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August 22, 2005

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Kevin Miller

The media pretty much never do a good job reporting on things like papal homilies. It was the same thing with the "dictatorship of relativism" one before the conclave - in which he reflected on each of the three Mass readings in turn - and all that got reported was part of what he said about the second reading.

Jason

One of the Canadian priests commenting on EWTN, who was at the Synagogue with the Holy Father, mentioned how he was sitting next to an old Jewish woman who started crying in the middle of the service, and when he asked her if she was ok, said "This is finally the end of World War II for me."

flan

excellent idea with the latin. i was struck by that thought while listening to all the german during the papal mass. what happened to all that latin we heard during benedict's installation masses and such? everyone went on and on about how he was going to usher in this great revival of the language. wouldn't wyd have been a perfect time for this? plus i thought the music was absolutely awful. you mean there are not any scholas full of young people that could have sung some less euro pop sounding "hymns"

Rich Leonardi

Wouldn't it be a great idea if, in the three years before Sydney, the call went out to teach young people everywhere the Pater Noster, Ave Maria and Sign of the Cross in Latin?

Great idea. But it'll be up to parents to do it. (My parish DRE is shrieking over the fact that the new "Why Catholic?" education program contains the word "catechism".) Here's a list of prayers in Latin for anyone who wants to get started.

On the issue of press coverage, in fairness I think it's fairly predictable which of the Holy Father's remarks is going to make it into the pull quote. For instance, he once remarked that Catholics should keep the focus of the Mass on Christ and avoid "worshiping the Golden Calf of ourselves". The man turns a phrase well and I'm sure he knows it. You can't go more than half a page in "Salt of the Earth" without finding similar examples.

Colleen

Nice post and true but I guess they (the press) did exactly the same thing with JPII's funeral Mass. Maybe they cannot really discern the difference between a WYD and a Catholic Funeral Mass? It's just all Catholic stuff when you are not Catholic.

Anyhow, the juggler thing threw me as well but apparently it was a reenactment of an old story that Europeans are familiar with: The juggler of Notre Dame. Bad timing (during a quiet, reflective time) and I don't think it's appropriate to juggle fire and hats, feels like you are at a circus or a talent show.

The novel thing would be no dance and no displays of personality, on or off the altar - we are all there to worship, not to entertain. I realize processional dance is part of the culture in some parts of Africa but it is most probably limited to the small parish scene and not in front of maybe a million people plus a vast worldwide tv audience and the vast majority of viewers do not understand liturgical/processional dance as anything but dancing during Mass or in this case, dancing during a solemn occasion.

Gerard E.

1. Religion and economics- two subjects that the MSM absolutely positively cannot cover adequately. Because of subtlties and mysteries that can't be expressed in simple headlines, teevee graphics, or 30-second radio updates. This Pope absolutely positively doesn't work well in soundbites- no criticism, just his personal style. But he was growing on the kids. Great sign.

2. We still can't get John Paul out of our systems. Not that we should ignore only the most important world figure from 1950 to 2000. Or a Pope whose writings will be analyzed for decades. But if John Paul is the star actor, Benedict is the piano player quietly performing in the shadows. Both are needed to make the show work. Strong start for relations with young RCs and this Papacy. Even if we shouldn't expect more SRO Masses in U.S. baseball parks.

Der Tommissar

First, on language. Wouldn't it be a great idea if, in the three years before Sydney, the call went out to teach young people everywhere the Pater Noster, Ave Maria and Sign of the Cross in Latin? We could avoid all of the "Ohmygawdprevaticantwo" tremors by saying how AWESOME it would be for hundreds of thousands of young people to be able to actually pray together in one language in 2008

Ummm...no you won't.

Firstly, didn't this call already go out? Wasn't there something about how people should learn the basic Catholic prayers in Latin? Secondly, can anyone point to any spot on the earth where there is a multitud of languages spoken, and the local Church has decided to do /anything/ in Latin?

