Rev. Edward Foley Extended Interview

Watch more of correspondent Judy Valente’s interview on the new Roman Missal with Rev. Edward Foley, professor of liturgy and music at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.


  • Jerome Knies

    Thanks, Fr. Ed Foley.

    Your best “spin” on the bishops is appreciated. And I agree with you about how this is to be presented/ministered to the people. I don’t have to pretend it is a good idea, because pretense diminishes a pastoral presence. I think the majority of bishops had nothing to do with the new translation except following the leader. Pious sycophancy is not obedient discernment.

    I can not get out of my head the notion that for the most part most of the bishops had nothing to do with the decision as a pastoral responsibility. It comes down from the top from people who did what they did because they can. To me it smacks of the same attitude that could not address the sexual abuse scandal. No one is willing to sign their own name to the new translation. They listen to a “god” that tells them what they already know: “I know better than people who speak/write English for a living!”

    I take my comfort in this from having done what I could to prevent this enormous waste of energy and financial resources on a poor to bad product. I wrote to Cardinal George and Paul Turner and a couple of other folks “in power” to try to change some minds on this but it was not their minds that needed my efforts. I asked for one pastoral reason I could use to help people I serve find how this decision contributed to their spiritual direction and life of faith. The response I got from Turner was pious chatter.

    Notwithstanding all of the above (and more) I see it as an opportunity to review what we have been saying as prayer in English. The trick is to help people encounter the Word to and within themselves no language adequately translates like one’s life of patient forgiveness (especially of clergy types), peace, joy and love. I can’t be satisfied with the job they have done on the liturgy but I pray for the grace to do a decent if not satisfactory job with the people I serve as the priest of our liturgy, their Eucharist and mine. For example:

    “Consubstantial” better indicates a sharing Trinity rather than a self enclosed “One God”.
    “Many”: many more than are here present
    “rationabilem acceptabilemque” (Roman Canon): needs a long story but I think this translates the meaning: May this Holy Spirit make the meaning of my self offering have the meaning of the self offering Word (logos/logiki…) of God.

    Thanks for your pleasant mindfulness to help us deal with a rather stupid issue as lined up with human trafficking, tsunamis, globalization, global warming, starving and dieing children, etc. I am thinking the major immediate ecclesial issue is the recovery of the dignity I would hope to find in our bishops. Maybe Judas was just a pious sycophant after all.

    In Christ,
    Jerry Knies, osa.

  • Chris Haidari

    As someone who has gone 13 years to Catholic school and in someway volunteered in her parish as well as continue a study of the history of my faith and the Mass, there are much bigger issues at stake than a more perfect translation of the Latin Mass. Jesus and his Apostles may have known it, but it wasn’t what they taught in. To focus on the Latin Mass and not on God with us …….well, words cannot convey my disappointment in those given (or who have chosen) the responsibility of leading us to a closer relationship with God.

  • Jay Dobbin, Diocese GF-B

    Would you consider it disrupting if a couple of us were to form something of a Greek chorus and at appropriate moments in your forthcoming presentations in GF Montana and to chant with Jerry Knies’ (see above) memorable response to the bishops: “Pious sycophancy is not obedient discernment, ” perhaps if we get our act together, in some appropriate transliteration such as ” pium sycophantium delendum est; discernans obedientiam mandatum est,” but then that has not more ring that the liturgical transliterations. JD