Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Vatican prevails on the English Missal translation

The stalemate over the revised English translation of the Roman Missal appears settled following a meeting between Vatican officials and the presidents of the world's English-speaking bishops' conferences.

The Tablet reports that the confrontation ends an attempt by the Vatican begun three years ago to "wrest control of what it regarded as politically correct translations insufficiently faithful to the Latin".

In 1999 Cardinal Medina EstÚvez of the Congregation for Divine Worship ordered a shake-up of ICEL. In 2001 the Vatican congregation issued Liturgiam Authenticam, an instruction requiring translators to adhere more literally to Latin texts.

In April last year, the Congregation for Divine Worship created an English translation oversight committee headed by now Cardinal George Pell, Vox Clara.

The Tablet says the recent breakthrough was due in part to a change in personnel at the top of ICEL. ICEL's new executive secretary Fr Bruce Harbert has a concern with fidelity to the Latin that is close to the Vatican's.

Cardinal Pell told The Tablet that Vox Clara was "simply a committee of advice to the Congregation for the Sacraments, and no more than that". He said he was confident ICEL's new translation of the Roman Missal would be faithful to the directions of Liturgiam Authenticam.

"The language will be slightly more sacral, not everyday language", Cardinal Pell said. "But given the significance of what we are enacting in the Eucharist, my ambition is that ICEL will produce beautiful and faithful translations of the Roman Missal. And I hope we will have the translation in closer to two years than three, four, or five".

Vatican gets its way on the English Missal (The Tablet)

Progress on liturgy - at a cost (The Tablet)
Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney (National Catholic Reporter )
Vatican approves new statutes for English-language liturgy commission (24/10/03)
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

3 Nov 2003