translating portions of the prayer book from Arabic in to English.

As someone very involved in this discussion while an Antiochian priest, I can assure that IN NO way was the move towards Sacral English "From the bottom up." IN fact, the AEOM had its own translation when they converted. This was modern English. We used modern language translations for years. Then, all of a sudden, the word from above came down. Metropolitan Philip decided to do away with all non-hieratic English and imposed (I do mean this word in the strongest possible sense) this language on the Churches. As someone who had been praying modern English services, I can testify to the angst and anquish this "from the top down" language change created among the people. Everything changed -- from the way we said the Trisagion Prayers to the way we sang the Liturgy. And the change was enacted IMMEDIATELY.

I should also note that the new language (i.e., the hieratic English) we used was completely done by scholars, most of whom were not Orthodox. For example, Hapgoods' translation depended on Protestant scholars. And the same can be said of the "5-pounder" still used in Antiochian churches (i.e., Nassar). The Liturgikon used by priests was the work of one man, Fr (now Bishop) Basil Essey.
Posted By: AMM Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 03:55 PM
The Antiochian texts in use existed long before the formation of the AEOM; the work of Ms. Hapgood, Fr. Nassar and others.

I guess you can see what mandated changes do to people though.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by Robert Horvath
The true gist of this conversation is that Eastern Christians don't like people, especially bishops or committees, messing with our liturgy--and how in the Hades did we not learn from the Latins?
Tradition is the memory of the past. Our ways and manners and even our way of chanting is tradition. Tradition has been circulating in our blood for centuries and today it is more meaningful and more "modern" than anything we can call "modern." Let us remember what happened to our sister, the Roman Church. By surrendering its tradition she harvested chaos and disappointment.
Kyr Joseph Archbishop Raya
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 04:08 PM
Originally Posted by AMM
I have heard the sacral English used many times, and I continue to find it more dignified and beatiful than more contemporary English. Since it is our goal to express beauty in worship, I have no problem with its continued use.
In �Byzantine Daily Worship� I was enticed to use the second person plural form in addressing our God for the fallacious reason that people would be better served. The pretext was �Everybody does it.� Everybody says �You� so I abandoned the formal �Thee� and �Thou� and replaced them by �You�.

This substitution proved to be a step in the wrong direction, a spiritual disaster that added fuel in the laicization of our religion. It re-enforced our carelessness and unconcern before the awesomeness of our God. We already were engulfed in confusion before the sacred and holy. We came to treat God as a next door neighbor. �Hey, you do this�You do that�� The �you� is too casual, too simple and easy. The use of the �Thee� and the �Thou� is more difficult. It requires attention and care and the form of verbs requires, sometimes, a challenge for a tongue twister. But the elegance of it all and the respectability are worth every effort in using them properly. They might open a path for the recovery of sacredness in our relationship with God. We are now so �laicized� that Christ, our Lord and God, became some kind of pragmatic prophet. He became simply �Jesus.� So now we have Buddha, Aristotle, Mohammed, Jesus, Martin Luther King, or any other benefactor of humanity. If the world does not know that �That Jesus� is our Lord and God where would they go to find out if they do not hear it from us? Besides, the �Thee� and the �Thou� have an elegance worth the effort they demand.

Kyr Joseph Archbishop Raya
Originally Posted by PrJ
Then, all of a sudden, the word from above came down. Metropolitan Philip decided to do away with all non-hieratic English and imposed (I do mean this word in the strongest possible sense) this language on the Churches. As someone who had been praying modern English services, I can testify to the angst and anquish this "from the top down" language change created among the people. Everything changed -- from the way we said the Trisagion Prayers to the way we sang the Liturgy. And the change was enacted IMMEDIATELY.
Multiply that "angst and anguish" by a thousand and you might begin to understand how hurt we Ruthenians are by the RDL.

