Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Vatican approves new statutes for English-language liturgy commission

The Vatican has approved new statutes for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), giving the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments at the Vatican veto power over ICEL staff and translators.

Marking the end of several years of conflict over how the commission should be structured and operate, the new statutes marked a Vatican rejection of the views of some English-speaking bishops who wanted less centralised control of the commission and a broader role for it.

The new document gives the bishops who form the commission more direct, ongoing oversight of ICEL staff, translators and projects.

Copies of the new statutes and the Vatican decree approving them were sent to the US bishops last Friday.

ICEL is the commission formed by English-speaking bishops' conferences in 1963, when the Second Vatican Council authorised use of local languages in the liturgy, to prepare common English liturgy texts for use in their countries.

Sydney's Cardinal George Pell heads the Vatican's Vox Clara committee, which will effectively replace ICEL as the regulatory body governing English translations. He intimated during a press conference following his installation earlier this week that faithfulness to the original Latin will be the priority.

"We hope that the translations that are made will be faithful to the directives given in the text Liturgiam Authenticam," he said. "But it is equally important that they are good translations and faithful to the Latin."

Liturgiam Authenticam is the instruction on translations issued in 2001 by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.

Vatican approves new statutes for English-language liturgy commission (Catholic News Service)

Vatican Creates Watchdog (National Catholic Register 5-11/5/02)
Retiring international English liturgy chief speaks out (12/8/02)
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments | Liturgiam Authenticam

24 Oct 2003