Thursday, 9 June 2011

Pedantry and the Romish vice...




When I was at school my Music teacher told my parents at a parents' evening that I was ''bossy'' and had a tendency to correct people overmuch. Well I think that people deserve to be put in their place sometimes, especially when they go about spouting clich├ęs and parroting nonsense thrust down their throats by Rome - such as this man. If I see the new ICEL described as the ''new, corrected'' translation again I shall boil over! Obstinate, deluded fools! How is it correct to render ''et cum spiritu tuo'' as ''and with your spirit''? The personal pronouns Tuus and Vos, in Latin, mean ''thou'' and ''you'' in English, singular and plural, and in English serve also to express two different modes of familiarity. Remember the Thieves' Quarrel? The principle applies also to the Collects, the Eucharistic prayers and other prayers directed in the sight of God. There is something inherently distasteful about addressing God as ''you,'' and this has nothing to do with the parameters set by courtesy among Men. We address God in the singular because He is One God. The new ICEL, given us by omniscient Mother Rome, threatens and undermines this because they want a translation which stifles the English language; at once Bible-in-basic-English (a concept which destroys the love of English among Englishmen) and artificial - well it can't be said to be ''sacred'' or ''lofty'' in any way can it? Do these people (the Traddies) not realise that there are some of us, on the ''right'' of the spectrum, who do not welcome this new translation, and for very good reasons? The difference between us is that we would sooner give the task of translation to somebody like Tolkien, a master of tongues, or Wilde than some sycophantic pen pusher in the Magisterium.



Oh why do I even care? Rome is welcome to its new translations, its pathetic 1962 missals with grafted in New Rite lectionaries and other fudged liturgies in their relativistic, Big Brother (pope and magisterium) stew. It has nothing to do with me.



But it does have something to do with Fr Hunwicke. Poor Fr Hunwicke. Why does he not realise that 43 years of priesthood in the Church of England means nothing to anyone in Rome? According to Rome his Orders are null and utterly void. His scholarship is equally worthless to Rome. To Rome he is just like 24 year old Deacon Joe about to be ordained priest at Wonersh or Allen Hall. Nobody is anyone in Rome, unless you're Cardinal Secretary of some congregation in the Curia. Obedience and self-abasement are all that matters, love and obedience of the Holy Father at whatsoever cost (even conscience), even the cost of obedience to the ancestral Tradition of the ancient Church of Rome. You must love and obey the Holy Father, for he has the keys of the Kingdom. You must love and obey the Successor of St Peter...My God, the more I think about this the more I am reminded of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the likely possibility that the Roman Church is not a church at all, but a mock-church with its head, in scarlet and white, riding upon a seven-headed beast and drunk on the blood of the Martyrs. God help the innocent Romans ground under that abominable system!

22 comments:

  1. Nice invective. You'll make a good Congregationalist yet!

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  2. Re Fr. H: disgusted, revolted, desperately sorry for the poor man; not IN THE LEAST surprised.

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  3. Anagnostis, I agree. Typical of Rome to treat the great like crap but the scabby sycophantic bum suckers like lords worthy of deep respect.

    My heart goes out in symnpathy to Fr Hunwicke today and my prayers are ascending. I am awfully concerned for him and pray that he comes into that church where he is most happy and appreciated.

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  4. For Fr. Hunwicke, where he goes isn't about his happiness or sense of being appreciated, it's about truth. He is being treated unjustly here, but he isn't the first and won't be the last. But he'll pull through. The best always do. God bless him, and may the Holy Spirit move the hardened hearts of those responsible.

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  5. Although I think your way of expressing the point a little intemperate, Patrick, I am forced to agree with a great deal of it. I thought Fr Hunwicke's comment "I shall promptly delete any comments on it (or emails sent to me) which are in any way whatsoever critical of the Catholic Church, or any of its officers, or of the Ordinariate; or which recommend me to adhere to any other ecclesial body" most telling. A very sad affair, which I think (trust) will make many Anglican priests or laity consider very carefully whether joining the Ordinariate is the best solution to the present Anglican crisis (and whether people like it or not, there is a crisis). I wonder if it is really a crisis of Western, post-Reformation Christianity as a whole, though...

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  6. Patricius, can I ask your opinion on Dom Placid Murray's translation of the Roman Canon: http://lxoa.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/canon.pdf

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  7. shane, thank you. I have read the translation but will have to get back to you after I have looked over the Latin text myself and compared it with Coverdale's translation and that found in the English Missal. For now I shall say that it is a worthy translation, if a little too verbose for my taste.

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  8. How typical of you, Patricius, that even when attempting to discuss someone else, you end up thumping your personal tubs.

    Might I point out that: (i) we have at this stage very little information on the reason for (at present) Deacon Hunwicke's being deferred, (ii) there is no reason to suppose Rome is involved at all, and (iii) that you have absolutely no evidence for your fantasy about what goes on in Rome. And neither do I.

