UD: The Full Story
Regarding “Resignations Rock University of Dallas” (May 20–26): You neglected to print the end of this article!
Unfortunately one of the most interesting articles in some time had to be chopped off. This left us up in the air as to further information about the forming of this new school and the demise of the old, which was extremely disappointing.
I, for one, am delighted to hear that Dr. Bushman is going to continue his excellent work at Ave Maria. I sincerely hope that the areas served by the new school will include Southern California, even if it has to be San Diego. How about locating it at Santa Paula and St. Thomas Aquinas College, for example?
I found the article very interesting but the article did not receive the proofreading attention it deserved. This is not the standard to which I am accustomed.
Keep up the good work! We certainly have to have something to compete with the other material permitted to be in the racks in our diocese.
KEN BRINKMAN via e-mail
While Hennessey admitted that it is too early to say what she will do, she says her instinct is to pursue the program through Ave Maria. “We are each at UD for different reasons. I am there for those professors and if there is any way possible, I would like to follow them.”
The Non-Violent Vampire Slayer
As a subscriber to Register let me first say that I really appreciate and enjoy your newspaper. It is a refreshing relief from the secular press.
That said, I have a complaint. In your May 20–26 issue, you have an article on page two, “Bad Business: Viewers Tune Out Ads on Violent shows,” that defames one of our favorite TV shows, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
The article hooks “Buffy” to such other violent shows as “WWF Smackdown” and “Die Hard.” (Those are the only ones I've even seen once — the others are unfamiliar to me.) I only saw a portion of one “Smackdown” show, and I saw “Die Hard” some years ago, but my recollection of both those shows is that they tried to portray their violence as real or at least directed at real people. If I recall “Die Hard” correctly, people were getting shot multiple times all throughout the movie. “Smackdown” was, as I recall, more clownish, with muscle-bound guys throwing chairs at each other.
“Buffy”, on the other hand, is pure fantasy. It is about vampires, demons, witches and assorted otherworldly creatures, who for the most part are dispatched but not killed. Most of them are already dead — which is a large part of their problem.
The fight scenes on “Buffy” are not really violent — they're more like very acrobatic ballet with punching and kicking. But having watched the show for some time, I can't recall the last time I saw anybody really get hurt. Considering that most of the characters who actually do the fighting are supposed to have superhuman strength, the blows have very little effect. The choreography of the fight scenes is remarkable for TV. “Buffy” has some of the most acrobatic stunt people you'll ever see in a syndicated TV show.
Mostly, “Buffy” is just a trendy soap opera peopled by strange and unbelievable characters — only some of whom happen to be human … sort of. Trash? You bet! Predictable? Absolutely! Forgettable? Undoubtedly! But violent? No. Just a relatively harmless hour of escapism, with some really funny writing.
DAVID R. KLUGE Sheridan, Oregon
An Ambiguously Pro-Life President?
The topic of President Bush's “pro-life-ness” (Letters, May 27-June 2) raises a deeper question. When the president began contemplating his bid for the White House in late 1998, where were his pro-life coaches? Why didn't those with pro-life political action committees, or those with an alleged “inside track,” press him to tighten up his position?
Where were the people who could have helped him articulate an authentic pro-life position — one that does not allow for killing in certain instances such as rape, incest and life of the mother?
If we who are leaders in this movement are perfectly honest, we would have to admit that, rather than helping him rectify his position through artful education and persuasion, many of us endorsed him early on without any publicly stated concerns. The president's position regarding total protection for the pre-born is clearly flawed, but what did we expect? Too many of us, though definitely not all, share that position in the political arena even now, though protests to the contrary are heard.
The president's position is not the basic problem; pro-life pragmatism is.
JUDIE BROWN Stafford, Virginia
The writer is president of American Life League, Inc.
Home School Convert
Kudos to Laura Berquist, the subject of the “Home Schooling 2001” article of the May 27-June 2 issue. In this world of peer pressure, it's a blessing to have someone like Laura who has taken the task of raising Godly, educated children seriously and shared it with others.
I found myself on the phone to Mother of Divine Grace after agonizing over pulling our two oldest children (third and fifth grade at the time) from public school three years ago. I didn't know where to start. Having been raised in public school myself, I was torn between the “what was good enough for me, is good enough for our children” attitude, and the not so gentle nudging from the Holy Spirit to become a better steward of what God had given us — our children. The Holy Spirit had the “upper hand” and I began to home school.