Keep writing Rome!
Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-spotless and all-pure mother, of our Father among the saints John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople (of the saints of the church and of the day) of the holy and just ancestors of Christ Joachim and Anne and of all the saints, may this same Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loveth every human being.
Kyr Jospeh Archbishop Raya
The Divine and Holy Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom
Alleluia Press, 2001
While I have the greatest love and respect for Archbishop Jospeh (Eternal Memory!) he is mistaken here: "so I abandoned the formal 'Thee' and 'Thou' and replaced them by 'You'."
Thee, Thou, Thy, Thine are not formal they are familiar.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Originally Posted By: AMM
Quote
I have heard the sacral English used many times,


No form of English is sacral. It is the Liturgy that sanctifies the language by being celebrated in it not the language that sanctifies the Liturgy.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Posted By: AMM Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/12/08 08:43 PM
I am simply using the terminology used here

Quote
The Antiochian Orthodox Church, according to Archimandrite Daniel Griffith, has been characterized by strong loyalty to �sacral English� since it began to encourage the use of English over ninety years ago. It is due to the Antiochians that the Hapgood translation has been kept in print since 1956, and where and when there have been revisions (or additions, such as the translation of other services and of the Septuagint Psalter) the same fundamental outlook has prevailed, with revisions being made primarily for the sake of greater intelligibility or for the correction of mistakes in Hapgood; nor is there any likelihood of major changes in the foreseeable future. It was agreed on all sides that a common English translation for Orthodox Christians is, at best, a remote prospect.

In the article "East Meets English"
http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=12-04-110-r
Originally Posted By: Recluse
Quote
Perhaps it is you who misunderstand LA? I think LA is quite clear. But I would like to see more language about this issue coming from Rome.

The Corrected RNAB and NRSV Lectionaries were approved by the same Congregation that issued LA. The American Latin bishops have submitted their translation of the Roman Missal with the same inclusive language used in the RDL. Yet in the face of evidence that Fr. David and Fr. John understand LA correctly you refuse to admit you are wrong in attempting to use LA to support your position that no inclusive language can be allowed or even address the fact that the above have happened since LA was issued.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Quote
I am simply using the terminology used here

That is OK. They are wrong too. wink

Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Recluse
Perhaps it is you who misunderstand LA? I think LA is quite clear. But I would like to see more language about this issue coming from Rome.
The Corrected RNAB and NRSV Lectionaries were approved by the same Congregation that issued LA. The American Latin bishops have submitted their translation of the Roman Missal with the same inclusive language used in the RDL. Yet in the face of evidence that Fr. David and Fr. John understand LA correctly you refuse to admit you are wrong in attempting to use LA to support your position that no inclusive language can be allowed or even address the fact that the above have happened since LA was issued.
What evidence that they understand LA correctly? The fact that Rome approved the documents does not mean that the translations hit the mark, and could certainly mean some compromise was made. "Should be allowed" and "is allowed" are two different things. In another discussion, Father John posted an article about the approval of the Canadian Lectionary which included the following:

Quote
�I don�t know who won and who didn�t,� said Archbishop Weisgerber. �I actually think it�s kind of a compromise, and kind of a happy compromise between our tradition and more modern kinds of translation.�
Here we have Archbishop Weisgerber of Winnipeg saying that it a compromise. So the point is logical and supportable. And when we think that Father Robert Taft has stated to several that he was the only reviewer of the RDL, that he only reviewed the texts (as he was not asked to review the rubrics) and called Liturgiam Authenticam �unfortunate�, the idea is very logical. Don�t forget that LA came just a month or after the approval for the revised text of the RDL. The delay in promulgation of six years allowed plenty of time to fix the problems.

Let�s also remember that the issue is not about �inclusive language�. It is about �gender neutral language�. �Who for us men and our salvation� is inclusive. Removing the word �men� makes it potentially exclusive according to the now retired head of the Congregation of Divine Worship.

There is certainly nothing inappropriate about petitioning Rome about this matter.
Originally Posted by PrJ
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.
A �straight-jacket�? Curious. I find the call for accuracy in translation quite liberating.

The idea that the East demands gender-neutral language because of its liturgical context and the West does not has been advanced before. It has never been developed or supported. It would be interesting to see an argument along these lines, one that is thoroughly supported by Church documentation.
Posted By: EdHash Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/13/08 02:18 AM
Originally Posted by PrJ
the LA states that the translation has to be accurate.

