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Pell says "liturgy wars" nearing end

Cardinal George Pell has told the National Catholic Reporter's Rome correspondent that the Vox Clara is close to fixing the bitter impasse chiefly over the issue of inclusive language and use of the word "man" in the liturgy.

John Allen reports that the advocates of a more traditional, "sacral" approach have won, while those who want a more flexible and idiomatic style of speech and worship have largely retreated to fight another day.

As head of the Vatican's Vox Clara committee, Cardinal Pell told Allen that the resolution of that issue, and the completion of Vox Clara's core project the Order of Mass, the work of the committee could be finished by early next year.

Vox Clara has had a brief to oversee English translation issues in the liturgy following the Vatican's alleged loss of confidence in the International Committee for English in the Liturgy (ICEL). Vox Clara was set up to apply the translation principles promulgated in the 2001 document Liturgiam Authenticam. It is based on a centralised Roman model of authority, while ICEL is animated by representatives of bishops in English-speaking countries.

Allen reports that ICEL has new statutes and personnel, and is producing texts "more to the liking of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and Vox Clara". He comments that the turn-around at ICEL means that, in effect, Vox Clara may have "worked itself out of business".

Interview with Cardinal George Pell (National Catholic Reporter 11/3/04)
Cardinal Pell and Vox Clara; Forty years of Inter mirifica; Cardinal Franz König; Life issues and medical ethics; Conversations on ecumenism (National Catholic Reporter 19/3/04)

Commission says new Missal translation "off to good start" (9/12/03)
Vatican prevails on the English Missal translation (3/11/03)
Progress on liturgy - at a cost (The Tablet 1/11/03)

22 Mar 2004