Wednesday, March 14, 2007

That Translation Issue

Several people have mentioned this in comments but I thought it would be worth a blog post to point to the several spots where this interesting issue has come up. The English translation of apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist says that international liturgies "could be celebrated in Latin." The other translations say that it would be right, proper, good, fitting, etc. for such liturgies to be in Latin. Big difference. The issue concerns the Latin phrase "aequum est."

More discussion at Fr. Zuhlsdorf in Rome, Amy, and Diogenes.

This is a very frustrating issue for Americans, who don't often think about translations and language. We tend to accept any English as "official" and everything else as some peculiar spinoff. This is especially striking in this case because the normative ideal for all liturgies in the Latin Rite is Latin with the sung Graduale (which is what Gregorian chant means in practice). So it would be very odd indeed for the Pope to opine that some Masses could be in Latin with chant. It makes far more sense that he would have noted that it is fitting and right that they should be in Latin.

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