Tuesday, July 08, 2008

U.S. Catholic Bishops Reject Liturgical Language Changes Put on Hold in June

This is a follow-up to my post of June 13th (below). The Catholic News Service reports that the U.S. Catholic bishops have rejected a contentious 700-page English re-translation of part of the Roman Missal, even after mail-in votes from bishops who did not attend a June meeting in Florida. Since the rules required at least two-thirds of the bishops to approve the new version before it could be adopted, it is clear that over one-third of the bishops opposed it. As before, it is encouraging that that many of the bishops have taken ownership of the quality and effectiveness of liturgical English and have declined to let the Vatican bureaucracy bully them into slavish translations of mediocre Latin prayers. The CNS report follows:

After mail balloting of bishops who did not vote at the spring meeting in Orlando, Fla., a 700-page translation of one section of the Roman Missal failed to get approval from the required two-thirds of the members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB announced rejection of the translation of the proper prayers for Sundays and feast days during the liturgical year July 7 and said it would come before the full body of bishops again at their November general assembly in Baltimore, along with two other sections totaling about 500 pages. No vote totals were made public, but the translation would have needed 167 "yes" votes to achieve a two-thirds majority of the 250 active Latin-rite U.S. bishops. The rejected translation, in the works for more than two years, was the second of 12 sections of the Roman Missal translation project that will come before the bishops through at least 2010. The translation had come from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, known as ICEL, but at the Orlando meeting in June many bishops expressed frustration that recommendations they had submitted to ICEL to clarify the sentence structure or revise archaic language had been rejected.

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