HCWEOM 12: The Competence Of The Conferences Of Bishops

We conclude the GIHCWEOM with a brief listing of what bishops’ conferences may do with the rite:

12. It is for the conferences of bishops, in the preparation of particular rituals in accord with the Constitution on the Liturgy (art. 63, b), to accommodate this title of the Roman Ritual to the needs of individual regions so that, once the <acta> of the conferences have been confirmed by the Apostolic See, the ritual may be followed in the respective regions.

In this matter it will be up to the conferences:

a. to consider carefully what elements, if any, from the traditions of individual peoples may be retained or introduced, provided they are compatible with the spirit of the liturgy; the conferences are then to propose to the Apostolic See adaptations considered useful or necessary that will be introduced with its consent;

b. to prepare translations of texts that are truly accommodated to the character of various languages and the mentality of various cultures; they may add texts, especially for singing with appropriate melodies.

These adaptations are instructive. First, inculturation, or anything useful from local tradition but also compatible. In 12b we also see an explicit reference to the composition and addition of texts to the rites themselves. Keep that in mind when you see the criticisms of ICEL moving beyond its supposedly single-minded task: to translate. The translation only workload is a myth, officially speaking.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to HCWEOM 12: The Competence Of The Conferences Of Bishops

  1. FrMichael says:

    A minor permission to include local texts for this one ritual book isn’t a carte blanche to create a poorly-translated Psalter with no liturgical function and other such things. There is little doubt that the limited permission mentioned here is to include the devotional practices of Catholic cultures (I’m thinking here of Latin America) where an array of songs and prayers have developed over the centuries around Adoration and Benediction.

  2. Todd says:

    Fr Michael, that Psalter was far from a poor translation. And the permission to develop texts wasn’t confined to this one rite. The argument that ICEL and other language committees shouldn’t have been composing prayers is an anachronism.

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