Who's going to get stoked for youth day (and I can hear the grumblings where I am..."spoiled rich brats who can afford to fly all over the world") when day in and day out it's the SOP to throw us into vernacular ghettos.

I'm an Evil Traditionalist, and I'm sure others in the league can tell you bloodcurdling tales about the reaction towards Latin in certain quarters. I had the pleasure yesterday of having a brother knight of my age (32 today!) attend the indult down in Albuquerque. The thing that interested him? The very idea of people who speaks all sorts of languages being able to participate in Mass together.

dave

I think it would be nice if people did learn basic prayers in Latin. In June the Catholic News Service reported the following,

"Learning the prayers in Latin as well as in one's own language "will help Christian faithful of different languages pray together, especially when they gather for special circumstances," the pope said June 28 as he distributed the Italian version of the compendium, which included an appendix with the Latin texts of many traditional prayers, including the Sign of the Cross, the Gloria, the Hail Mary and Come, Holy Spirit."

I think it would be a very powerful experience to hear a huge crowd at gatherings in Rome or as we just had in Cologne to pray the rosary together for example in one language.

One thing I think they should consider is making English the offical language of WYD. I am sure most of the young people there know English as a second language. Of course some speeches and prayers can be in the native language of the host country.

I thought the same thing about the juggling till I discoverd that it was modeled after the juggler of Notre Dame. Therefore I think there was a cultural basis for that. And it was only 5-10 minutes out of 4 days of a Papal visit.

All in all I thought that it was great that a million or so young people gathered to praise God.

amy

der:

It's in the Compendium of the Catechism, apparently, and the Pope has voiced that wish in relation to it.

No way should English be made the official language of World Youth Day. More people who speak Spanish or Portuguese are Catholic than English-speakers. It would come across as imperialistic, and I doubt the Vatican would be up for it, considering that (this past week was an exception), when papal speeches are put up on the Vatican website, English is usually one of the last languages to make the cut. We sit here and wait, and wait, while everyone else gets theirs posted...and finally, ah! English!

Patrick Rothwell

I love the Latin mass and used to regularly attend and serve at a Latin mass (novus ordo) for several years. I wish that the Latin mass, both the new and the old, were more widely celebrated. I think, however, the virtues of having every Catholic pray in the same language are very overrated. There are 21(?) sui juris churches in the Catholic Church, not all of which celebrate mass in Latin. And, if memory serves me, the liturgy in Rome was celebrated in Greek before the switch to Latin. So in that case why not have all the Catholics say the Our Father in Greek??

I'm squarely in the "let a thousand flowers bloom" camp when it comes to the liturgy, even though I'd rather not have to suffer through lousy responsorial psalm-settings and hymns by Marty Haugen and the other usual liturgical suspects. Let the people say their prayers and have their liturgy in their own language.

amy

Patrick:

I wasn't making an argument for the Latin liturgy, re-imposed globally. I was suggesting that it would be a powerful statement for a few hundred thousand young people to actually pray together vocally in the ancient language of the Church. There's a WYD song that they all know, that's played endlessly. Why not Paters and Aves? My experience with youth tells me that young people would immediately key into the coolness of those moments at a WYD, and it would communicate to them, and to the world, the unity in diversity that is Catholicism, as well as its antiquity.

Let us please not let this thread go into a debate on the Latin Mass. I mean. Please.

hieronymus

There are 21(?) sui juris churches in the Catholic Church, not all of which celebrate mass in Latin.

Yes, and they account for about one percent of all Catholics worldwide. Only two are larger than the Archdiocese of Chicago, and several have fewer members than my parish. I love that there are non-Roman Catholic Churches, but let's not kid ourselves - the overwhelming majority of Catholics are inheritors of the Roman Tradition, in which Latin is the preferential tongue. We can and should admire the Eastern Churches and learn from them, but we should never use that admiration to justify neglect of our own traditions.

