mar 242017

Holdningene Den katolske kirke hadde for ca 100 år siden kan man lese i The Catholic Encyclopedia, som ble utgitt i USA i 1917, etter over ti års arbeid. Hele leksikonet ble lagt ut på nett i 1997, så det er lett å finne og lese mye interessant informasjon.

De har en ganske grundig artikkel om kondisjonell dåp, som jeg gjengir i sin helhet under – jeg har uthevet noen setninger. I dag er reglene i Den katolsk kirke at kondisjonell dåp bare er tillatt om man er i alvorlig og konkret tvil om tidligere kristen dåp er gyldig. For 100 år siden praktiserte man tydeligvis kondisjonell (gjen)dåp ganske mye oftere.

Conditional baptism

From the foregoing it is evident that not all baptism administered by heretics or schismatics is invalid. On the contrary, if the proper matter and form be used and the one conferring the sacrament really «intends to perform what the Church performs» the baptism is undoubtedly valid. This is also authoritatively stated in the decree for the Armenians and the canons of the Council of Trent already given. The question becomes a practical one when converts to the Faith have to be dealt with. If there were one authorized mode of baptizing among the sects, and if the necessity and true significance of the sacrament were uniformly taught and put in practice among them, there would be little difficulty as to the status of converts from the sects. But there is no such unity of teaching and practice among them, and consequently the particular case of each convert must be examined into when there is question of his reception into the Church. For not only are there religious denominations in which baptism is in all probability not validly administered, but there are those also which have a ritual sufficient indeed for validity, but in practice the likelihood of their members having received baptism validly is more than doubtful. As a consequence converts must be dealt with differently. If it be certain that a convert was validly baptized in heresy, the sacrament is not repeated, but the ceremonies which had been omitted in such baptism are to be supplied, unless the bishop, for sufficient reasons, judges that they can be dispensed with. (For the United States, see the First Council of Baltimore.) If it be uncertain whether the convert’s baptism was valid or not, then he is to be baptized conditionally. In such cases the ritual is: «If thou art not yet baptized, then I baptize thee in the name», etc. The First Synod of Westminster, England, directs that adult converts are to be baptized not publicly but privately with holy water (i.e. not the consecrated baptismal water) and without the usual ceremonies. Practically, converts in the United States are almost invariably baptized either absolutely or conditionally, not because the baptism administered by heretics is held to be invalid, but because it is generally impossible to discover whether they had ever been properly baptized. Even in cases where a ceremony had certainly been performed, reasonable doubt of validity will generally remain, on account of either the intention of the administrator or the mode of administration. Still each case must be examined into (S. C. Inquis., 20 Nov., 1878) lest the sacrament be sacrilegiously repeated.

As to the baptism of the various sects, Sabetti (no. 662) states that the Oriental Churches and the «Old Catholics» generally administer baptism accurately; the Socinians and Quakers do not baptize at all; the Baptists use the rite only for adults, and the efficacy of their baptism has been called in question owing to the separation of the matter and the form, for the latter is pronounced before the immersion takes place; the Congregationalists, Unitarians and Universalists deny the necessity of baptism, and hence the presumption is that they do not administer it accurately; the Methodists and Presbyterians baptize by aspersion or sprinkling, and it may be reasonably doubted whether the water has touched the body and flowed upon it; among the Episcopalians many consider baptism to have no true efficacy and to be merely an empty ceremony, and consequently there is a well-grounded fear that they are not sufficiently careful in its administration. To this may be added, that Episcopalians often baptize by aspersion, and though such a method is undoubtedly valid if properly employed, yet in practice it is quite possible that the sprinkled water may not touch the skin. Sabetti also notes that ministers of the same sect do not everywhere follow a uniform method of baptizing.

