Fun With Conciliarist Language

It seems to me that sloppy language is a sign of sloppy thinking, which is why I have problems with either careless or intentional corruptions of the language. The term “gay” to mean homosexual (and “straight” for heterosexual, both terms pushed by homosexual activists), and same-sex “marriage” are some examples from the secular world, but ever since the infamous “subsists in” of Lumen Gentium, the Church has joined the barbarians in the corruption and misuse of language.

Sometimes it’s just a word or phrase used incorrectly, such as a World Youth Day (singular) which this year will be from July 23 – July 28. This is a day? If “Catholic Woodstock” has to last nearly a week, why not just add an ‘s’ to the end? Or, the current 13-month “Year of Faith” declared by Benedict XVI. Is that extra month really necessary? No wonder the Novus Ordo calendar is such a mess!

Other times, it’s intentional mistranslation, as with “pro multis” being turned into “for all”, in an effort to make it sound “nicer”.

And then there are entire documents written in a manner that requires an accompanying explanatory letter, such as Summorum Pontificum. Except that, in this case, the explanation possibly causes even more confusion. The main point of S.P. is supposedly the “freeing” of the 1962 Missal. However, between the document and its explanatory letter, we are told both that priests do not need their bishops’ permission to celebrate the Traditional Mass and that bishops retain the right to “regulate the liturgy” within their dioceses — in other words, bishops can deny the permission that is not needed.

Similarly, Benedict’s directive/suggestion regarding limiting homosexual access to seminaries had enough loopholes to allow homophile bishops to continue business as usual, even if perhaps a bit less flamboyantly in some cases.

Over the years, this kind of writing coming from the Vatican has become so prevalent that it’s difficult not to think that they are being intentionally ambiguous, so as to allow (if not actually encourage) contradictory interpretations or implementations of the same documents by different people.

And here’s a local example of sloppy language I’ve seen just this week at a Novus Ordo church near where I work. Their big sign out front says, “Youth Adoration – 7PM Wednesday”. Now, I assume/hope that what this means is Eucharistic Adoration by youths, but with those wacky Novus Ordites, you never know — it could be teenagers adoring each other, or some creepy old guys adoring the youth who show up, or it could be some kind of semi-prot “charismatic” retreat/seance/campfire/scavenger hunt… the local bishop is really into that stuff (the “charismatic” stuff, that is; I don’t know his opinion on scavenger hunts, etc.). The good news is that he’s retiring soon; the bad news is that his replacement will not be named Fellay, Tissier, de Galarreta, or Williamson.

So that’s it. While ambiguity and intentional misuse of words can be used for comedic effect, it’s important to use the language correctly when trying to communicate serious ideas.

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3 comments on “Fun With Conciliarist Language

  1. Ugh! All those grey t shirts and blue jeans reminds me of communist China under Mao.

  2. Hey, if you want a real taste of what it would feel like to stand up on a soap box in stinky, icky downtown Peking and yell at the top of your lungs, “You Communists Are A Bunch of Cannibals and You Can All &#% @$%!!!!” just try telling some Nervous Ordeal Youth Minister or DRE that turning adoration of the Blessed Sacrament into a scene from Teen Fever USA ain’t such a great idea.

    I’d wager they’d both be pretty much similar experiences……

  3. Ohmygosh, Glornt! You still BELIEVE in sanity?

    How positively LAST millennium of you!!!!!

    : – )

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