Mila Morales

One of the things that have bothered me about the NO Mass is the fact that everything is done in the vernacular. Back in the heady days when the VCII was meeting and liturgy reform was being contemplated, I remember my father--a well-instructed layman if ever there was one--telling me that our bishop, who was a Council father, had explained to him how the Kyrie should be kept in Greek and the Pater Noster in Latin. One wonders what happened to that idea.
I think it is impressive to have a gathering such as WYD with everyone praying in one voice, in one language...and one that's not representative of any particular nation.
I was also disappointed that, other than the MC, no one seemed to know any of the very few Latin responses required.

David Kubiak

From what I could hear on the radio, the crowd did rather a good job joining Cardinal Meisner when he let a Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and Gloria Patri for the repose of the soul of Brother Roger earlier on in the week. The way to Latin at this or any other church event is easy; what we need is the will.

On the vernacular, I have to say first that I have always been devoted to German poetry and music, and have sung tons of Lieder myself. But there remains something very unsettling about hearing people give speeches in German. It is a ridiculous response, and one I hope people after my generation never developed. But I had it all of last week.

And I see above that Archbishop Marini has been proleptically made a Cardinal again. Actually if he were created one it would be a good sign, since it would be the standard gift at his retirement.

Christineq

Yep, it would be very cool to have some Ave Marias and Pater Nosters at future WDYs.

I used to attend a parish that used the Greek Kyrie and Latin Agnus Dei during Lent.

It was beautiful, I'd love to have it year-round.

Der Tommissar

It's in the Compendium of the Catechism, apparently, and the Pope has voiced that wish in relation to it.

That's where it was, thank you. Good luck with that, Holy Father.

I was suggesting that it would be a powerful statement for a few hundred thousand young people to actually pray together vocally in the ancient language of the Church.

Powerful statement, or publicity stunt? I mean, what kind of statement is being made here: "Look how uber we YOD'ers are, we're going to say a prayer in Latin together."?

Why would it be so powerful to have a couple hundred thousand kids say some prayers once in a show of unity, but looking towards that unity in daily life, as part of our Catholic Faith so over the top? I'm not directing this at Amy or anyone in particular, it's just something I've heard from a few people and it strikes me as odd.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were all to pray in a common language when we meet together? Hey! The church has an ancient common tongue, what a beautiful symbol that would be."

"Preconciliarist".

"Hey now! I didn't mean like..all the time. I'm not some wacko! But maybe every six years or so. Just one prayer. It's not like I'm one of those Old Mass people or anything."

It's almost like, "this is a good idea, but let's not make it too good of an idea".

B Knotts

As dave pointed out above, the Holy Father has already requested that all Catholics learn basic prayers in Latin.

Here's the original article:

Pope presents summary of catechism, urges memorizing Latin prayers

and another excerpt:

Pope Benedict reminded those gathered for the prayer service what he had said about Latin formulations when he presented the Latin edition of the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" to Pope John Paul in 1997: "Latin, for centuries the vehicle and instrument of Christian culture, guarantees not only continuity with our roots, but remains as relevant as ever for strengthening the bonds of the unity of the faith in the communion of the church."
embajador

Prayers in Latin- I think it is a really good idea. And I am going to start teaching them to my daughters today.

When I pray the Rosary on my own and feel that I am getting distracted, I switch to either English or Latin (my mother tongue is Spanish). That helps me concentrate on what I am saying as I have to make an extra effort to pray.

Apart from that, no hymn beats the Salve Regina.

On the issue of official language, I do not want to look chauvinistic or anything but I have read somewhere that the second largest national group attending 2005 WYD was from Spain. #1 Germany of course. And of course there are a few coming from Latin America, too. So, no, I don't think it is a good idea to make English the official language.

Dad29

Might I add the suggestion that we should ALL learn Credo III (Chant/Latin) as well, if "parts" are what we are after.

