Liturgiam Authenticam 70-72

Part III, running sections 70 through 108, is titled, “ON THE PREPARATION OF TRANSLATIONS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSIONS.” Let’s leap into subheading  1, “The manner of preparing a translation.”

70. On account of the entrusting to the Bishops of the task of preparing liturgical translations, [Sacrosanctum Concilium 36; Code of Canon Law, can 838 § 3] this work is committed in a particular way to the liturgical commission duly established by the Conference of Bishops. Wherever such a commission is lacking, the task of preparing the translation is to be entrusted to two or three Bishops who are expert in liturgical, biblical, philological or musical studies.[Sacrosanctum Concilium 44, Inter Oecumenici 40b, 44] As regards the examination and approbation of the texts, each individual Bishop must regard this duty as a direct, solemn and personal fiduciary responsibility.

For English-speaking bishops, this commission would be ICEL. We also have the advent of Vox Clara, the committee of bishops overseeing translation. It’s somewhat larger than two or three, of course.

71. In nations where many languages are used, the translations into individual vernacular languages are to be prepared and submitted to the special examination of those Bishops involved.[Inter Oecumenici 40] Nevertheless, it is the Conference of Bishops as such that retains the right and the power to posit all of those actions mentioned in this Instruction as pertaining to the Conference; thus, it pertains to the full Conference to approve a text and to submit it for the recognitio of the Apostolic See.


72. The Bishops, in fulfilling their mission of preparing translations of liturgical texts, are carefully to ensure that the translations be the fruit of a truly common effort rather than of any single person or of a small group of persons.

This last section is rather telling. If Msgr Moroney indeed was the lead on the 2008-2010 adjustments, that would appear to be violating the prescription here. A group effort is cited as part of the “mission” of translating texts.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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