I suppose it was never going to last. Robert Mickens of The Tablet has gone off Pope Benedict again, after a few weeks' softening. In last Friday's edition, he was scathing about the grave insult that Pope Benedict has given the Canadians by not going to their Eucharistic Congress, and merely beaming a homily to the closing Mass. Nothing, of course, to do with the fact that this poor 81 year old man was in North America a mere couple of months ago, and it might have been just a bit tough on him doing it again, and then going to Australia for Youth Thing.
If there are disaffected people in Canada on this issue, I suspect that it has much more to do with the fact that the Holy Father went to the US and not to Canada on this visit — I am told that feelings are rather sensitive north of the border about such matters.
One might wonder why our Micky is feeling quite so sore at Pope Benedict. We don't have to look far. In the next paragraph he complains that a seat on the Papal plane to Sydney will set him back nearly seven thousand Euros, and even then, there's no guarantee that the Holy Father will actually talk to him. Well, would you?
On another page in The Tablet, I read that Bishop Donald Trautperson is at it again, doing his best to scupper the new translation of the Missal. The seasonal propers are now being debated by the US bishops' conference, and ICEL had been confident that the new version would be happily accepted. They underestimated the old Traut's willingness to patronize and underestimate his countrymen. He, apparently, feels that words like 'ineffable' are beyond the average English-speaking Catholic's intelligence, presumably even after having the word explained to them. 'This should be the prayer of the people' he opined. Never mind that during the dinosaur craze after some film a few years ago the average seven year old knew precisely what a Tyrannosaurus Rex was.
I very much doubt (and probably so does he) that his efforts will actually achieve what he wants, but they are certainly capable of causing a nuisance, and have done so in this case. Now the vote will have to be carried out by post, since a great number of the US bishops simply weren't at the meeting, having more interesting things to do than listen to old fish-face tell them, in effect, that the people in their diocese are simply stupid.
Okay, perhaps I'm laying it on a bit. What he means is that Mass should be in the same sort of English that football commentators use, or shoppers in Walmart use. In principle. No doubt he would use words like Incarnational. God became human, God used spittle and mud, so we should not be ashamed to observe the same earthy elements to find God. Well, I see the point, up to a point, but surely God became man so that we might become Divine……
…da nobis, per huius aquae et vini mysterium, eius divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostrae fieri dignatus est particeps. And in the meantime, let us seek the things that are above, where Christ is. Christ became human, and, though God, is still, forever, human, but he has been raised to glory. It is, then, in glory that we must seek him.
Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing by
we shall see him, but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high.
Cartoon courtesy of the Catholic Cartoon Blog.