Did Church goof in translating Mass four decades ago? Begorra!

Writer Emily Stimpson, Father Peter Stravinskas and others say, in essence, that Vatican II Latin-to-English translators erred (“We’re saying what?” Feb. 20). They goofed. They botched it. They translated Latin Mass prayers into English incorrectly. This led English-speaking priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals and Catholic laymen and laywomen into saying and reciting Mass prayers incorrectly for some 40 years. 

Can this be true? Yes, the OSV articles scream! Why else is the Church switching to a new Latin-to-English translation of the Roman Missal the first Sunday in Advent? 

As I read the changes, my conclusion is: they are minuscule. Is it worth the cost of printing thousands of new Mass books and hymnals? If the old translation was good for 40 years, why the urgency to change now? 

Doesn’t the Church boast it is led by the Holy Spirit? Dare one ask: Was the Holy Spirit dozing when the Roman Missal was translated into English after Vatican II? 

Are Latin-to-English translators quibbling over nothing of substance? Stimpson and Father Stravinskas say, No, it isn’t quibbling. And, the Church got it wrong after Vatican II? And it’s been wrong for 40 years! Begorra! 

— Joe Schrantz, Villa Park, Ill. 

Blessing of children 

Msgr. M. Francis Mannion’s assertion that children may be blessed separately during Mass cannot be sustained after a careful reading of the rite in the Book of Blessings (Pastoral Answers, Feb. 13). 

While there are some portions of the Book of Blessings that may be used within Mass, the rite for the blessing of children foresees no such situation, nor do any corresponding directives. This is especially important in light of the fact that only one blessing is bestowed upon all present at the end of the liturgy, as a general rule. 

However, there seems to be no reason that the readings and/or the intercessions provided in the rite of Blessing of Children cannot be incorporated into the Mass, depending on the day’s celebration on the calendar. 

— Fraiser York, Butler, Pa.

Freedom to speak out 

The Catholic Health Association was overly generous in admitting their non-mistake to Bishop Olmsted. He was entirely in the wrong and owes the association an apology. Does he still not understand that his interpretation of Church law would have almost definitely caused two deaths instead of the one that occurred? How can this be justified as protecting life? 

The Church hierarchy advocates freedom of expression around the world, but does not allow it with its own members. Don’t the bishops realize that our U.S. Constitution allows free expression, without retribution, to all its citizens, including Catholics? 

— Richard Council, via email 

Nuanced statements 

The double talk that Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association has engaged in over the past couple of years continues in OSV’s Feb. 20 edition (“CHA affirms bishops’ role in health care rules, but ...”). Consider the nuances of her statements regarding the forthright actions of Bishop Thomas Olmsted when he found out an unborn child had been deliberately killed at a Catholic hospital in his diocese. Sister’s statement “we deeply regret what he [Bishop Olmsted] did but we never thought he didn’t have a right to do it” amounts to a continued challenge of Bishop Olmsted’s interpretation of Catholic moral law wrapped in verbiage that nominally honors his authority. Sister’s words and actions last year regarding the health care law were enormously damaging because they gave cover to Catholic politicians who wanted to ignore the bishops and vote for the law. She lacks the willingness to humble herself and conform her actual thinking to the mind of the Church as expressed through the bishops.  

— Mark Gronceski, Warren, Ohio

That’s no ‘clinic’ 

In “Burial for infant victims” (This Week, Feb. 20), concerning those of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, you refer to him as “Dr.,” and to his killing grounds as a “clinic.” Any physician faithful to the Hippocratic oath must bristle at these two designations. 

The original oath quite clearly says, “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked ... I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion.” Any medically licensed individual who violates these foundational principles has simply forfeited any moral right to the title “Doctor.” Similarly, the word “clinic” implies that a good outcome is expected from visiting one; however, the evil performed in abortion facilities is never good.  

— W.A. Krotoski, M.D.Baton Rouge, La.

Holy parenting example 

Re Elizabeth Scalia’s article, “On raising tiger cubs versus hypersensitive violets”(Essay, Feb. 6). 

That any Christian could entertain advocating any portion of the parenting philosophy Amy Chua advocates in her book is absurd. As Catholic mothers, we are to look to the example of none other than the Blessed Mother. Can we imagine she would have called her son, Our Lord, “garbage”? Such language is cutting and cruel and has no place in a loving Christian home. 

Our homes should be loving, nurturing and supportive safe havens. 

— Barbara Northam, Diamond Bar, Calif.