New church law on translations is ‘good news’ for the church

(NCR Online) The change to church law governing liturgical translations released by the Vatican over the weekend is “good news,” liturgical experts say. But Catholics should not stop saying, “And with your Spirit,” just yet.

Any revisions to language at Masses in the United States will not happen immediately and will be primarily up to the U.S. bishops now.

In a document called a “motu proprio” titled Magnum Principium released Sept. 9 while Pope Francis was in Colombia, the pontiff announced a change to the church’s Code of Canon Law to decentralize the process for approving translations of liturgical texts, returning responsibility for the matter back to national bishops’ conferences, rather than the Vatican.

But liturgical experts in the U.S. — especially those who disagreed with the process and much of the content of the translations to the missal instituted in 2011 — are celebrating this shift and are predicting it will lead to better English translations, at least eventually.

“This is a victory for collegiality and a victory for the [Second Vatican] Council Fathers,” says Bishop Donald Trautman, retired bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, who formerly chaired the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Liturgy. As head of that committee, Trautman lead an effort to stop or delay the new missal translations, which he described as full of grammatical errors and unproclaimable texts. [More]


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