But if we are serious about unity, the entire Mass in Latin (NO style is fine) is the real goal. All the responses, etc. No reaon why not, except our current roster of liturgywonks and Bishops who simply don't have the will.

Semnate2011

I, too, missed the latin Canon, at least for the congregation, that we saw during the several first televised masses of the pope and prior to his election. And I love the latin language, but it seemed to be in order to send a message to the host country. Benedict is determined the re-evangelize Europe; he wanted to remind Germany that it too is part of the church. It was obvious that the Latin sections of the mass were directly intended as an invitation for a unified language. I'm sure the pope, as an event after his urging of the faithful to learn the common prayers in latin, expected all to join in. What else would have been his motive for using latin at all?
On a side note, the music was indeed horrendous. The Credo was a piece to be performed in an auditorium (beautiful but not congregation-friendly), the Sanctus was completely ridiculous, the Mysterium Fidei was simply recited in German (guess the composer didn't have time to write anything for the congos and sitar for this part of mass), and the Agnus was almost worthy. The choir was beautiful, but those pieces, and those instrumentations... why a sitar? why ever have a sitar at mass?? The most appalling was the communion "hymn." The most notorious of all "communion" songs, Let us break bread together on our knees... on our knees! Then with the Jazz improv meditation piece. I feel sorry for the pope whose classical training left him a little outdated for this performance.

Der Tommissar

Then with the Jazz improv meditation piece. I feel sorry for the pope whose classical training left him a little outdated for this performance.

Actually, I think it was all the other stuff that was dated. Didn't the sitar go out with "Absolutely Fabulous" being shown on the Comedy Channel. And "Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees"? We receive in the hand, standing, thank you very much!

Chris

I thought that during WYD Toronto 2002 (I was there) we DID prayer the Pater Noster in Latin during the Papal Mass.

On the other hand, I hadn't had any sleep in 30 hours at the time, so my memory might be faulty.

Patrick Rothwell

"I wasn't making an argument for the Latin liturgy, re-imposed globally. I was suggesting that it would be a powerful statement for a few hundred thousand young people to actually pray together vocally in the ancient language of the Church. There's a WYD song that they all know, that's played endlessly. Why not Paters and Aves?"

Oh, I have no objection whatsoever to WYD'ers saying their Paters and Aves together. I certainly think that the statement would be a good one. I just think that the benefits of doing so are overstated. I went to a papal mass in Rome several years ago, and while (thankfully) the mass was mostly in Latin, IIRC, the fact that it was in Latin did not make the mass extra special for me. However, since I still attend Latin masses fairly frequently, my reaction might well be different from almost everyone else...

Shaun G

Amy said: People fret about this event becoming a Pope-centered event.

I attended World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, and I remember feeling SO discouraged and lost in a sea of Papal Groupies. I mean, hey, I loved JPII, but everyone seemed so centered on the Pope as Celebrity, and rarely did I hear anyone (except the Pope himself) say anything about the event as an opportunity for young Catholics from around the world to get together and worship God.

amy

Der:

I'm not crazy about the tone of your responses to me on this, my blog. For future reference.

David:

Heh. I admit to being on the same page in re/the speeches in German. When I taught high school, we would, at some point, do work on the Nazi regime, including the Holocoaust and the German eugenics program. I had a couple of videos I would show, and in the wake of it, I always went through weeks where I couldn't hear German without wincing. Like you said, sort of unfair, but there it is.

Jeff

I think Amy is right on target on the prayers. If Latin's totally lost and can't be recovered, we'll find out! But why not try to regain some of the patrimony of the Chuch? One needn't be a "restorationist" to want that.

Muslims pray in Arabic and Hare Krisha guys use Sanskrit; why not a dash of Latin for us?

