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Online Edition:
July-August 2008
Vol. XIV, No. 5

Bishops Reopen Consultation Process After Translation For Proper of Seasons Fails To Meet Two-Thirds Majority

USCCB News Release — July 7, 2008

WASHINGTON—The US bishops failed to approve the English translation of the Proper of Seasons prayers from the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, at the June general assembly of the United States Conference of Bishops, in Orlando, Florida. A two-thirds majority of Latin rite members of the Conference is needed for approval of the translation. The vote at the meeting was inconclusive and subsequent mail ballots from absent members kept the measure from passing.

This text, the “Gray Book” draft translation prepared by the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL), was submitted to the bishops of English–speaking countries for approval. A “Gray Book” is the second draft proposed by ICEL after the bishops of the participating.

English-speaking conferences have had the chance to review the initial draft (or Green Book). The Proper of Seasons is the second of twelve sections of the full text of the Roman Missal.

Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship indicated that the Committee will now present the Gray Book to the bishops for renewed consideration, including the usual Conference process that allows bishops to submit modifications to the text for consideration.

The Committee intends to present the text again for a vote at the November 2008 meeting in Baltimore. Should the text then receive an affirmative vote of two–thirds of the Latin Rite members of the USCCB, the text will be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for subsequent confirmation.

In addition to the Proper of Seasons, the Committee on Divine Worship plans to submit two additional “Gray Book” texts for consideration and vote this fall, in hopes that the USCCB will keep pace with the actions of other English–speaking conferences. If the texts receive an affirmative vote by the body of Bishops, the original timeline will still be maintained, and the final text of the complete Roman Missal will be presented for approval in November 2010.

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