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Fr. Richard McBrien stirring it up February 24, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, General Catholic.

The guy Fr. Erik Richtsteig calls tricky Dick, Fr. Richard McBrien, is stirring up trouble again.   Fr. McBrien is violently opposed to the new Mass translations that are in the final stages of development.   To give the history briefly, in the early 1970’s an English vernacular translation of the Mass was released after a very short period of development.  This translation was, it is commonly viewed, developed too quickly and contains a number of errors.  There have been many complaints since its implementation that the English translation misses much of the substance of the original Latin and constitutes a substantial dumbing down of the content of the Mass.  There have been cries for its correction since the late 70’s.  The process formally got started in the late 80’s, and after 22 years of development, a new, much improved translation could be ready as early as Advent 2011. 

Fr. McBrien cites another priest, a Fr. Ryan, who feels that the new translation is being rushed into use.  Fr. McBrien shares these views.  So, the current translation which was rushed into service after a period of development spanning months, involved an appropriate amount of review and development in their minds, whereas this new translation under development for decades, is rushed.  That’s quite a train of logic. 

I don’t think it is unfair to say that Fr. McBrien is well known for his heterodox views.  In plain fact, he speaks heresy, frequently.  He feels that Eucharistic adoration is a superstitious, useless act.  He supports ordination of women and supports homosexual marriage.  And he fears the new Mass translation, because it is far more accurate, reverent, and orthodox.  The new translation doesn’t just change a word here or there, it conveys different ideas, ideas far more in line with the doctrine of the Church than the current translation.  The current translation emphasizes the horizontal element of the cross, the community of the faithful.  The new translation emphasizes more the vertical element of the cross, our relationship with God.  It also stresses our sinful nature to a greater degree, and our perpetual dependence on God’s grace for our survival and redemption. 

And so, Fr. McBrien is encouraging priests, and any bishops he can convince, to oppose the introduction of the new translation.  He’s encouraging priests to be disobedient to their bishops and to refuse to implement the change.  And, if you read his words, it’s pretty plain he’s hoping for a terribly negative reaction from the laity once the new translation is introduced.  Fr. McBrien would rather be proved right, and have his Church suffer, than be proved wrong.  Of course, I don’t think the new translation is going to be a problem at all, and I pray that adequate formation will take place to help ease its introduction (something that absolutely did not happen in the 70’s – it was presented to the laity one day as a fait accompli). 

Pray for Fr. McBrien and others like him.                      

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