And for the person who wants Greek instead: we're ROMAN Catholic, our particular traditions are ROMAN. Nothing to be ashamed of in that; we can have our own language and architecture styles and art, just like the Easterners can have theirs. No need for the Melkites to learn prayers in Latin if they don't want to.

American, being from a huge English speaking country are the least likely leaders here. But Europeans and Asians might be a good bet.

Nick Frankovich

Here's another emphatic yea to Amy's idea about the Pater Noster and Ave Maria. I would add "Gloria Patri" as well as the sign of the cross. Yes, the resistance is predictable and unfortunate, but increasingly I am finding pockets of enthusiasm for the Latin.

Some years ago after Mass those of who stayed after to pray the Rosary were joined by French-speaking visitors, who didn't know the prayers in English. We anglophones didn't know the prayers in French. But all of us knew the prayers in Latin, and so we prayed. It really worked.

Lately I have tried to make a practice of saying after every Mass the prayers added to the end of Low Mass around the time of Leo XIII -- Ave Maria (three times), Salve Regina, Deus refugium . . ., prayer to Saint Michael, and Cor Iesu sacratissimum . . . (three times). That prayer to Saint Michael in particular is something the Church may need these days more than ever.

Anna

Amy,
I agree about the hat/fire tossing: inexplicable. (Though the Notre Dame info was interesting.)
Did you notice that the cylinder bearers were timed to arrive on the stage and present the letters *while* the host was exposed in the monstrance and the pope was on his knees adoring the eucharist? This seemed to be sending the usual (in my parish in the US) contradictory message: Christ is present in the Eucharist, yes, but we don't have to give that our undivided attention, particularly when there are people-oriented things to do. It was bizarre timing. Really, everyone - on stage and in the audience - should have been on their knees or quietly worshipping but it was organized with a sideshow (however worthwhile the cylinder thing might have been) to distract from "the source and summit".

Der Tommissar

I'm not crazy about the tone of your responses to me on this, my blog. For future reference.

I'm sorry that my tone came across as harsh or uncharitable, it wasn't my intent. I also tried to express that I wasn't specifically ai ming my remarks at you, since I've heard this sentiment from a number of people, and didn' intend to indicate it was in any way uncommon or particular to any person.

I'll try to ask again. What makes using Latin different at a sort of "one shot" deal such as World Youth Day from every day life. People who seem to be well disposed towards Latin for things such as World Youth Day bring up very good reasons for supporting it. "It shows a unity of the faithful that transcends any specific national or even cultural identity."

We're all agreed that that's a good thing. Given it's a good thing, why then do we have to draw a line at using it as a more integral part of our faith? Why not in our daily liturgy? There are numerous American Catholics who find themselves in parishes with linguistic diversity that can almost rival a WYD. Anyone who looks at California, for instance, will find English Masses, Spanish Masses, Chinese Masses, Tagalog Masses, and Vietnamese Masses. In many areas, there may be one church building, but in reality you could say there are two or three "parishes" within.

I can't even imagine what it must be like in areas outside the US where there are even greater amounts of linguistic divergence.

At the same time, if we promote such things only at special gatherings such as WYD, doesn't that open Catholics up to charges of elitism or playing for the media or something? Sort of a "well, that's not the situation in real life in the Catholic Church"?

Leper

" No reaon why not, except our current roster of liturgywonks and Bishops who simply don't have the will."

Let the Church say "AMEN!"

Members of the SSOP, (Sensibly Shod Obstructionist Party) who helped design and build the current Tower of Liturgo-Babel not only don't have the will, they fight tooth and nail anyone who does.

I'm blogging about a book (circa '61,) I'm reading right now in which a member of the Liturgical Movement mocks the opponents of the "Vernacularists" by pooh-poohing the notion that they want to go to NO Latin, it's only for SOME parts, and only in PARISH Masses, after all, we're not RADICALS!

(I'd link or trackback or something, but I haven't a clue as to how to)

Any way the author of these almost comical reassurances is a H. A, Reinhold, some might be interested in the book.

