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Faith & Parish

Liturgy needs not 'sacred language' but pastoral language


WASHINGTON -- There is much good in the new English translation of the Roman Missal, but "there is much more that still needs improvement to make the text grammatical and accessible to the people," Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., said Oct. 22.

"The present text still contains improper syntax, incomplete sentences, archaic and obscure words and idioms, lengthy and incomprehensible sentences and fails to respect the natural rhythm and cadences of the English language," he said.

He also criticized Rome's decision to try to create a "sacred language" for worship, so that in the new version of the Nicene Creed, "born of the Virgin Mary" becomes "incarnate of the Virgin Mary" and "one in being with the Father" becomes "consubstantial with the Father."

The new translation introduces words "like 'ineffable,' 'consubstantial,' 'incarnate,' 'inviolate,' 'oblation,' 'ignominy,' precursor,' 'suffused' and 'unvanquished,' " he said. "This vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic."

'Slavishly literal' translation of missal criticized


WASHINGTON -- Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., former chairman of the U.S. bishops' liturgy committee, sharply criticized what he called the "slavishly literal" translation into English of the new Roman Missal from the original Latin.

tHe said the "sacred language" used by translators "tends to be elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable" and could lead to a "pastoral disaster."

Autism, the Mass and religious education


Mission Management

How does the Catholic church respond to children with an autism disorder and to their families, especially when many parents fear that their child may act out during Mass, causing the family to experience rejection by other parishioners?

Autism is a complex developmental disability linked to neurological disorders in the brain. It typically appears during the first two years of life and affects boys more than girls. Symptoms include repetitive behaviors and difficulty with communication and social interaction.

When you're mentally ill, no one brings you a casserole


Dorothy Coughlin tells the story of a man whose son had left college after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. “The dad was with friends who were all talking about their children, the degrees they were getting and what they planned to do after college.” He said nothing about his son.

The man came to Coughlin distraught. “He said to me that he just hated the thought that he felt so ashamed.”

Bishops' draft pastoral warns of dangers to marriage


The draft of a new pastoral letter that warns against four fundamental challenges to marriage, describing two of them -- cohabitation and contraception -- as intrinsically evil, will be considered by the U.S. bishops at their November national gathering in Baltimore.

The draft of the letter, "Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan," a copy of which was obtained by NCR, covers familiar territory. It asserts that the church throughout history has taught that marriage "is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman"; that its dual purpose, the union of individuals and the conception of children, are inseparable; and that each sexual act must be open to the possibility of children. The paper condemns artificial birth control, same-sex marriage, cohabitation and divorce as challenges "directed to the very meaning and purposes of marriage."

The bishops say they are developing the letter, intended as "a theological and doctrinal foundation," as one expression of a 2004 pledge "to be a marriage-building church."

Lutheran leaders declare worship wars 'sinful'

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has warned congregations that disagreements over worship styles that developed into full-fledged worship wars are "sinful."

The eight-page "Theses on Worship" was adopted unanimously in September by the denomination's Council of Presidents, which includes its top officials and leaders of its 35 regional districts.

"The polarization that is affecting the church concerning the issue of forms, rites and ceremonies is sinful and hinders the proclamation of the gospel," it says.

Boston archdiocese taxed for shuttered church

BOSTON -- The Boston archdiocese has suffered a legal setback in its bid to avoid paying taxes on a shuttered church where defiant parishioners have been keeping a round-the-clock vigil for five years.

In a Sept. 28 memorandum, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Paul Troy indicated the archdiocese must show it plans to sell the St. Frances X. Cabrini Catholic Church and its coveted 30-acre parcel, or else face a six-figure property tax bill from the seacoast town of Scituate.

A spiritual, ecological celebration


PORTLAND, ORE. -- On Saturday night, the space in front of the stage had been packed, with big kids, little kids, grownups of all ages, dancing along to the big sound and outlandish, colorful spectacle of the March Fourth Marching Band, a popular local act that features dozens of musicians as well as dancers and stilt walkers.

The scene late Sunday afternoon was more sedate, but there was still dancing -- including little ones who ran about playing in the straw from the bales that provided seating up front, while adults relaxed, listening to the more folksy sounds of the day’s musical lineup.

Hidden prospects


ALBUQUERQUE AND LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico has about it an austere, out-of-the-way character, long stretches of desert and horizons of abraded, reddish mountains, evocative of the biblical quality of unseen significance. Few might look to New Mexico when conversation turns to the future of the church.

If so, they could be missing something. This land of hidden prospects might hold some answers for the future.



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In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014


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