Many people have criticized the Novus Ordo because the words of absolution are not strong enough (as is the case with NO exorcisms). In the Extraordinary Form, the words of the absolution are:
"May Almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting (Amen). May the Almight and merciful God grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins (Amen)."
Just so there is no confusion about what is going on at this point, the gloss on the side of the Ecclesia Dei Latin-English Missal says, "All accuse themselves of having sinned. May God's mercy, the intercession of the Saints, and the Church's absolution cleanse our souls." A clear connection is made between the rite of absolution and the fact that an absolution is actually taking place.
Now, in the NO we have all come to know and love, we have the following phrase:
"May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and lead us to everlasting life. Amen."
In the NO, we tend to have two extremes (1) In many parishes, people are ignorant that this is an actual absolution at all. There is no language about pardon, absolution and remission at this rite. It seems like it is asking God to have mercy on us without actually conferring the reality that the rite itself is the channel by which this mercy comes.(2) Many parishes go to the other extreme and make this absolution replace private confession, asserting that it can remit mortal sin. What does it say about the Novus Ordo when we can get two interpretations that are so widely variant out of the same text?
Now let's look at the language in the proposed English translation:
"May Almighty God have mercy on us and lead us, with our sins forgiven, to eternal life."
Now what is that all about? Can that be any more confusing? The rite is clearly labelled "Absolution" in the Missal, but is there any hint that an absolution is happening? The language is so wimpy. It is in the passive voice, like the Church is being timid or something. It divorces the absolution from the rite even more execessively than the old NO did, and furthermore, it is worded awkwardly in such a way that can be taken to mean that everybody will have their sins forgiven.
Before, we have, "May Almighty God have mercy on us/you, forgive us our/your sins." Now God does not have mercy and forgive, He has mercy and leads. "May Almighty God have mercy on us and lead us." Where is the forgiveness? Is it implored? Is it even asked for? No. It is implied, as if everybody who prays the prayer is forgiven already. "May Almighty God lead us...with our sins forgiven." Forgiven is past tense, as if it had already happened or something. Gone is any notion that we are sinners asking God through this rite to cleanse us and forgive us. And what about any reference that this cleansing is aimed towards making us worthy to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass? That is even more far gone.
Well, this translation is only a rough draft, and perhaps it will be changed. But for heaven's sake, when will the Church stop talking wimpy and start taking its God-given authority? In the army, when we were marching and singing those annoying martial tunes, if we weren't yelling loud enough, or if we lacked enough enthusiasm, the drill sergeants used to yell, "C'mon! Sound off like you got a pair!" If the Church wasn't feminine, I might say the same thing to her!