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Daily Catholic Question

Are lectors allowed to change the words in readings?

No, we are not supposed to make up our own translations of the readings of the Lectionary. There is, however, some looseness in adapting or translating the readings for use in children's Masses. And, apart from the readings, there are places in the liturgical rites where the celebrant or minister is given a choice of prayers, told to invite, introduce or use other suitable words, without any specific formula being given.

Concerning the problem you raise about readers changing words, R. Kevin Seasoltz says in New Liturgy, New Laws (The Liturgical Press): "If observance of a law occasions the rejection of the liturgy or the Church by a large segment of the community, surely the traditional teaching of epikeia justifies the non-observance of the law. This affirmation is in keeping with the medieval axiom that sacraments are for people; people do not exist for the Church. For example, in communities that are aware of and committed to efforts to assure justice for women and minorities in the Church, the use of sexist language in the liturgy is often both irritating and alienating: In some instances it arouses deep hostility.

"Sometimes the bias against women is built into the vernacular translation but not into the original Latin text. There is no reason why the words 'pro multis' in the text of [eucharistic] institution within the anaphora need to be translated 'for all men.' To avoid harm and insult to the community, ministers have rightly changed the text and avoided sexist language."

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Friday, October 12, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 10/11/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 10/13/2012


Bernard of Clairvaux: Man of the century! Woman of the century! You see such terms applied to so many today—“golfer of the century,” “composer of the century,” “right tackle of the century”—that the line no longer has any punch. But Western Europe's “man of the twelfth century,” without doubt or controversy, has to be Bernard of Clairvaux. Adviser of popes, preacher of the Second Crusade, defender of the faith, healer of a schism, reformer of a monastic Order, Scripture scholar, theologian and eloquent preacher: any one of these titles would distinguish an ordinary man. Yet Bernard was all of these—and he still retained a burning desire to return to the hidden monastic life of his younger days. 
<p>In the year 1111, at the age of 20, Bernard left his home to join the monastic community of Citeaux. His five brothers, two uncles and some 30 young friends followed him into the monastery. Within four years a dying community had recovered enough vitality to establish a new house in the nearby valley of Wormwoods, with Bernard as abbot. The zealous young man was quite demanding, though more on himself than others. A slight breakdown of health taught him to be more patient and understanding. The valley was soon renamed Clairvaux, the valley of light. </p><p>His ability as arbitrator and counselor became widely known. More and more he was lured away from the monastery to settle long-standing disputes. On several of these occasions he apparently stepped on some sensitive toes in Rome. Bernard was completely dedicated to the primacy of the Roman See. But to a letter of warning from Rome, he replied that the good fathers in Rome had enough to do to keep the Church in one piece. If any matters arose that warranted their interest, he would be the first to let them know. </p><p>Shortly thereafter it was Bernard who intervened in a full-blown schism and settled it in favor of the Roman pontiff against the antipope. </p><p>The Holy See prevailed on Bernard to preach the Second Crusade throughout Europe. His eloquence was so overwhelming that a great army was assembled and the success of the crusade seemed assured. The ideals of the men and their leaders, however, were not those of Abbot Bernard, and the project ended as a complete military and moral disaster. </p><p>Bernard felt responsible in some way for the degenerative effects of the crusade. This heavy burden possibly hastened his death, which came August 20, 1153.</p> American Catholic Blog One of the things that we need to remember is that we’re preaching Jesus, not the institutional Church. It’s easy to get caught up in the rules and regulations of the institution and forget that we are saved not by the Church but by the person of Jesus or the Church as the body of Christ.

 
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