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Living The Catholic Life
March 11, 2010 - Mike Frank
Today, let's talk about procrastination....but we'll do that later!
Seriously, for this post, I would like to discuss a topic that has come up in discussions with some of my colleagues here at The Post-Journal.
This is the middle of Lent, so I'll discuss a few matters of faith — more specifically, MY faith, which is Roman Catholicism.
I was raised Catholic, I have always been Catholic, and there is little evidence that will ever change. Simply put, I stand with Rome.
Recently, I was challenged about eating fish on Fridays, a requirement during Lent. It used to be a requirement all year round, in case you were not aware. According to a couple of co-workers, the flesh of the fish constitues "meat" in a biological sense, the same as beef, chicken, turkey, etc.
My reply to that argument is two-fold:
1. Canon Law states that abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics age 14 and up. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics between 18 and 59 are required to fast (only one full meal), unless they should not for health/medical reasons. The key word is LAW, according to the Church.
2. According to Jewish and Catholic regulations, fish are not in the same category as other mammals, birds, and so forth.
So why is eating fish permissible? Because the Church says so.
This gives me the opportunity to use two of my favorite sayings, which help make the above point.
First, the Church is NOT a democracy. Lay people do not get to vote on the rules and regulations. That's up to the bishops, College of Cardinals, and of course, the Pope.
Second, I'll throw some Latin at you. Ready? Roma locuta, causa finita est. It means, Rome has spoken, the cause is finished, and it comes from St. Augustine.
This is what I personally enjoy about being Catholic. Rules and practices are supposed to be followed as a sign of your belief in the faith. I welcome any thoughts and comments you may have on this topic.
Also in the category of Catholic news, I was surfing the information superhighway recently. At the Washington Post's Web site. there is a section (or page, or whatever term you prefer) called "On Faith" which includes columns by Anthony Stevens-Arroyo on "Catholic America."
I read through several of his columns. One big topic of discussion was the changes that are being finalized to the the Roman Missal. The missal contains the prayers, readings, responses for the Mass. With me so far? Good.
The "typical" edition, which means the "baseline" edition, was updated in 1962 (by Pope John XXIII) and then in 1969 (by Paul VI), the latter reflecting the changes made by the Second Vatican Council.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II put forth an updated edition. The Latin version was published in 2002. Since then, the Church has been working on translating it to other languages.
English has proved quite a challenge. But what the Church is doing is getting back to a more direct translation of the Latin.
A couple examples:
When the priest says "The Lord is with you." (Latin: Dominus vobiscum), the people say, "And also with you" But the Latin is "Et cum spirito tuo." So the response will soon be "And with your spirit."
In the Nicene Creed (also known as the profession of faith), one example of change is that we will now say Jesus was "made incarnate" rather than "born" of the Virgin Mary. The Latin version is "Et incarnatus (Aha!) est de Spritu Sancto, ex Maria Virgine...."
Mr. Stevens-Arroyo, who apparently is a "professor" of something or other according to the comments sections, feels that this "Latinese" is not necessary and won't appeal to those who grew up after the changes from the Second Vatican Council.
As part of that generation (born in 1974), I say he is WRONG. First, the Mass should have stayed in Latin. It's not that hard to learn the responses, especially with repetition every week. But for those who use English, this is a "cleaner" translation, and therefore more proper than the current version. [By the way, "Vatican II" proves that sequels ARE usually a bad idea. :)]
Bishop Donald Trautman of the Diocese of Erie (in which I used to live) has voiced several objections to the process. At one point he complained because the Vatican was taking care of a few minor responses. (He is also a proponent of "inclusive" language, i.e. using "people" where the Bible says "man". BAD IDEA.)
To Stevens-Arroyo, Bishop Trautman, and those who share their views, I say again: Rome (through the bishops) has spoken, the matter is closed!
Okay, time to put the soapbox away for a bit. I'll be back, always SPEAKING FRANKLY
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