The practical method of reconciling heretics with the Church is as follows:– If baptism be conferred absolutely, the convert is to make no abjuration or profession of faith, nor is he to make a confession of his sins and receive absolution, because the sacrament of regeneration washes away his past offences. If his baptism is to be conditional, he must first make an abjuration of his errors, or a profession of faith, then receive the conditional baptism, and lastly make a sacramental confession followed by conditional absolution. If the convert’s former baptism was judged to be certainly valid, he is only to make the abjuration or the profession of faith and receive absolution from the censures he may have incurred. The abjuration or profession of faith here prescribed is the Creed of Pius IV, translated into the vernacular. In the case of conditional baptism, the confession may precede the administration of the rite and the conditional absolution be imparted after the baptism. This is often done as a matter of fact, as the confession is an excellent preparation for the reception of the sacrament.

mar 242017

Da jeg for ikke lenge siden besøkte det benediktinske Abbediet St. Maurice og St. Maurus, i Clervaux, Luxemburg, så jeg et bilde av den kjente islandske forfatteren, Halldor Laxness, som ble døpt i abbediet i påsken 1923. Han var avbildet på kirketrappen med hvit kappe og stort dåpslys i hånden. Men jeg leste også mer om Laxness i en bok i abbediets bibliotek, og ble ganske forundret da jeg så at han allerede var barnedøpt hjemme på Island. Døpte man lutherske katolikker på nytt på den tiden, tenkte jeg. Det hadde jeg nok også hørt før, men da trodde jeg dåpen foregikk i en mer privat og diskret seremoni.

Jeg jobber nå med en artikkel og den englske forfatteren og konvertitten Evelyn Waugh, som konverterte i 1930. Jeg har ikke funnet ut om han ble kondisjonelt døpt ved sin opptagelse, men det ble to av hans svært kjente forfatterkollegaer.

G. K. Chesterton konverterte i 1920, og det foregikk slik:

… At about three o’clock they set off for the Railway Hotel. Chesterton `bad no doubts or difficulties just before’ his reception into the Church—`only fears, fears of something that had the finality and simplicity of suicide’. While Chesterton made his confession to Father O’Connor, Frances, who was weeping, and Dom Ignatius Rice sat in the hotel bar. After conditional baptism had been administered, the two priests left Chesterton and Frances by themselves in the makeshift chapel. Returning to collect something he had forgotten, Rice saw them coming down the aisle, Chesterton with a comforting arm round his weeping wife (not all her tears were of grief, O’Connor thought). ….

Graham Green konverterte i 1926, og slik beskrives det:

… The first General Confession, which precedes conditional Baptism and which covers the whole of man’s previous life, is a humiliating ordeal. Later we may become hardened to the formulas of Confession and skeptical about ourselves: we may only half intend to keep the promises we make, until continual failure or the circumstances of our private life finally make it impossible to make any promises at all and many of us abandon Confession and Communion to join the Foreign Legion of the Church and fight for a city of which we are no longer full citizens. But in the first Confession a convert really believes in his own promises. I carried mine down with me like heavy stones into an empty corner of the Cathedral, dark already in the early afternoon, and the only witness of my Baptism was a woman who had been dusting the chairs. I took the name of Thomas—after St. Thomas the doubter and not Thomas Aquinas—and then I went on to the Nottingham Journal office and football results and the evening of potato chips. …

Jeg har tidligere også tenkt at Sigrid Undset, som konverterte i 1924, ble kondisjonelt døpt, men om dette skriver bloggen Legdominikaner: «Noen har spurt seg om hun ved denne anledning også ble døpt på nytt, men det er ikke tilfelle: den lutherske dåp var også dengang anerkjent som gyldig av Den katolske kirke. Biskop Fallize uttrykte iallfall dette klart i en kommentar 1896.» Det virker som de også mangler konkret informasjon (og jeg har for meg, men husker ikke hvor jeg har hørt det, at Undset også ble kondisjonalt døpt). Kanskje noen lesere kan hjelpe meg.

Til slutt nevner jeg også Elisabeth Hesselblad (helligkåret i 2016), hennes opptagelse i Kirken i 1902 beskrives slik:

Elisabeth Hesselblad emigrerte ved 18 års alder til USA, der hun arbeidet som sykepleierske. I USA ble hun kjent med Den katolske Kirke gjennom de mange irske innvandrerne – mange av dem var hennes pasienter som var kommet til skade ved byggearbeidene på den nye katolske katedralen St. Patrick i New York City. I USA konverterte hun også til den katolske kirke, ved kondisjonell dåp i Washington D.C. i 1902, etter konvertittundervisning hos jesuittene.

I et annet innlegg tar jeg med hva The Catholic Encyclopedia fra 1917 skriver om dette.

mar 212017

Dokumentet Liturgiam authenticam beskriver hvordan oversettelsen av katolsk liturgi fra latin til folkespråkene skal skje, og det gjelder både selve messen (for alle årets dager), andre liturgier (dåp, vigsel o.a.) og bibeloversettelser (som ikke alltid trenger være katolske, men må kunne godtas av Den katolske kirke).

