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Lost in Translation

The English Language and the Catholic Mass

Lost in Translation

The English Language and the Catholic Mass

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Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 9780814644577
Number of Pages: 128
Published: 15/10/2017

In this book, Gerald O'Collins, SJ, takes a systematic look at the 2010 English translation of the Roman Missal and the ways it fails to achieve what the Second Vatican Council mandated: the full participation of priest and people. Critiquing the unsatisfactory principles prescribed by the Vatican instruction Liturgiam Authenticam (2001), this book, which includes a chapter by John Wilkins:

- tells the story of the maneuverings that sidelined the 1998 translation approved by eleven conferences of English-speaking bishops,

- criticizes the 2010 translation, and

- illustrates the clear superiority of the 1998 translation, the "Missal that never was" 


Authors' Note 


1. The Missal That Never Was - John Wilkins

2. Translation into the Vernacular: Two Guidelines

3. The Roman Missal of December 2010 

4. The Suppressed Translation of 1998 

5. The Opening Prayers of the 1998 Missal

6. A Tale of Two Missals (1998 and 2010) 

Postscript: September 2017

Selected Bibliography 

Index of Names

Gerald O'Collins , John Wilkins

Gerald O'Collins, SJ, is an adjunct professor at Australian Catholic University and a research fellow at the University of Divinity in Melbourne. He taught at the Gregorian University in Rome for thirty-three years and is well known as a lecturer and broadcaster around the world. Fr. O'Collins has had hundreds of articles published in professional and popular journals and authored or co-authored sixty-seven books, including The Second Vatican Council: Message and Meaning (Liturgical Press, 2014). John Wilkins, edited the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet from 1982 until his retirement in 2003.

"The timing of this publication, as it happens, could not have been better. The role of the bishops in taking primary responsibility for the liturgical texts authorized for use in their own countries and linguistic communities is now consistent with that envisioned at Vatican II. New reasons for hope for a truly vernacular and participative liturgy."-- Susan Roll, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada

"Here is a required book for any class in contemporary Roman Catholic eucharistic liturgy today.  With serious ecumenical implications as well (especially with regard to what were common texts of the Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei), this book needs to be read by all in light of Pope Francis's call for a reevaluation of Liturgiam authenticam. May O'Collins's hope be realized and may the 2010 text become but a footnote in the history of the Roman Rite." -- Maxwell E. Johnson, University of Notre Dame

"At last we have a comprehensive treatment of the sad history of the Vatican's dismantling of ICEL's efforts at providing us with translations that are both elegant and communicative. My favorite line: `Before I die, I would be delighted to celebrate once again the Eucharist in my native language.' This book provides trenchant criticism of the current translation of the Roman Missal and wonderful observations on the 1998 `Missal that wasn't.' As in so many areas of contemporary theology, we are once again in O'Collins's debt." -- John F. Baldovin, SJ, Professor of Historical and Liturgical Theology, Boston College School of Theology & Ministry

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