Talk:Ad orientem

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Fr Zuhlsdorf's blog[edit]

Zuhlsdorf claims that in the Institutio generalis Missalis Romani (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), 299, the clause "quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit" ("which is desirable wherever possible") refers, or at least can refer, not to the phrase immediately preceding, "ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit" ("in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people"), but to the more distant phrase "Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum" ("The altar should be built apart from the wall").

Grammatically this is not sustainable. The obvious antecedent of the relative pronoun "quod" ("which") is the phrase that immediately precedes it. To make his view seem plausible, Zuhlsdorf has had to change the order and position the relative pronoun immediately after the first phrase, "Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum" ("The altar should be built apart from the wall").

Zuhlsdorf's idea must be excluded for yet another reason. Because of the ambiguity of "should be" in English, the English translation, "The altar should be built", does not render the full force of the Latin "Altare maius extruatur". The Latin text gives an order, it doesn't just say that something "ought to be". When an action is commanded, that action is not declared to be merely "desirable"! On the other hand, no order is given to walk around the altar and celebrate Mass facing the people; this is only said to be desirable, no more.

A blog like Zuhlsdorf's is not a Wikipedia:Reliable source, and for that reason cannot be cited here. Something better is required for inserting his ideas in Wikipedia. Esoglou (talk) 20:06, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

However, according to another post from Zuhlsdorf, the CDWDS has expressly ruled that IGMR 299 is to be interpreted such that "the word expedit . . . refers to the construction of the altar a pariete sejunctum (detached from the wall)." That would be a reliable source.  Glenfarclas  (talk) 22:31, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Zuhlsdorf gave the protocol number of the response, which made it easy to find both the original text and a complete English translation on the Internet. Esoglou (talk) 05:16, 21 October 2010 (UTC)