Under har jeg tatt med et utdrag (funnet her) fra L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 30 May 2001, page 13. (L’Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of the Holy See), som beskriver mange tekniske ting som rettigheter til tekstene, verdensspråk som skal ha en felles oversettelse, bispekonferansenes plass i arbeidet, godkjenningen fra Vatikanet o.a., men som også sier dette om hva slags språk og hvilke oversettelsesprinsipper man skal bruke:

… The Instruction next gives a careful updated outline of the process to be followed by the Conferences of Bishops in communion with the Holy See in deciding upon full or partial introduction into liturgical use of a given language.

The Translation of Liturgical Texts

The heart of the Instruction is a fresh exposition with a reflective tone of principles that should govern the vernacular translation of liturgical texts. From the outset this section stresses the sacred nature of the Liturgy, which the translated texts must carefully safeguard.

The Roman Rite, like all the great historical liturgical families of the Catholic Church, has its own style and structure that must be respected in so far as possible in translation. The Instruction repeats the call of earlier papal documents for an approach to the translation of liturgical texts that sees it not so much a work of creative inventiveness as one of fidelity and exactness in rendering the Latin texts into a vernacular language, with all due consideration for the particular way that each language has of expressing itself. The special needs that must be addressed when making translations intended for newly evangelized territories are mentioned, and the Instruction also discusses the conditions under which more significant adaptations of texts and rites may occur, referring the regulation of these issues to the Instruction Varietates legitimae.

Using Other Texts as Aids

The usefulness of consulting ancient source texts is acknowledged and encouraged, though it is noted that the text of the editio typica, the official modern Latin edition, is always the point of departure for the translation. When the Latin text employs certain words from other ancient languages (e.g., alleluia, Amen, or Kyrie eleison), such terms may be retained in their original languages. Liturgical translations are to be made only from the editio typica of the Latin and never from other translations in turn. The Neo-Vulgate, the current Catholic version of the Latin Bible, should be employed as an auxiliary tool in preparing biblical translations for use in the Liturgy.


The vocabulary chosen for liturgical translation must be at one and the same time easily comprehensible to ordinary people and also expressive of the dignity and oratorical rhythm of the original: a language of praise and worship which fosters reverence and gratitude in the face of God’s glory. The language of these texts is, therefore, not intended primarily as an expression of the inner dispositions of the faithful but rather of God’s revealed word and his continual dialogue with his people in history.

Translations must be freed from exaggerated dependence on modern modes of expression and in general from psychologizing language. Even forms of speech deemed slightly archaic may on occasion be appropriate to the liturgical vocabulary.

The liturgical texts are neither completely autonomous nor separable from the general context of Christian life. There are in the Liturgy no texts that are intended to promote discriminatory or hostile attitudes to non-Catholic Christians, to the Jewish community or other religions, or which in any way deny universal equality in human dignity. If incorrect interpretation arises, the matter should be clarified, but this is not primarily the business of translations. The homily and catechesis are there to help fill out and explain their meaning and to clarify certain texts.


Many languages have nouns and pronouns capable of referring to both the masculine and the feminine in a single term. The abandonment of these terms under pressure of criticism on ideological or other grounds is not always wise or necessary nor is it an inevitable part of linguistic development. Traditional collective terms should be retained in instances where their loss would compromise a clear notion of man as a unitary, inclusive and corporate yet truly personal figure, as expressed, for example, by the Hebrew term adam, the Greek anthropos or the Latin homo. Similarly, the expression of such inclusivity may not be achieved by quasi-mechanical changes in grammatical number, or by the creation of pairs of masculine and feminine terms.

The traditional grammatical gender of the persons of the Trinity should be maintained. Expressions such as Filius hominis (Son of Man) and Patres (fathers) are to be translated with exactitude wherever found in biblical or liturgical texts. The feminine pronoun must be retained in referring to the Church. Kinship terms and the grammatical gender of angels, demons and pagan deities should be translated, and their gender retained, in light of the usage of the original text and of the traditional usage of the modern language in question.