The RDL mistranslates the only word used in any of the ancient texts for our Lord's words in the Beatitudes. They chose to use *children* instead of *sons* of God. Your bishops purposely misquoted Jesus.

Ed
Originally Posted by Administrator
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Recluse
Perhaps it is you who misunderstand LA? I think LA is quite clear. But I would like to see more language about this issue coming from Rome.
The Corrected RNAB and NRSV Lectionaries were approved by the same Congregation that issued LA. The American Latin bishops have submitted their translation of the Roman Missal with the same inclusive language used in the RDL. Yet in the face of evidence that Fr. David and Fr. John understand LA correctly you refuse to admit you are wrong in attempting to use LA to support your position that no inclusive language can be allowed or even address the fact that the above have happened since LA was issued.
What evidence that they understand LA correctly? The fact that Rome approved the documents does not mean that the translations hit the mark, and could certainly mean some compromise was made. "Should be allowed" and "is allowed" are two different things. In another discussion, Father John posted an article about the approval of the Canadian Lectionary which included the following:

Quote
�I don�t know who won and who didn�t,� said Archbishop Weisgerber. �I actually think it�s kind of a compromise, and kind of a happy compromise between our tradition and more modern kinds of translation.�
Here we have Archbishop Weisgerber of Winnipeg saying that it a compromise. So the point is logical and supportable. And when we think that Father Robert Taft has stated to several that he was the only reviewer of the RDL, that he only reviewed the texts (as he was not asked to review the rubrics) and called Liturgiam Authenticam �unfortunate�, the idea is very logical. Don�t forget that LA came just a month or after the approval for the revised text of the RDL. The delay in promulgation of six years allowed plenty of time to fix the problems.

Let�s also remember that the issue is not about �inclusive language�. It is about �gender neutral language�. �Who for us men and our salvation� is inclusive. Removing the word �men� makes it potentially exclusive according to the now retired head of the Congregation of Divine Worship.

There is certainly nothing inappropriate about petitioning Rome about this matter.

So, let me understand this....

The more liberal "lung" of the Catholic Church says it's wrong to incorporate gender neutral language, and makes it a no-no. Instead, the more conservative "lung" of the Catholic Church adopts it into their Liturgy, and attempts to embrace it saying LA isn't meant for them. Do I have this correct?
Stephanie,

No, the Latin Church, which produced LA, is still approving texts with horizontal inclusive language, like that used in the RDL, for use in the English-speaking Latin Church.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Thank you. So, does LA apply to the Eastern Catholics? Just to play devil's advocate (can I say that here??) what do you surmise will be the outcome for the Latin texts? If they don't allow it there, what will happen to us?
Stephanie,

Most of what I do here is play devil's advocate! wink From my perspective, Rome does not seem to have the will to refuse the use of horizontal inclusive language when the bishops make it clear they want it, even if Rome thinks it may not be the best idea, as expressed in LA. Which leads me to conclude it is not the grave theological matter many here make it out to be. If it were Rome would put its foot down. They are picking their fights and horizontal inclusive language does not seem to be one.

As for us, you have three things going on with the RDL, translations people don't like, music people don't like and rubrics/omissions that do not conform to the 64 Liturgikon or Ordo Celebrationis. I think those writing letters will win the appeal to allow the 64 Liturgikon to be used. (and some places are still using it anyways) I do not think they will be successful in getting the 07 Liturgikon rescended. So ultimately pastors will be left with the decision based on parish reaction to the RDL and their own tastes.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Quote
The RDL mistranslates the only word used in any of the ancient texts for our Lord's words in the Beatitudes. They chose to use *children* instead of *sons* of God. Your bishops purposely misquoted Jesus.

Ed

You are incorrect, and your continued accusation in this regard is without merit. Many old and venerable English translations (eg, the Douay-Rheims, which is championed by Catholic traditionalists, the KJV) use "children of God" in the Beatitudes. As indicated, the NAB was the translation of choice by our Bishops. As a result, the Beatitudes as used in our worship are consistent with the translation found in the NAB.

