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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pet Peeve for the Day: Political Correctness

Unidos en Cristo / United in Christ cover
The book used at my parish.
I hate political correctness. I particularly hate political correctness when it invades the sanctuary. This morning at Mass my eyes kept going to the Mass booklets in the pew in front of me where they feature a large top headline IN SPANISH with the English underneath. Can English not even get top billing in our English-speaking country? Does anyone really think that if they have Mass booklets in Mexico (Anybody know?) they would list English first? Would they even include English? How many Americans are invading Mexico seeking sanctuary cities?

Then I came home and sat at my computer where I looked at the Catholic calendar distributed by the parish. You got it -- bilingual with all the months of the year and days of the week in Spanish first and all the feasts and solemnities, etc. in both languages each day in print so small it's unreadable. I took the calendar off the desk and threw it in the circular file. Then I looked through all the 2018 calendars I received in the mail and hung up one that has nice big blocks for writing my appointments and is all in English.

One daily aggravation eliminated!

If I go to a foreign country I don't expect everybody to speak English. Hey, I'm happy when I meet someone who speaks English, but I don't expect it. I visited my daughter in Spain when she was teaching there almost 20 years ago and I practiced my smattering of Spanish at the local grocery store and coffee shop. In fact, I was a source of entertainment to the proprietor of the coffee shop when, like a two-year-old, I pointed to my eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, and chin and said the correct Spanish words. I even got a little applause.

But if I decided to emigrate to Spain or France or Germany or Poland, I would expect to have to learn the language. I would not expect Masses to be bi-lingual. I would not expect my children to be taught in my foreign language in the public school (nor would I want them to be since total immersion is the best way to learn a language). I would not be offended if all the materials in the pew were in the language of the country in which I was living. I would want to assimilate into the culture of the country where I had chosen to live, like the earlier immigrants to the United States who truly "melted" in.

So let's offer English classes in our parishes and have practice sessions where people can come together and play games, learn vocabulary, and get acquainted. I'll be glad to come and learn more Spanish words while I share English. But can we ditch the political correctness?


Susan Matthiesen said...

1 - Complain to your pastor. Ask him why.

2 - Complain to the Bishop. Ask him why.

3 - Call the publishers of the calendar. Ask them why.

4 - Then do a blog post on their answers.

5 - If you went to Spain, France or Germany the first language listed would be Arabic. Not so in Poland yet, and I hope never.

Steve Cherry said...

When we were living in Delaware, I ran into a woman who had moved to the U.S. from France. She was so upset by all the hispanics who lived there and continued to NOT learn English. She said, "If I could learn to speak English, so can they!" Our parish there was probably half from Mexico and other South American countries. The Spanish-speaking and English-speaking members did not mix much. And when I went to the activities put on by the hispanics, most of them could not understand or speak English. it was frustrating, but I was not going to learn Spanish to accommodate them. And, I ran into the same people over a 10 year period, with them making NO effort to communicate.

Mary Fran, not Steve

To McFadden (Sr.) said...

I think the last missal also had Spanish first. I think it is a waste of money and paper.

Unknown said...

Just curious, what are the demographics in Woodstock these days? Are there that many Hispanics in your parish to justify making English the second language?

Susan Matthiesen said...

It's a bit different here in Florida, at least in our parish. All the Spanish kids are bilingual and speak perfect English. Same goes for people their parents' age, but people older, say the grandparents who have come to join them, speak very little English.

However, they are kind and good people. We have a SAINT in our parish. I just know he is. He's a Spanish man about 70-75 years old, very thin and frail. Don't think he speaks English...maybe he does. When there's Adoration he enters the church on his knees all the way down to the altar, then prays on his knees without moving a muscle for 15-20 minutes. He clutches his prayer book to his chest and prays, sometimes bowing his head, sometimes slightly lifting his hands toward heaven. Then he goes to one of the pews with his worn prayer book and reads his prayers for ages. When I see him I always wish I could pray like he does. His grandchildren bring him to church.

I LOVE to go to the Spanish Mass! The people are always kind and make me feel welcome just as they do at the Masses I went to in Ecuador and Guatemala. With all the immigration going on all over the world, just be thankful that the Spanish are Catholics and not Muslims.

Also the Spanish have GREAT dinners after Mass once a month. For $5 they load your plate up with the most delicious food.

But yes, the Mass book Mary Ann mentioned above should be English first, then Spanish and I'm sure most of the Spanish people would agree. So don't blame them - blame the PC left who do all these things to drive people crazy.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I don't blame the Hispanics, Susan. I blame the policies of the bishops and the politically correct booklet companies. It's all a piece with the liberal music where words of songs have been changed to make the feminists happy and ICEL doing really bad translations of the liturgy and other politically correct nonsense.

I agree that there are many kind and devout Catholics among our Hispanic parishioners. They have some beautiful traditions also that they share with the parish.

Susan Matthiesen said...

Talk about liberal music - we had to sing a hymn two Sundays ago called "Come, Sing a Home and Family" which said that Mary was "a dreamer risking life and limb". Since it refers to Mary as a "dreamer" the intimation is that Jesus was an anchor baby.

The song was written in 1994, but was updated in 2002 and again in 2004 which makes me suspect that the original words were changed to fit the agenda of the times.

turkeyridge said...

Simple solution? Attend ONLY traditional Latin masses.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Ah, turkeyridge, that means no daily Mass. It also means eliminating our Sunday brunch with family since the only TLM is in the middle of the day 45 minutes away. Not such a simple solution except for people who either live in an FSSP parish or are willing to dispense with their "daily bread" and travel long distances on Sunday.

Unknown, we have a significant Hispanic population. In fact, we have a Spanish Mass that is well attended. The chicken plants in the area employ large numbers of immigrants (hopefully legal). In fact, I believe they now only hire supervisors who are bi-lingual. That is another peeve to me that one must speak Spanish to have a blue-collar job in one's own country.

Susan Matthiesen said...

Our parish uses hardback missals with years A, B, and C for Sundays, Holy Days and liturgical seasons, in English only.

There are several softcover Spanish Missals - current year only - at the entrance on a shelf if the Spanish want to use them.

Unknown said...

Susan, You need to find a Society of St. Peter parish, if there is one near you! The Catholic Church in FL is in a sad state for the most part and has been for years. Since there are few vocations in the state, most of the priests are retired from or transferred (often for transgressions) from liberal parishes in the northeast. I have wintered in various parts of Florida on both coasts for the past twenty years so I know what I am talking about. I am sure there are exceptions but I have yet to find one.

Susan Matthiesen said...

Thank you Unknown. The beach parishes in Florida are the worst and like you, I have never gone to Mass on either coast where it didn't drive me crazy. Fortunately our Pastor is orthodox and there's also a TLM in a nearby parish.