Leper

"Why not in our daily liturgy? There are numerous American Catholics who find themselves in parishes with linguistic diversity that can almost rival a WYD."

Because the SSOP will not allow it.
We are maybe 48/48 Spanish/English, with the remainder Vietnamese.

When a committee that I was on spent an hour hashing out how we would put together some litrugcal service and I suggested Latin for the Mass setting I was looked at as if I had suggested Martian, and told no, no, it will never work. When I suggested it later in the meeting people ignored me. When at a later point when we were constructing an Esperanto-like response for the Prayer of the Faithful I shook my head and mourned aloud, "What a shame that the Church, in her wisdom, never thought to have a liturgical language, one that doesn't change, one that belongs to no one nationality or ethnic group and that therefor belongs equally to all..." I was glared at.

Anonymous Teacher Person

Well, the answer to getting the yutes to learn prayers in Latin is simple - convince their parents it will help them on the SAT.

Charles A.

What's wrong with being a Restorationist?

But, PLEASE, vote no to the suggestions that CREDO III be made mandatory and universal!

It's got just about the WORST pseudo-gregorian melody (rollicking 17th century progressions!) in the whole repertory.

There is only one authentic gregorian Credo, marked CREDO I in the Graduale, although Credo II is a recent, simpler adaptation of the same chant.

Katherine

By way of comparison:I am liberal as they come, and I really like the use of Hebrew in Jewish services, when translation and transliteration are provided along with the Hebrew text.

In addition to enabling solidarity across space among the members of the religion, it also enables solidarity across time: to know that these prayers have been said this way at these services for hundreds or thousands of years. It's something special. One of the songs at the passover seder, "Dayenu" has probably existed in more or less its current form since the second century B.C.E.

There is also some self-consciousness that is lost when you sing or pray in a language not your own. And with a translation right there, nothing is lost; you actually think about the meaning of the English words rather than rote recitation.

So I've found at any rate.

Charles A.

Excellent point, Katherine, and did you know the gregorian psalm tone called "peregrinus" (wandering) - used especially for psalm 113 (vulg.) has been traced to a Yemeni synagogue tradition of the 2nd century AD for use WITH THE SAME EXACT PSALM....

Talk about the democracy of the dead.

dympna

I thought the music for the Mass was ghastly. Break Bread Together on Our Knees? That's a pretty lame song from the 70s and it should have stayed there. I didn't really mind the sitar player but it added a somewhat pyschodelic note to the whole thing and the drummers looked silly. As for the juggler....well I will not comment.

Septimus

As to the quirky liturgy (I rely on others' accounts; I didn't see a minute of it, I'm sorry to say), I'm hoping the holy father decided he would fight those battles another day. His election may have been many months ago, but he had many things to attend to, and attending to the planning of these liturgies may not have made it to the top of the list in time...

David Kubiak

I just noticed the interesting observation that the Pope did not say anything about morality as such during the week. I vaguely recall reading that not long before his election the Holy Father had said something about "the ethics of human sexuality, about which perhaps too much has been written of late." Having spent my whole career with young people I have certainly found it true that Christian sexual morality only makes sense when you have decided to embrace Christ. It's pointless to try to put the cart before the horse.

I hope the Pope is not pushing himself too hard. His voice often sounded a little feeble and strained to me. 78 is not exactly a spring chicken, and while he was always there to do ghost-writing for his predecessor I imagine he has written every word of his papal addresses himself.

I do really hope Pope Benedict lives to be 100, since the next papacy is the one I am apprehensive about if it comes sooner rather than later. That Pope is bound to come from the 60-something pool that has proven so dicey for the Church in so many ways. It would be embarrassing for a Pope not to know how to give a Pontifical blessing in Latin.

Julia

"The most appalling was the communion "hymn." The most notorious of all "communion" songs, Let us break bread together on our knees... on our knees!"