The Translation of a Text

Translations should try not to extend or to restrict the meaning of the original terms, and terms that recall publicity slogans or those that have political, ideological or similar over-tones should be avoided. Academic and secular style-books on vernacular composition should not be used uncritically, since the Church has distinctive things to say and a style of expression that is appropriate to them.

Translation is a collaborative effort that should maintain continuity as much as possible between the original and vernacular texts. The translator must possess not only special skills, but also a trust in divine mercy and a spirit of prayer, as well as a readiness to accept review of his work by others. When substantial changes are needed to bring a given liturgical book into conformity with this Instruction, such revisions must be made all at once so as to avoid repeated disturbances or a sense of continual instability in liturgical prayer.

Scriptural Translations

Special consideration is given to the translation of the Scriptures for use in the Liturgy. A version should be developed which is exegetically sound and also suitable for the Liturgy. Such a translation should be used universally within the area of a single Bishops’ Conference and be the same for a given passage in all parts of the liturgical books. The aim should be a distinctive sacred style in each language that is consonant, as far as possible, with the established vocabulary of popular Catholic usage and major catechetical texts. All doubtful cases regarding canonicity and the ordering of verses should be resolved by reference to the Neo-Vulgate.

Concrete images found in words referring in figurative language that speaks, for example of the «finger», the «hand», the «face» of God, or of his «walking», and terms like «flesh» and the so on, should usually be translated literally and not replaced by abstractions. These are distinctive features of the biblical text that are to be maintained.

Other Liturgical Texts

Norms for the translation of the Bible as used in the Liturgy apply also in general to the translation of liturgical prayers. At the same time it must be acknowledged that while liturgical prayer is formed by the culture which practices it, it is also formative of culture so that the relationship is not merely passive. As a result, liturgical language can be expected to diverge from ordinary speech, as well as to reflect its better elements. The ideal is to develop a dignified vernacular fit for worship in a given cultural context.

Liturgical vocabulary must include the major characteristics of the Roman Rite, and should be drawn from patristic sources and harmonized with biblical texts. The vocabulary and usage of the vernacular translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church should be respected as far as this is feasible, and the proper distinctive terms should be used for sacred persons or things, rather than employing the same words as for the persons or things of everyday domestic life.

Syntax, style and literary genre are also key elements to be considered in rendering a faithful translation. The relationship between clauses, especially as expressed through subordination and devices such as parallelism, must be accurately conveyed. Verbs must be translated precisely in respect of person, number and voice while some latitude will be needed in rendering more complex syntactical structures.

A prime consideration should be the fact that liturgical texts are intended to be publicly proclaimed aloud and even sung.

Particular Types of Texts

Specific norms are then given for the translation of Eucharistic Prayers, the Creed, (which is to be translated in the first person singular: «I believe … «), and the general ordering and layout of liturgical books and their preliminary decrees and introductory texts. This is followed by a description of the preparation of translations by Bishops’ Conferences and the processes to be used for obtaining the approval and confirmation of liturgical texts from the Holy See. The present special requirements of papal approbation for sacramental formulae are reaffirmed, as is the insistence on the desirability of a single translation of the Liturgy, especially the Order of Mass, within each language group. …

mar 202017

Jeg leser i dag at det ifølge SSB er totalt 883.751 personer i innvandringsbefolkningen i Norge, hvorav 158.764 er norskfødte med innvandrerforeldre – noe som betyr at innvandringsbefolkningen er doblet på et tiår. Dette henger i stor grad sammen med åpning for arbeidsinnvandring fra EØS-land.

Oslo er det fylket i Oslo med klart størst innvandrerbefolkning. Nesten 33 prosent av Oslos befolkning er nå definert som innvandrere og barn av innvandrere. Som helhet er det 16,3 prosent av befolkningen i Norge som er første eller andre generasjons innvandrere. Grafen under viser de 10 største landene pr 01012017.

Under ser man tall for 01012016. Vi ser her at Eritrea ikke var med for et år siden, et land med flest kristne innvandrere, mest ortodokse/koptiske, men også en hel del katolikker. Filippinene har også nå gått forbi Vietnam i totalantall. For Filippinene er heller ikke barn født at filippinsk kvinne og norsk mann med i denne statistikken; jeg vil tro at det dreier seg over langt over 10 000 – det er jo 17 000 kvinner og 4 000 menn i Norge som er født på Filippinene.

mar 192017

(Den ganske liberale) liturgibloggen som jeg leser en del, Pray Tell, skriver om medlemmene av en komité som skal se på dokumentet som beskriver hvordan oversettelser av katolsk liturgi fra latin til folkespråkene skal foregå. Listen over medlemmer er ikke ofiisiell, men lekkasjer viser visst at dette sannsynligvis er medlemmene – de er listet opp i slutten av artikkelen.

