8 April 2022

"A Direct Frontal attack on Christian Tradition."

 A visit to the princeps bibliopolarum, Mr Christopher Zealley, M.A., down opposite the entrance to Christ Church Meadow. He has on sale a translation of the Breviary as translated into English during the brief period when clergy who had such faculties were allowed to say the old Office in an approved vernacular translation. The Collects are ... translated by Christine Mohrmann!

Also, another interesting curiosity, which was among my purchases. Readers will know that the beginning of the whole modern disastrous onslaught upon the Latin Rite was the authorisation by Pius XII of a new Latin translation of the Psalter, known as the Psalterium Pianum but popularly as the Bea Psalter. Mohrmann did (in French) a beautiful hatchet-job on it in Vigiliae 1947; reprinted in Volume III of her Etudes. But a year later she read a Dutch version of her paper to a society of Dutch graduates, which is a trifle less academic and noticeably more combattive (it was translated into English by an American Benedictine). 

It is very jolly to compare the two versions.

Just one little example.

In the published French version, she refers to one of the mistakes of the Bea Psalter as "peu heureuse". But in the Dutch paper, as translated by Abbot McCann and purchased by me, she described it as ...

(... come to think of it, one could apply this lapidary phrase to the entire process of liturgical mayhem perpetrated by Pius XII and S Paul VI from 1941 onwards ...)

"a direct, frontal attack on Christian tradition".

St Philip's Books is at 82 St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1RA (sales@stphilipsbooks.co.uk) 

00 44 1865 202182 


Stephen v.B. said...

The paper you cite, Father, translated by Abbot McCann, can also be found in Mohrmann's Études: Volume II, pp. 109-131 ('The New Latin Psalter: its diction and style').

Stephen Barber said...

Which translation of the breviary was that? I have and use the Anglican breviary, whcvih was translated by a team into traditional liturgical English, using the BCP and the KJV Bible. it is based on the 1911 Roman Breviary, adapted, and with some extra hymns and so on from Sarum and elsewhere.

OreamnosAmericanus said...

Speaking of direct frontal attcks on Christian Tradition, Pope Francis is welcoming hordes of Muslim "migrants and refugees" into the Catholic island of Malta and had the crucifix at the stadium covered over so as not to offend them. But he sat with a display of empty plastic bottles instead and talked about ecology.

The two items are not unrelated: the self-erasure of the Christians and the promotion of Europe's destruction by invasion from the Third World.

If you know the history of Malta in relation of Islam, it is doubly grotesque.

Dante is going to have to open up a whole new ring of Hell for these people.

Albertus said...

I am the unhappy owner of a Rituale Romanum containing the Bea Psalter: it is horrendous. Thank God that pope St. John XXIII did away with it. I bought it quite unwittingly many years ago in Paris at a Catholic antique book shop behind the Pantheon. To its credit, it did contain the old Psalter in an appendix for optional use. I never use the booj, as I also happily own an older Rituale Romanum with the Vulgata Psalter. I'd truly very much want to own a copy of the Officium Divinum containing St. Jerome's first version of the Psalter, which was almost identical to the old Itala, in use by the Lateran Canons until 1970, if i rightly remember.

armyarty said...

My own Latin is very bad indeed (as is my French, Spanish, and Gaelic!) It seems that I have no head for languages! Yet, even I can see that many English translations of the Latin, even pre-Vatican II were very bad. No only is the English clunky, but the meanings are often not translated correctly.

Things got much worse with the Novus Ordo. It always amazes me that most Catholics think that it is a translation of the Mass, which- of course- it is NOT. It is something new. What I call the "Divine Liturgy of Pope Paul VI." It might be sacramentally valid, but it is not The Mass!

Why, I wonder, can a church full of uneducated Haitian immigrants manage all the responses for the Latin Mass, and sing every last verse of the Salve Mater correctly, but most Americans with master's degrees and PhDs from Catholic colleges get their back up if so much as the Kyrie is not in English?

Joe Stenson said...

