justify the tinkering

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on august 6, 1998, His eminence Bishop Pilla of Cleveland, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops acting on instructions given him two years earlier by Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, finally issued the decree withdrawing the imprimatur from the Psalms translated by the international Commission of English in the Liturgy. Similarly, Sr. Mary Collins O.S.B. conceded that "some tinkering had to be done to make it acceptable to the Bishops." Is this the new truths Catholics are now supposed to believe or are these misguided attempts to do that which should not be done?
What is truth? What is fiction? What is propaganda? What is lie?
Justify please.

-- juan (declined@aol.com), December 14, 1998


Dear Juan,
I haven't followed this story all that closely in the press, and so someone may have a much better answer than I. I do know that the Church has had a problem with the NRSV edition of the Bible becuase it uses gender-neutral language in the Psalms in such a way that the messianic references are obscured (the NRSV says "one" instead of "he," etc.) Thus it's simply a translation issue.
Yours in Christ,
Chris B

-- Chris B -- December 15, 1998.

thank you chris for your interest, however, you have avoided an answer to the question. the international commission on English in the Liturgy (icel) first translation of the Psalter, was even more radical in the excision of the language of divine fatherhood. the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger rejected a third biblical text and a proposed lectionary on the NRSV Bible. Bishop Pila suggested that its intervention was a judgement of "inappropriateness". again the question must be asked, what is truth? does it now become that which is politically acceptable? it appears that if acts of this nature are allowed to stand, than the whole of the Church becomes nothing more than this year's faddish interpretation. justify the actions of the U. S. Catholic Bishops.

-- juan (declined@aol.com), December 16, 1998.

Dear Juan, Well, I looked into this briefly and from what I read, the new version for the liturgy that will be coming out in 1999 will still refer to God as Father and it will only use inclusive language when it's clear from the context that that is what the Biblical speaker meant. Are you saying that you're O.K. with what Ratzinger has done but just not with the NCCB? Catholics faithful to Church teaching have had problems with various American bishops, who seem to demonstrate reluctant communion with Rome. Let's pray for the American Church, which is having such trouble right now, and let's learn enough about Church history to understand why submission to the pope is so important, so that we can communicate it to other Catholics.
If I've misunderstood you again (quite possible!) please let me know.
Yours in Christ,
Chris B

-- Chris B -- December 16, 1998.

thank you chris for your reply. back in my memory bank, i seem to recall a time when the majority of the american catholic bishops were demanding a greater voice in church affairs due to the "large amounts of money" sent rome by them. i cite the excision of language as an overt example of what i perceive as emblematic of a larger problem. in his ad lumina address to bishops of the united states, oct. 9, 1998, pope john paul ll says "in some cases there has been a misunderstanding of the very nature of the liturgy leading to abuses, polarization and sometimes even grave scandal." in his encyclical, veritatis splendoris, he, over and over, expresses his concerns regarding the direction of the church. The statement "in fact, a new situation has come about within the Christian community itself, whidch has experienced the spread of numerous doubts and objections of a human and psychological, social and cultural, religious and even properly theological nature with regard to the church's moral teachings.
it is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent...."
again, as to the question, how can the actions be justified?

-- juan (declined@aol.com), December 17, 1998.

Dear Juan,
I don't justify them. It's easy to let my heart get hardened against dissenting Catholics, and that's not right. For one thing, you're much more persuasive if you not only have the facts but you respect the person you disagree with. Also, Jesus put a very good brake on resentment by His command, "Love your enemies." He wasn't kidding around, that wasn't rhetoric, that is the challenge every single day. So I think we need to speak out and fight for our Church, but if we're not loving the people we're disagreeing with, all we're spreading is orthodoxy, not Christianity. Maybe you know all this already, but it was a battle for me to learn it, and so any discussion I have of dissent in American Catholicism has to include it. Merry Christmas!
Yours in Christ,
Chris B

-- Chris B -- December 17, 1998.

dear chris; thank you for your discourse. it is appreciated. one deficiency that i have found of late is, how little we are taught of our own church history. all to often catholics have been subjected to allegations ascribed to them, based upon the ideas of enemies of the church at various times through out history. from my point of view, the internet has been a virtual motherlode of historic information. all too often the teachings of the church has dwelled primarily on the tenets of the faith but has totally lacked in church history. i was extreemly impressed by the philosophical writings of john paul ll. in order to be able to obtain a comprehension of his ideas, it was necessary to read and rearead much of what was written. i cite this, due to his observations regarding the changes made in the liturgy using vatican ll as an excuse for many instituted changes. the cathars and waldensians were christian also but in dogmatic conflict with the church. we may love our enemies but not to the extent where our own survival becomes imperiled. i detect in his writings a desire to bring an end to the discord of the last 30 or so years. he states that "the truth will set you free", therefore the core of the discussion in light of the icel's excised translations for the national conference of catholic bishops, what is truth?
it is my hope that you will have a very merry christmass and a happy new year. pax domini.

-- juan (declined@aol.com), December 18, 1998.

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