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When "Rearranging Deck Chairs" Isn't Counterproductive Enough
2006.06.15 (Thu) 22:57
Now this is just silly.
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops signed off Thursday on a new English translation for the Mass that would change prayers ingrained in the memories of millions of American parishioners.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its biannual meeting for a new translation after a brief but vigorous debate over several small changes in wording. The 173-29 vote on the Order of the Mass was aimed at satisfying Vatican calls for a translation that's closer to the Latin version.
So, how do these changes impact the language of the Mass?
In an accompanying comment section, some bishops wrote anonymously that the new wording was "very awkward" with a "heavy, ponderous and often turgid style" that uses "irregular, passive and run-on sentences."
Excellent! Nothing gets people to come out to church on a Sunday like heavy, ponderous, turgid recitation. And remember — this new language is heavy, ponderous and turgid compared to the already heavy, ponderous and turgid language in the existing Mass. Now that's some heavy, ponderous turgidity!
The even more silly bit is, of course, the timing:
Some bishops, however, worry that the new translation will alienate Catholics at a time when the church can least afford to do so. Mass attendance has been declining, the priest shortage has left a growing number of churches without a resident cleric, bishops and parishioners have been battling over the closure of old churches and schools, and the prelates have been trying to rebuild trust in their leadership after the clergy sex abuse crisis.
So, while all of this is going on — most notably the sex abuse scandal that the church seems intent upon sweeping under the carpet even though that sweeping is itself the core of the problem ("after" the crisis? It ended? When was that?) — the Vatican is most concerned with...changing the wording of the Mass to...confuse people...?
Mwa-ha-ha! You fools! You're playing right into the hands of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy! And here we thought that the Catholic Church was wising up after kinda-sorta shuffling aside Baby Limbo (because those floating, disembodied babies were just too depressing) and granting St. Patrick's Day meat pardons (so the Irish could eat their Corned Beef without racking up an eon in Purgatory). Turns out: nope, they're just as wacky as ever.
So go right ahead, Catholic Church — confuse an already pissed off segment of your followers. Some of us grew up Catholic, and in our experience, there are plenty of American Catholics who are about a half step away from tossing the whole religion thing out the window, staying the hell home on Sunday, and doing something actually productive and/or enjoyable with their time. Maybe if you throw a few of those deck chairs at them, they'll make the change. Hell, we can always use more atheists.
Could you turn that baby down a couple notches?
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[ Filed under: % Religion % Two Percent Toons ]
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