    As for the first part of your post, it's complete nonsense. "thou" is totally obsolete as a pronoun and no longer of the slightest relevance to an English translation. Indeed, its purpose (such as it has one) in common parlance has all-but-completely reversed.

    Or perhaps you'd like to find some instances to rage about Rome failing to use wit/unc on page two-hundred-and-tumty-tum of the new translation.

    That you manage to combine in a single post such pedantry and such invention toward this singular purpose is indicative of something, I think.

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  9. He is right about the "thou". Its connotation today is now formal rather than intimate. Which is why even Tolkien used it exceedingly sparingly.

    As for Fr. Zuhlsdorf, you will see in the offending post that he describes the new translation as not great English. And it isn't. It's decent. But is it more accurate? Yes. Is it more sacral? Yes. Thus it is an improvement over what we have. Not great, but at least it isn't wretched.

    Besides, as a "real" traditionalist, Patricius, don't you abhor the use of the vernacular in the first place? After all, why the bother about translations when the Latin text is freely available?

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  10. Patricius, if you cannot work that out, then perhaps, just perhaps, you might like to consider that your critical faculties may not have reached the all-mastering apex you seem to believe them to have achieved.

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  11. Whislt i find it sad that Fr. Hunwicke believes that he has to grovel this way, censuring the comments and emails sent him, and suspending (or deleting) his weblog, as this is indicative of that unhealthy fear and spirit of subservience typifying an ever-more papo-centric Catholic Church since the middle of the 19th century, however, what you here write seems extremely exagerated to me, and indicative of your having become, in spirit, a protestant:

    ''My God, the more I think about this the more I am reminded of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the likely possibility that the Roman Church is not a church at all, but a mock-church with its head, in scarlet and white, riding upon a seven-headed beast and drunk on the blood of the Martyrs. God help the innocent Romans ground under that abominable system!''

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  12. Classical, late antique, and liturgical Latin do not have a second person formal/informal distinction (T-V). Some speculate that T-V appeared in very late imperial Latin. Still, there has never been a noticeable T-V even in the medieval Latin dialect. Certainly no T-V exists in any of the western liturgical books I have prayed or read. Classical and koine Greek also lack T-V.

    In liturgical Latin, deference is often shown by a verb of supplication which denotes human abasement (quaesumus, deprecamur, quaesta). God is never addressed by anything other than the pronoun tu or the adjective tuus. In any event, God is always addressed in the familiar 2nd person in Germanic languages ("du","thou").

    The notion that liturgical Latin has T-V appears often, but is not true. I wonder why this misconception persists.

    sortacatholic

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  13. EDIT: quaesta should be praesta. My mind grows dimmer and dimmer. I was always a low-watt bulb, anyway.

    sortacatholic

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  14. JM - You are absolutley right about Latin not knowinng the second-person familiar-formal pronoun distinction. Another word often used in liturgical Latin to make addresssing God more respectful, is ''Majestas Tua'' ''Majestatae Tuae'' ''Majestati Tuae'' ''Majestatem Tuam'' etc. IN Italian one also addresses God, as in Latin, with TU. Though there was a nineteenth century attempt to change this to VOI, but in the second half of the twentieth century a return was made to the original TU.

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  15. “My God, the more I think about this the more I am reminded of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the likely possibility that the Roman Church is not a church at all, but a mock-church with its head, in scarlet and white, riding upon a seven-headed beast and drunk on the blood of the Martyrs. God help the innocent Romans ground under that abominable system!”

    There are at least two errors contained in the above statement. Firstly, there has been no “Roman Church” for about a thousand years—not since the Roman Patriarchate separated from the rest of the Church. Secondly, —assuming now that “Roman Church” refers to the heretical religion of Roman Catholicism—there is no “possibility” that it “is not a church at all”; that is a certainty.

    Popery is indeed “but a mock-church with its head, in scarlet and white, riding upon a seven-headed beast and drunk on the blood of the Martyrs.” I entirely concur with the sentiment “God help the innocent Romans ground under that abominable system!” To suggest that any of this is “protestant” is anachronistic in the extreme: Protestantism appeared some five hundred years after the former Roman Church had broken with Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

    The use of the second-person pronouns thou/thee/thy/thine etc. in liturgical English has nothing to do with maintaining a distinct ‘familiar’, as opposed to ‘formal’ or ‘polite’, form; they are, quite simply, the only means by which the SINGULAR of the second-person can be unambiguously expressed. How else could we accurately render a typical ecphonesis such as “For to Thee [singular] belongeth all glory, honour and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost…”? The use of the old form implies a wealth of theology: that there is ONE God in Three Persons.

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  16. One may of course mention that for Rome Fr Hunwicke's 43 years of priestly office mean nothing, but for the Byzantines he has never even been a baptised Christian, period. No priesthood, not nothing.