Well, well,, so now you think Pius XII was a liturgical modernist ? In fact he was one of the greatest popes our Church has ever had. After meeting him, president Roosevelt said Pius XII was the holiest man on earth. I respect your concern for good translations. I am satisfied with the Psalms in the Divine Office we use in the U.S.- called the Grail Psalter . - PAX

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

The vernacular Breviary to which you refer, edited by Dom Bede Babo OSB, was authorised for American clergy, whose Latin was already apparently not up to scratch, it was as far as I know never allowed elsewhere. It is the most wonderful resource, and used by several lay religious friends of mine not bound to a particular office. It is the full 1962 Office in one volume, thus you may read the Matins patristic texts in the vernacular therein. They are now rare and expensive. Snap it up!

Christine Mohrmann - what a girl, as Americans would say. Much of her writing was in French, yet she was selected to translate these collects into English. The Church needs such women today. Her writings upon the texts of the Office are seminal, the Church has chosen to forget her as they simply don’t what to hear. Too clever and too conservative undoes her street-cred of being a woman. What a sad world.

To Mr Stenton. Indeed, Pius XII - the Pope who thought he should dismantle the Easter Rites, the Pope who appointed Hannibal Bugnini to do so, who opened up the Liturgy as a legitimate discussion-point for Pope John’s Council, and started the whole liturgical juggernaut of reform which resulted in the Missal of 1970. A true revolutionary, even though perhaps he did not realise what he was doing.Always a dangerous error. A man who knew no laziness - always a weakness. Of course, had you said to Fr Hunwicke that it was not Pius XII who invented the notion that the Pope has the authority to change, or impose the liturgy, but Pius X, you would have had a valid point. And before anyone may mention Pius V, he neither changed not imposed anything.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Apologies for misspelling Mr Stenson’s name. Can you correct it?

Joe Stenson said...

Muris - It is sad that long after Pius XII's death, people continue to criticize him. He should have been canonized by now. Rest assured that he is in heaven and does not care what people write about him. St. Padre Pio related a dream he had of Pius XII, the night this pope died. He saw him enter heaven, without spending any time in purgatory.- I recommend the book "The Godmother"- about sister Pascalina, cardinal Pacelli's advisor and friend. I am 70 and grew up with the TLM +

Rubricarius said...

If, for a consecrated parish church, the suppression of ten Vigils and nineteen Octaves from the Calendar (not to mention some local ones), the ravishing of Holy Week in a trial run for some of the worst of the Pauline reforms, the abolition of the ancient Eucharist fast etc, etc are not "a full frontal attack on Christian tradition" I would really don't know what is.

Prayerful said...

@Josephus Muris Saliensis The Vincentian Bugnini, or so Yves Chiron suggests, did not dismantle the Holy Week, although he played a definite role. He was the secretary to the the Committee for the Reform the Liturgy, and did such things as draw up indexes and literature reviews. One prominent member Franciscan Fr Antonelli is on record deeming many of its rites as superstitious. If the then Fr Bugnini decided at the end of the sixties to head off, to find himself, there were plenty of liturgical experimenters and radicals left in Rome.

The Versio Piana recital of Psalm 6 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBK_MOV-s5E&t=2s) does show an effort to make it work, but given how so many report this knotty text to be impossible to sing well, it boggles belief how it was introduced. If they wanted to hark back, they could have made the use of the mediaeval psalter, maybe only used in St Peters', which otherwise was reformed by Urban VIII, general, or perhaps a fresh edition of St Jerome's version of the psalter.

armyarty said...

Pius XII always baffles me. That he had favorites, such as the Torlonia family, cannot be doubted. That he was responsible for great damage to the liturgy is simply a fact.

Needless to say, he was totally innocent of any sympathy toward Nazism, and worked tirelessly to help the Jews, among others.

BUT, Mr. Stenson, that Franklin Roosevelt thought that Pius XII was the "holiest man on earth" leaves me flabergasted. Franklin Roosevelt, the serial adulterer, who kept a cousin for a mistress (his wife was also a cousin- I am not referring to her,) who thought Stalin charming, who came from an anti-Catholic family, whose wife came from an even MORE anti-Catholic family, who's worked tirelessly to abolish Catholic education, whose mother bullied all of her socialite friends into donating the money to convert St. Paul's, Eastchester into a radical protestant preaching hall, leaving its Anglo-Catholic congregant's broken-hearted, that is the person you are calling on as a witness of holiness? The same FDR who ran Jimmy Walker out of the mayor's chair with false accusations of corruption, because he wanted to show protestant America that he had no ties to the Catholic politicians of New York! Words fail me.