David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Sun May 13 21:00:08 EDT 2001


Compiled by David W. Virtue

Vatican rejects obscuring male, female terms in translations

By Ann Rodgers-Melnick,
Post-Gazette Staff Writer

In what amounts to a victory for Catholic conservatives the Vatican has
laid down new rules that repudiate the efforts of U.S. bishops to
provide liturgical and biblical texts that are more friendly to women.
The new rules -- called "Authentic Liturgy" -- favor literal
translations of the original Latin, Greek and Hebrew texts and strongly
discourage rendering the word traditionally translated as "man" into
"humanity" or "men and women" as is sometimes done.

The document also asserts Vatican control over a translation committee
that English-speaking bishops rely on for liturgical texts. Some
conservatives have accused the committee of injecting feminism into the
liturgy. Liturgical texts should not be "overly servile" to "prevailing
modes of expression," the document said, adding that if church language
differs from everyday speech, it becomes special and memorable. U.S.
bishops have never advocated gender-neutral terms for God or Jesus. But
in 1990 they adopted principles that called for gender-inclusive
references to mixed groups of human beings. "Brothers" could become
"brothers and sisters." Singular pronouns could be made plural so that
"Let him who has ears listen" could become "Let those who have ears

In fact, over the past five to 10 years, English-language translations
of the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II have stopped using the
collective term "man" and changed it to "men and women." But the rules
have not been clear until now and a logjam of liturgical documents that
the Vatican had declined to approve has built up over the last 10

Rwandan Bishop pleads not guilty

by Pat Ashworth Church Times

THE FORMER Rwandan Bishop of Shyogwe, the Rt Revd Samuel Musabyimana, has
pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and
crimes against humanity, specifically extermination
(News, 4 May).

The Bishop appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday of last week, wearing his episcopal robes.
The charges against him were most unjust, he told Judge William Sekule
in Arusha, Tanzania.

Addressing himself to all his fellow bishops, to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, to all Christians in Shyogwe, and to his family, he said
that he was innocent of the charges against him, his conscience was
clear, and he needed their prayers. He had earlier complained to the
Court about the manner and cir-cumstances of his arrest, which his
lawyer will challenge.

No date has yet been set for the hearing and it is not known whether
the Bishop will be tried jointly with other accused. He is the second
cleric to be arrested. Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutiman, who was
transferred from the USA last year, will be tried in September.

Questions continue to be raised about the Anglican Church's silence
over the genocide, and why, amid rumours about his involvement, the
Bishop was permitted to continue in ministry after fleeing to Kenya in
1994. He ran a charity there, and a Sunday Times report this week said
UN investigators believed it to have been a front for organisers of the


The revival of the Sarum Mass.


Recently Scotland's University of Aberdeen celebrated the 500th
anniversary of King's College Chapel with a remarkable historical
resurrection. For only the second time since the Scottish Reformation
of 1560, a Catholic Mass was said at the Chapel. Not just any Mass but
the elaborate Sarum Rite, which had virtually disappeared from the
Roman Catholic Church's liturgical practice.

Until the Reformation, the Sarum Rite was the standard liturgy in most
of England, Scotland and Ireland. It was brought to England in 1078 by
St. Osmund, a Norman nobleman who came with William the Conqueror and
became the Bishop of Sarum (or Salisbury). Nearly 500 years later,
Thomas Cranmer, the first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury, banned
the Sarum Mass but borrowed heavily from it as he designed the Anglican
Church's Book of Common Prayer. The Sarum Rite is thus not only the
pre-Reformation rite of the English Catholic Church but the foundation
of the modern Episcopal liturgy.

 Today, unless one is lucky enough to be in Aberdeen during a
quincentenary, it is difficult to attend a Sarum Mass. But elements of
the 1,000-year-old rite are being revived in New York. At Columbia
University, a choral group called Sarum has dedicated itself to
restoring the liturgy's evening and nighttime prayers.

 Each Sunday evening at the university chapel, St. Paul's, the group
sings the Compline (or prayers said by the monks before retiring to
bed), using the old Sarum Breviary and Sarum chant. Led by Columbia
music professor Ian Bent, the group sings the prayers as a choir would
have in 13th-century England, using original manuscripts and even re-
creating the medieval English pronunciations of Latin.

Greek church 'deeply dissatisfied' after papal visit

Warsaw (ENI). The (Orthodox) Church of Greece is "deeply dissatisfied"
with Pope John Paul II's visit to Athens last week, according to one of
the church's leaders, who said the papal pilgrimage had eroded chances
for dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. "As the
first visit by the head of the Roman Catholic Church and Vatican state,
this was a positive event," said Metropolitan Chrysostomos Zaphiris of
Peristerion. "But although the Pope opened certain windows in ties
between our churches, he closed others by his silence -particularly the
possibilities for continuing theological dialogue." [1023 words,

ESSENTIALS conference will see and hear the Archbishop of Canterbury
(the Most Rev. Dr. George Carey), as he gives a specially prepared
presentation by video at the June 14th-19th Essentials 2001 Conference
in Western Canada. For those still interested in attending this
'essential' conference go to:


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