Pray Tell skriver her nokså dramatisk om hva som skal (eller bør) skje:

… Presented in a mild way, as one must, this has been described as a sort of routine review. But nobody with any sense should believe that. Since when are instructions on the right implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium subject to routine reviews? Never. This step can only have been taken because Francis became convinced that the project is on the rocks. By that I mean that it has not been received well and a new approach has become a pastoral necessity. How much course correction is required is unclear. And how much the commission will tiptoe around the elephant in the living room, for fear of offending Benedict, is also an open question.

One cannot emphasize too strongly however that the real task before this commission is not merely one of tweaking a few details. Liturgiam authenticam can be analyzed with respect to texts and rules of translation, but it is not only about that. It is about the nature of church, the nature of reform, and the nature of liturgy itself. That is the reason why it has aroused so much ire on the one hand, and expectations of grandeur on the other. If the review and revision confines itself to cosmetic improvements only, it will fall short of what is needed. …

Det er litt vanskelig å forstå at dette skal være så veldig viktig (jeg kjenner ikke til slike oversettelsesdebatter i Norge, verken av katolsk liturgi fra latin til norsk, eller norske bibeloversettelser), men i noen andre land er dette svært omdiskutert – en del personer har fortsatt ikke forsonet seg med den nye (og nøyaktige) oversettelsen av hele messen til engelsk som kom i 2011. Jeg kan forsikre alle om at den norske Liturgikommisjonen (der jeg nå er sekretær) ikke har noen som helst problemer med Liturgiam authenticam, som ble utgitt i 2001.

mar 142017

Kanskje jeg skal lese denne boka, for det er ikke alltid like lett å forstå pave Frans. Slik kan vi lese på First Things:

An important new book has appeared that carefully evaluates Francis’s pontificate, and provides something the pope—for all his good deeds—often hasn’t: context and clarity.

What Pope Francis Really Said by Tom Hoopes, writer in residence at Benedictine College, is one of the best books to appear on the subject—because it avoids caricaturing Francis, from either the left or the right, and strives to get to the heart of his papacy by studying the full context of his teachings. A second strength is that it rescues Francis from distortion without overlooking his flaws.

Hoopes comments: To try to understand what Pope Francis wants from the Church in the twenty-first century, we should start by invoking Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. Our understanding of Pope Francis has become knotted up with conflicting feelings fed by mistaken reporting, false adulation, rash judgment, and the pope’s own verbal slip-ups.

One of the challenges in covering Francis is that he frequently speaks in incomplete sentences, particularly in the free-wheeling—and often problematic—interviews he grants to the press. Explaining Francis’s teachings in their proper context, therefore, is like putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle—because he says so many things, about a particular subject, at different times, and with different emphasis. But Hoopes has done an admirable job tracking down Francis’s most important statements, and bringing them together to provide a coherent summary of his teachings.

Regarding the pope’s much-discussed views on the economy, for example, Hoopes immediately puts to rest the notion that Francis is a crypto-Marxist who despises every aspect of the free market. In fact, as Hoopes documents, Francis’s views are rooted in the Gospel and the Church’s rich body of social teachings and these are “not just focused on bettering the material needs of the poor,” but addressing the needs of rich and poor alike. …

Her er boka på Amazon.

mar 102017

Liturgikommisjonen i Norge hadde arbeidsmøte denne uka, og reiste for anledningen til benediktinerklosteret i Clervaux helt nord i Luxemburg. Bildet over viser klosteret (bygningene er fra 1910), og man kan lese mer om det på Wikipedia.

Det var en fin opplevelse å være blant benediktinerne; de sang hele det monastiske breviaret (en hel del mer enn oss vanlige prester) på latin med fine gregorianske melodier, messene var på fransk, men også der ble introitus, graduale, offertoeium og kommunionsvers sunget tradisjonelt. Bildet under viser meg i en (for meg) nokså uvanlig alba – før messen i går.