Pope Francis has issued a document that effectively returns to local bishops' conferences the leading role in liturgical translations.
The move, which involved a modification of church law, reverses years of Vatican efforts to exert centralized control on the thorny issue of language in the liturgy. It is bound to set off a new round of criticism by conservative Catholics who fear that Francis is slowly undoing the legacy of his two predecessors.
Text - Pope - Letter - Commentary - Archbishop
Here is an English-language text of the pope's apostolic letter and a commentary by Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
APOSTOLIC LETTER ISSUED MOTU PROPRIO OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF FRANCIS
MAGNUM - PRINCIPIUM
BY WHICH CAN. 838 OF THE CODE OF CANON LAW IS MODIFIED
Principle - Vatican - Ecumenical - Council - Prayer
The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.
The Latin Church was aware of the attendant sacrifice involved in the partial loss of liturgical Latin, which had been in use throughout the world over the course of centuries. However it willingly opened the door so that these versions, as part of the rites themselves, might become the voice of the Church celebrating the divine mysteries along with the Latin language.
Time - Views - Council - Fathers - Regard
At the same time, especially given the various clearly expressed views of the Council Fathers with regard to the use of the vernacular language in the liturgy, the Church was aware of the difficulties that might present themselves in this regard. On the one hand it was necessary to unite the good of the...
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