The way my former choir sang this, it was like a cowboy song around the fire. Roy Rogers, no Gene Autrey - Back in the saddle again, back where a friend is a friend. I was almost ready to say ti yi yippee yippee yeah, come a ti yi yippee yeah Move along litte dogie.

BTW The sitar is a classic instrument in India which existed many, many years before George Harrison discovered Norah's father. There is a solid Catholic community around Goa that was founded supposedly by St. Thomas. I thought that was appropriate.

The digeridoo, I don't know. I didn't see any indigenous Australians at WYD; are any of them Catholics?

I think Marini may have studied the Olympics spectacles too much?

Julia

"The most appalling was the communion "hymn." The most notorious of all "communion" songs, Let us break bread together on our knees... on our knees!"

The way my former choir sang this, it was like a cowboy song around the fire. Roy Rogers, no Gene Autrey - Back in the saddle again, back where a friend is a friend. I was almost ready to say ti yi yippee yippee yeah, come a ti yi yippee yeah Move along litte dogie.

BTW The sitar is a classic instrument in India which existed many, many years before George Harrison discovered Norah's father. There is a solid Catholic community around Goa that was founded supposedly by St. Thomas. I thought that was appropriate.

The digeridoo, I don't know. I didn't see any indigenous Australians at WYD; are any of them Catholics?

I think Marini may have studied the Olympics spectacles too much?

Christine

"But there remains something very unsettling about hearing people give speeches in German. It is a ridiculous response, and one I hope people after my generation never developed. But I had it all of last week."

Gosh, I never thought about that. I was listening so eagerly to Cardinal Meisner (who speaks a very elegant "high German" and the Holy Father (who speaks with more of a Bavarian inflection) and was delighting in hearing them in my native tongue. The style of the speeches was so different from the inane ranting of Hitler and his minions -- but there's no way an non-German audience could have picked up on that.

One of the terrible legacies left by the Nazi fanatics.

dymphna

I have nothing but happy feelings when I hear German. I always think of jaegermeister, and schneitzel and potato dumplings. By the way, does anybody feel odd listening to Russian or Japanese? Those two countries combined caused an ocean of misery.

Boniface McInnes

dymphna,

It isn't the misery, per se, which make us uncomfortable. It is all those "Nuremberg Rally" type clips we've seen ad nauseam. Show an endless stream of Stalin speeches, or Tojo whipping the populace into a murderous frnezy and we'll talk. Until then, unfair as it surely is, we non-german speakers get creeped out by German Addresses.

Septimus

Boniface:

I've thought for a while that what those tv programs, that love to show lots of Hitler-ranting-in-German footage ought to do, is TRANSLATE; even better, a documentary that would present Hitler, in ENGLISH...

But they don't DARE . . .

Because that would risk making Hitler seem anything but utterly horrible and weird and crazy. No one would ever dare present Hitler as was almost certainly the case, in reality: someone who was evil, but not simply a ranting lunatic, but a reasonable and charming fellow.

But doing that would be truly educational, if awfully scary.

David Kubiak

Septimus:
If you have seen a speech of Hitler that made him seem "reasonable and charming" do tell me which it is. Responsible Germans didn't take him seriously until it was too late precisely because he came off as such a complete raving lunatic they thought no one could possibly pay serious attention to him.

I did notice the Pope's southern accent. His "ich" is a virtual "ish". "Gruess Gott, Heilige Vater"!

Christine

"Hitler reasonable and charming", no, but darkly charismatic, yes. When Hitler bullied his way past the ailing German Chancellor and began his grab for power he was much more subdued (they always are in the beginning).

I do have to admit, though, in almost all of the English speaking movies I've ever seen of World War II both the Germans and Japanese come off as speaking in loud, dictatorial tones even if they are merely the village peasants.

Everyday people don't speak that way in almost any culture.

But that's the vicissitudes of war. Stereotypes abound.

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