    Let us not forget that recently the many-times baptised leader of the so-called western rite Orthodox leader in England was recently suspended from priestly duties as well.

    Papism or Tzaro-papism? Perhaps neither alternative offers too much other than self-loathing and a demand for complete and total submission.

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  17. Again, I am unable to understand which particular group Dale is attempting to identify when he refers to “Byzantines”.

    Quite simply, orders—or any other sacraments—cannot exist outside the Church.

    The man to whom Dale referred as “the many-times baptised [sic] leader of the so-called western rite Orthodox leader [sic] in England” was not many-times baptized. As we profess in the Symbol of Faith (Creed), there is only one Baptism: that act by which a person is grafted onto the Body of Christ. A “baptism” performed by a group that does not belong to the Church remains nothing more than an empty ritual: even if it adhere to every detail of rite as prescribed by the Church, it does not admit a person to the Church. If I might quote what I have written elsewhere, “To remain a member of the Church, the living Body of Christ, one must profess Orthodoxy, or right-belief. According to St Anastasius the Sinaite, a Christian writer of the sixth or seventh century, ‘Orthodoxy is a true conception of God and creation’. So, it is through truth itself, or Orthodoxy, that we may come to know Christ, the Eternal Truth, in His fullness; this can only happen within His Church.”

    Furthermore, if Dale were prepared to accept the facts of the case—assuming that he had been bothered to ascertain them—, then he would realize that the man to whom he refers has been suspended for purely canonical reasons: namely, he has been accused of exceeding his jurisdictional authority.

    The Church, as the Body of Christ on earth, truly makes “a demand for complete and total submission.” That submission must be to Orthodoxy, both as ‘right-belief’ and ‘right-worship’.

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  18. Please see the following article, by a Russian bishop, on the proper reception of converts into Byzantium:

    http://www.holy-trinity.org/index.html

    Mr Oriental, can we say Donatist?

    I truly, truly love all of your (sic)!

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  19. I fail to understand why a Russian bishop would write about “the proper reception of converts into Byzantium”. Having searched the web-page , recommended to me by Dale, I can find only one article there that might, at all, be relevant. It is one entitled “THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH” by Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the West—a letter of instruction directed at his clergy. Perhaps Dale, once more, has confused the Church with “Byzantium”?

    Now, I have, in the past, corresponded with Bishop Tikhon. I daresay that that be ‘neither here nor there’. Nevertheless, I do wonder why—if it, indeed, be the article he had in mind—Dale would have me peruse this particular letter. I rather suspect that he might have fallen into a typical Western trap.

    To quote my own work:
    “It may sometimes appear that the Church is repeating baptism when She baptizes someone who has already undergone the ceremony of baptism in another Christian confession. It is beyond the scope of this work to enter into a detailed theological study of this question; but it is important to understand two principles. Firstly, there can be only one baptism. As we profess in the Creed, ‘I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins’. Secondly, baptism is primarily the sacrament by which we are grafted onto the Body of Christ, and become members of the Church. Orthodoxy does not adhere to the Western view that baptism washes away the guilt of original sin. The idea that all humanity inherits this guilt is no older than Anselm of Canterbury, who wrote in the eleventh century. Sometimes Orthodoxy chooses to receive a convert from another Christian denomination by chrismation or even by confession and communion. This is an application of economy—the relaxation, for a specific reason, of strict adherence to the Canons. It is in the act of receiving the convert that any defects in his or her former baptism are supplied. The actual practice followed in receiving different categories of convert has varied at different times and in different places; and is a matter of discipline rather than theology. The current practice generally followed by the Russian Church in Russia is to receive Old Believers, Roman Catholics and non-Chalcedonian Christians by confession and communion. Protestants—and others—, who have received a trinitarian form of baptism, are received by chrismation. Non-Christians—and anyone who may have received a form of baptism which, had it taken place in the Orthodox Church, would have been considered definitely invalid—are baptized. This has largely been the policy since the time of Tsar Peter the Great.”

    Bishop Tikhon is quite right in his insistence that the disciplines of his particular Local Church be followed; but, as I have said above, such disciplines are subject to change. One of the criticisms levelled by the Greeks at the Russian Church just prior to the “reforms” of Patriarch Nikon was that She received converts from Roman Catholicism by baptism. Since that time, the Greek Church actually adopted the same policy. The ROCOR followed a similar practice since the 1980s; but I am unaware of its current discipline on the matter. None of these differences alters the fact that the Church considers all those who are not Her members to be ‘un-baptized’ in terms of the ‘validity’ of that sacrament.

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  20. Dale asked, "can we say Donatist?" I cannot speak for Dale; but I may assure him that I am perfectly capable of pronouncing the word. Yet again, I fail to see any point that he might have been trying to make.

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