Liturgiam Authenticam 80

What is the recognitio?

80. The practice of seeking the recognitio from the Apostolic See for all translations of liturgical books[SC 36; Inter Oecumenici 20-21, 31: AAS (1964) 882,884; Code of Canon Law, can. 838.] accords the necessary assurance of the authenticity of the translation and its correspondence with the original texts. This practice both expresses and effects a bond of communion between the successor of blessed Peter and his brothers in the Episcopate. Furthermore, this recognitio is not a mere formality, but is rather an exercise of the power of governance, which is absolutely necessary (in the absence of which the act of the Conference of Bishops entirely in no way attains legal force); and modifications –even substantial ones—may be introduced by means of it.[Cf. PONT. COMM. FOR THE REVISION OF THE CODE OF CANON LAW, Acta: Communicationes 15 (1983) 173.] For this reason it is not permissible to publish, for the use of celebrants or for the general public, any liturgical texts that have been translated or recently composed, as long as the recognitio is lacking. Since the lex orandi must always be in harmony with the lex credendi and must manifest and support the faith of the Christian people, the liturgical translations will not be capable of being worthy of God without faithfully transmitting the wealth of Catholic doctrine from the original text into the vernacular version, in such a way that the sacred language is adapted to the dogmatic reality that it contains.[Cf. POPE PAUL VI, Address to the Members and Experts of the Consilium “for the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy”, 13 October 1966: AAS 58 (1966) 1146; Address to the Members and Experts of the Consilium “for the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” 14 October 1968: AAS 60 (1968) 734.] Furthermore, it is necessary to uphold the principle according to which each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only as regards the doctrine of the Faith and the sacramental signs, but also as regards those practices universally received through Apostolic and continuous tradition.[GIRM 397] For these reasons, the required recognitio of the Apostolic See is intended to ensure that the translations themselves, as well as any variations introduced into them, will not harm the unity of God’s people, but will serve it instead.[Lumen Gentium 13; cf. POPE JOHN PAUL II, Apost. Letter (Motu proprio) Apostolos suos, 21 May 1998, n. 22: AAS 90 (1998) 655-656.]

The language is firm, and it presumes the curia stands with the pope and is the agent of confirming a practical unity. The key questions are: Is this the reality? Is the curia always an agent of unity? Does it always represent the Petrine ministry? This isn’t to hint that the Bishop of Rome must always and personally be there to interact with the bishops. Do you suppose that all bishops see the curia, especially the CDWDS as an agent of unity? And in circumstances where the curia shuts down the exchange between “Peter” and the “apostles,” who is responsible?

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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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