12 February 2023

Problems about being at the mercy of the underlings of absolute monarchs.

 On my bookshelves, I have two copies of Pacem in Terris, a 1963 Encyclical of S John XXIII; both of them in the livery of the Catholic Truth Society. The first, printed in May 1963, tells us that "This translation was originally published by the Vatican Polyglot Press and is here reproduced by their kind permission".

The second, printed in August 1963, gives this information: "Translated by Rev H. E. Winstone M.A. from the Latin text as published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. LV, 1963, num. 5. ... This translation supersedes that of the Vatican Polyglot Press previously issued by the Catholic Truth Society."

I like the situation which this reveals: the CTS (or the English Bishops?) didn't like the Vatican translation, and so they commissioned a better and more accurate translation back here in Blightie.

Good for them.

My impression is that, nowadays, unlatinate Britons only ever get to see the Vatican 'translation'; and there is also a need to remember that these Vatican 'versions' are often not translated from any Latin text at all but (I think most commonly) from an Italian draft.

Let's look at two recent examples of Vatican sharp practice.

(1) In Traditionis custodes, there is an interesting detail: at one point, bishops are urged to consult Rome about a particular matter.

Half a year later, a new version of that (already disgraceful) document emerged, asking bishops, not to consult the Vatican, but to get permission from the Vatican.

So ... which version must be correct?

Enter the mighty figure of Arthur Roche. He waggled his forefinger in all our faces and piously proclaimed that we should obey the latest version ... fair enough ... but note the reason he gave for this: that the Latin version is normative.

Hang on ... Rome had not originally provided any Latin version. How were bishops supposed to guess ... etc.. Are they given crystal balls in the modern rite of  'episcopal ordination'?

We don't need an Agatha Christie to work out what happened. It is obvious. Somebody decided that this detail should be changed ... somebody wanted it tightened up. This was done by the simple expedient of issuing an apparently previously non-existent official Latin Text and directing us to treat this as normative.

(2) Even more recently, Roche has apparently instructed some American bishops that Traditionis custodes revokes the right of bishops canonically to dispense from Universal Law. But even the text of Traditionis custodes does not contain any such statement or reservation.

In today's Vatican, there are clearly people who consider that, like the practicioners of Ingsoc in 1984, they have the right to rewrite History; even to defactualise facts; which functions, necessary in any tyranny, are carried out ... of course ... in the Ministry of Truth..


I bet that the bit of paper which PF originally signed didn't have these new glosses. But ... what the hell ... who bl**dy cares ... it's important to make all those common and ordinary bishops, clerics, and laics, grovel.

Noses right down into the mud, chaps.

I profoundly dislike this present-day culture and the praxis of a Vatican in which bishops, clerics, and laics are all at the mercy of bureaucrats who experience a need to keep up with the unstable prejudices of their Master.

Legislative texts should be issued in an official, properly legally attested, Latin text, and vernacular translations of these texts should be on the authority of local Bishops, Successors of the Apostles, or their Conferences. Such texts should not be regarded as fluid products which a distant bureaucrat is permanently at liberty to 'evolve' in any way he chooses.

Anything different from this is what we Brits used to call arbitrary rule; and which we Brits used to regard as the very hallmark of tyranny.



gutsy said...

Mmmm…I remember something about a long ago Bishop complaining about a big meeting in Rome that he “ entered a Bishop and and left as a sacristan”.

Kathleen1031 said...

I appreciate this assessment, Fr. Hunwicke, and share it. As a layperson, I comprehend the tyranny and direction taken by this monstrous machine, once lovingly called the Holy See. We have endured years now, of psychological torment, unending gaslighting, abusive verbal attacks and insults, the denigrating and destruction of the true faith, and here we are today, beaten, unsure of everything save Christ and His ultimate victory, on which we hope.
These men are evil, only evil, and our hearts go out to you and to all faithful seminarians, priests, deacons, religious, bishops, who must operate in this system of corruption, disorder, and mental, spiritual, and emotional abuse. It is clergy who suffer most, for obvious reasons.
These times are evil, we are ruled by corrupt, deranged and revolting men with not so hidden passions. We see them, they are as naked as the emperor. They enjoy turning the screws. They come not from heaven but from hell.
God be with you, and with all faithful priests. God be with us.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

And yet the protagonist here is a Brit, of sorts. "Shame!"

Chris said...

I feel it would be interesting, if you had time, to compare the two versions with each other and with the Latin. (Even if I had the documents, the task would be beyond my own meagre Latin skills.)

Arthur Gallagher said...

Assuming that it is in the original:

Why not just dispense from the prohibition on dispensations?

The situation that we are in with this pope is unreasonable and arbitrary outbursts masquerading as promulgated and valid acts.

People should just quietly ignore the suspect edicts of the current regime.

What is PF going to do? How can his retribution be any worse than the way he treats the humble and compliant victims of his ill will?

PM said...

A disturbing question about England: will it be Roche who has the decisive say in appointing English bishops? I gather that he is not very popular among his English episcopal confreres.

Prayerful said...

Historian and quondam Knight (due to his book) of Malta Henry Sire marshalled various arguments to suggest our dear Holy Father Pope was Peronist. And this can mean that the version and translation games can be very much by design. There may be many laws but the relevant interpretation is a very much a matter of personal favour from Maximum Leader or authorised favourites. Allied to this is that any prevailing ideology never becomes clear or varies with the mood of the Leader. Hence Peronist Argentina sheltered various Nazis after extensive pre War ties with that ideology while engaging in social reformism and political shenanigans at home. Now hostility to TLM is clear enough now, but Francis had an amiable private meeting last year post TC with SSPX SG Dom Pagliarini and for years the attitude to TLM seemed moderate in a practical way.

Most of all, unclear texts variably translated has been a feature and no bug of V2 and Francis very much is a man of V2.

DM said...

Still think this is Roche?

DM said...

How is 'bad translation' or 'bossy underlings' going to get us out of this one?