There is a newer Orthodox translation, the EOB, which
Quote
stands for Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible. It is complete translation of the Holy Scriptures based on the Greek text of the Old Testament (Septuagint / LXX) and for the New Testament on the official ecclesiastical text published in 1904 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
(from the website, The EOB [orthodox-church.info])

Interestingly, this group of translators also chose to render the translation of Matthew 5:9,
Quote
Blessed are the peacemakers,for they shall be called children of God.
"Children of God" is an acceptable translation among any number of translators.

BTW, Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount in Aramaic, not English, so you have no basis on which to make your accusation.


Posted By: AMM Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/13/08 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Quote
I am simply using the terminology used here

That is OK. They are wrong too. wink

Fr. Deacon Lance

But right in their wrongness IMHO! grin
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Quote
The RDL mistranslates the only word used in any of the ancient texts for our Lord's words in the Beatitudes. They chose to use *children* instead of *sons* of God. Your bishops purposely misquoted Jesus.

Ed
You are incorrect, and your continued accusation in this regard is without merit. Many old and venerable English translations (eg, the Douay-Rheims, which is championed by Catholic traditionalists, the KJV) use "children of God" in the Beatitudes.

The Douay-Rheims, the KJV, the NAB and the EOB are all INCORRECT.

The word in Matthew 5:9 is �huioi� and it correctly translates only as �sons� (�huios� is son). This error was corrected in the NKJV. Sons have inheritance rights. Children do not.

Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
BTW, Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount in Aramaic, not English, so you have no basis on which to make your accusation.
Not relevant. The original for us is in Greek.
Posted By: ajk Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/13/08 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Quote
The RDL mistranslates the only word used in any of the ancient texts for our Lord's words in the Beatitudes. They chose to use *children* instead of *sons* of God. Your bishops purposely misquoted Jesus.

Ed

You are incorrect,...

I've already given some of my views on the sons vs. children translation issue, link1 , link2 , link3. Within that context, a few comments here that are response, not rebuttal.

1. The valid concern in the quote above is only obscured by the imprecise, misleading, and inaccurate manner in which it is presented. It detracts from the point rather than advancing it. The statement about our bishops is libel [merriam-webster.com].

2. Thank you Deacon John for the informative and worthwhile link.

3. As I noted before, the use of sons/children in previous translations is very uneven.

4. I would venture that one cannot go wrong translating huios/huioi as son/sons. To insure that what I (and others) consider the very important theological concept of sonship is not obscured, teknon/tekna should be translated as child/children. These usages are accurate and safe.

5. Although Jesus likely spoke Aramaic, transliterations of the Aramaic in the Gospels are few, and often if not always not what one might call the essential words of the Gospel. Speculating on what His words in Aramaic might have been is interesting, but the words of Jesus are given to us in the form of a divinely inspired translation into Greek, and it is properly those Greek words that should be our primary focus. The chronological Jesus spoke Aramaic, the historical Jesus of the Gospels speaks Greek, and the Gospel is conveyed in that idiom. [I've wondered, for instance, and doubt that the Greek word play in John 3 (anōthen = again; from above) works in Aramaic, and it seems unlikely that Jesus and Nicodemus would be conversing in Greek.]


Dn. Anthony
Speaking as moderator of this Forum I agree with Deacon Anthony that Ed Hash has crossed the line in stating that the bishops have "purposely misquoted Jesus" in their translation of Matthew 5:9. I do not believe it rises to libel because Mr. Hash's comments are not necessarily negative in character as his sentence does not attribute motive. One could read negative motive into Mr. Hash's words but one could also read a positive motive, even as Mr. Hash disagrees with the decision of the bishops.

I will remind all posters to keep to the rule of charity or they will forfeit their posting privileges.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Administrator
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/14/08 12:30 PM
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
From my perspective, Rome does not seem to have the will to refuse the use of horizontal inclusive language
If I may reiterate John's comments: There is nothing "inclusive" about gender neutral language.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/14/08 01:30 PM
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Christ our true God, through the prayers of His all-spotless and all-pure mother, of our Father among the saints John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople (of the saints of the church and of the day) of the holy and just ancestors of Christ Joachim and Anne and of all the saints, may this same Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loveth every human being.
Kyr Jospeh Archbishop Raya
The Divine and Holy Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom
Alleluia Press, 2001
In �Byzantine Daily Worship� I was enticed to use the second person plural form in addressing our God for the fallacious reason that people would be better served. The pretext was �Everybody does it.� Everybody says �You� so I abandoned the formal �Thee� and �Thou� and replaced them by �You�.