Home schooling has been both a struggle and a blessing. We feel as if we have our children back after already beginning to lose them to their peers at such an early age. I thank God every day for the wisdom and experience of Laura. She is a wonderful witness to our faith and the teachings of the Church.
I also agree with Laura that our children are the future of the Catholic Church. As she mentioned, “our homes are a harbor.” If we want our children to weather the storm, we have to make sure they have a well-made, seaworthy boat. What better place to do that than in our own home where we can pass the faith on by example and doctrine? Then our children can become examples to others.
SUSIE SWANSON Littleton, Colorado
I have just received my third trial copy of the National Catholic Register. I am pleased to let your know that I am thrilled at paper and will become a paid subscriber and avid reader.
My concern is that I did not know of the existence of your publication. Had I known, you would have had me as a subscriber for years.
I love your articles and the straightforward and insightful reporting they contain. I feel as though I have found a valued friend in your publication. I will do all I can to promote your fine paper to everyone I know.
GEORGE GARBELL Phoenix, Arizona
‘Authentic’ Is Not a Synonym for ‘Literal’
Regarding “Authentic Liturgy … At Last” (May 27-June 2): I remember reading years ago a report concerning a U.N. translator charged with rendering in English the speech of a Russian diplomat. Referring to the unlike-lihood of an event taking place, the Russian said it would happen “… when a shrimp sings on a mountaintop.” The translator, knowing that a literal rendering of the speaker's words would mean nothing to his English speaking audience and, therefore, not serve the purpose of translation, said that the event would happen, “when pigs fly.” The English phrase, while nowhere near a literal translation, served well and substantially conveyed the meaning of the Russian's remarks.
Every act of translation is also an act of transculturation. Not only are words being translated, but, more importantly in terms of our worship, ideas, concepts and images have to be rendered in a way that makes the truth of the text accessible to the hearers. The suggestion that a literal translation of the texts of the Mass best accomplishes this in all instances is simplistic because it does not take into account transculturation. Words and phrases that have great meaning in one language do not automatically have the same gravitas in another.
In his marvelous book on translation, Le Ton beau de Marot, and all that must be considered in this exceptionally difficult art, Douglas Hofstadter reminds us that distortion-free translation is a chimera, an impossible goal. He says, “A translator does to an original text something like what an impressionist painter — Van Gogh, say — does to a landscape: there is an inevitable and cherished personal touch that makes the process totally different from photography.”
The painting, while not a “literal” representation of the original scene, is no less interesting or valuable.
Finally, any suggestion that this current round of translations is going to produce English texts that will serve for all times and never need revision and re-translation is shortsighted at best and ideologically tainted at worst. All language is analogical and, as our culture and our language evolve, it will be necessary, even essential, to update, refine and retranslate the texts.
Our Church has made extraordinary strides since the Second Vatican Council to disabuse herself of the notion that immutability is one of the marks of her liturgy. The truths celebrated in the liturgies do not change. The manner in which those truths are conveyed does.
FATHER MICHAEL J. KAVANAUGH Port Wentworth, Georgia
The writer is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
The End of Liturgical Longsuffering
Brian McGuire's interview of Father Peter Stravinskas regarding the liturgy (“Father Stravinskas: New Liturgy Document Vindicates Critics,” May 27-June 2) is really a relief and a breeze of fresh air regarding the Mass.
For many years we have complained about the lack of holiness of, respect for the Eucharist, and the constant din of certain songs during Mass. The Catholic Church at one time was a house of prayer and meditation. Catholics want to pray before the Blessed Sacrament during daily visits, Mass, Benediction and all those forms of worship of our God that have been eliminated for a gross misinterpretations of the articles of Vatican ll.
I hope I do not hear another pastor say at the most attended Mass, “I can fire a cannonball through the Church and not hit one person.”
Our complaints to the diocesan newspapers and office of liturgy and the bishops' representatives have always been met with demeaning remarks and an “Always in Christ.”
We have no voice in the Church. Most parishioners do not want to expose themselves to criticism and are forced to seek a parish that abides closest to the Church of Rome and Vatican ll.
Thank you for this fine article. This realignment does not come too soon. It is about 15 years overdue.
JIM VONDRAS Florissant, Missouri