This substitution proved to be a step in the wrong direction, a spiritual disaster that added fuel in the laicization of our religion.

Kyr Jospeh Archbishop Raya
Celebration
Eatern Christian Publication, 2003
Recluse,

I have all three books, in fact I have every book written by Archbishop Jospeh of blessed memory. You will note that the 2001 Liturgicon is Archbishop Joseph's update of BDW in which he replaced "You" with "Thee" and "Thou" but he also replaced "... for He is good and loves mankind." with "... for He is good and loveth every human being."

He repented of his use of what he calls the casualness of "You" but still saw fit to replace "mankind" with "every human being". It seems to me misleading to quote Archbishop Joseph in an attempt to discredit horizontal inclusive language when the Archbishop used it himself in his last liturgical publication.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/14/08 06:41 PM
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
He repented of his use of what he calls the casualness of "You" but still saw fit to replace "mankind" with "every human being".
I also have almost everything written by the Archbishop. His excellent book "celebration" (2003) seems to counter what you are saying about using the term "every human being". However, I will look into this. I did not think he was a proponent of gender neutral language.
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
It seems to me misleading to quote Archbishop Joseph in an attempt to discredit horizontal inclusive language when the Archbishop used it himself in his last liturgical publication.
Again, there is nothing inclusive about gender neutral language.
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Recluse, I have all three books, in fact I have every book written by Archbishop Jospeh of blessed memory. You will note that the 2001 Liturgicon is Archbishop Joseph's update of BDW in which he replaced "You" with "Thee" and "Thou" but he also replaced "... for He is good and loves mankind." with "... for He is good and loveth every human being."

He repented of his use of what he calls the casualness of "You" but still saw fit to replace "mankind" with "every human being". It seems to me misleading to quote Archbishop Joseph in an attempt to discredit horizontal inclusive language when the Archbishop used it himself in his last liturgical publication.
Father Deacon Lance is correct about the content of Archbishop Joseph�s 2001 Liturgicon. I would not choose hieratic English, but I am developing an appreciation for it since the pastor of the parish I worship at uses the OCA Liturgicon. There is nothing about it that is difficult to understand, and it does have a sense of stability and timelessness (something essential in Liturgy). If you read the texts and see the combination of hieratic English with gender neutral terms in Archbishop Joseph�s Liturgicon you can see how silly the gender neutral language sounds, and how those who use it wind up (however unintentionally) tying themselves to the politics of those who created it. It should be noted that the term �human beings� is an accurate translation of the Greek (unlike �all of us�). Using �human beings� instead of �mankind� or �man� has a sci-fi overtone and makes one wonder about the possibility of salvation for those who might be on Alpha Centauri.
Posted By: Recluse Re: Another Open Letter to Father David - 03/17/08 12:14 PM
Originally Posted by Administrator
Father Deacon Lance is correct about the content of Archbishop Joseph�s 2001 Liturgicon. I would not choose hieratic English, but I am developing an appreciation for it since the pastor of the parish I worship at uses the OCA Liturgicon. There is nothing about it that is difficult to understand, and it does have a sense of stability and timelessness (something essential in Liturgy). If you read the texts and see the combination of hieratic English with gender neutral terms in Archbishop Joseph�s Liturgicon you can see how silly the gender neutral language sounds, and how those who use it wind up (however unintentionally) tying themselves to the politics of those who created it. It should be noted that the term �human beings� is an accurate translation of the Greek (unlike �all of us�). Using �human beings� instead of �mankind� or �man� has a sci-fi overtone and makes one wonder about the possibility of salvation for those who might be on Alpha Centauri.
Yes. I agree with what you have written here, John.

Over the weekend I confirmed that the Archbishops does indeed use the gender neutral language for "philanthropos" but not for "anthropos" (in the Creed). It does stand out like a sore thumb and I must admit that I am somewhat surprised and disappointed.
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